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looking after grandkids

(64 Posts)
Silverfish Mon 21-Jul-14 18:02:07

I look after my DGD for 2 days a week the other gran 2 days, but where I am organised and lay the toys out for her and try to do a selection of activities both educational and fun, the other gran just doesn't seem to bother, she lets little one out to play with next doors kids, there is no fence so they just swarm everywhere, DGD is under 2 so I worry. 'other' gran says she keeps an aye on her and so ,supposedly, does the neighbour. I really don't like kids out playing disorganised play, just running around and shouting. I would prefer them to have organised stuff like I do.
When my DD was small, I would ask friends to the house for a couple of hours, lay out games, colouring books etc on the dining table and put garden toys in garden and play with them for a few minutes at each activity(depending upon age). I had drinks time and story time all planned and it seemed to work. I chose nice kids who were clean and well mannered. No way would I have snotty nosed, dirty or rude kids in to my house to play. At the appointed time I would see the kids back home and their parents always knew where they were at all times. Why cant parents nowadays be like that. It worked for me.

aggie Mon 21-Jul-14 18:14:33

my lot run in and out , painting stuff and other games are available as wanted , but no way could I be as structured as this , I believe that they will meet all sorts at school so better get used to it . The odd hint that so and so won't share and they might get a word from me and excluded gently if they are too much of a tearaway . However Two of my DDs are still pals with the worst of the gang and have had a leavening influence on them ,and stopping my lot from being insular snobs

Aka Mon 21-Jul-14 18:54:45

LOL grin

Silverfish Mon 21-Jul-14 19:05:42

whats so funny AKA, I meant this as a serious subject, hopefully some one would give me advice

rosesarered Mon 21-Jul-14 19:14:57

I used to do much the same as you silverfish when my children were small. In any case your DGD at 2 years old is too young to be charging around with older children. Have a word with your DD about things, is she worried about this, or relaxed?

rosesarered Mon 21-Jul-14 19:16:21

BTW I think AKA was LOL-ing at the remark by aggie

Silverfish Mon 21-Jul-14 19:18:20

roses-my daughter is so worried but as she has to rely on MIL for childcare she cant argue, however she says Im too strict but I tell her its just because DGD is so young, next summer I can take her to activities etc. I fear DGD will fall and seriously damage herself but it may be me too much a worrier

rosesarered Mon 21-Jul-14 19:35:50

You can't really do anything I don't think, only your DD can talk to her MIL about things. If there are no bruises or cuts and DGD seems happy about her time with MIL then it may be ok.We all worry about DGC [more than our own DC !] Perhaps MIL is really keeping an eye on them all, but I think it's too young and agree with you that she should be careful with a little tot.

Cressida Mon 21-Jul-14 19:36:19

Silverfish, have you just got the one daughter & grandchild?

Silverfish Mon 21-Jul-14 19:39:49

Cress- yes just the two of them and her partner but I don't have much to do with him, they are all ive got int he world apart from a nasty grumpy old mother who complains all day and a FIL who is dying with cancer.
So I worry about them, suppose if I had lots of grandkids I would have more to think about but DD wants just the one

goldengirl Mon 21-Jul-14 19:40:49

Oh dear! I think they're going to get plenty if structure at school! I too put some toys out and they choose what they want to do. When they get fed up with those I get something else out. The older ones can play with whatever toys are available - they know where they are.

We have a big garden and I too like to keep an eye on them especially the nearly 2 year old but I let him run around with the others if he wants to. We have has other children to play and with a few house rules they seem to be ok. I do worry that they might hurt themselves but looking back at my own childhood I was much freer than my GC. Give them some rope is my advice - but just keep an eye on them. However if you're happier doing it in this particular way, why not? The contrast with the two grannies seem an ideal scenario on reflection.

wondergran Mon 21-Jul-14 19:55:48

Some parents are exactly how you were with your own DD. Some grandparents are exactly how you are with your DGD. However life is very diverse and everyone has their own ideas of how to do things.
Your way is very structured and quite regimented whereas her other nan sounds quite laid back.
Neither approach is wrong and neither approach is right. They are just different and that gives your DGD a real insight into how life will be and she will get used to the idea of facing different outlooks on life.
As long as both grandparents love her and she is safe and happy then I wouldn't give a moments thought to how her other nanny is running her ship. You are the captain of your own vessel so steer it in a way that feels best to you and let others get on with their own ways.

Mishap Mon 21-Jul-14 20:25:57

As long as the little one is safe I really would not worry about it.

It is good that this little lass is getting different sorts of experiences - one structured, the other laid back. She will learn to be adaptable: to enjoy the more formal activities, and also to learn how to muddle through with others and use their own imaginations to make up games. She is a lucky girl.

Not a reason for anxiety at all.

I have just had 20 month old GS to stay for 3 days and he has spent some of that time amusing himself (mainly with mud/water and a water pistol!) and some time doing things with me. He has washed the car with Papa, and found bits of train track to put together by himself. He has sat and sung to himself, having the odd dreamy "down time." Children need a variety, so please do not worry.

There never was any structure in my children's days when they were small - they drank when they were thirsty, but sat down to lunch with everyone else. They decided what they might like to do and set about making it happen - with my help when needed.

You do things your way and leave other grandma to her ways - that is fine. "Running around and shouting" is great fun and educational in its own way. She is learning that it is OK to let your hair down and go a bit wild sometimes. She is learning about other people and how they are all different. I can't say that I ever vetted my children's friends - they just worked out who they liked, and we had middle class friends and those of my then cleaner, whose life was a bit chaotic to say the least!

If your DD has no problem with it, then neither should you. Relax and enjoy your happy times with you DGD.

shysal Mon 21-Jul-14 20:40:55

I think your DGD has the best of both worlds. I am sure she will look back on her time with both Grans with pleasure.

I would always plan activites when my GCs were small, but often they would prefer less structure. The 6 of them are now aged between 9 and 15, and all say their favourite thing here is the 10 metre length of parachute fabric on which they slide down my steeply sloping garden. I love doing it too, but the old knees take a hammering at the bottom, despite adding a large cushion and piece of memory foam to absorb the shock.

You are doing a great job, relax and enjoy it, if your DD is happy about the arrangements it is not your worry.

ninathenana Tue 22-Jul-14 07:28:32

I'm in "other nannies" camp. If the 2 and 5 yr old want to run around the garden "expressing" themselves that's fine. If they want a drink they ask politely. There is paper and crayons available if they want it. There is a large toy box from which they help themselves.
I feel they get enough structured activity at nursery and school. The 5 yr old usually needs to let off steam when he comes out of school. As has been said there is no right way, just your way.

suzied Tue 22-Jul-14 07:41:37

There's time for structured activity, but there should also be time for kids to make their own entertainment without adult input. Some children get so used to being organised all the time they say they are bored if left to their own devices for 5 minutes. A bit of both has got to be the best way surely?

glammanana Tue 22-Jul-14 08:15:57

Your little one will be mixing with all different children as she starts nursery/school and you won't be able to pick and choose her friends for her she will find her own way and be the better for it,just let it go and as long as other gran is watching over her don't be too worried.

Aka Tue 22-Jul-14 08:35:19

Yes, I was laughing at aggie's post. The bit about stopping them from being 'insular snobs'.

Nelliemoser Tue 22-Jul-14 08:54:57

Running around shouting is an enjoyable way to let off steam but they should be enough other things to do.

I would be worried that there might not be enough supervision for the under two yr old, but otherwise let them choose what to play with for a greater part of the time.
At two days a week a bit of wild adventure will not do them much harm. Just walk past a primary school play ground at break, the children are running around shouting and enjoying themselves .

That way they can can develop their own skills and interests. They will be organised enough at school.

whitewave Tue 22-Jul-14 09:34:03

Yes when my children were small the day was reasonably structured (although not to the extent that if anything happened we were totally flexible) but within the day we did all sorts of different stuff, mostly out of doors given the chance, down by the river or up on the moors or beach. Children like structure I think, We take our grandchildren to Cornwall every year and although they are getting too old for the structure now (13 and 9) they particularly the 9 year old loves stopping for breakfast on the way down at the same spot to play ball etc and when we get there we have a running commentary on what is different or the same. The 13 year old is changing though so not sure how long these holidays will continue.

ineedsensibleanswersplease Tue 22-Jul-14 14:51:06

I assume you mean there is no fence between the two neighbours gardens, not no fence between the children and main road?

If you do mean no fence between the neighbours bit the gardens are otherwise secure with no access to roads then tbh I'd be happy to let my 2 year old play and run around with children older and younger there.
Older children do tend to be pretty good around younger ones.

I think structured play is good but I also think that children are in education conforming to dociety and rules and targets from far too young these days. I think its important to let them have the freedom to just run around get over excited and be silly sometimes.
Obviously not all the time though.

I think you and your dgd's other grandmother are creating a really good balance for her with your varied styles.

However if you mean your dgd has access to the road at her other dgm house then I think you are completely right I would never allow a child of that age play near a road as they.have no perception of danger whatsoever and is a risk of being injured which needs addressing.

Tegan Tue 22-Jul-14 15:15:06

I'd like to know that, if the child is actually going into the neighbours house as well that there are safety measures in place such as stair gates/no blind cords hanging down/upstairs open windows etc if a child in my care was playing elsewhere whilst I was responsible for them. I think structured play only works for little girls whereas little boys need to run around and let off steam [I know that's generalisation]. But I am a bit of a worrier.

Aka Tue 22-Jul-14 15:56:56

Now it's the school holidays, both DD and DDiL being teacher and TA respectively I'm not needed (as much) for child minding.

It's amazing what you can get done with it the little perishes darling being under your fee and demanding constant attention to sort out their various squabbles there.

In two days I have painted the hall, landing and stairs; washed the bedroom carpets; stripped the blackcurrant, gooseberry bushes and plum treee;made plum and gooseberry jams; started making cassis; cleaned out all my kitchen cupboards and sorted the contents; made tea bread; pruned bushes; staked my delphiniums and hollyhocks and mended a shirt for the SiL.

Normally after they've all gone all I'm fit for is to chuck left out toys into a box and collapse with a brew

Tegan Tue 22-Jul-14 16:09:44

All that in 2 days shock. I'm still vacuuming the house [and I've done a bit of washing]. It would take me two weeks minimum to decorate a room sad. It's no wonder my ex used to say I existed in a different dimension/time zone to the rest of the world....

shysal Tue 22-Jul-14 16:11:01

I feel tired just reading your post Aka! smile