Every once in a while, or even for an extended period, you may find yourself looking after your grandkids while your children are away at work. Even if you are not their primary caregiver, you may have to look after them when your children travel or need some time off. It is a well-known fact that children of all shapes, sizes and ages have one thing in common- they are very active and curious. This often leads them to get into trouble from which timely rescue and intervention becomes necessary.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking after your grandkids:
- If your grandkids are very young, consider taping the home address and phone number to their lunch bags when they go to school. Older kids can learn their home address and phone number. In case of an emergency, this information always comes in handy.
- The rule of no touching needs to begin at home. If the kids are old enough to bathe by themselves, teach them that their private space is their own, and if someone tries to touch them inappropriately, they must run to a safe adult immediately. This is extremely useful when kids go out to play in the complex.
- The really young kids can often be waylaid with the promise of candy. Always reinforce the message that they should never follow a stranger anywhere, else they may be harmed. In this case, it is better to scare them with the truth rather than protect them from it.
- Cyber bullying is the latest crime on the block, and as a grandparent, you may find that your grandkids may be spending more time online in your presence, since the rules may be a little lax with you. In such cases, always take the time out to talk to them about cyber-crime- that they should never give out personal information to strangers, send them photographs or make themselves vulnerable in general.
- Always advocate healthy eating habits. Don’t let staying with you become an excuse for them to gorge on candy or eat as and when they please. Set mealtimes and food that everyone eats can go a long way in helping kids eat healthily.
While most of these pointers may seem like they border on paranoia, we must accept that our societies have grown bigger, exposing kids to more people from all walks of life. A few life skills and a solid instinct are a must to be safe.