Whether you are visiting grandchildren, or you they are
visiting you, you can have a wonderful but quite exhausting
We have all heard the saying "It is lovely
to have my grandkids visiting, and even better when they
With a little planning, having visiting
grandchildren need not be quite so tiring. We tend to forget
how much of our time and attention small children need. We
really have to "clear the decks" and keep those few days
free to enjoy with the children.
When we brought our children to stay with their grandparents in the UK, my mother always had a little present hidden under their pillows to ease that first night strangeness. They loved that and never forgot to look, even if it had been a couple of years since the last visit.
When they were small they really did not want or need many outings. An afternoon at a petting zoo was a big treat, and so was a day on the beach.
Later, when they were pre-teens, my brave father took them on a day-trip to France - that won them great bragging rights when they were back in school in Canada!
Mostly, though, they were happy to go shopping in the village with my mother. The Sweet Shop was a big attraction - there were Cadburys chocolate bars that they had never seen in Canada!
Helping Grandpa build a bonfire in the garden was another favourite. Of course these days that is considered polluting and we have to compost instead.
My own grandchildren enjoy the local water play park in the summer. feeding the ducks, and at home, cooking with Granny.
Older children might enjoy a visit to a science museum, and afternoon at the water slides and even just a walk in the country or a visit to a farm.
Teens might enjoy visiting their grandparents on their own. If the travel is manageable, let the siblings come one at a time, so that you can really get to know each other well.
grandchildren, so much depends on the circumstances. If your
children have a big house with lots of room, no problem. On
the other hand, if it means putting the grandchildren out of
their bedrooms and re-arranging their routines, three or
four days is probably enough. More than that and you would
be better off staying in a nearby B & B, available to spend
lots of time with them but not on top of
When a visit to the grandchildren is a rare
event, you will probably want to come laden with gifts. No
need overdo it. You will find they appreciate the little
things just as much. I remember as a child, we used to have
a regular guest. She came to stay once or twice every
summer. This lady was from one of the wealthiest families in
the whole of North America. What did she bring us? A bag of
Jelly Beans! We loved her and couldn't wait for her to
unpack and come up with that treat!
Even todays sophisticated children love to know that there is one special thing that Gran always brings.
Even though they are your own family, all the usual rules for being a good guest still apply.
In addition, you could baby-sit the grandchildren for an evening to give their parents a much needed night off, and/or you could pay for a baby-sitter so that you and your adult children can have an evening out together.
Have a happy visit!