Five easy ‘Best Grandma Ever’ tips for the new year

Five easy ‘Best Grandma Ever’ tips for the new year

Bringing up your kids can be challenging, but second time round? It’s a joy. What better time than the new year to make sure grandkid time is special for you, them – and for their parents?

Bringing up your kids can be challenging, but second time round? It’s a joy. What better time than the new year to make sure grandkid time is special for you, them – and for their parents?

There’s nothing more rewarding than hanging out with your grandkids, and while you may not always agree with their parents on the best way to do things, the most important thing is the little ones’ happiness.

It’s never hard to find things to do with them, of course, from playing with their toys to reading them stories, but there are a few essentials that will always help you bond more than ever with them – and with their parents too!

So this New Year, why not resolve to fit these five tips into your grandma time?

Cook from scratch

It’s hard for mum and dad to make sure everyone gets their five-a-day when they’re so busy, especially if they end up pinging microwave meals all too often. So when you’ve got the grandkids, whether it’s after school or for a weekend family visit, investing a bit of extra effort in cooking can have a big impact on the family’s nutrition.

You could use this as an opportunity to pass down some of your favourite family recipes, and if you’re worried about their health, why not try our healthy food swaps to update old classics?

Spend time with the grandkids one-on-one

Mum is constantly in demand, whether it’s work, her other half, or just keeping the household running, and if there are two kids to take care of, it’s hard for her to focus on just one of them.

But relationships with kids get stronger when you spend one-on-one time together, whether you’re mum or grandma, so you could help her out by taking it in terms to spend one-on-one time with each child. Plan a favourite activity with each of the kids in turn, and while one has your attention, the other can be with mum or dad – they’ll feel special, and so will you.

Be generous with praise

One of the main points of contention between mums and their kids is that it’s easy to get into the habit of being critical – especially as you so often had to say them “no” to things they wanted (endless sweets, a pony, staying out late).

As a grandma, you can enjoy softening your stance a bit, and encouraging them in the things they’re good at. It’s not to say you’re a pushover – you do still need to support their parents’ house rules – but why not take a moment out of the hectic everyday routine to notice what’s been going well and to tell them.

You’ll soon find the encouragement works wonders. (And while you’re at it, try it with your children or other half – give a compliment, get more compliments back.)

 

Get fitter for your family

Being an active grandparent is hard work – whether you’re lifting up a growing kid, crawling round on the floor with them for a game, or picking them up from school in the week and entertaining them. And as you get older, let’s be honest, things can get a bit creakier!

Getting fitter makes it all that little bit easier, though. It’s never too late to get back into regular exercise – yoga or Pilates are a great, gentle start, as is brisk walking. And there’s no need for the gym to feel intimidating, even if you’re one of the 43% of women who say that exercise triggers their sensitive bladder. Just pack Always Discreet pads in your gym bag: its DualLock core prevents wetness and odour for hours, you won’t need to worry about little leaks as your stretch and strain.

Give the children books

We’re all obsessed with technology now – and that includes the kids. When you see tiny ones swiping at a page of a book, you know it’s time to go back to basics. And actually, however obsessed they are with Xboxes and smartphones, most children love physical books too, especially if you find something they can really relate to.

Several pieces of research have showed that children actually prefer reading on paper to reading on electronic devices, and it prevents them getting distracted by whatever else is happening on the device – emails, Snapchat, text messages…

Start with a guaranteed win – the Hungry Caterpillar or Harry Potter – to whet their appetites, ideally in a really beautiful edition, and then keep an eye on the most popular books. Parents often find them a bit expensive to buy in addition to household expenses, so if you can afford to, it’s a good regular gift that will last them a lifetime.

What’s been your best new year’s resolution as a mum? Share your suggestions in the comments below.

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