“Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children,” said Alex Haley.
Quite true! Little ones bring joy to the lives of grandparents. Similarly, grand moms and grand dads too light up the sweet cherubs’ little worlds. Dr Roma Hanks, Professor and Chair in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work at the University of South Alabama, in an article titled, ‘Connecting the generations: The new role of grandparents,’ published in The Harbinger (1997), stated that grandparenting was the most important family role of the new century. We’re well into the new century, and the statement holds good even now. So, here we go with five tips for grandparents of one-year-olds to play their roles with ease.
- Sing lullabies: Whenever you get the opportunity to put your bundle of joy to sleep, go the good old lullaby way. From mumbling nonsensical ooh-lah-lahs to singing traditional rhymes, you can have your pick. You can even get innovative and come up with your own. Here’s one – Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are… like a diamond in the sky/like a pearl in the sky/like a ruby in the sky… you can go on and on.
- Baby-sit: You can help out with baby-sitting your grandchild when her parents need a break or need to attend to some chores. And, that can serve as a time of bonding for you and the baby. Baby-sitting will include feeding the infant, changing diapers, putting her to sleep, doing a little jig to keep her entertained, or even playing the clown to amuse her!
- Go for a stroll: Come evening, you can set off for a walk with the little one. Ensure he isn’t sleepy or cranky when you take him along. Also, remember to take along all essentials – baby-feeds, spare diapers and onesies, and wipes. Keep chattering to him as you amble along; point out people, places and objects to him. Most importantly, ensure that he feels secure. He may feel unsafe among strangers and in settings different from those he is used to.
- Play games: That’s what grandparents are for – to have fun with. From peekaboo to playing catch with the ball, you can keep your beloved busy with fun games. You can also engage in make-believe or fantasy play. For example, you can ear-mark a section of the room for the sea and another section for the shore. Holding the tiny little fingers of your grandchild in your hand, you can pretend to run away from the waves that lash against the shore.
- Child-proof your house: It’s ages since you had to monitor your children and ensure their safety. It’s back to square one now. Take measures to see that latches are above the child’s height to prevent him from getting locked in. Make sure that furniture is not cluttered or in the way; otherwise, the little one might bang into them. Also, there shouldn’t be any sharp edges in furniture.
With these tips, go ahead and have fun grandparenting!
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