Becoming a grandparent is an exhilarating and rewarding experience; welcoming a new baby in the family after a long gap is exciting, fun-filled, but also full of challenges. It’s a much anticipated, cherished, and brand-new role in our lives.
In our country where a joint family system is still in place, grandparents are still energetic, are fully involved, and command respect as well as authority, grandparenting comes with a new set of responsibilities, it’s a whole new ballgame!
I have been having frank, insightful talks with my close relatives, friends, and colleagues. They shared their grandparenting issues, how they tackled them? What did they learn from their experiences while going through this phase of life?
I have tried to sum up their advice, incorporated their wisdom, also I have done some research on this important subject to come up with just three simple rules for the new grandparents.
Three Golden Rules……
A) You are a grandparent, not a parent.
Friends, we should enjoy our grandchildren, play with them, have fun, but hand them over to the parents at the end of the day, let them deal with the nightly duties, early morning tantrums, and other basic day-to-day requirements. We should step in only when asked, then too not at the cost of our health or our own lifestyle.
Let the parents enjoy this beautiful time of their life, allow them to bond together as a new, young family.
Choosing the name for the baby is the parent’s prerogative, we may give suggestions, whatever name they decide on, our reaction should be,” What a beautiful name, we love it”.
B) Don’t get into competition with the other set of grandparents.
In our Indian society, paternal grandparents inherently feel more important, more in charge, they treat the maternal grandparents as guests/ outsiders, while it is also an accepted fact that a young mother feels more comfortable and closer to her own parents.
Avoid getting into one-upmanship, don’t flaunt your status, and never ever criticize the gifts/ things/ advice given lovingly to the grandkids by the other set of grandparents. This can cause a long-term rift in relationships.
Instead, remain calm, maintain social decorum and be cordial, remember all grandparents love their grandchildren and try to do their best for them. There is no need to get into power games!
C)Encourage the new parents, from time to time give positive comments.
Tell the young couple,” You guys are doing a great job”. Be appreciative of all their efforts.
As mentioned in my last blog, a lot of things have changed since we raised our children. Many times one is tempted to point out the futility of the baby-care fads these young parents follow, just keep your mouth shut, and avoid the dialogue,” In our days we used to…. blah…blah…blah”, it may be taken as criticism.
Dearies, follow the thumb rule… Give advice only when you are asked, that too in such a manner that the parents feel as though it’s their idea only!
Just follow these three simple tips,
I assure you, you will create a joyous, happy and harmonious atmosphere,
Your grandkids can sense the positive vibes,
You will be the much-loved grandparents,
All the best, do share your views friends,