Out-of-town grandparents always have had to “tread lightly” when reuniting with grandkids. Now, this Corona virus has reached its nasty hand into all our relationships with our grandkids, and will necessitate some changes in how we handle things.
As some of us look forward to that first delicious visit to faraway grandkids, we must be aware that things might be different, especially when it comes to babysitting the grandkids.
Do the miserable math. If your adorable Verona is under 2 years old … and you haven’t been with her since last winter … that could be a big chunk of her life since she’s had you in her house.
Plus, if your grandkids have been sheltering in place with their parents, they haven’t had a variety of people in their daily life. No guests coming to their house … and not even exposure to daycare workers, store clerks, restaurant servers, librarians, ministers, etc. They might be standoffish with us grandparents even if they never have before.
After eight years of being grandparents, happily, our grands are so comfortable with us that it’s not unusual for their parents to leave within hours of our arrival – and that’s perfectly fine with the grandkids and with us! But as my husband and I discuss making a visit possibly this summer (driving from Ohio to Washington state), we’re also discussing that we need to really make sure the kids are comfortable with us before the parents scoot away for a date. Our Sebastian will be one year old in August and if that’s the month we get to visit, it will be almost half his life since we held him! That makes me so sad but I need to deal with it. Although we FaceTime almost every day with him (see my post on video chatting with a baby), you better believe we won’t come on “too strong” as we let him get used to our physical presence.
On any visit — but especially when there’s been a big time gap — it pays to not babysit until that time in the visit that their grandchild seems absolutely comfortable with the grandparent. These days, your toddler grandchild probably doesn’t remember you ever babysitting! Time to take it slow.
Clues that your grandchild would probably be fine with having you babysit:
- She doesn’t mind if her parents leave the room.
- He wants Gramma to be the one to fix his breakfast.
- She runs to you first thing in the morning.
- She doesn’t ask where Mommy and Daddy are in the house.
- He wants to be with Grandpa no matter what Grandpa’s doing.
- He’s comfortable with taking a walk with you.
Do you have plans for babysitting your grands? Any tips? Please share in the Comments section below.
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