My husband and I are in the fortunate position where both our parents are alive and involved in our child’s life. Although they live far away, we ensure that they visit us regularly or we try to visit them as often as possible. Whenever I see our little one interacting with her grandparents I am in awe of the total bliss and delight both parties experience. It made me realize just how important this inter-generational relationship is and how much everyone involved can benefit from it.
Roles that grandparents’ play
Grandparents can play such an important part in their grandchildren’s lives. As they do not have the responsibility of “parents” they get to have the fun side of parenting. Grandparents can become a child’s play mate and best friend, they can become a companion and the child’s number one supporter. This relationship is usually fueled by the grandparents’ unconditional love and acceptance for the child. Often, grandparents see their grandchildren as a second opportunity for making up for whatever they couldn’t do with their own children. Grandparents can also be a great source of information to the grandchildren about life and values in general but also to tell the child tales about their parents and how they grew up. By making the grandparents’ part of your children’s lives family traditions can be transferred across generations.
Unfortunately grand parenting is not always easy and although there are numerous books giving tips about grand-parenting there is no rule book..
The following tips can be helpful in establishing a good grand-parenting relationship with both the parents and the child:
- Grandparents should respect and value the way parents are raising the child
- Do not give parenting advice unless asked for
- Find out what are the parents’ routines and rules for their child and try to keep to it – especially if the grandchildren often spend time at the grandchildren’s house these can include such of the amount of sweets kids are allowed to have and the amount of screen time
- Although most children enjoy gifts the most precious gift you can give your grandchild is to spend time with him/her doing whatever they would like to do
- Disciplining grandchildren can be very difficult – have a conversation with the parents to find out what they expect of you when discipline situations arise
Grandparents should remember that there is no such thing as spoiling a child with love. It’s my opinion that grandparents’ role is to be a source of unconditional love to the little ones and to teach them the things their parents can’t.
If you have any questions or need help in establishing a better relationship with your grandchildren please contact Vita Nova at 0825414357