Disclaimer: Devoted Grandma is reader-supported. If you purchase anything through my site, I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you). Thank you.
Remember when you were a kid, and your grandma was your soft landing and safe place? You are now that to a special someone (or someones).
Grandmas are wired to be loving and doting, but we can also be a refuge for our beloved grandchildren. Even if your grandchild’s homelife is idyllic and Leave it to Beaver-esque, they will still look to you, grandma, for comfort and reassurance. If your grandchild’s family life is less than ideal, they may turn to you even more for love and safety.
Don’t be nervous, my fellow Devoted Grandma – while it may sound high pressure, making your grandchild feel genuinely safe isn’t hard at all, especially if you follow these 9 easy-to-implement tips:
1. Pay attention to them
Kids will typically follow an adult’s lead – especially if that adult is one that they know and trust. By paying attention to your grands, they can see that you are looking out for them and will offer guidance when and if needed. (An excellent example is when you’re at the park, and your grandchild tries to climb a structure that is too big and dangerous for them. While they may not see it, you do, and you will keep them safe by intervening early and diverting their attention.)
2. Words of affirmation
Regardless of age, words of affirmation are crucial, as they can build your self-esteem and your relationship with whoever delivered the remarks. Not only are words of affirmation a confidence builder, but they can also make the recipient feel safer, especially if they have been reassured by someone they trust.
3. Be emotionally available
Being emotionally available is crucial to making your grandchild feel safe with you. It means you can comfort them in times of need and are always available to talk and – more importantly – listen. Being emotionally available also makes you more relatable and empathetic. Speaking of empathy…
4. Express and demonstrate empathy
Empathy is an important trait, as it shows you can understand and share others’ feelings. When you are empathetic towards your grandchild, you are not only creating a safe space for them, but you are also demonstrating this vital quality.
5. Create a consistent routine
Having a consistent routine is essential for children, as it provides a sense of stability and security. To do this, set regular meal times, bedtime, and playtime, as predictability helps children feel safe and comfortable in their environment.
6. Monitor their media intake
Kids are little sponges that absorb everything around them, including current events and news. Protect their innocence by monitoring their media intake, whether it be the news, a TV show, or something on social media.
7. Be physically present
Children require lots of hugs, cuddles, and physical touch to grow, but they can need even more in stressful situations. If your grandchild seems as though they are in distress, offer a backrub or a hug, or ask if they want to cuddle up to read a story.
8. Teach them personal safety skills
Do you remember when our kids were little, and we taught them never to talk to strangers or get in a car with someone they didn’t know? (I think we even had to talk about how if someone they didn’t know tried to pick them up from school, they needed to give them a particular family code word. It was a much different time!) It’s a whole new ballgame for our grandkids, so we need to teach them early to say no if they are uncomfortable, how to recognize and respond to unsafe situations, and the importance of trusting their instincts.
9. Maintain a safe home environment
There is so much violence in the world today, and when this news falls upon little ears, it can lead to heightened anxiety. You can help ease some of these fears by maintaining a safe home environment with an alarm system, updated fire protectors (sensors and extinguishers), and proper locks.
As you can see, making your grandchild feel safe isn’t too difficult but can have a huge impact on their life. By implementing these tips (and others you may already use!), you can create an even safer and more loving environment for your beloved grandbabies!