How to be a Grandfather
A new life opportunity - grandparenting
Hopefully there will come a time in your life when you are informed that you will become a grandparent. Much like when you found out you would be a parent, the news comes with a mixture of shock, excitement, mystery and suspense. While there are similarities, the experience is vastly different in many ways. Not better, not worse, but different!
As a grandfather, (or grandmother), you get a special opportunity to help raise a new person. This is like back when you had children of your own. Now the precious new life is the child of your child. They have the primary responsibility the new person. You contribute however you can. This will be different for each grandparent and even for each of your grandchildren. Realities of life dictate that some grandchildren are raised many miles away from grandparents. They often lead hectic lives. You may need to travel to visit them. If you are lucky, your grandchildren will live nearby. If you are really lucky, you may be able to help raise the grandchild.
As a grandparent, it is important to remember when you were a parent. You hopefully did everything right and raised a fine child who is now going to be a parent. Since they are the parent, it is their time to do everything right. You can coach and help out where possible, but the primary care duties rest with your child. Let them make their own decisions. They may make some mistakes, (as you did), but they will succeed. You can help make sure that they do. It's a different time now compared to when you were a young parent. That is true of each generation. Today's parents are likely to be busy and quite stressed. Rather than watch how they raise your grandchild, why not observe what they need? Maybe they need some chores done. Maybe some help with transporting the child to school or appointments. Grandparents are in a great position to help out by handling some aspect of life that the family finds hard to do. This may be a financial issue but it certainly doesn't have to be.
As your grandchild ages, you will get the opportunity to help with their development. You can give them some of your wisdom. They may not understand, however. Children today are born into a complicated, busy world. They will cope with issues that you have never had to handle. Their knowledge of technology and new school subjects may be quite beyond you. You can learn these topics yourself, if you wish, but you may not want to. It may be enough to provide support for your grandchild.
As a grandparent, you get an opportunity to help raise another child who is your legacy. You get a chance to do some of the good things the same way again. You have a lot of life experiences that can be of value to your grandchild. Your child will need to learn a lot too so you can help there as well. But the key to grandparenting is that you are the supporter. It's a great role to take. Just don't be surprised when your child is able to cope with child raising far better than you first thought they could.
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