The ever-changing face of a modern family. “Grandparent’s” as we know, are best, known for, spoiling, baking, and letting you eat all you want when you come over. They always say yes and they really rock when they let you do whatever you want. They even tell stories about your parents that made your parents seem human. (you know how most kids think their parents are aliens) They made visits a real treat! In addition, let us not forget holidays!
We can blame it on economy, loss of job, incarceration, drugs, divorce, or neglect.
Nevertheless, what happens when grandparents are put into the parental spot? What happens when you are not visiting and instead you are staying? What happens when a special relationship with your granddaughter turns into the worst nightmare?
Grandparents become the enemy! They are forced to set aside their retirement and do what they did best, parent! How does this affect the granddaughter? She may become angry, and afraid. The words insecure and embarrassment play a big role. She may have a lot of mixed up and bad feelings. She may even feel hate towards you. The key will be to encourage good feelings and ease her adjustment to her new home. Here are some tips:
• Sit down and discuss the situation
• Make sure you set up daily routines for mealtimes, bedtimes etc..
• Make some adjustments with the house to make it feel like home
• You and her work together to decorate her room (buy and make items)
• Set up a few rules (be consistent when carrying them out)
• Come up with a hobby that both of you can share
• Come up with some games that will build your relationship and make her feel secure and happy
• Read together
• Invest into a computer and let her teach you how to use (her, teaching you something will give her purpose)
• Join a health club together or group that involves being active
• Make good attempts to get your granddaughter involved in sports and clubs with her own peers
• Find stress relievers for yourself (taking care of yourself will be very important for her as well as yourself, overwhelmed and stressed can be very bad for your health)
• Take a break (get a babysitter while you go out for some relax time)
• Learn to say no for some things which would make life easier for her as well as you
• Join a support group for seniors (find listed below)
Grandparents are special people. I would like to recognize your worth and importance, by saying “thank you” for all that you do. It cannot be easy the second time around, but you are the best person for the job! Remember it’s not easy for your granddaughter either! Hello, new superhero! Good luck!
Live, Laugh and Love
“Making a difference in the world one person at a time”
There is lots of useful free information for grandparents. Much of it is available on the Internet. If your computer skills are a little rusty, you can find help at your public library. Here are some places to start: