Gransnet forums


looking after grandkids

(65 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.

Aka Tue 22-Jul-14 16:14:55

I'm off on holiday on Friday and have house sitters coming in so everything has to be ship shape. But it's far more exhausting looking after a 2, 3 and 4 year old several days a week.

Ana Tue 22-Jul-14 16:15:53

In two days??? shock

Aka, you must surely be Superwoman...

Aka Tue 22-Jul-14 16:28:44

I've been like a whirling dervish Ana grin

ninathenana Tue 22-Jul-14 16:29:04

Hmmm let me think about that.......
Three grandchildren versus your list of jobs confused

Marmight Tue 22-Jul-14 16:35:09

Aka shock Good Grief!

Nonu Tue 22-Jul-14 17:03:12

Where are you going ?

Somewhere exotic?


Silverfish Tue 22-Jul-14 19:07:15

AKA, you made me feel tired, ive had DGD for 4 hours then work for 4 hours, I did tidy up this morning before she came and prepared lunch but then we just played, I went to work and got nasty sunburn despite factor 60, came home chucked an instant into oven and now Im shattered. Going to bed soon, how do you do all that you've done. Is it me just a lazy so and so.

Silverfish Tue 22-Jul-14 19:08:57

Whats a cassis

grannyactivist Tue 22-Jul-14 19:53:04

Aka I'm looking after my four year old grandson for the week and in spite of the weather he has HUGE amounts of energy whereas the heat has sapped all my get up and go. We've been out of the house for most of the day, returning only a few minutes ago for bath and bedtime and I'm genuinely exhausted. Tomorrow we're going to the forest to sit under some shady trees and the Wonderful Man can chase him around and they can both burn a bit of energy off. When grandson leaves I am not planning on doing anything for a week except recover.

grannyactivist Tue 22-Jul-14 19:55:47

silverfish Crème de cassis is a sweet liqueur made from blackcurrants. It's delicious served over crushed ice on a hot day.

Mishap Tue 22-Jul-14 20:34:46

Just completed 3 days and nights with 2 and half year old GS; then wee toddler GD plus 5 year old GS today. I am off to bed now! The general mayhem in need of tidying up will have to wait till tomorrow.

rosequartz Tue 22-Jul-14 20:45:15

Think I would rather look after the GC than do that lot, aka!

Do you have a recipe for cassis please (if you have time), as we have loads of blackcurrants (as long as it's not made with vodka that is).

The one thing that would worry me, Silverfish, is allowing her to run wild particularly as they may be allowed outside of the garden and she is not [worrying]. As long as she is being fed, has suncream and sunhat on, is being supervised (essential at her age) and is having fun I think that is fine for a couple of days a week. She is getting more structure with you and that is good.

Aka Wed 23-Jul-14 07:31:40

Cassis is made with vodka rose mine will be ready in time for the Ch word (not allowed to mention it on GN yet) it's also nice made into Kir. If you're still interested then I'll post a link. Or perhaps you'd prefer to make raspberry gin, that's something I must start off today.

Nonu we're off to Seahouses. Never visited that part of the world but I'm told it's beautiful and there's loads to see and do. We've hired a cottage for the week.

I think the phrase 'a change is as good as a rest' applies here. It's been a busy year of childminding but two more start school in September so apart from school runs (three GC in three different schools hmm ) I'll only have the smallest (and fiestiest) next year.

absent Wed 23-Jul-14 07:44:39

I suspect that we are beginning to see the dawn of helicopter grandparents as well as parents - and I don't think it is necessarily in the interests of grandchildren.

Aka Wed 23-Jul-14 08:12:36

What on earth is a 'helicopter' parent or grandparent?

absent Wed 23-Jul-14 08:45:48

One who hovers over children with organised activities, a schedule and supervised friendships and play dates throughout the entire day.

Nonu Wed 23-Jul-14 08:46:48

Sounds good*Aka*, Northumberland is a place I"ve never been.



Mishap Wed 23-Jul-14 09:12:37

I am intrigued by this idea of such organised activities for little children - how the heck do you get them to do it if they don't want to? - how do you deal with their flighty-mindedness? - do you strap them to a chair and say "You will do 15 minutes of crayoning - it's in the schedule"??!!

My children and GC flit happily from one idea and game to another as some new flight of fancy or desire to find something out takes hold - it is a joy!

HollyDaze Wed 23-Jul-14 09:32:48

Crikey Aka - I feel positively lazy now sad

HollyDaze Wed 23-Jul-14 09:35:28


I suspect that we are beginning to see the dawn of helicopter grandparents as well as parents - and I don't think it is necessarily in the interests of grandchildren.

I don't think that's exactly what Silverfish said she does though. Surely it's a good thing to have a balance between structured play and 'free play' (for want of a better expression).

Elegran Wed 23-Jul-14 10:27:35

You certainly need a stash of activity to produce at the drop of a hat, with all the bits and pieces that go with each of them collected together so that it can be started without searching the house. You need an idea in your head of what you will be suggesting next, too, and be ready to drop it in just before the current ploy becomes too boring or the free play descends into mayhem.

There is a place for both, for directed play with an adult to hand to help and for just mooching around, doing whatever the child wants to and following distractions. Being creative in all kinds of spheres can be triggered by associating apparently random things or concepts together. We all know adults who are incapable of thinking "out of the box". Perhaps their early play was directed at every move and they never learnt to let their minds wander?

Nonu Wed 23-Jul-14 11:02:58

We never do any particular structured activity with our G/C, we just let suggest what they would like to do.

We do however, insist on going to either the beach or park at some point for some fresh air and also to get rid of a bit of energy!


Aka Wed 23-Jul-14 11:14:49

In some ways having more than one GC to look after is an advantage as they learn to organise their own play and games together. I love it when I am summoned to see The Tinkerbell Show or The Pirate Show, with them in full costumes, lines and a (sort of),plot. The reverse side are the disputes that need arbitration, but that's how they learn to give and take and get on with others. I pretend to turn a blind eye to many little incidents and only intervene if it crosses a boundary I have in my head.

I do think adults need to step back and let children discover for themselves but there comes a time when some adult input can move things forward eg suggest a new way or use of a toy or piece of equipment, or a suggestion for a new activity is needed. It's as bad to micro-manage play as it is to completely leave them to their own devices. I'd say I manage play etc about 25% of the time and encourage free play for 75% but that can vary if I have a project in mind eg baking, or making cards or going on a visit.

rockgran Wed 23-Jul-14 11:32:16

Sounds like a good balance of experiences - some wild time is necessary I think. Personally I liked to be structured but that was more for my own sanity. Children need to be able to work out their own coping mechanisms which can be difficult if they never meet any real social challenges.

Nonu Wed 23-Jul-14 11:35:22

Baking ^or ^making Cards

Not this grandma, leave that to their parents !