I had the pleasure of having my granddaughters stay with my wife and I recently. I will say this they are high energy girls 5 and 3 and the 3 year old has attitude to spare lol. One thing I did learn from them that I didn’t pay attention when I raise their mother and their uncle (my daughter and my son) was the discipline is different and it doesn’t need to be long or drawn out. The 5 year old can be explosive at times when she doesn’t get her way. In the past I might have if that was my daughter or my son would have scolded them and punished them. With the 5 year old …I simply take her to the side and ask what she is upset about we talk about it for a minute or two and then reinforce positive behavior and it’s over and done. If there is a time out, keep it real brief, her attention span is short, so my approach this time around is time is no longer than a minute or two just enough to make my point and move on. Any longer and the point will be lost on them so keep it short and keep it simple. That was a case of old dog new trick for me.
I learned that the 3 year old while small in statue has no problem with putting the 5 year old in her place when she needs to and she can be quite funny too. The 3 year old is the image of my daughter in looks and attitude lol. The 5 year old is the big sister all the way. She protects and looks after the 3 year old. Despite her size she is a still a baby at heart and loves to be hugged …a lot. Which is why after maybe a brief fussing about something it is best to hug her because …she responds to that. There is a unique bond between the 5 year old and I. My daughter got pregnant while living at home with her mother and I and so when the 5 year old was born they both lived with us and we bonded with her right away. So there was lots of pictures and lots of memories together, by the time the 3 year old came long things were more settled with my daughter as far as her living on her own, my then wife and I were separated (now divorced) so I didn’t get that same opportunity to bond with the 3 year old like I did with the 5 year old. But I love them both dearly.
Both of them have been through a lot of changes in the past few years in their young lives due to the upheaval in my daughter’s life with herself and her now ex boyfriend. So a lot of how I handle both of the girls when they come and stay is to make they time with me as pleasant as possible and do things fun things with them while we have the time. This summer we (my wife and I ) took them to the Butterfly museum and even though that was months ago they still talk about that. I show them picture of the time there and they remember the butterflies landing on them on their shoulder and on their hair.
We took them to the fair for the day and went on a big slide that we went down hill on and laughed and talked about that. The experiences taught me to use the time to do quality things with them and who know maybe one day when the are older they will remember the times we spent together and they will say…grandpa did some fun things with us and took us fun places . I realize that I am learning still a lot about parenthood and grandparenthood , I like the spoiling part then return them lol but I also see it as an opportunity to teach them short but important lessons like how to get along with others and about family. I maybe grandpa but this old dog has learned new tricks for sure.