Well it’s officially school holidays here in Victoria!! And thankfully (touch wood) we are also continuing to have easing of covid restrictions. Which means we can visit others, including our kids staying with grandparents.
This post follows on from my post the other day about how we are grateful to have sleepovers with grandparents as a parenting tool and support for our family. I thought it may be helpful to share some of my tips on how we support our kids (and us) to have a sleep over at their grandparents. This can of course be adapted to any sleepover with a trusted adult in your village of support.
1.Take a few items from home that provide comfort. For example: teddy, pillow, fav toy or book. That’s a simple one. It’s familiar, so reassuring and also can be used as a tool for connection between child and grandparent.
2.Chat about any worries, acknowledging feelings of anxiety, and reassure that if they are wanting to come home you will collect them as soon as you possibly can (this may need to be after the event/reason you need them babysat for). It’s OK for them to have these feelings, but it’s also OK for you to go through with sleepover if you have something on and your child needs taking care of.
3.Stay in touch but not too often. Video chat after dinner/bath to discuss the wonderful things they have done that day and to say good night. But if you try and talk multiple times a day it may interfere with the flow of the experience of their stay. It’s also great to give child and grandparent time to connect and be comforted by the grandparent.
4.Inform grandparents of your child’s usual routines, likes/dislikes, tips/tricks and any definite NOs. I personally when they were younger left small lists of the kids routines when the grandparents were caring for our kids. Not so much about what time things are to occur but what occurs. For example: Lily goes in her sleeping bag, read a story, tuck her in and put her music on, light out and sit on chair in her room.
5.Accept that grandparents won’t care for your children EXACTLY like you do, but that’s OK. That’s part of the wonderful experience of staying with them. Try and surrender to the experience so your child can create the amazing ever lasting memories that they can hold onto for a life time!