Keeping your grandchildren entertained with arts and crafts is one of the best parts of being a grandparent. Many grandmothers and granddads enjoy being able to indulge their grandchildren in messy activities and then hand them back at the end of the day, complete with paint stains and spilled glitter. However, if you spend substantially more time as a caregiver for your grandchildren, you may be looking after them for longer than you initially anticipated.
Don’t lose the joy of fun
If for whatever reason your children are not able to be the primary caregiver for their kids, then you may have to take up that responsibility. While you might be cooking more meals and organizing more bedtime stories, you may also be taking a more serious role. However, you shouldn’t lose that sense of creativity and fun. You want to reassure your grandchildren that they are welcome in your home and that it is a place of joy. Therefore you could start doing regular creative activities on the weekend:
- Baking: this is a way to be creative with children who aren’t naturally gifted in the arts.
- Flower arranging and potting plants: this has a practical element to it, and is an excuse to get mucky.
- Painting and drawing: everyone remembers what it’s like to be a child and watch a much more skilled adult paint and draw. Showing your grandchildren how to mix paint and sketch from observation are skills that will stay with them.
While you can’t always be running arts and crafts while you care for them, it’s a great way to find the fun again. As an older guardian, you may not be able to play baseball or take part in much more energetic activities. Ultimately, too, you are also playing the role of the parent. So fun may have to take a break while you send them to bed and get them to tidy up after dinner.
Don’t be afraid to establish rights
If you absolutely adore the creative time you have with your grandchildren, but the parents are going through an acrimonious divorce, then you may fear losing some of that quality time. Whatever country you find yourself in, you may need to do some research to discover what rights you have. If you’re searching for grandparents rights in the UK, for example, then a solicitor will be able to help you. Sometimes, being the primary caregiver, or in legal terms the guardian of your grandchildren can be the best option for them. It may even give you peace of mind to know that you will henceforth be the person in control of not only their free weekends but also their care.
If you feel strongly that you should be the main caregiver of your grandchildren, or that you’ve simply found yourself in that position, then take the process of guardianship one step at a time. You may have to define legal boundaries at some point, but remember your priority is making your home a fun and happy place for the kids.