The Joys of Being a Grandparent
Article by Julian Hall
If asked for advice, give it, but try not to just dive in giving opinions on everything. They will appreciate it far more if you respect their wishes on how they want to parent without comment or interference. Do not forget that childrearing techniques have probably changed since you brought up your children.
Living near and far
Quite often, these days, families live far apart. Unlike, when you were raising your children, probably living close to both families. Frequently these days, people have to move around the country if not the world in quest of work. Although this can make it difficult, try to understand if you do not see as much as you’d like of your grandchild in the early stages. It is a tiring business bringing up a baby! Agree on a time you can phone every week to get an update on how they are all progressing. If you live just around the corner, although hard, try not to succumb to the temptation of popping in every five minutes. Think about ringing before you visit to respect them as a family in their own right.
Helping with childcare
Most grandparents are usually very delighted to help with childcare if asked. Before you start, ensure you set out some guidelines of when you are available. After all, you also have your own life and activities, which your child may sometimes forget. However much you love your grandchild, being constantly at their disposal to help could breed resentment. Your energy levels may not be quite what they used to be - looking after a very young child can be very demanding.
If your child is going through a divorce or setting up home with a new partner, it can be particularly difficult for you as a grandparent. You may feel that you are losing touch with your grandchildren. Try to discuss how you are feeling with your son or daughter and reassure them that you want to support them through this difficult time. Above all, do not judge or criticize your son or daughter, just be there for them and their family, giving love and support anyway you can.
You'll want to be ready for it. Part of your preparation will simply be a refresher course -- after all, some things never change. But with the distance of an entire generation between your last diaper purchase and today, you'll find many things in the world of bringing up baby are different. Start your preparation by thinking of how you fit into the new family picture. Keep in mind that your role as grandparent is special, but it's different from being a parent.
Grandparenthood is a wonderful time of your life, hopefully full of fun, laughter and love. Enjoy your grandchildren whenever you have the opportunity and show your pride and appreciation in your family.