So, whether you are becoming a grandparent for the first time or whether you’re already seasoned grandparents, be prepared to fall crazy in love with that child over and over again! The love for a grandchild will be unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced before.
In the words of Roxana Robinson: “It’s like being told you no longer have to eat vegetables, only dessert – and really only the icing!”
But what is so grand about being a grandparent? Well, besides the fact that grandparents have the opportunity to play, to love unconditionally and to appreciate the magic of a developing mind; they also have the benefit of interacting on a level that is removed from the day-to-day responsibilities of parenthood. Awesome!
However, there are certain pitfalls that you should be aware of before they blow up like a nuclear warhead! Yes, it is probably one of the most rewarding relationships you’ll ever have, but there are definitely challenges too. Sometimes grandparents can be a little too involved in the raising of their grandchildren. Being too overbearing or too involved in your grandchildren’s lives can cause friction.
Barbara Graham, editor of Eye of My Heart: 27 Writers Reveal The Hidden Pleasures and Perils of Being a Grandmother, says that the best thing you can do for your kids as a grandparent is to show up when you’re needed and to disappear when you’re not. That may seem a little harsh, but there’s definitely a fine line not to be crossed.
We have a few strategies to up your cool grand parenting status:
- Leave the parenting up to the parents. Yes, be gentle with mom and dad, give them all the love you can muster.
- Be available to the parent for advice, but never give it – or your opinion – unless asked. Respect their rules and wishes.
- Be someone the parents enjoy having around – so they’ll have you around more often.
- Celebrate your grandchild for no reason. Parents are too often caught up in daily life. However as a grandparent (and a cool one) you can surprise your grandchild and spend an afternoon celebrating the wonderful things that make him/her great. Bring cake!
- Tell them about their heritage and where they fit into the picture.
- If they’re small, get down on the floor and play with them.
- Manage long distance. Get (more) tech savvy. Grandparents can enjoy virtual visits with grandkids via Skype or FaceTime. There are many more interactive online and phone apps designed specifically for kids to safely connect with relatives.
- Send “snail mail.” Even before a child can read, he or she will be able to recognise their name on an envelope, and will love the feeling of importance implied by receiving mail.
- Know who or what your grandkids admire and why. Ask questions and do a little research, maybe contribute with a fact or two. This could solidify your role as a “cool grandparent.”
- Continue to be a student of life, ask your grandchild for advice – even if you don’t plan on taking it.
- Kiss them every chance you get.
- Get them outside, away from the TV and the computer. Go on a short outing or count the shooting stars.
- Don’t forget to be a parent. Continue to strengthen you bond with your children – and here’s the hard part – do your best to relate to them as adults.
Grandparents provide an important dimension to a child’s life. Give them the gift of your time and inspire them by the way you live your life and by the choices you make.
Source: www.nextavenue.com, extramile.thehartford.com, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.grandparents.com, www.wikihow.com, www.helpguide.org, www.grandmasbriefs.com, www.theguardian.com, www.scarymommy.com