Becoming a grandparent

For years you have had control over everything that affects your life from the big things such as choosing a spouse, a house, a career, to little things such as what you are going to have for breakfast, which movie are your going to see, and which flowers to plant in your garden. Now you have no choice on when you are going to become a grandparent, even though it will affect your life a great deal. Becoming a grandparent can perhaps be as exciting or as daunting an experience as it was when you first became a parent.

Grandparenthood comes with a set of rewards and challenges, and some can find it harder than others to find a balance. One of the hardest things to resign yourself to is the fact that you are the grandparent and not the parent. Itís easy to look at the way your son or daughter is raising your grandchild and compare it to the way you raised your children. This may prompt you to give advice or share your experiences. While your intentions are good, this may be perceived as being threatening and judgemental. It is indeed helpful to express concerns, but acknowledge that your child is now an adult and has to find his or her own style of parenting.

Another common issue that arises and that often causes conflict within the family is the issue of spoiling. Itís tempting to succumb to your grandchildís every demand, resulting in overindulging them with expensive gifts and too much confectionery. This may stem from the fact that you couldnít provide your children with these things when they were growing up, or maybe you just canít say no to that cute face. When spoiling starts to challenge the rules set down by your grandchildís parents then you need to take a step back.

Becoming a grandparent is meant to be fun. Play games with your grandchild, listen and talk to them. There is something to be said about looking at the world through a childís eyes, and now that youíre not so busy, take the time and let them take you to places that you would not usually go to. You are not an outsider in their lives, instead you are an invaluable part of it. Get involved where you can, with their school or their sport, make a point of keeping in touch with them via telephone or email.

Most importantly, donít lose yourself or what you like doing with life. Becoming a grandparent is not a sign that you should give up and be bored for the rest of your life, it is a blessing, so enjoy it for all that it is worth.

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