What does it take to be a great grandparent? Start with these 7 grandparent tips.
[bctt tweet=”Being an involved grandparent takes some skill and a lot of love. 7 Grandparent Tips to help get the job done. “]
My niece just announced that she was having her first baby. This will be the first grandchild for my sister. She is already worrying about how to assume the grandparent role and is looking for some advice.
- Stay out of their business. Sure, you have a lot of experience to share from raising your own children, but that was in the dark ages. Things have really improved since we had kids. There are all kinds of 21st Century changes that make parenting (and grandparenting) so much easier. Only give advice when asked.
- Stock up your house. Be ready for when the grandchildren come to visit and have some of the basics on hand. That way, the parents don’t have to bring everything with them. Things like the obvious (toys and books) and the not so obvious (plates and cups, car seat, stroller, bath essentials, thermometer and even baby Tylenol). If you didn’t keep a lot of toys and books from when your kids were growing up, (remember the exhilaration you had when your kids reached a certain stage and you could get rid of stuff and move on?) start trolling garage sales and thrift stores.
- Start Grandparent traditions. Memories are made from traditions. Do things that your grandkids can/will only experience at your house and adapt it to their age and interests. Currently, I do two things that my 5 and under grandchildren look forward to every time they come to my house:
Each morning, when my grandchildren wake up, they get to reach in to a “special Grammie bag” and pull out a little gift. Usually it is the kind of stuff you can get at a dollar store (stickers, bubbles, glow sticks, etc.). Right now, they are all in to Legos, so I got a package of 10 Lego figures for them to choose from. That was good for 5 days’ worth of Grammie gifts!!
Find the Bat Signal
Each night, after the grandchildren are in bed, I put the bat signal somewhere in the house (in a spot they can see) and wait for their shriek the next day when they locate the bat signal. Their careful observation earns them a treat!!
- Plan age appropriate field trips. It can get boring just staying around the house and everyone likes to get out. Not every field trip has to be a Disneyland trip. Most communities offer various free or low cost activities for children. Our current favorites? The pet store and Bass Pro Shops where the grandsons love to pretend they are driving jeeps and boats plus look at all the stuffed animals and fish.
- Plan age appropriate crafts. Pick a theme (holiday, season, event) and go on Pinterest for ideas. We’ve done string art, play acting, and sand creations to name a few.
- Be Observant. I love to just sit and watch what my grandchildren are doing. Learn what make them tick. Children today are so smart and clever!!!
- Be present. When my grandchildren are around, I limit as much as possible any distractions or scheduling conflicts. Focus 100% on the grandchildren.
Being a grandparent is the best job ever.
Do you have any other grandparent tips to add to the list?