'Grandparent Parenting'

The Challenges and Rewards of Raising Grandchildren...Who Would Have Thought...?



Who Would Have Thought?

That my husband and I would be 'grandparent parenting'... being responsible for the majority of the up-bringing of our grandson? And what a surprise to find out how much fun it is! We think the world of James. He is a sharp boy. He is 28 months and able to figure out most anything. He is starting to put words together in sentences and keeping us on the ball communicating with him. You have to listen to children. You just do!

What I have written about the parenting styles earlier, on this site, still stands as true. We are democratic ( as best we can be with a two year old). The most important thing to remember is that the caregiver needs to be consistent. We are teaching him everything, because his mind is clean and open. He needs to have boundaries and he needs to know that we do what we say we'll do.

It is so easy to teach James when we keep our word. He wants to have that knowledge. He craves to know where he stands. We are doing him the biggest favor we can, by showing him what is expected of him as he grows up.

Since he is not with us full time, he brings back his mother's behavior patterns. She grew up with no boundaries and doesn't know how to teach them. But as he grows up, he will adapt easier to our environment. We are learning a lot from her and especially from James.I must admit, that we are definitely more equipped now to help our grandson than we were with our sons.

Here are five valuable tips to help with bringing up your child or grandchild:

1. Relax and take it easy. When being with your little one, remember to be with him. ( that means give him or her your full attention and shut off the cell phone. Guess what? It takes messages).

2. Children are our teachers as well as our students, so keep an open mind.

3. Listen to what your children have to say. What they have to say is as important ( maybe even more important) than what the chairman of the board of your company has to say.

4. Take time to reflect when something has gone amiss. That five seconds will probably be the difference between making a reasonable decision and being sorry.

5. Enjoy your children and know that they will not be children forever. The last thing we need is regrets.

6. As I mentioned before, be consistent in your actions with them. Children need to know that they are safe with you. That means that they know what to expect because you are fair and predictable.

It is fun being a grandparent parent! Our wisdom and ability to go with the flow makes it such a rewarding experience.

Teach your children that they need nothing exterior to themselves to be happy - no person, place, or thing - and that true happiness is found within. Teach them that they are sufficient unto themselves.--- Neale Donald Walsch





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