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Husband “helping” with looking after grandchildren!

(18 Posts)
Willow65 Fri 18-Aug-23 17:00:35

I would value your comments on how to involve my husband with childcare. We are in our late sixties and look after our young (pre school) grandchildren fairly regularly. I absolutely love it but feel much more anxious than I did with my own children. My husband (we only married 6 years ago) is lovely with the children but seems oblivious to health and safety and has no idea how fast a 2 and 4 year old can move! We are both very fit but how can I reign in being too critical of him or continually giving advice? He had no children of his own and I just feel he has no anticipation of danger. When the children went home this week we had a bit of a row about it all. He is even a liability with the dog….he walked him over a cattle grid without thinking! and the dog bruised his leg and sometimes I feel I’m having to watch 3 children!!
He is otherwise a very supportive and loving grandfather (and husband!) I feel lucky to have found him at this later stage in my life.

Lathyrus Fri 18-Aug-23 17:16:01

I think you need to give us some exam of the safety aspects that worry you.

Myself I would make the home environment safe by eliminating as much risk as possible and, when we went out anywhere, only go to safe environments if you feel he can’t see it potential risk.

At the same time I’d be asking myself if I was being over anxious and cautious. I have seen that in my friends with their grandchildren. They flap 😬

Lathyrus Fri 18-Aug-23 17:16:30


eazybee Fri 18-Aug-23 17:26:46

If he is a supportive and loving grandfather I would imagine he would welcome guidance, not constant telling off: a row seems rather over the top.

Willow65 Fri 18-Aug-23 17:36:08

Fair comment!

Smileless2012 Sat 19-Aug-23 10:52:03

I agree eazybee. Be careful not to dampen his enthusiasm Willow and try talking through any concerns you have calmly and maybe agreeing on some 'rules' before the children come next time.

Willow65 Sat 19-Aug-23 11:16:43

Thank you that’s good advice!

aonk Sat 19-Aug-23 11:27:46

My DD2 would understand this! Her MIL, who is so nice, remarried just before the GC were born. He’s a very kind, generous and well intentioned man but he hasn’t had children and he struggles quite a bit when he’s with the GC. They absolutely dote on him and now they’re 10 and 8 things are a lot better. Once he and his wife took the GC out to eat. He assumed that they would follow him them in to the restaurant but one of them didn’t! He also did play cooking with them using my DD’s pans etc and switched on the oven. It’s been a learning curve but he’s tried so hard. It’s difficult to deal with this tactfully but of course it has to be done. It might help if you plan time with the GC carefully to minimise safety issues and have stair gates etc at your house. It might help to have the children at their house which is presumably more child friendly.

aonk Sat 19-Aug-23 11:29:37

Also you could give your husband some ideas of games he can play with them while you observe from a distance to help him feel involved and needed.

inishowen Sat 19-Aug-23 12:35:55

My husband can't seem to let the children alone. When they're engrossed in a game he constantly interrupts and tries to get them to notice him. It has annoyed me for years but hints have gone unnoticed.

LovelyCuppa Sat 19-Aug-23 12:44:12

There are child health and safety courses he could do. Perhaps hearing the dangers from an outside person might help him understand.

pandapatch Sat 19-Aug-23 13:31:10

Oh, I'm much more anxious than I was with my own children. My 2 year old grandson thinks he is able to do anything his 4 year old brother can!
When you see a potential danger tell your husband about it - "I'm worried he may run in front of that swing"
Or make a game of it before the event or activity - spot the potential dangers in a visit to the beach! There are lots of online resources

Norah Sat 19-Aug-23 13:47:26

I think, perhaps, it gets better as children age. My husband is wonderful with children, but he tends to leave me to worry with those under 3.

Just the other night whilst I was finishing the kitchen, our daughter was looking for something and her Grandchild was crawling about my feet. I asked my husband if he could please give the baby some "baby tooth bread" - he had no idea (?) what bread I meant or why I wanted him to hand "baby tooth bread" to her. He's not dim, I think it was just too late for his brain.

I did wonder why she was crawling about in our kitchen after 10p. Not all people respond the same to babies, some need to be gently told what to do.

Aldom Sat 19-Aug-23 13:54:44

What is 'baby tooth bread, please?
I've raised two children and have numerous grandchildren, but I've never heard the term before.

Blondiescot Sat 19-Aug-23 14:13:27


What is 'baby tooth bread, please?
I've raised two children and have numerous grandchildren, but I've never heard the term before.

I wouldn't have a clue what that meant either!

Norah Sat 19-Aug-23 14:17:53

Tooth bread is my term, I've called the bread I've handed babies that for over 60 years (my own husband should understand). smile

Little batons: baked - oat or rice flour, bananas, oil, cardamom.

welbeck Sat 19-Aug-23 14:20:33

is Norah american ?
maybe it's kind of tough rusk for gnawing on, for when teeth are coming through.
like an edible teething ring ? maybe.

Willow65 Sat 19-Aug-23 16:12:14

Thanks for all your suggestions….really helpful! 😊