As grandparents we are often called upon to babysit, lend money or pick up the slack in some way. However, we play a much more important role.
We sit in a strange place as parents of parents. Never before in the history of the world have so many people been alive to help raise and influence their grandchildren in such a positive way.
Many of our grandparents had already passed away or were too elderly to offer the same support we can to our children’s families.
1. Offer a different point of view
When we spend time with our grandchildren we can help them do better at school, and be conscientious community-minded members by offering them a different point of view.
We can show them that there is a different way of doing things than what they see on television or hear in the playground. We can point out that some people behave one way, but that’s not the only way to respond to a certain situation.
2. Support parents
We can support our children to be the best parents they can be by agreeing to keep to their rules and boundaries whether we believe in them or not. All too often, grandparents bend the rules or go behind mom or dad’s back, and the long term consequences can be quite harmful.
By supporting our grandchildren’s parents in a slightly different way we are showing that we are all on the same page. This gives our grandchildren a lot more confidence and security, and while they may complain about strict boundaries, in the end it is love and respect that is keeping them safe within them.
3. Add more compassion and kindness
There is no one who thinks the world has enough compassion and kindness. As grandparents, and individuals, we are given the opportunity to demonstrate how we show compassion and kindness to the things we love.
Perhaps it is our gardens, our pets or our friends that marks us as different from our grandchildren’s parents. Perhaps it’s is our love of sailing or baking that is different. Our hobbies often give us the opportunity to show others what we care about, and how we show compassion and kindness to others who share our passions.
Being a grandparent can be tough and may mean we often feel left out of our grandchildren’s lives. However, if you make the effort to share, support and show compassion you will find your grandkids will feel a connection to you that is deep and strong.