A child benefits from having the unconditional love only grandparents can provide.
Just being a grandparent makes you an important part of the child's life. To a child, a grandparent is an adult who loves her, loves her parents and who her parent love. They provide her with a feeling of comfort and security, different from any other loving adult in the child's world.
Many grandparents love the opportunity to be a playmate to their grandchild. They read books, play games, cook treats. A grandparent may be the one a child turns to when he carries a burden too big to share with anyone else.
Your children's relationship with your parents will depend greatly on your own relationship with them. You all have the best interests of the children at heart, even if you don't see eye to eye.
Areas of conflict
You may worry that the grandparent is spoiling your little child. But the grandparent, meaning well, simply has a more lenient view of child-rearing. Conflicts often include disagreements about methods of childrearing or the degree of grandparent involvement in the child's life. Some grandparents lack respect for their own child's role as a parent. In other cases, parents assume that their own parents should be willing to drop everything to take care of their grandchildren.
Grandparents today have their own lives and they are living it. While they may make allowances for the 6 weeks post-pregnancy period, grandmothers aren't willing to take over as completely as they used to. Often, they live in different cities and look forward to being back home and their own routine. The current generation of young grandmoms do not fall into the stereotype of little old ladies ever willing to open their stock of homemade sweets and stories.
Dealing with your parents
Grandparents differ in how much they are willing to be involved. While some can hardly wait to have grandchildren, others feel they have done their bit in raising you. Some are willing to live with you are care for baby, while others think it is now your turn. Some genuinely look forward to spending time with little ones again. Or you find they are a little too eager to participate, you may have to make your limits clear. Some grandparents keep their distance because they don't want to interfere with how you bring up your children. Some are willing to take an older child for an evening, while others are not capable of handling them alone.
Make the most of whatever kind of grand parenting they offer; they are important in your child's life too. When you respect your parents' limits, the grandparent-grandchild connection can be the best gift you give your child.
For grandparents reading this
Just being a grandparent makes you important to children, but being a beloved grandparent is something that must be earned.
Don't be just a visitor
Entertaining can be a hassle for harried new parents, so make yourself a part of their lives by proving your importance. Babysit, do the shopping, take the children out. Let your visit be a time for the new mom to rest. And if you ever feel you're being taken for granted as a babysitter and you cannot do it, that's okay too. Find another way to help.
Spoiling: Good or Bad?
If spoiling means disregarding rules, overindulging or giving in to every craving, spoiling may be bad. If spoiling them means being there, playing games, being a security blanket, then play the role to your hearts content.
Read their favourite book, or make a special grandmom book. Years later, reading the book will bring back the good feelings for both of you.
Remember who sets the rules
Grandparents need to learn to step back, let children make the decisions. Bedtime, feeding time, bathtime, naptime, clothing, appropriate toys-those decisions belong to the parents.
You may also be interested in:
- The Indiaparenting Team