Three Tips for Grandmas

Posted on: November 12th, 2011 by Kay Swatkowski

Three Tips for Grandmas

Support your  grandchildren’s parents

Blessed to live close to her young grandchildren, the devoted grandmother visited her son and daughter-in-law frequently – sometimes without advance warning.  Openly declaring that she believed her most important role was to correct the parenting mistakes she saw being made by her son and his wife, her well-meaning involvement deteriorated into criticism and meddling, eventually eroding precious family relationships.   Most young parents are already overwhelmed with family responsibilities and stress at work. They are consumed with self-doubt and worry about their own parenting skills. Criticism from parents or in-laws can be discouraging and can result in a family rift.  Our number one job as grandparents is to pray for, support and encourage our grandchildren’s parents.  They need our love and support and affirmation for their love and dedication as they raise their children.

You don’t have to bake cookies to be a good grandma.

Baking, doing crafts, having sleepovers are all fun activities for children to share with grandparents.  But, these activities do not define a good grandparent.  We need to be realistic in our expectations of ourselves and tailor our grandparenting to make the most of our strengths and abilities while accepting our limitations.  Do you love books?  Could you be the library grandma?  Do you garden or cook?  These are great skills to pass on to your grandchildren.  Understanding how God has created you and embracing your gifts and abilities allows you to offer your best to your grandchildren.  Resist the temptation to compare yourself to “super-grandma” and give your grandchildren the gift of your authentic self.

Don’t underestimate your value in the lives of your grandchildren.

A 2002 UK study revealed that children who are close to their grandparents have a more positive sense of well-being than children who are disconnected from grandparents.  They also discovered that children who spent time with grandparents felt they had an additional resource during times of crisis and depended upon grandparents for encouragement and problem solving skills.  Even if you are long distance grandparenting and are unable to have day to day contact, you can have a very positive effect on your grandchildren’s lives.  Use technology (email, facebook chats, video chats)  to stay connected.  As you are physically and financially able, make  plans to be present for major life events.  Your efforts will touch their hearts and make them feel valued and appreciated.

Don’t forget to pray for your grandchildren.  Check out my Prayer Guide for Grandparents on Kindle.

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One Response

  1. Linda Thomas says:

    Excellent advice!


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