How to enjoy being a grandparent

When we were new grandparents we were not initially sure if it would feel the same as parenting? Luckily, we had a number of older friends with grandchildren of their own, and must admit to acting like sponges whenever we were around them, ready to soak up any gems of knowledge they shared. Keep reading to see what we discovered.

One of the best things we were initially given to read was an item by Gene Perret who wrote in part: “What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars worth of pleasure.”

Our friends explained the joy of sharing precious little babies during short periods of the day, with none of the responsibilities of night-time waking, walking the floor at 2am in pyjamas waiting for baby to go to sleep, and the multitude of other parent-type duties. As grandparents (generally speaking) you get to enjoy them when they visit, or stay for short periods of time, and then they are gone until next visit. They go home with their parents, and you put your feet up with a glass of something nice to relax!

Any time we saw or looked after a grandchild, we discovered that we really looked forward to noticing the tiny, almost imperceptible changes that had occurred since we saw them last – that different smile, a twinkle in the eye and a developing sense of humour, or the latest things they have learned from school. Every visit seem to be different and they of course loved to show off their latest skill in counting, spelling, painting or some other activity.

Of course as a grandparent, there are responsibilities all of their own, and it is one we take very seriously. As a parent, one of the first things that occurred to us was how busy life had suddenly become. If we weren’t feeding baby, we were changing nappies, rocking to sleep, soothing tummy aches, working and sleeping ourselves, and starting all over again – life appeared to be a very hectic cycle.

As a grandparent, time is on your side, and this allows for much more quality time with the child whenever you see them. Of course some of this can be great play time, but as they grow, it also allows for time to have input into those important issues in life. Begin to speak to them at a very early age about some big life issues:

  • Telling the truth
  • Sharing their feelings
  • Learning continuously
  • The importance of listening in a conversation
  • Being able to laugh
  • Enjoying their spirituality
  • Exploring life and being inquisitive
  • Never being afraid of failing
  • Having and working towards goals
  • Being a problem-solver, not a problem-bringer.

As grandchildren grow they slow down enough to actually listen to you when they visit, instead of being a ball of energy rushing here, there and everywhere. They have time to sit and talk – and observe. Let them see that your words match your actions, and that you can be a good role model for them to look up to. Help them to understand this world and their place in it. Be encouraging and positive and never, ever put them down or let them doubt their own abilities.

Above all, don’t expect them to be perfect – be happy when above all else, they can be themselves.

Living each adventure, 
Christine and Trevor
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure.

How to enjoy being a grandparent
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