Providing Childcare For Grandkids In MidLife: Key Dos and Don’ts

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Many families now rely on grandparents for either full or part-time childcare when both parent go out to work. While such a set up can be a fantastic opportunity for those of us in midlife or older to spend some quality time with the grandkids, it can also be a challenging role as well. It is with this mind that I have come up with some essential dos and don’ts that can help any grandparent navigate the waters of caring for their children’s, children. Read on to find out more.

Do make it as fun as you can.

OK, so maybe you didn’t expect to be looking after you grandkids all day, every day, but the truth of it is that it’s an excellent opportunity to develop a strong bond and have a lot of fun to boot. It will be necessary, however, to put in a little effort when the kids come over and provide things that they like to do.

This may include teaching them to cook, or garden with you, as well as providing activities like painting coloring and even computer games, which are fantastic for you if you need a bit of a break as well! Of course, if you aren’t sure what they like the best thing to do is just ask them and go from there, most kids aren’t shy about telling you what their latest interest is and will want to share it you as well.

Don’t go against their parent wishes.

Next, when it comes to taking care of your children’s children, boundaries are essential. In particular, is crucial that you understand what expectations the kids’ parents have of them, and for them and keep to these as much as possible.

What this means is, that is vital you don’t fill them full of junk food and sugar if the parents have specifically asked you not to. In fact, this can cause a major issue between the adults and may mean you aren’t asked to look after the grandkids again.  

Do offer to help with errands and tasks relating to the kids.

Also, it is wise to discuss which errands and tasks related to the kids that their parents would like you to be involved in. For example, many grandparents cook their meals and have them fed and changed for bed before mom and dad pick them up.

In addition, because grandparents are free in the days, it can be helpful for them to take the kids to the doctors and the pediatric dentist, as well as any other health appointments. Then mom or dad won’t need to have extra time off work or use up precious weekend moments with these sorts of tasks.

Don’t say no when you need to.

Lastly, as a grandparent, it is crucial that you learn to say no when providing childcare for your children’s children. After all, you have had your kids, and if you don’t want the little rascals around every day you are entirely within your right to say so, and you should! In fact, doing this will be better for everyone in the long run, including the grandkids because you will have more energy to invest in them when they are there.


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