The grandparents in your life may live nearby or all over the country. They may love children or love children but refuse to change diapers. Regardless of the situation, we have ideas on how you can develop relationships between grandparents and grandchildren in the first years of life and beyond. Try to schedule a visit in the morning when most kids are awake, awake and ready to play.
Get out some of your child’s favorite toys and books. If your child is a little slow to warm up, start playing together in a group and gradually stop playing as your child becomes more comfortable. For toddlers, try to provide the safest possible environment for children so that grandparents can focus on having fun and not on “do not touch” or “be careful.” Grandparents may have forgotten that babies only communicate for short periods of time, or that toddlers see a bookshelf and think “LADDER!”
One way that can be helpful is to use a “baby voice” to share a suggestion. So it’s not you who tells the grandparents what to do, but the child: “Grammy, I love climbing on the playground and this bookshelf looks like steps. Maybe if you roll my car or show me a story, it will help me get distracted. Or maybe we can play in another room?”