By Maria Khalifé “What is it about grandparents that are so lovely? I’d like to say that grandparents are God’s gifts to children. And if they can but see, hear and feel what these people have to give, they can mature at a fast rate.” ~ Bill Cosby
If you are a grandparent, it’s probably been a long time since you did child care, and stepping back into that role can put a strain on you. The assumption that you will now give up your own life to babysit should all be looked at honestly to see where your levels of comfort are.
In these days of economic challenges, babysitting can be a huge expense. I think that may well be good, because then one of the parents can stay home and actually parent their children. But when that cannot happen, it’s often the grandparents who are looked to for help because the parents know their kids will be loved unconditionally and not encounter many of the problems inherent in some day care environments.
So, if you’re one of those lucky grandparents, here are some tips to help you along the way. The key points to remember are:
- Don’t overwork yourself and
- Keep the child safe.
Here are some Handy Tips for Grandparents
Your health comes first: Keep yourself healthy via diet, exercise, rest and don’t sacrifice in these areas.
Dress appropriately: You’re going to be moving a lot and you can’t do that in high heels or tight skirts. Be prepared for the kids to soil your clothing.
Hide your medicines: Lock them up. They can crawl into places you’ve thought were safe. If you take them in front of the children, explain why it is not candy.
Emergency Numbers: Keep a list handy. Also keeps a Parental Consent Letter giving you their permission to seek medical care. Tuck this into your purse. Technology: Know enough to keep the children safe. Some computer games may keep the kids entertained while learning.
Car seats: Have one for the children. You might have to take them to appointments, to the park, etc.
Setting boundaries: How happy would you be if your children dropped in last minute with their kids for you to babysit? You should let them know how much notice you’d like to have.
It’s Their Turn: You raised your children the way you wanted to. You should honor their wishes when you babysit them.
Make Your House Child Friendly: Vacuum the floor frequently for crawlers and check to see what is not safe for toddlers, and then fix it so that it will be.
Getting Paid: Not all grandparents want or need to be paid for babysitting. If you are watching them full-time, something should be paid. If you don’t need the money, save it for the kids for later. (continued – see below)