As a grandparent, you may become the person providing part-time care for your grandchild at times, perhaps on a scheduled day or two during the week or for a few hours here and there.
The recommendations about the best environment for the child, safety issues, special needs, and the size of the group (if you care for more than one child) should be considered.
You are not just "another babysitter"
As a grandparent, your role is unique and important. You are not just "another babysitter." You have a fundamental connection, providing the continuity between generations that your grandchild will come to understand and respect.
- Take advantage of this irreplaceable role. Your involvement with your grandchild, introducing him to your own world, is especially valuable. Treasure it.
- Make the most of those special days when you are the babysitter, and offer to do it regularly if you are able.
- Share stories with your grandchild and read to him regularly.
Assisting with drop off and pick up
At times, you may not be the actual caregiver for your grandchild, but rather you'll take him to and from a child care center or babysitter.
- When driving with your grandchild, be sure he is properly buckled in the appropriate car seat at all times.
- Provide another set of eyes to evaluate the quality of the center or sitter. This will help your grandchild's parents feel secure in their own choice of a child care setting.
Note: If you've accepted the responsibility of picking up or dropping off your grandchild at regular times, introduce yourself to the responsible person at that site and provide them with your telephone number as a contact person.
Realizing times have changed
As you know, times have changed, although caring love is still the universal and timeless ingredient in helping children to thrive.
Educate yourself on the new medical discoveries since you raised your own children by asking your grandchild's parents to share information. The medical profession has learned a lot about having infants sleep safely on their backs and on safer over-the-counter medications for illnesses, as well as many other things. It keeps us young to learn new things.
At your home, make sure that you secure any of your personal medications by storing them up and away from sight or reach so that your grandchild can't get hold of them. See Childproofing Tips for Grandparents for more information.