As more parents join the workforce to ensure higher income, more and more grandparents are becoming actively engaged in grandchild-rearing. Grandmothers and grandfathers around the world are stepping up to the plate in order to provide childcare, and although it is not an easy task, it sure can be rewarding. Here, six caregiving tips for grandparents helping raise their grandkids.
Childproof your home
Safety comes first, which is why you want to ensure your home is childproofed. Start by inspecting the rooms where your grandchildren spend most of their time when you’re taking care of them and be sure to eliminate any potential hazards. Take care of electrical outlets by blocking them, and remove any power cords as well. Add corner bumpers on sharp edges of the furniture, and make sure the dressers and TVs are anchored.
If there are staircases, be sure to add ramps, and remember to store away any potentially poisonous chemicals. Preferably, they should be stored high up on the shelves, out of children’s reach. Childproofing your home will prevent household injuries and keep your grandchildren safe and secure while sparing you the headache.
Establish a routine
Kids will be kids, and you need to remember that there will be times when they’ll misbehave or refuse to play by the rules. It’s in their nature to rebel and try to bend the rules. However, giving them free rein isn’t going to do any good either. Children need structure, routine, and discipline in their daily lives, and regardless of how much time you spend together, you want to establish yourself as an authority whom they’ll treat with respect.
That means introducing rules for when they’re staying at your house, creating a schedule and developing a routine they’ll follow. That way, you’ll help prepare them for the real world and help them thrive in a society that rewards effective time management.
Playtime is essential
Structure and discipline are two important aspects of child-rearing. However, as a caregiver, you also need to understand that playtime is essential for children in order for them to maintain a healthy balance. Let them be kids – encourage them to be spontaneous, curious, and creative, and give them time to play.
A great way to help your grandchildren socialize and meet other kids is to find a fun playgroup in your area and let them engage in activities that will improve their cognitive, physical, and social skills. Other than being a great way to stimulate their senses, playing with other kids in a fun and friendly atmosphere will also help them develop essential skills that can help them reach their academic potential later on.
Provide love and support
Communication that is based on honesty, love, and support ensures quality relationships, and even though your grandchildren may not be on their best behavior 24/7, you still need to show that you love them and care about them. If they disappoint you, don’t blame them or scold them. Instead, communicate your feelings but make sure you provide constructive criticism.
Also, you want to make sure you carve enough time in a day for your grandchildren. Sometimes it will require prioritizing and choosing between them and your free time, but at the end of the day, if you can make them happy, missing out on a gathering or your favorite TV show may be worth the time you spend doing something that is important to them.
Consider the finances
Helping raise your grandchildren also means tackling the finances and making wise decisions. There are different expenses to consider, and while you may feel inclined to spend all your savings in order to help out, chances are, there are ways to finance these expenses without breaking the bank.
While there may be financial constraints, in countries such as England, grandparents who are of working-age can apply for National Insurance credits. If they qualify, they can boost the income they’ll receive when they retire.
Take good care of yourself
Self-care is extremely important regardless of your age. Crucial for maintaining physical and mental health, taking care of yourself means different things for different people, and you need to find what works for you.
Be it gardening, hiking, cooking, or reading, look for a hobby that makes you feel your best. By prioritizing your health and living a positive life, you’ll be setting a good example for your grandchildren and sending them a powerful message while also creating a positive environment where they can thrive.
In a fast-paced society, having someone you can rely on is priceless. For many working families, having grandparents who are willing to help out with child-rearing takes a significant load off their chest. With these six caregiving tips in mind, you can take on the tasks of parenting with confidence.
This guest post was graciously provided by Robert Clayton. Robert is a blogger with a degree in engineering based in Sydney. His interests and passions include DIY, green technologies and home improvement. He also loves good food, music, dogs and enjoys spending time by the ocean. He’s a regular contributor for Smooth Decorator, An Australian Home improvement website.