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Being a good grandma/nanny

(85 Posts)
Nannymagic17 Wed 10-Mar-21 22:52:12

I am sorry if I sound ridiculous.I have only posted a couple of times before. I think I need some help or ideas. I am a nanny to a lovely boy of 11 years old who because of lockdown I haven’t seen for a long time. We face time a lot which I am thankful for. His parents my son and his mum have been separated a long time.
I also have a granddaughter almost 4 years old.who lives near me I love them both to pieces and I tell them that each time we speak.
Long story short. I have had a lot of grief and loss from a very young age I can hardly remember my mum or my grandmother.
Lost my other family members and my husband in 2017. He never met our granddaughter.
I just want to be the kind of nanny they remember. I am useless at ideas of anything fun and would love to hear how I can be that nanny that makes them feel special.
I work full time which prevents me doing as much as I would like with them.
Tomorrow I have a half day booked away from work to do a little dolly tea party for my little granddaughter who misses her friends but i just wish I could be more fun for her. I would appreciate anyone’s ideas and how they make things special.
I am sorry for any silly errors here I have trouble seeing my screen after having eye surgery that didn’t go quite to plan ☹️
Thank you for reading if you got this far 😬

Polarbear2 Wed 10-Mar-21 23:07:34

Well first, I think the tea party sounds lovely. I’ve never done that so well done you 👍. It’s hard and you’ve had a tough time but I think you need to relax a bit. Don’t overthink it maybe? If you show them love they’ll remember that. I have two GDs and like you, I want to be ‘remembered’. I do get what you mean. But I suspect they will remember little stuff more. My kids remember things I’d never dreamt were important. Just caring as you clearly do is important. Don’t be too fussy about it. Try to relax and enjoy the time you have with them. Good luck ❤️

rite Wed 10-Mar-21 23:09:00

Hi Nannymagic17. I usually read the posts and rarely comment but I wanted to say that I am sure you are a lovely Nanny and your grandchildren love you dearly, If you plan to do a dolly party tomorrow some pink (raspberry) lemonade would be nice with some little cakes. My little granddaughter likes the unicorn cakes. They may be sugary but once in a while doesn't hurt! And play some little games. Snap with childrens packs of cards, etc. Hope your eyes get better soon. Have a lovely afternoon!

Nannymagic17 Wed 10-Mar-21 23:23:40

Thank you so much Polarbear2 and rite for your replies x
Very comforting. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply
polarbear2 you are right as children we Remember the little things that are important x
Rite I will definitely make the raspberry lemonade and the little games thank you.
Am stuck with my eyes like they are I’m afraid but it’s fine I’m ok just can’t drive lol xx

NotSpaghetti Wed 10-Mar-21 23:26:44

The kind of nanny they will remember is the one that loves them. Children know if they are loved.
Enjoy the tea party. And ask your little granddaughter to help you set it up (and make things to eat if you have time).
Have a lovely day.

Nannymagic17 Wed 10-Mar-21 23:39:08

Thank you so much NotSpaghetti that’s very kind and you are right they do know they are loved.
I will ask for help setting it all up smile she will love that she loves nanny's dolls she has names for them. ( I make them ) x

Redhead56 Wed 10-Mar-21 23:39:14

Well I think you sound like a loving caring nanny. Being kind and full of hugs is the best with little grandchildren. Crayons paints and papers play dough always handy to have in. Have a lovely time let us know how it goes.

Chestnut Wed 10-Mar-21 23:43:33

It sounds as though you are running yourself down a bit here. The fact you are doing the dolly's tea party shows you care and are making the effort to enter her world and be part of it. Playing any games with them is always welcome, especially if you are silly and can make them laugh. You also seem to be doing okay with the grandson through video calls. I'm sure you are doing just fine as a grandma. I agree the love you show will be felt by your grandchildren.

Witzend Wed 10-Mar-21 23:44:25

The dolly party sounds lovely.
At that age or even a bit younger, my Gdcs loved making fairy cakes - the little ones, not the bigger cup cakes. To make it easier I’d melt the butter (instead of having to cream it) and add a little baking powder. They could then just mix everything up. They liked putting the cake cases in the bun tins and spooning the mix in - it could get a wee bit messy but never mind.
We would usually make just a small quantity, just 2 oz of flour, sugar and butter, one egg.
A small amount of simple glacé icing - just icing sugar and hot water - with some hundreds and thousands on top, would go down very well, too.

M0nica Wed 10-Mar-21 23:45:27

The thing that matters, is just to be you. A loving grand parent ready to give time to your grandchildren and just talk to them, most children just love having one to one time with grandparents just talking to them, about anything and everything or just giving them time when they are doing something, whether building Lego or looking for insects in the garden -or having a dollies tea party!

For parts of my childhood I lived too far from my grandparents to see them regularly, but this did not stop me adoring one of my grandmothers, she did nothing special - she could not afford to, but I loved just being with her, talking to her, walking to the shops with her,helping in the garden. Just being with her in her house.

Hithere Wed 10-Mar-21 23:45:30


I would ask your gc what she would like to do. The tea party is also a great idea!

Nannymagic17 Wed 10-Mar-21 23:46:41

Thank you so much Redhead56 x. I will let you know x

Nannymagic17 Wed 10-Mar-21 23:50:04

Thank you for everyone’s kind replies here x. I have tried to reply to some but my replies are not showing and I will try again in the morning. It’s probably just me and not the site 😬😬 Thank you for the kind words xx

DillytheGardener Wed 10-Mar-21 23:59:03

I don’t remember any ‘grand’ adventures with my granny, just humble memories. Teaching me to make daisy chains, pushing me in her wheelbarrow, playing cards. They are all much treasured memories. Be yourself and you will be a perfect nanny to your darling gc.

grannyactivist Thu 11-Mar-21 01:11:58

Hello Nannymagic17. I think you're obviously very caring and I have no doubt that your grandchildren will respond to that alone. If you want to do more then, from experience, I know that children respond to people who really take the time to listen to them and show a genuine interest in their lives.

I have a tradition with my grandchildren of being the granny who buys them books. I fostered a love of books in my own children and it was a sort of given that when the grandchildren came along I would be their 'Granny Book'. Happily my grandchildren love books too, so I keep a close eye out for book trends and buy both the classics and more modern stories, poems and plays for them. My 11 year old is currently really enjoying a book about Latin.

Blossoming Thu 11-Mar-21 01:24:37

Sometimes when I’m talking to my now grown up nieces they surprise me by telling me things like they loved coming to my house because I let them be messy and untidy! I always had sewing and knitting projects on the go and would give them scraps of ribbon and stuff to play with. Also I know how to make paper boats and puppets 😂 It’s not always the obvious things that children enjoy and remember. Giving them your time and attention can mean so much to them.

mumofmadboys Thu 11-Mar-21 06:52:41

One of the main things I remember about my lovely Grandma was her lovely smile when she opened the door to me. She was obviously delighted to see me. She lived in Wales and I only saw her occasionally. She was very special.

Ro60 Thu 11-Mar-21 07:13:28

Namnymagic17 I think you're right on to it - especially with your memorable name.
I'm pinching your dolls tea party idea for my GD.
She loves coming here & going for a random-route walk quite often it's her choice.
Sometimes we end up on the beach where we both marvel at the pebbles we find which leads to more discussion.
My Grandmother used to tell me the names & uses of the plants I still know today. One of the thinks I remember fondly, was being allowed to help myself to her cake tin. A freedom unique to her home.

Fleur20 Thu 11-Mar-21 07:36:21

Don't forget the washing up!! Lots of bubbles (on noses) and splashing!!

Santana Thu 11-Mar-21 07:45:50

You sound like a wonderful Nana to me!
I think our GC find their own memories of us, which aren't always as we planned. We are unique, because we have time to focus on them without all the day to day pressures of being a parent.
I have a feisty GD who has always been very self contained, and I'm never quite sure if I'm making contact. As she moves into being a teenager, I try to spend time doing ordinary things with her, or even beside her at the dining table, giving her space to talk. Anyone's guess if this is helpful, but maybe I will find out one day.
Being there for them is the best thing, whether in person or by phone or video link.

FannyCornforth Thu 11-Mar-21 08:08:33

What a lovely lady and nanny you sound.
Have a wonderful day with your granddaughter cupcakebrewthanks

Humbertbear Thu 11-Mar-21 08:15:34

My grandchildren have always loved cooking with me - we started off when they were very little with packet cake mixes and moved on from there. Gingerbread biscuits are very popular.
Jigsaw puzzles and board games are good as you can do them together.
I let them do the messy things they weren’t allowed at home - play dough and painting and crafting. You can buy cheap kits in places like The Works and Poundland.
Most of all I had a collection of books which we could read snuggled up in the big armchair. You can always find them in charity shops (when they open).
However, these activities reflect my personality and I am sure if you are just yourself, as has been suggested, you will do just fine. I think most of all GC want to be relaxed and not pushed into doing things. They just appreciate that GPs have more time for them than their busy parents sometimes do.

Gingster Thu 11-Mar-21 08:42:38

I always love ‘doing’ with the GC and am exhausted when they go as we’re such busy, busy bees. The smallest GD (5) also goes to her other grannys who does very little with her but loves her just the same. GD really enjoys going there just to spend time with her.
I loved going to my grandmas’ houses but I can’t remember them playing with me. I just followed them around chatting and joining in with whatever they were doing. Just a lovely time together. ♥️

rubysong Thu 11-Mar-21 08:59:45

Get someone to take photos of you with your DGC, especially in your home. When they have their own children they can share the photos and memories with them. Enjoy your tea party.

Daisymae Thu 11-Mar-21 09:02:09

I used to cook with mine too. Cake mixes then progressing to cooked lunches. My middle GD still likes to cook. We also used to have s few days by the sea, they still remember that, it was lovely last year when the eldest GD said 'do you remember when we....'. Little games are fun too - we used to hide a tiny ornament and take turns in finding it. Crafts of all sorts, just be interested in them.