Tuesday, January 26, 2010

1-2-3 of Disciplining

One of the disciplining methods my daughter-in-law uses is counting to 3. One day my granddaughter was continuously getting up from the table at dinnertime, so I decided I would try it on her, and I began, 1 – 2, and I hesitated before going further... Suddenly, my grandson pipes up and says, “3”. I was trying to be serious about this, so I decided to ignore him and I started counting again but this time after I said 2, he stood up and pointed right at her and yelled “3”, as if to say, you already did that Grannie, I want to see what comes next! Well, that was it – we all burst out laughing.

If you spend enough time with your grandchildren, disciplining them will be something you have to deal with. Using simple methods like counting to 3, using time-outs, or even taking something away from them for a bit, is something you may have to do. I have so much fun with my grandchildren that I hate to say anything bad to them, but I also know that sometimes it’s necessary. You definitely shouldn’t go overboard with disciplining, but you should set some limits as to what you will tolerate before you say something to them. With grandparents, that limit is usually a lot higher than parents, but then again, we’re not with them 24/7.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Special Place

Not everyone has an extra room to set aside for their visiting grandchildren, but I am grateful that I do, and they love it. They call it “their room” and, at this point, are happy to share it with each other. I keep all of their toys, markers (washable, of course), drawing paper, books, puzzles, etc, in this room. Depending on how long they are over, we could spend the entire time in there - reading books, colouring, and telling stories. It is so much fun to hear the stories they can make up, even at an early age, but it’s a good idea to have a few storylines in mind so you can get things started. At one point, I plan to paint one wall so that it can double as a huge blackboard (my daughter’s idea) – and will also put in a puppet theatre. This is what they like to do at this point, but if/when they outgrow that, I will change it. This room is also their bedroom, so I have a crib in there as well as a mattress with a large pillow on it which doubles as a couch for us to sit on. I don’t keep anything in that room that I worry about so it’s safe to let them play by themselves for awhile if need be. There is no TV or computer in the room. I have never had trouble putting them to bed and when they wake up, they are happy to play until breakfast is ready. If you don’t have an actual room for them, then you could get a big box or storage bin and fill it with toys, etc, and keep it in a special place for when they come over. You can be creative with the box; draw pictures on it, paint it (with non-toxic paint), and let them help you design/colour it. You also should have a name for it, ie, “Our Special Box” (doesn’t have to be an elaborate box or name). They will love having their own box just as much as a room and you can put everything away when they leave, or ask them to help you. Have fun with this and enjoy the many great memories you and your grandchildren will have because you did that little bit extra…

Tip: Don’t get carried away with buying a lot of toys; check with the parents first. Often times, kids have so many toys at home that they don’t play with half of them therefore, most parents are okay with giving you some of them for your house, but they may not think about it if you don’t ask. As well, you can check out garage sales/consignment shops, but check with the parents first.

Friday, January 15, 2010

What's in a Name?

One of the first questions I was asked after I found out I was going to be a Grandma, was, "What do you want to be called?" I had always thought that I would like to be called Granny because that's what we called my mother and she was one of the greatest Granny's I know of - and definitely was loved by all her grandchildren. I added "ie" to the end of my "title" because I liked the look of it better - and I told everyone about it beforehand. If the "other Grandma" has decided on the same name though, it can still work out. You can call yourself Grannie Lynn or Grannie Crosbie - or maybe someone will decide to choose another name. There seem to be a lot of titles to pick from (Nanny, Grandma, Grammy, Oma, etc.), so do some research and see if there's one you like better. Whatever name is decided on, remember that your grandchildren just might have other ideas about what you are going to be called and that can also be a fun way to decide on a name... Whatever happens, this is a fun and exciting time in your life and when you finally get called your chosen title, whatever it is, it will feel wonderful. Enjoy!