Oooh, talk about a challenge. As a grown woman, I agreed to help my daughter with her new little fella. Logan was 5 months old at the time, but I wasn’t afraid. I’d already done that job before and I felt pretty good about my performance. However, I have a warning for all senior citizens; think long and hard before you commit to a little kid. You’ve got to stay one step ahead of them. I won’t lie, sometimes it’s stressful. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Personally, I’m not a bossy caregiver. I know from experience that the old, “You’ll do it because I said so, that’s why,” doesn’t work for me. Instead, I try to remember that, unless I show them otherwise, kids might do something that’s not good for them. For this reason, we have no choice but to teach them.
I know it might feel like a lot for older folks to do, but the return you get is totally worth the effort.
A few of the things you have to teach them are:
How to Be Safe
Teaching safety is an important job that includes things like swimming, bike riding, and crossing the street. I know we’re old folks with a lot on our minds, but let’s not forget to make sure our kids stay away from strangers (both people and dogs), know not to open the door for anyone, and don’t run with scissors.
How cute is it when they learn the Alphabet Song? They love to sing it all day long. That’s why it’s so satisfying to help them with the letters of the alphabet, recognizing simple words, reading, writing, numbers, and animals.
Don’t forget to help them find joy in eating a variety of foods. (Yeah, I said it…it could happen!) As a senior citizen, it’s a great idea to show by example that you wouldn’t miss eating your greens, taking your vitamins, or doing your exercises.
The Fun of Entertaining Yourself
Learning to love yourself includes entertaining yourself. Practicing sports and games, playing make-believe, and dress-up all give the imagination a good workout. When my kids were itty-bitty, one of their best gifts came from one of their favorite old folks, my mother. It was an old trunk that was filled with every costume imaginable. It had ballerina outfits, wigs, a fur stole, cowboy clothes, a kid’s size wedding gown, and more. When they got dressed up it wasn’t embarrassing to take them to the supermarket…not much anyway!
Appreciating the World Around Us
I believe if we are able to make science, art, and nature important to our little kids, it’ll go far in helping to make our world a better place.
Manners Matter (’cause senior citizens are genteel and good natured)
It doesn’t take much to be polite. Saying please and thank you, shaking hands, and looking in the eyes of the person who is speaking is a start.
Getting Along with Others
In my house, we have a saying that goes, “Be kind to people and animals” starting with the family and pets. Thereafter, playing with kids of all ages teaches acceptance and tolerance.
Inside voice and outside voice
Somebody’s got to teach little kids when to keep it low and when to show enthusiasm. That’s a perfect job for a senior citizen.
Cuss Words Rub Us Old Folks the Wrong Way
Yeah, I know words are just words, but there are some you’d rather not hear from a 5 year old.
So, you see what I mean about little kids keeping you on your toes? I don’t know about you, but this senior citizen loves the challenge. And, the results!
It’s much better to teach these fundamentals with younger kids than when peer pressure kicks in when they get a little older. Have you experienced this issue? How would you handle it?
That’s a good question. My grandson is starting Kindergarten this year. I guess we’re going to wait and see what happens.
By the way, I spent about half of my life in South Florida. It kind of grows on you, doesn’t it?