Last week I had the awesome experience of keeping my three-year-old grandson for four days while his parents went on vacation. Wow! I was so excited. Four days! We stayed at his house which made the transition easier.
I learned so much. Had I forgotten so much since my children were little? Yes, I had. There’s something about living it day to day. It becomes normal. But dropping in for four days is different. I learned so much.
Lessons on separation and time
I knew the separation for days from his parents would be a big deal as well as understanding how long four days would be.
- Have a visual—consult a calendar. Use colors to mark off the time passing and mark the return date with something special.
- Reward self each day. He had a surprise from me in the morning and one from his parents in the evening.
- Take a stroll in the familiar a couple of times a day. Show that the outside surroundings remain consistent.
- Sometimes you need to eat whatever you want. French fries anyone?
- Read a few books before bed. Always…
- Play a game or work a puzzle. Release anxiety with something fun.
- Watch a colorful cartoon about cars. Not my choice but good bonding time.
- Plant flowers in a garden. A lasting memory available all summer.
- Make something special for the arrival of your loved ones. Brownies and muffins.
- Talk about the separated ones. Assure self that all will be normal soon.
As the caregiver, I found these lessons helpful. Now I can use them in my life back at home.
Have you learned any lessons from a three-year-old lately?