When a new baby is born, a child becomes a parent, and a parent becomes a grandparent. It is a time of change and presents an opportunity for you to step into an important role. You can be a playmate, role model, and safe harbour for your grandchild. Grandparents are especially important in today’s society, where two in five grandparents with a grandchild under 13 are providing some form of regular childcare. Dr Lillian Carson, an expert in child development, says, “if you’ve ever wanted to make a difference in this world, an active grandparenting role provides the perfect opportunity”.
The value of grandparents through a child’s eyes
Grandparents provide unique benefits to children through total acceptance – love without strings attached. You can step away from the stress of daily parenting and focus on the joy of childhood. Young children may see their grandparents as fun playmates and bearers of gifts and treats. Older children may look to their grandparents as interesting, knowledgeable confidants who will listen without passing judgement. Grandparents can show their grandchildren that growing older is not a bad thing. By keeping active and engaged with current times, you can show your grandchildren the value of a lifetime of experience.
Passing on family traditions and heritage
Grandparents are also historians – they are the gatekeepers to family traditions and heritage. Grandparents may have more time to just be, to listen to children, answer their questions, and pass down stories. There is a special importance in family traditions, such as cooking. Young children can watch and participate while you are cooking in the kitchen, learning about treasured family recipes. As a grandparent, you have the ability to create and continue traditions and rituals and to ensure your family’s heritage and culture live on.
Tips for grandparents
In today’s society, many grandparents provide regular childcare for their grandchildren. Here are some tips that may help you along the way.
- If your grandchild will be spending time at your home, ensure it is safe. This checklist from Kidsafe can help if you’re unsure where to start.
- If you will be transporting your child, ensure you have a car seat that meets Australian Safety Standards. You can find out more at Kidsafe WA.
- If your grandchild will be sleeping at your home, ensure they have a safe sleeping space. Cots and portacots sold in Australia are manufactured to Australian safety standards and will provide peace of mind for you and the baby’s parents. You can find out more about safe sleep at Red Nose Australia.
- Have fun with your grandchild! Spoil them with your love and attention. Treats or gifts are okay but keep it in moderation.
- Find activities you and your grandchild can enjoy together. Here are some suggestions.
- You only want the best for your grandchild but remember to allow your child to continue raising children in their own unique way. If you establish a supportive environment with praise, encouragement and acceptance you may find they spend time coming to you and asking for advice.
- Further resources and articles can be found at Raising Children.
Kruzi: the easy 2-in-1 solution for grandparents
The Kruzi Stroller can be a great addition for grandparents who regularly babysit young children by offering a 2-in-1 solution that won’t take up a lot of space in your home. With Kruzi, you can stroll to your local café, convert for highchair use, and stroll back home with ease, without awkward lifting or worrying about unhygienic shared chairs. With our included tray table attachment, you can also use it as a highchair at home, making childcare that much easier. Shop Kruzi to find out more.