Be the Best Babysitting Grandparent Ever!

Oct 23, 2022 | Experts Corner

Be the Best Babysitting Grandparent Ever!
Who doesn’t absolutely adore those precious moments as grandparents where we are passed the baton from our children to spend time with our grandchildren one on one?! However, sometimes we don’t think of every little detail that might make those parents feel more comfortable leaving their little ones. In finding the perfect balance between delighting our grandchildren and pleasing their parents, we are put to the challenge. Here are 5 tips to be the best babysitting grandparent… EVER!

2. Rules of the roost
Breaking—or at least bending the rules when Mom and Dad are away is part of the fun for kids. Some rules are not okay to break, though, at least in the eyes of Mom and Dad. Always ask for the non-negotiables from Mom or Dad in front of the kids so everyone is on the same page. Have a conversation about things such as time limits on playing with electronics, off-limit sites, and television shows, or which physical feats they have permission to do (trampolines or pools, anyone?), and so forth.
2. Note medical/emergency needs
When on babysitting duty, a parent needs to provide phone numbers of nearby friends/family, doctors, urgent care, and anyone who can help if needed, as well as directions and dosages for any required or possibly needed medications. Updates on any current ailments along with temps to watch for before giving any pain relievers is important, too. Write it all down so forgetfulness of any degree won’t be a matter during an emergency. Also, you need to have car seats—and know the proper procedure for installation—for each child in your care, even if there are no plans to leave the house. Better safe than sorry.
3. Old-fashioned fun
Always have a backup plan for times grandchildren can’t decide what they want to do, or when some of your ideas are not received well. Simple suggestion- take special note of what the kids love to do and just go with it so long as it’s within the boundaries of safe and fun and doable.  Perhaps an indoor game (card games, checkers, flashlight shadow puppets) or an outdoor activity (Freeze Tag, Ghost in the Graveyard, Red Rover).
4. Signature snacks
Create a snack or meal the grandchildren have only when Grandma or Grandpa makes it. Plus, having the grandkids help make it provides another activity. Pack supplies for your signature treat and be sure to bring that along if you are at their home and not yours. This way you can create some yummy special times together that only you can do!  Have a few “Meals Only Grandma/Grandpa Makes” in your menu arsenal for your babysitting stints, as well – you’ll be a sure winner.
5. Bottom line
When it comes to babysitting grandchildren, actively participating, listening, hugging, laughing, and loving inevitably leads to someone spouting: “You’re the best babysitter ever.” Maintaining a balance between fun and safety ensures accolades that come not only from delighted grandchildren, but from their perfectly pleased parents, as well.


*Portions sourced

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