"What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies," said the American lawyer and former mayor of New York city, Rudolph Giuliani.
Love and life-lessons – what more can one ask for from grandparents! Well, here are five tips for grandparents of two-year-olds to strengthen their bond with the little ones.
- Narrate bed-time stories: The best time to bond with your grandchild would be while putting her to sleep. And what better way than through bed-time stories! The charm and magic of stories endears you to the little one and leaves her asking for more every day. You can rely on the good old fairy tales or weave stories out of your own imagination. For variation, you can go in for jingles too, which would lull the tiny tots to sleep.
- Sing action songs: Toddlers can prove to be a handful as they are hyperactive and have a very short span of attention. So, how do you keep them engaged? Well, action songs can do the trick. They appeal to their visual as well as auditory senses. You can also make your grandchild imitate your actions, indulge in finger play and sing along. It will not only add to the fun but also help develop her fine motor skills.
- Enjoy nature watch: Toddlers love to observe and explore the world around them. If you have a terrace, garden or balcony take your grandchild along and point out birds, dogs, trees or flowers. You can utter the cries of birds and animals and encourage him to imitate you. Do not cling on to the little one when out in the open. Let him stretch his limbs, run around and play. It will strengthen his muscles and bones. Of course, you should ensure his safety, stay close to him and keep an eye on him always.
- Impart toilet training: Grandparents are a lot more patient than parents, for they’ve already been there and done it! So, you can take on the ‘tough’ task of toilet training your grandchild and help her add this to her list of accomplishments for this stage. You can get her special potty seats and ensure that she gets into a routine, especially for the ‘big’ job. Get her out of diapers gradually; don’t rush into the process.
- Child-proof your house: This is the most important thing when you have a toddler around. Make sure medications and sharp objects aren’t within the tiny tot’s reach, and there are no slippery floors. Don’t leave tiny objects lying around. Your grandchild can pop them into his mouth. Earmark open play areas for the child where there is minimum furniture. The little one’s cot shouldn’t be too high so that he can get into and out of it easily.
With these tips, enjoy your role as a grandparent!
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Written by Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj on 14 February 2017.
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