While having older relatives who live close to you and your kids can be a big help as you’re raising your children, not everyone feels completely comfortable with leaving their children with these older relatives. But if you know that your kids will be safe with them and just worry about how they’ll handle being with your kids, there are things that you can do to help make this easier on them and more acceptable to you.
To help you see how this can be done, here are three ways to feel more comfortable with older relatives watching your kids.
Make Sure They’re Physically Capable Of It
One of the first things that you’ll want to determine before you have older relatives watching your kids is whether or not they’re actually physically capable of caring for your kids for the amount of time that you’ll be gone. If your relatives are on the verge of having to move into an assisted living facility themselves, it might be best not to leave your kids with that specific relative.
If you’re not sure whether or not your older relative can handle watching your kids, have a conversation with them about what it will require physically to care for your children. You can also ask them about their health and any concerns that you should be aware of. These things can help you both come into the situation with your eyes wide open and better able to make a comfortable decision.
Create Certain Rules For When Older Adults Watch Your Kids
If you both determine that your older relative can handle watching your kids for a period of time, you might want to consider speaking with your kids and your relative about the expectations for when this relative is watching them.
While you might normally let your kids do crafts at home, if this will be too stressful for your relative to deal with the clean up, this might be something that you discourage during these babysitting hours. Additionally, things like cooking together or playing outside in the neighborhood might be too much for older relatives to handle as well.
Ask For Regular Communication While You’re Gone
Being away from your kids with any other caregiver can be stressful for parents. So if you’re nervous about leaving and want to make sure that things are going well while you’re gone, speak with your older relative about communicating with you regularly while you’re gone. You can ask for updates about what they are doing, how things are going, and what questions or problems may have arisen. This way, you’ll know if things are handled well or if you need to get back home quickly.
If you are considering having your older relative watch your children for you on occasion, use the tips mentioned above to help you make sure everyone is comfortable with this arrangement.