Being a grandparent is one of the most rewarding things in life. It is often the most awaited event of our life. However, with the son-in-law or the daughter-in-law also being a part of this experience, care has to be taken so as to not cross the thin line between being a mother and being a grandmother. Even though you would want to do everything to keep your grandchild happy, you will have to try to respect boundaries and leave some things for the new parents to do on their own. Here are a few ways to become a good grandmother:
Offer to look after the baby when your daughter-in-law’s maternity leaves get over:
Be a good grandmother and look after your grandchild as and when required. Since you daughter/daughter-in-law will have maternity leaves that will expire after a few months at the most, offer to help her to take care of the child if you live close by. By doing so, you will strengthen your relationship with your daughter/daughter-in-law and you will also get to spend some time with your grandchild so that you become one of the first people the baby learns to recognize.
When you babysit, make a list of all the important details:
When you take care of the baby for the first time ever, make a list of all the important pointers you need to remember. Make sure you have a copy of the baby’s daily routine, a list of things the baby is allergic to (if any), the baby’s food requirements, etc. This is to make sure that the entire experience remains healthy for you and your grandchild.
Make the house child friendly:
Before you plan to have your grandchild over, make sure you baby proof the entire house. Remove all the electronic items from the areas the baby can reach. Cover all the sockets. Keep cords and wires away from the baby’s reach. If you know that your grandchild will be a frequent visitor, you can also get a play pen and a crib for him. Get a few toys for him as well so that he enjoys his time in your house thoroughly. You can also keep some baby food stacked in your kitchen in case of emergencies.
Don’t keep the baby on the car seat and drive:
Be careful about where you keep the baby while driving. Buy a special car seat for children and attach it to the back seat of the car and make your grandchild sit in it whenever he travels with you. Under no circumstances should the baby sit in the front with you. That is a risk you should completely avoid.
Don’t encourage them to break rules
As a grandparent, your job is to spoil him but do not go overboard with having fun. It’s fun to break rules but little children have a very sharp mind and they pick up habits in a jiffy. If you encourage or even allow him to break a few rules in your house, he might do the same in his house. It can develop into a serious habit in the future so be very careful about what you teach your grandchildren.
Let the parents discipline the child
It is your job to pamper the child but just as you aren’t supposed to encourage him to break rules; you shouldn’t try to discipline them all the time. That is a job for the parents to undertake so let them do it. In the meanwhile, your job is to enjoy and do fun activities with your grandchild.
Read to them and encourage them to pick a hobby
Small children have a rapidly developing brain so it is advisable to encourage them to try a variety of things. Instead of telling them what to do, read to them, play the piano for them and let them do their own thing. Let them develop an interest in the activity of their choice and make it a hobby later on.
Take them to the playground every now and then
Kids love going to the playground every evening and you will earn brownie points for taking them there. You do not have to teach them something or the other all the time. Sit back, relax, let them do their own thing in the park and make their own friends.
Be a good conversationalist
Speak to your grandchild even if he can’t speak himself. That will help him to recognize words. And, once he starts speaking, listen to him with as much attention as you can. The habit of having complete conversations as a child will help the child to become a good conversationalist when he grows up.
Make them feel very important
Children crave for attention and importance so as a grandparent; it is your responsibility to give them everything they want. Let them know their importance in your life so that they can give you equal importance in theirs.
Call them every now and then
Your call to your grandchild doesn’t have to be limited to his birthday or other festive holidays. Remind him of your existence and let him know that you think of him every once in a while.
Make flexible plans with them
Making plans with your grandchild for a day full of fun activities is a great idea but do not expect the day to go exactly according to plan. Keep the plan flexible for any changes that may need to be made.