Of the many stages of life there are wins and losses. There are gifts and disasters. There are blessings and tragedies. We can all compare notes of what each of these has been for us, but I will declare loudly my biggest blessing has been being a Granny.
Nothing holds a candle to the moment you hold your first grandchild and realize that new baby is a part of you. In that moment, your life changes forever as you hope to help grow that baby into adulthood. And with each new grandchild that realization continues to grow.
You hold them. You watch that baby grow. You watch them and their parents grow into a family…….. Remembering to be supportive of the parents. Remembering you wanted to raise your kids your way. They do too. So, help the parents by following their schedules and rules.
Build a closeness with those babies because ties between Grandparents and Grandchildren can be so valuable for both groups.
And today’s ways of staying in touch help so much. We have Smart phones, Alexa, text, messenger, Zoom, Facetime, WebEx and so much more. Options seem limitless and sure help Grandparents watch those babies grow even when families live far apart. Plus we can still write a letter. Send a card.
Studies show these relationships have benefits for both. There is less depression in both groups and fewer behavior and emotional problems for the Grandchildren. Even fewer difficulties with peers. Grandparents can help by telling how they handled similar situations when they were growing up. Offer solutions and different ways of looking at things.
And grandkids keep the Grandparents in touch and up to date with what’s happening in today’s world. Expose Grandparents to different ideas and the new meanings of age-old problems.
Grandparents often have the time to spend with the kids. They can often do the things with the grandkids they did not have the time or money to do as they raised their own children.
Grandparents can help teach values. Right from wrong. Reinforce manners and other lessons parents encourage the Grandparents to share. Sometimes Grandparents become the confidant for the kids. The one who they can turn to. The adult who it is safe to share worries or problems with.
And remember it is not all easy!! Like the rest of life there are bumps in the road. Mistakes are made. Things are misunderstood.
Plus keep in mind sometimes a child’s grandparent might really be Great Aunt or Uncle. Or they might not even be related at all. It could a neighbor, a family friend, the babysitter, or someone else who is close to the family. So whoever you are, remember you are important and can truly make a difference in that child’s life. And your life will be much richer for it too.
So, help the parents. Offer date nights. Babysit. Have a sleepover.
Get out there and take a kid to a museum, a park, for a walk, play a game and you will both have a great, meaningful time.