It is a beautiful experience to become a grandparent, but it also brings its own challenges. From defining your position as a grandparent, to comply with boundaries and identifying which rules can be bent, here are 6 mistakes to avoid:
- Don’t Try To Take Control
Personal preferences vary for every couple, from revealing baby gender to names, and styles of parenting. Even though you might have the best of intentions, constant input of your thoughts, and views about how you’d do things can create unnecessary tension. Rather, support and respect the parental decisions they make, even if they are different from yours.
Remember, every parent must find the style that suits them best. Giving your support, experience, and advice will be deeply appreciated, particularly if the parents feel you are not judging them. Rather than trying to take control or impose your tactics or opinions, you should wait for them to be asked.
- Avoid Surprise Visits
When your grandbaby is born, it’s only natural that you want to spend as much time as possible with him or her. Depending on the location of your houses, you may get to see them on a regular basis and stand by the new parents to help them cope with their chores. Just remember to talk to them first before you come over.
It’s possible your child will be very grateful for any assistant you offer. Still, the new parents also wish to spend some alone time with their new baby. Instead of appearing unexpectedly or with late notice, call and plan a visit at a time that’s convenient for everyone.
- Being Afraid To Say No
Grandparents are of great help. Not only have you passed through this before, but you also wish to spend some time with your grandchild. Nevertheless, it’s vital that you learn to say no and are not willing to do what you can or want to do.
“Parents can inadvertently take advantage of grandparents, particularly if they know that grandparents enjoy spending time with their grandchildren,” clarifies Margaret Morgan, a lifestyle blogger with College Assignments and UK Top Writers.
“Instead, set boundaries early on and make sure that you explain to your own child the kind of role you want to have as a grandparent. By expressing your feelings honestly, you can all have a much more positive and fulfilling relationship and experience.”
- Lack Of Discipline
As grandparents, maintaining discipline while looking after your grandchild can be challenging or even uncomfortable sometimes. It’s natural to want to calm them down, mainly when they’re unhappy and then throw a tantrum. However, not enforcing discipline in such moments can indeed lead to impertinent behavior in the future. This can become a problem if you indulge your grandchild regularly on such occasions.
Ensure you set clear instructions and expectations when caring for your grandchild and that you consistently adhere to them. Above all, do not be afraid to discipline your grandchild when he or she gets into a dangerous situation. In the end, both they and your child will have more respect for you because you’re strict but fair.
- Violation of Fixed Rules
It’s normal, even expected, for some rules to be violated by grandparents, like giving the grandkids goodies that they usually wouldn’t be allowed to. However, breaching too many rules can backfire and bring about conflicts involving parents and grandparents.
A business writer at Best British Essays and Revieweal, Gary Kellum, said “You should always check with the parents about which rules are non-negotiable. For example, if parents have rules regarding safety such as wearing helmets, or maybe a limit on screen time. Whatever these rules are, make sure that you respect the parents’ decisions on these key points and enforce them when looking after your grandchild. It’s important for children to receive consistency when it comes to these key rules.”
- Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
To be a grandparent is a new experience, and while you’ve had a child yourself, a grandparent role is different. Therefore, it’s only natural that you have questions or make a mistake at times. The key to doing this is to make sure that if you make a mistake, speak openly about it and apologize. Likewise, if you’re hesitant about something, asking about it is not a problem. Your child will be pleased that you consulted them first and acknowledged their style of parenting and decisions.
To become a grandparent is one of the most fulfilling experiences, especially if you and your child have an honest and open relationship. Be respectful of their parental decisions, but also be evident about the type of role and relationship you want to develop as grandparents. Be willing to offer support and advice without fear of setting your own limits. Most of all, enjoy the experience!
With Gratitude and Love