The positive effects of grandchildren having their grandparents in their lives can not be measured. Both the grandparents and the grandchildren will gain satisfaction from their relationship. Grandparents can have a positive effect on a grandchild.

We all remember those days when our children were young. There was always something that needed doing. And if it was going to get done, we had to do it. It sounded so easy just to let it go and play with the young ones. But it never worked that way. 

When we were raising our children, we did not have the money or the extra time that we wished we did to give our children what they needed. 

The following guidelines & tips will help you to be a positive influence on your grandchild’s life. It will never be easy. But for the sake of the grandchildren, most are willing to make all sacrifices needed. 

What is the Role of a Grandparent?

Talk to your children about how they see your role in the lives of their children. It will probably be different from what you see as your role. Perhaps you do not want to be a constant babysitter but that is their idea of grandparents. Remind them that you still have a life to live and want your grandchildren to fit into your life and not the other way around.

Your role will change as your grandchildren become older. The one thing we can be certain of is that tomorrow will be different from today.

They may not want to spend as much time with you as they did in the past. It just shows that they are maturing and becoming their own person. It may prove that you did a good job. 

You have a responsibility to be the best grandparent you can. Unfortunately, there is no guide for being a good grandparent. Just as it was when we were parents, there is not guide. We just do the best that we can. 

Your role is not defined nor written in stone. It can be almost whatever you want it to be. Figuring it out can be as difficult as it was when you were trying to figure out to be a parent.

The ramifications of being a good grandparent can be enormous. Your role in your grandchild’s’ life will be a major source of fulfillment, both to you and your grandchild.

It is important that your teachings align with the beliefs of their parents. Now is not the time to have disagreements with the parents. We raised our children as we felt was best and now it is our children’s turn. The parents, our children, will need all the support we can give them. 

Grandchildren’s Relationship with Grandparents

The best thing a grandparent can give is their time. Children crave that the most. Remember when your children constantly yelled: ”Look at Me, look at me.” And we are just the ones that love to watch them. All we have to do at this moment is pay attention to our grandchildren.

A healthy relationship should include the roles listed below.  

Teacher

When we impart our knowledge to our grandkids, we are helping to mold the future person they will become. It is important to teach them patience and self-reliance. 

Student

Just as we teach our grandchildren, they also teach us. Perhaps we have forgotten that you need patience and wisdom to be a good parent and grandparent.

Nurturer

Our grandchildren need to bell that they are loved and are secure no matter the problem. We are there to give them the support they need during their life. Knowing that we accept them for what they are will help them in their lives. There is always pain in life. But knowing it is fleeting will help them to overcome all difficulties, now and later in life.

Guide

Often they will need someone to give them advice. They may figure it out for themselves after talking over their problems. We can and should be that person that is there for them to talk to. 

Playmate

We can often be that friend that their parents can not be. Parenting is their role and not ours. As a playmate, we can take our grandkids to the park or to a movie or just go for a walk. 

Confidante

We listen to their chatterings about their daily life. Right now something might be the end of the world but they will feel better just by telling their story.

Role Model

Our grandkids will learn when they see our interactions with them and with others. We should teach them right from wrong and what is important in life.

Spiritual Guide

Children need something to believe in and something to hang onto. Life is never easy but it will be easier for them as we are here to guide them on their journey.

Boundaries in the Grandparents home

One can not stress enough that you need to set boundaries for your grandchildren. Just as you set them for your children, you must set them for your children’s children. 

You may be more or less strict than their parents. However, in your home your boundaries count. They may run around and jump on furniture in their own home, but you have the right to expect them to abide by your rules when they are in your home. You do not need to bend on this one.

Your rules will be different from your children’s rules. That is fine but you cannot go against the wishes of the parents. They are the ultimate authority and are in charge of their kid’s lives.

When It comes to boundaries, remember that how you start out is how they will behave in your home. Changing the interactions later is more difficult. Be fair but adamant. 

What Activities To Do With Our Grandchildren?

  1. Go for a walk. Point out all of the beauty around us. Answer all questions honestly and listen to what they say.
  1. Take a trip to the city museum. Make sure to visit the parts of the museum that your grandchild is interested in. Many museums are tailored just for the young. They have story time or interactive exhibits that your grandchild can participate in. It is a wonder for everyone.
  1. Play ball. Make sure that the sport ends up on a good tune and that he or she feels like a winner.
  1. Visit a donut store and have a “coke, donut”. It is a treat to watch them enjoy it.
  1. Go grocery shopping. If a balloon catches his eye, it is a small price to pay for his  company. 
  1. Attend their sports activities, whether it is swim or dance lessons or just running around the park. When they are small the “watch me’s” will never end.
  1. Take your grand to school and pick her up. It will be a pleasure for both of you.
  1. Go to all their sports meets and cheer them on. Everyone loves to have someone who cheers for them.
  1. Volunteer to help in his school class as often as possible. He may not admit he likes it but he really will. 
  1. Take an interest in his grades. The inspiration is immeasurable.
  1. Read to her, or better yet, listen as they read to you. If he can not read yet, make sure to choose a a subject he is interested in.
  1. Make flash cards to help him with his numbers or colors. It will be a game he cannot resist.
  1. Cook with them. Cooking refrigerated toll house cookies counts. Who can turn down home baked cookies? 
  1. Start a collection. Examples are coins, stamps, even rocks or stickers.
  1. Video a play show with your grandchild as the star. It could be a magic show, puppet show, running race, or dancing.
  1. Plan a menu together. Be sure you serve what is planned.
  1. Cook a meal together. A routine chore will turn into pleasure. 
  1. Play cards and teach the rules.
  1. Put a puzzle together. It can stay on the table for more than a day. 
  1. Play a boardgame. The fun will  keep coming.
  1. Pack a picnic.
  1. Go on that picnic.
  1. Take him out to eat. Make sure to stop for ice cream.
  1. Blow bubbles together on a sunny day. 
  1. The activities are endless. Use your imagination or let them use their imagination. 

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

The story changes when a grandparent becomes the main guardian of their grandchild. There are many reasons why this occurs. The cause could be the natural parent’s death or incarceration. Perhaps that individual becomes incapacitated due to accident, disability, mental stability, or addiction.

It becomes a difficult situation as now the grandchild does not have a parent to assume the parental duties. The grandparents assume this responsibility. They must take over the financial and physical duties that parents assume. The relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild changes. According to the “experts” this situation is not ideal but the child is better off than other alternatives. 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics: “grandparents raising their grandchildren appear to be coping with the stresses of parenting just as well as biological/adoptive parent caregivers.”

Positive Effects of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Grandparents are known for being positive role models and providing positive experiences for their grandchildren. Sometimes they have no choice but to become the main caregiver. The second time around the grandparents are more experienced. It should be easier in some respects and harder in others. 

Some of the benefits that grandparents can provide includes:

  • support and guidance during difficult times
  • a sense of belonging
  • emotional security
  • instruction in values and moral principle
  • positive self-esteem and self-worth
  • a sense of community and support
  • how to have fun
  • how to be successful in life
  • learning about personal relationships
  • how to have a positive outlook on life

Being a grandparent is not an easy job, but a fulfilling one. You must be adaptive and understanding. You will make mistakes just as you did with your children and just as our parents did with us. However, your dedication to your family will be rewarded with the love and appreciation of your grandchildren. Perhaps not now, but when they become adults they will recognize your sacrifices.

Read more at GuideForSeniors.com for all things senior. You can email us at guideforseniors@gmail.com

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