Five tips for grandparents of a three-year-old

Grandparenting a preschooler is both challenging and enjoyable. Here are some tips to bond with your three-year-old.

By Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj

Five tips for grandparents of a three-year-old

Research by Professor Buchanan at the University of Oxford has shown that grandparents play a vital role in the well-being of their grandchildren. Children who have the privilege of spending time with their grandparents are truly blessed! Of course, grandparents are blessed too. Here are five tips for grandparents of three-year-olds to enjoy their role.

  1. Enact stories: Your three-year-old grandchild will be filled with imagination and wonder. Spark her creativity by enacting stories. Plain narration may be dull and boring to a preschooler. Dramatisation will bring life to the stories. Rolling the eyes, waving the hands, resorting to mimicry will all simply entrance your grandchild. You can choose from fables and fairy tales or come up with your own. You can point out to a bird, cat or dog and spin a story around it.
  2. Engage in fun activities: Hold those little fingers in your hand and help him grip that little brush. Together you can add splashes of colour on chart paper. Simple crayons would do too. You can even create scrapbooks of baby photos.
  3. Go for nature walks: A little trip to the park will always prove to be fun for your grandchild. But, before you set off on the trip, ensure she is well-rested. Early evenings or late afternoons would be the best time for such walks. Carry along some munchies, water and a spare set of clothes. While on these trips, you can encourage your little one to socialise with other children in the park and their care-takers. This will hone her socialisation skills. At the same time, teach her to be cautious of strangers.
  4. Tame their tantrums: Three-year-olds are famous for their tantrums. Remember, this is a normal part of growing up. Do not be firm with the little one. At the same time, do not give in to her every demand. Keep in mind that children will exhibit this behaviour more in the presence of their grandparents, for they feel you will give in easily when compared to their parents. So, exercise caution. First, try to understand what triggers the tantrums and address those issues. That’s half the battle won. When a child repeatedly resorts to tantrums, the best approach would be to ignore the child or walk away from the scene. Helping your grandchild get over her tantrums will be the first step for her to attain her emotional milestones.
  5. Do not overindulge: Grandparents are synonymous with petting and pampering their grandchildren. Beware! This will only make them end up as spoilt brats. Learn where to draw the line. As much as you want to pet them, you should also correct any wrong behaviour on their part. This will go a long way in moulding their personality as wholesome individuals.

With these tips, go ahead and have fun grandparenting!


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