In all the years that I was involved in Well Baby Clinics I believed that once I got the granny to trust my word, I had already won over the mommy of the baby.
If this grandchild is the first in the family she is out of practice and many of her methods may be outdated.
The maternal grandmother is usually the person I targeted. A daughter normally heeds what her mother tells her. It becomes more tricky when it’s the mother-in-law.
If grandmother accompanied her daughter to the clinic I always made sure she understood what I had to say and hopefully accepted the ideas.
I never encouraged the grandmother to take over, but I always looked for ways in which she could contribute.
Parents are busy raising, disciplining, feeding and clothing their children. Grandparents have more time to do a little spoiling and slipping in the little treats. (They have much more time for the grandchildren than they had for their own children). Grandparents have time to browse around shops for the item which you may need and don’t have the time to find. Grandparents are very important in a child’s life and play a vital part.
Once I explained to a grandmother that I wanted the little four year old, Sarah, to feel part of her new brother’s life. She needed a doll so that she could mimic her mother and the new baby. The following week mother arrived with the baby in a carrycot.
Little Sarah carried her own carrycot made from a covered shoebox. In the little carrycot was the doll swaddled in its own bedding just like that of her little brother.
Sarah was excited when I weighed ‘her baby’ and made a little card for her doll. Sarah loved her visits to the clinic each week. She even asked questions about her doll, just like her mommy. Granny had succeeded in her ‘project’.
The mother of a deaf mother was also vital to me. She could explain to her daughter what I found difficult to impart and her daughter could clarify her questions through her mother. It was a wonderful partnership!
Involve grandparents; they have a lot to contribute.
© Teresa Denton