5 ways to make the grandkids smile – even when they don’t want to

5 ways to make the grandkids smile – even when they don’t want to

Whether they’re sad, mad or just being a bit bad, none of us wants grumpy grandkids. Here’s how to cheer them up when they’re feeling down…

Whether they’re sad, mad or just being a bit bad, none of us wants grumpy grandkids. Here’s how to cheer them up when they’re feeling down…

Becoming a grandparent is generally a joy – all that love to lavish on an adorably squishy new baby, but without having to deal almost daily with nightmare nights or tedious toddler tantrums.

But it’s not always love and light. There will be times when the grandkids will be upset, and it’ll be down to you to put the smile back on their faces, especially if they’re staying overnight with you.

Try out tips next time you need to cheer up the children…

Cause of crankiness:

They’re enjoying sleepover time with you, but they’re also missing mum and dad and it’s making them a little bit sad.

Smile-making solution:

As a grandparent, you’re in the perfect position to help them through this situation by telling them stories about when their own parents were kids. They could be funny tales of the naughty things they got up to, or even just accounts of how life used to be back before they themselves were born.

If you have pictures to show them, even better. Children often can’t imagine their parents as anything other than adults, so will be thrilled to see them as kids.

Cause of crankiness:

They’ve had a brilliant day with you and now it’s time for bed. But before that comes brushing – and they just don’t want to do it.

Smile-making solution:

This one is a real problem for parents, with 70% of them saying that getting children to pick up a toothbrush is the most stressful element of parenting today*. Oral-B is on a mission to improve the oral health of youngsters, by supporting parents with the #StrongTeethStrongKids campaign.

For kids, brushing is a chore that can be a total bore. So to get them beaming, and their teeth gleaming, you can make it more fun. This could be by making it a game, using role play or just by pulling silly faces. For inspiration, check out Oral-B’s tips to make brushing fun.

Cause of crankiness:

No rhyme or reason, they’re just in a bad mood. It could be hormonal if they’re older, or simply just a bad day.

Smile-making solution:

When there’s no specific reason for their sadness, it can be tricky to know what to do because there isn’t a specific problem to address. What you could do is try to surprise them out of their bad mood. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or something expensive – just a simple change to the everyday routine could give them the uplift they need.

For little ones, it could be a simple switch like serving breakfast for dinner and pretending evening is morning. If they’re a little older, bundle them up and take them on a magical mystery tour, where they can decide where you drive by directing you at every junction.

Cause of crankiness:

They’re feeling sad and vulnerable after a fallout with a friend, or a sarky comment from a sibling has upset them.

Smile-making solution:

You might be able tell that it’s just a little tiff and know that they’ll be back to being besties before they know it, but for them it can feel like the end of the world. It’s easy to blow a small comment or minor disagreement out of proportion at that age.

This is where the healing properties of a hug come in. A hug releases endorphins, the brain’s very own ‘happy hormone’, and can also increase levels of dopamine and serotonin which in turn can boost their mood. Once enfolded in a loving embrace, they’ll feel reassured and loved again, and they’ll soon be smiling.

Cause of crankiness:

They’ve been stuck indoors for days because the weather is so ghastly, and are annoyed because all they want to do is run about outside.

Smile-making solution:

Winter can really stretch on when you’re little, with weeks on end where it’s too cold or wet to play outside for long. So not only do they get bored of being within the same four walls for ages, they’ve probably got a fair bit of excess energy that they don’t know what to do with.

Two words: dance party! Whack the music up, move any furniture out of the way and get them moving. Pulling some funky shapes is both a physical and an emotional release, and because it can get the heart rate up, it’s another endorphin-releasing exercise.

* Research conducted in August 2019 by Ginger Research on behalf of Oral-B (2,000 respondents)

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