Proven child carers – they can raise children and keep them safe. You made it this far didn’t you? We know that our precious little bundles are in good hands when they’re in the care of our own parents. They’ll also be happy to return them to us at the end of the day.
Traditional game players – feeding ducks, throwing stones in the river, baking and reading books are popular pastimes with Grandparents. It’s highly unlikely to find them playing Playstation or sitting in front of a television all day with your children.
Phone a Friend – getting through the first six weeks with a newborn can be fairly tricky. It’s reassuring to know that the Grandparents are happy to answer the phone and offer advice, even if it’s 2am!
Wardrobe suppliers – if your Grandparents are anything like ours, they’ll generously contribute to your child’s wardrobe. Fabulous knitted jerseys and booties are always warmly received. They’ll find themselves unable to resist the lure of the children’s clothing stores once they have a little person to buy for.
President of your Child’s Fan Club – our son feels well loved and supported by his Grandparents. His ‘brag’ photos feature in their home, facebook pages, work offices and phone. Bear in mind, that he’s too little to get into much mischief yet but I’m sure he’ll remain angelic in their eyes.
Good manners – they’ll be sure to insist on good manners from their Grandchildren when they’re in earshot. Time and experience also enables Grandparents to be wise enough to outsmart little people. We’ll be stoked if our son turns out to have the manners and etiquette of his Grandparents.
We’re not all fortunate enough to have a living Grandparent in our lives. However, if you’re lucky enough to have 1, 2, 3, 4 or more in your family, then please make sure that your child spends as much time with them as possible. After all, they’re not around for ever.
Take lots of photos and videos of Grandparents interacting with your child. It doesn’t have to be at amazing events, just capture moments of every day life. Your children will love to look back at the images when they’re older and will have a better memory of impact your parents had on their lives. We lost a treasured Grandad in our family recently. We’re so grateful for the images that we’ll use to keep the memory of him alive for our son.
If your Grandparents live far away, try to keep in touch using other methods. Traditional mail is fun to send and receive. Your child will love receiving letters in the mailbox addressed to them. Include drawings or photographs too. If your Grandparents are computer savvy, take advantage of the fabulous technology of Skype which allows you to video call each other. Email or Facebook (in a private family group), is another good option to keep in touch.
Grandparents are often the family historians, and can add a rich sense of family tradition to your child’s life. Encourage them to share stories on their memories of growing up and important life events they have experienced. If your child is too young to understand, take the time to create a family scrap book or simply jot down the memories in a notebook that you can share with them when they are older. You can even buy fabulous little books as gifts like we did for Mother’s Day recently, where the grandparent fills it out like a journal for their grandchild. Another great product is a children’s book where you can record the voice of a person reading the story. What fun it would be to have a special book ‘read to you by Grandma’, whenever the time, wherever the place.
If you child spends a lot of time at the homes of your parents, consider investing in few extra items to make life easier and save time carting extra gear around. Our Grandparents have the phil&ted’s portable high chairs and the phil&ted’s traveller portacot. These items are really fast to put up and pack away. Grandma is even the proud owner of a smart buggy which is great for walking around town and going to the park – and it fits into her small car.
Several countries around the world celebrate with an official Grandparents Day, however New Zealand does not have a specific recognition date. It’s up to you to make sure you acknowledge and be thankful for the Grandparents in your family, every day of the year. They’ll thank you for it.