Congratulations, you’re a grandparent or you are about to be one! It’s a big deal – and an event you may have been anticipating for a long time. This transition brings challenges as well as joy. Here are ten tips to help you avoid common new-grandparent pitfalls and handle your new role with flair and grace.
Set the stage for smooth relationships. Right from the get-go, many expecting parents experience tension or a feeling of being torn between two – or even three or four – sets of grandparents forcefully asserting their wishes. It’s a recipe for stress that soon-to-be moms and dads definitely don’t need.
As much as you can, stay positive, be flexible, and go with the flow. Focus on supporting the expecting parents, rather than telling them what you want. They’ll appreciate it.
When it comes to visits, especially the all-important first visit to see the baby, be sensitive. You may not be invited to attend the birth or come to the hospital or birth center right afterward. Don’t be offended – it’s the new mom and dad’s decision to make. Same goes if they don’t jump on your baby-name suggestions.
It may make life easier for everyone if you communicate directly with the other grandparents – about events like a baby shower, for example – rather than going through the parents-to-be. If you haven’t met the other grandparents yet, ask for an introduction.
If you’re divorced from your adult child’s other parent, it’s a good time to fix any unmended fences. Like it or not, you’re going to be sharing grandparenting duties with your ex, as well as with his or her new spouse or partner if there is one. Don’t make an already sticky situation any more difficult.
Listen and defer. No matter how many kids you raised or how they turned out, your adult child and his or her spouse or partner are now in charge of the childrearing. Be cautious about offering opinions or advice unless asked directly. And even then, tread lightly and express yourself gently.
Go easy on the shopping. With a new grandchild on the way, it’s tempting to go on a shopping spree. But before you do, ask the parents-to-be what they need, what they don’t want, and whether there’s a baby registry or wish list you can consult before you buy anything. Or, if they want to wait to shop until after the baby is here.
Don’t take their choices personally. They’re advocates of co-sleeping? Don’t want to circumcise? Want to name their baby boy something you’re not crazy about? Honestly, it’s not your problem. Yes, you may feel a tad embarrassed sharing your grandson’s new moniker with your friends, but you didn’t name him, right? Just raise your eyebrows and report it with a smile.
Let bonding happen naturally. You’ve been so excited to meet the new baby – and then she wails nonstop whenever she’s in your arms and ignores your coos and funny faces. It’s disappointing, sure, but don’t fret that your relationship will always be so rocky.
Follow their rules. You’re used to being the one in charge, but this time it’s your child’s turn. That can be disconcerting, but you may find this role reversal refreshing as well. After all, with authority comes responsibility. Now it’s your turn to do what you’re told – and not worry about whether it’s the best way or not.
Give new parents a break. It’s easy to forget how overwhelming it is to be a new parent, and how hard it can be to accomplish the basics. This is where you can step in to save the day. During visits, offer to take care of your grandbaby while the parents nap or get other things done. Ask if you can help by running errands, making meals, or cleaning up. Some new parents are reluctant to ask grandparents to help, so you may get better results if you just jump in and do what’s needed, like filling the dishwasher or making sandwiches.
Now we know how much you love planning a party, so why not check out how to throw yourself (or a friend) the perfect GRAND-SHOWER. A previously written article on our GPL website will give you all the details you need for the best grand-shower anyone has ever seen! Enjoy this time; it’s about you too!! https://www.grandparentslink.com/grandshower/
*Portions of article sourced from babycenter.com