How exciting to learn that you are going to be grandparents! Your child and their partner is ready to have a baby and is now pregnant. This means you are put in a very important position as a grandparent. Grandparents are very important to children, and they helped to shape them and teach them and help them to grow. It’s not just about snacks and treats and being spoiled, there is an important role for grandparents to play. There was once a time where you were the parents trying to raise your children undo the right thing. Now they have flown the nest and they are having their own families.
There are plenty of articles out there about gifts for expecting parents. You probably already have things in mind that you would like to give to your child for their first child. However, you also need to step up into this role. As much as you are going to hear about grandparents who spoil their grandchildren, you’re also going to hear about grandparents who don’t respect the wishes of their children. If you respect your child, then you don’t need to tell them that you know best.
Don’t undermine your children as a grandparent
You don’t need to undermine your children with their children just because you’ve done it before. You raise your kids into a completely different generation than their children are being raised into. You raised your children without the technology that we have today. The advances that we have right now weren’t available when you were the parents of young children. The advice that you had from doctors and from midwives was very different. Which means the mantra of you did it and your kids were fine isn’t going to fly.
If you want to keep a good relationship with your children as well as build a beautiful relationship with your grandchildren, then you need to make sure that you are the best possible grandparents. For that to happen, you need the advice that we have pulled together for you below.
Grandparents shouldn’t outwardly disagree
You didn’t use dummies with your children. You allowed your children to cry themselves to sleep so that they could learn to self settle. You might have put your babies to bed in another room from you from the moment they were born. You may not have given your children a choice when it comes to meals because this is all what you learned from your parents. And now? Your grandchildren are attachment babies. They use dummies and they breastfeed. They don’t allow your grandchildren to sleep alone. They don’t believe in crying it out.
It doesn’t matter what you do or you don’t agree with when it comes to your grandchildren. If you respect and trust your children, the adults you raised, then you need to listen. Be the grandparent that gives the dummies. Be the grandparent that settles the baby in the same room for nap time. Be the grandparent that offers the range of meals in the same way that your children would offer them. Be a grandparent in the way that your children would be apparent and give your grandchildren consistency from the beginning.
Grandparents should undo their children’s rules
One of the worst things that you can do to the trust between you and your child is to undo their rules. If mom and dad don’t allow specific activities or snacks, don’t make them available to your grandchildren.
You will always be welcome to spoil and love on your grandchildren as much as possible. However, if there is a hard boundary with your children, don’t break it. All this will do is break the trust that you have with your child. That could stop you from seeing your grandchild alone. Undoing the rules of the parents is one of the worst things that you can do as a grandparent.
Fill your grandchildren with fun stories
For an amazing bond with your grandchildren as they grow, enrich them with stories about their parents. Show them the photos and let them hear the funny stories about the things their parents did or said. Give your grandchildren some background of their own parents. That way, you can teach them the same things you would have taught their parents.
Baking with your grandchildren, fishing with your grandchildren, taking them out to go shopping for clothes. Everybody loves to hear the silly stories about their parents from when they were young because it makes them human. They go from being just mum or just adding to being children and silly and fun. You are the keeper of those stories and you can pass them on.
As a grandparent, show love and respect for your children
When you go to visit for the first time after the baby has been born, don’t immediately go to that baby. Reign yourself and go to your child. Your child has just brought another human being into this world. They deserve all of your love and affection before any baby out there.
Not only does it send a good message to your child that they still have your love, but it shows that you are the kind of grandparent who puts your child first.
Stay involved as a grandparent
Being a grandparent is not just about lavishing your grandchildren with gifts or with love or with days out or or with money. Being a grandparent is about being involved with your grandchildren as they grow. If your child needs support with babysitting or with additional child care and you have the time and the resources to help, reach out and offer. Don’t let them struggle alone.
Make sure you are there for swim meets and soccer practice and school shows and talent shows and more. If you are that kind of grandparent, you won’t regret it because of the amount of effort you’d be putting in to helping your grandchildren to shape their lives.
Make your home comfortable
Have a spare room in your home for your grandchildren. Not only is it somewhere you can store any clothes or toys that you keep at your house, but it is somewhere that your children can feel confident that their children will be comfortable. Before you decide to set a room up for your grandchildren, ask permission first. Check to see that it’s OK and that you would not be overstepping your boundaries by doing that.