Caring for Children and Aging Parents

If you are like us, you have a little one running around your home.  While our grandmother often appreciates my son saying hello, giving hugs and showing her his new toys, she doesn’t enjoy it as much when he launches himself over the couch and on to her lap, or when he runs by and crashes into her. What to do?  Here are some of our solutions that we hope might be helpful!


First, set a designated “Grandma Area”.  This is Grandma’s space.  Only grownups are allowed in Grandma’s space.  And, if Grandma says our little guy can come visit then he is allowed, but this doesn’t happen a lot and we don’t encourage it.


Second, make sure Grandma knows not to mislead your son or daughter.  We ran into lots of problems when Grandma “seemed” like she wanted to play, but instead was trying to be nice, but really didn’t expect the full 3 year old treatment.


Third, keep in mind schedules.  For instance, our three year old still takes naps and so does Grandma, just not at the same time.  Once we paid attention to who was where when if napping,  life got much simpler as we had fewer wake-up incidents and fewer grumpy care recipients.


Fourth, a child isn’t the best user of logic so expect unintended consequences of his or her behavior. Grandpa is going to have to learn to understand that, if he still can.  Somehow my seventy year old father seems to think that we never misbehaved as children, but my mother reminds him that he was not home to see that. 


Fifth, for grandparents that aren’t mentally capable of remembering or understanding a child’s behavior, extra care is needed in how your child interacts with your parent.  The two should never be left alone for the safety of both.  A good idea is to coordinate joint craft time where you can play with stickers, crayons and other childproof activities.


As a child grows they will better understand how to interact with Grandpa.  Unfortunately at the same time, Grandpa’s mental and physical condition will most likely be deteriorating. 


Hopefully these tips help both enjoy the time they can spend together!

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