Be the Best Grandparent Possible with These 5 Tips
Becoming a parent is the most magical experience we can have as humans. The second most magical thing is when those children have children and make us grandparents. Unfortunately, there is no definitive guide to being a good grandparent. One of the biggest mistakes new grandparents make is forgetting their role and acting as if they were the parent instead of the grandparent. Those are two very different things. Failure to realize that can cause a lot of problems early on.
This is a hard mistake to avoid because you know what it is like to be a good parent. And those grandkids look just like your children looked when they were little. The difference is that you are no longer in charge. You have to accept the authority of your children when it comes to how they want their children to be raised. This is the #1 tip for being a good grandparent. Here are five more:
- Learn About Thumb-sucking
I know you have already ushered kids through this stage. But these are different times and you should be aware of new insights informing today’s parents. Start by using a site like StopThumbSucking.org. You should also have a conversation with the parents about what they are doing so that there can be continuity from the perspective of the child. It tends to be the kind of thing that goes away on its own. But if there is an issue, be familiar with the most up to date resources.
- Make Sure They Brush After Meals
As someone who is probably dealing with dental issues as a senior, you know the importance of brushing teeth after each meal. When the grandkids are at your house for meals, it is up to you to see that they maintain healthy habits they learned from their parents. Keep clean toothbrushes and toothpaste at your house. If you let them indulge in sweet treats while visiting, make toothbrushing mandatory, even if it is not a full meal.
- Keep a Tablet with Parental Controls
You might not have a need for a tablet like the new iPad 9 or Kindle Fire. But your grandkids will likely be familiar with them. They are a much better option for keeping the grandkids entertained than a gaming console like Xbox or Playstation where you might find it difficult to manage parental controls. Tablets like the iPad are inexpensive, full of safe apps that can be played for free, and are great for TV and movie watching. Thanks to a full set of parental controls, you can regulate what they watch and do on those devices while they are in your care. Keeping a tablet around for grandkids to use while visiting is an easy win. Just check with the parents to coordinate with appropriate restrictions.
- Move the Breakables
Over the course of your life, you have compiled quite a few things that are very important to you, and that are also very fragile. Kids, even grandkids, can be hard on fragile objects. Before they come over, give the place a quick once over and identify the things you don’t want them to play with, touch, or even look at. If you don’t want to sweep up the pieces after a kid disaster, tuck them away in a safe place before the grandkids come over.
- Set Limits
New parents also make plenty of mistakes. One of those mistakes is that they treat grandparents like unpaid babysitters. You need to set some definite limits on how much you can babysit. If you don’t, you will find yourself with frazzled nerves instead of the good feelings you want to have toward those little angels. It stops being fun after a while. Know your limits and set those expectations up front. Give yourself time between visits to mentally and physically recover. It is not always easy. Make sure your time as a grandparent is one of joy instead of stress.
Being a grandparent is a magical time in your life, a reward for raising your kids well. Be sure to get the most out of that time by keeping up with modern information on things like thumb-sucking. Be sure they brush after meals. Grab a tablet with good parental controls. Move the breakables. And set reasonable limits that everyone can live with.