A Most Personal and Mindful Discovery as a Parent and Grandparent

a special feature from co-founder Kay Ziplow of Grandparentslink

First and foremost- Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!
I want to take this moment to share a most intimate discovery in the evolution of relationships for grandparents on a very personal level. And, what better day… where the celebration of love is so acknowledged and embraced.

Before we get to this subject as outlined above, truth be told, readers, subscribers, and friends frequently ask both my partner Leslie Zinberg and me about how we started grandparentslink.com and what was the driving force. For more in-depth information of this fun aspect of our evolution, go to ‘Our About Us’ page on our website here!

Now, here’s where the real story is- let me share with you all on a very personal note, my own experience and journey that has created and evolved for me as a parent of our daughter
who is the mother of our most cherished gift of all time- our two grandchildren.

Years ago when our daughter married, and then when she and her husband had children,my husband and I decided that we would collectively make every effort as a team to be mindful. We would to the best of our abilities and with the best of intentions bring to the expanded family a dimension of consideration, respect, and support for these two incredible young people bringing their own family to life, which as a gift from g-d we have the pleasure of enjoying and experiencing and growing with as well.

Grandma KK and PopPop from the onset of this branding of ‘grandparenting’ made a pact to make sure we understood our exact roles (ever-changing as the family dimension does) by understanding first the wishes of our grown children as parents and as a couple, and as individuals with their desires and wants for their family.  We have learned to control our personal urges to interject when we so want to, we have held back the impulse to correct or criticize, and we have re-trained ourselves as grandparents to put our own desires off the table and into a drawer as they are not crucial to the foundation of growth and development of our grandchildren unless and I underscore unless (and please take note) we have been directly asked our opinions, our concerns, or suggestions. This is what we call ‘GRANDparenting in training,’ as my husband has coined!

Here’s the most incredible thing of all….our ‘GRANDparenting’ has given both my husband and myself a new dimension in our relationship to explore. After all, I never knew what a great crayon artist PopPop is, or creative person with the glue gun, paper, and scissors- and excellent baker until we had this opportunity to seize the moments with our grandchildren and family. If you are open, if you pay attention, this growth and period of your lives can create and cultivate a new component of your own adult relationship together which just might surprise you! I know it did for ‘poppop’ and I.

I share with you all as grandparents an important message- this time of our lives is the opportunity of a lifetime to live and grow with a whole new generation. They need to know who we are as individuals, and there are so many ways to show them – but the one piece of real advice from my heart is:

Practice a little mindfulness. Take note of the needs of the family as a unit, and put the parents and their desires, wishes and dreams first. You want them to succeed and they will with all the love and support and care you offer as their parents, which you always will be.

Be flexible, be open, be authentic, and genuine. Remember, it may not be your way, but there are infinite recipes out there for the perfect brownie and guess what- it doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be sincere.

Look for the goodness; seek truth, love, and healthy relationships in your family. What a happy place it can be for all.