How to Be a Good Grandparent

grandparents teaching their grandchildren how to ride bikes

What Does It Mean to Be a Grandparent?

Having a child is an enormous undertaking. It is hard to comprehend just how our lives will change when we become parents. Yet we persevere and enjoy the results whenever we look into the eyes of our children. Now, imagine that years have passed and your children are taking up the mantle of the parent. Do you know how to be a good grandparent? How can you become the best grandma or grandpa you can be?

Understanding your role as a grandparent is an important part of being a good grandparent. Do you want to pass on the family legacy? Is it important to be fondly remembered by your grandkids? Is helping your children cope with the trials and travails of parenthood a priority? These are all a part of grandparenting, but they are not what makes you a great one.

Good grandparents navigate the hurdles of life while still being there for the grandkids and their children. We want to help you succeed in this task, so we have gathered some handy tips to help you learn how to be a good grandparent.

How to Deal With the Generation Gap

As a grandparent one of the first things you must realize is that the times are changing, and they will never stop. Traditions that were a staple in your childhood may be taboo now-a-days. This may make grandparenting feel daunting, but remember, grandparents have dealt with these changes for generations before you. Here is how you can address some of these generational gap issues.

  • Do Some Research: There are tons of parenting and grandparenting books out there. Take a peek at a few to see what the current child-rearing trends are.
  • Pay Attention to Recalls: One of the reasons that child-rearing changes over time is the discovery of unsafe children’s products. This makes it hard to pass down baby items, since regulators may deem many old items unsafe. Do some research on any item or product you plan to give the grandbaby before you give it.
  • Ask the Parents: You may have years of parenting experience, but you are not raising the grandkids, your children are. That means you need to respect their parenting style and rules. Instead of giving parenting advice ask your children about their rules for the grandchild. Ask about your grandkid’s health, eating habits and sleep patterns.

Give Experiences Rather Than Gifts

It is tempting to try to give your grandchild the world, but just because you became a grandparent does not mean you have hit the financial jackpot. Giving your grandbabies all the toys and games they could ever want may not give them what they need, lasting and meaningful memories. However, taking your grandson who loves dinosaurs to a museum exhibit on the Jurassic Period will stick with him forever. Make fun memories, and while you are at it, share stories from when you or your children were young.

Avoiding Grandparent Rivalry

Sometimes it can be easy to forget that you are not the only grandparent in your grandkids’ lives. Whether you are their maternal or paternal grandparents there will almost always be other grandparents tied to their lives just as tightly as you. That means it is very important to not alienate yourselves by competing with one another. Nothing can cause family strife like petty one-upmanship.

So, if the other grandparents get to be around the grandkids because they live closer, do not take it personally. If the other grandparents are getting the grandbaby gifts that you cannot, do not let it get to you. Make your individual time with your grandchildren special in a way that only you can. Tell stories from your side of the family and take your grandkids to special locations close to where you live that they do not get to go to when at home.

Grandparents Can Get Support Too!

Being a good grandparent does not come down to a single issue. There are many activities, stories and gifts that only you can give your grandchild. Work with what you have and involve your children (the parents) as much as you can. Remember grandparents are about support as much as fun.

And if you are a new grandparent, and you find yourself in need of support, you can always turn to Grandparenting A to Z. Learning how to be a good grandparent does not have to be a solitary endeavor. We are here to be a resource for new grandparents as well as seasoned grandparenting veterans. Visit our blog or sign up for our monthly newsletter to make the most of our handy resources, tips and activities.

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