Parenting is not an easy job. You are moulding a person’s life from adolescent to adult and it never stops, even as your children start their own family. When that happens, you may find that it’s a lot more pleasurable being a grandparent than a parent. It’s not always easy finding the right balance between grandparenting and parenting, but knowing these tips can help you navigate the boundaries better with your child.
1. Set the Tone for Positivity
As grandparents, you play an integral role in offering stability and a sense of identity to your family. Differences in opinions may occur at some point, especially when your children’s parenting style and principles may not coincide with yours. Parenting comes differently to every person. While you may not agree with all of their parenting decisions, be sure to offer them your support and knowledge in their parenting journeys.
2. Align Your Expectations
Grandparents are often the ones caring for the child when parents are absent or unable to raise their children. You may not be as energetic as before, but you still hold a wealth of experience from raising your own children. Your life lessons can make a huge impact on your grandchildren’s life. However, when expectations are not fulfilled, conflicts and disappointment often arise. Before taking on the role of a primary caregiver, it is important for you and your child to align expectations. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed about additional responsibilities, raise these issues before assuming the role of a primary caregiver.
3. Keep Your Indulgence In Check
One of the perks of being a grandparent is the luxury of indulging in your grandchildren whenever you want! However, the last thing you would want is to put a wedge between your child and your grandchild. While spending time with your grandchild brings you pleasure, be sure that it is not done at the expense of their own family time.
4. Hear Your Children Out
Parenting is so much about ensuring the children behave well, observe bedtimes, tidy up, eat healthy food and keep clean. However, rules can be thrown out the window when grandparents come into the picture. Having been through the parenting experience from raising your child, you are much less goal-oriented on your grandchildren. You’ve learnt to relax, knowing that things will turn out fine even if you let one or two bad habits slide. Nonetheless, grandparents have to be mindful of the habits that parents are trying so hard to instil. Even if their concerns seem unreasonable to you, hearing them out assures them that their feelings are not being pushed aside. Parenting is never easy and that is why grandparents should refrain from making your children feel any more inadequate as parents.
Nobody is born with perfect parenting skills. Be gracious and accepting of your children as they grow into parenthood. Whether or not you are the primary caregiver of your grandchildren, the bond between a grandparent and a child will always remain wonderful and enriching.