Babysitting: A Grandfather's Adventure - Manopause
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I wonder if babysitting was on his mind when the famous French writer, Victor Hugo, said the following absolutely accurate words:

“There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson.”

Victor Hugo

If you believe that you cannot love anyone more than you love your children, guess who’s going to prove you wrong?

Babysitting Your Grandchildren

Becoming a grandfather is an amazing experience! Just like with your own kids, you see yourself in them. It’s the extended circle of life! You simply cannot resist falling in love with your grandchildren. And unsurprisingly, they quickly fall in love with you!

Now, if you’re lucky and you live near your grandkids, being a grandparent comes with the responsibility of babysitting. You probably already love spending time with them, but are you truly ready to babysit them? This isn’t just visiting. You are now the surrogate parent, so it’s not always fun and games.

Scroll down to read the basic tips of babysitting that’ll make you the favorite grandparent.

Food: The Way to a Kid’s Heart

Babysitting food!

It is said that what children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance: unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life, and when appropriate, COOKIES!

Make sure you stack the refrigerator and pantry with healthy foods that the kids like to eat. Ask their parents to buy food or give you a list because kids can be picky about what they eat. Some love broccoli and carrots, while others want bananas and bread.

If you’re planning to cook something for them, it’s a good idea to involve them in the kitchen. You’ll have fun and they’ll probably like it better if they took part in preparing it.

Breaking the Rules

Babysitting means bending some rules

Bending the rules when mom and dad are away is always part of the fun for kids, but you must know where to draw the line. Some rules need to stay in place for the sanity and well-being of the parents, and so they’ll actually let you continue to babysit. For example, letting them stay up an extra hour after their bedtime is probably a no-no unless specifically sanctioned by the parents. Nowadays, especially younger grandkids, are on tight schedules for school and activities, so screwing up their routine can be a nightmare!

On the other hand, an extra snack or an additional TV show can be fine. These things never hurt anyone if done in moderation, but it is important to decide on some non-negotiable rules.

Set firm rules for things that can be unhealthy, For example, you may want to set a limit on screen time (time spent in front of television, iPads, mobile phones etc.) or a limit on sweets. Try to indulge them in other fun activities if they insist on breaking the inviolable rules.

Let the Kids Lead

You can have a lot of fun with grandchildren doing activities that you’ve planned, but sometimes it is important to let them take the lead. Allow them to teach you a thing or two. Show interest in their new computer game or the card trick that they recently mastered. Listen to their silly stories and just enjoy their company. Let them read you their favorite book or play teacher.

As a grandfather, you play a far more important role in the lives of your grandkids than you may realize. Remember, every child is different and must be handled differently but they all need YOU to provide them with love and affection. And it will be a blessing for their parents to have a trusted babysitter when they get time to be alone together!

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The Manopause Team
The Manopause Team
An overeducated and underpaid team of writers, researchers and very opinionated men and women of all ages. Venturing into heretofore uncharted online territory, they are dedicated to entertaining, educating, inspiring and uniting men over 50 ...and the people who love them.
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