One of the great joys of life is learning you will soon be a grandparent.
Grandparents have a unique, distinct role in the lives of their grandchildren that’s irreplaceable. It’s a relationship that has its own special bond.
You can have an immeasurably positive impact on your grandchild’s life and childhood, but it’s also a big responsibility.
So, what should you expect when you’re new to this whole thing?
Besides the anticipation of the expected arrival, there are both choppy and smooth waters to navigate when you’re taking on the role of being a grandparent.
Here are some pieces of advice for grandparents that can help you find your way.
Becoming a Grandparent: 4 Things to Expect (and How to Deal with Them)
The arrival of your first grandchild is exhilarating, scary, surprising, and special.
It’s a time you’ll always remember years down the road.
You may feel one or all of the following:
1. You’ll Want to Offer Parenting Advice
When your child becomes a parent, you may have mixed feelings. Your baby has a baby. Are they really ready for it?
Naturally, during this time you’ll look back on your own experience raising children. You may think that you have all the answers because you lived through lots of your own parenting successes and mistakes. There’s no reason for your child to make the same ones, right?
Here’s the thing:
Your intentions are pure, but you must step back despite your feelings. You may want to help, but your child will probably only see it as interfering.
Instead of stepping in and offering advice whether the new parents want it or not, wait to be asked.
Be gentle about sharing wisdom, and always stay silent even if you disagree with a certain parenting choice.
Long story short: Unless you’re truly worried about your grandchild’s well-being or the parents are behaving irresponsibly, you need to let them parent their way.
2. You’ll Feel Miffed That You’re Not Getting Enough Quality Time
One of the realities of being a new grandparent is the fact that you’re not the only one. There are other sets of relatives who want the same amount of visits and quality time.
During this sensitive period, when the parents may feel pushed and pulled by the wants and desires of their respective families, it’s best to be flexible.
Go with the flow, and don’t be too demanding.
You’ll have plenty of time too “ooh” and “ah” over your new grandchild. Giving the parents the time and space to catch their breaths will make things easier for everybody.
3. You’ll Want to Spoil Your Grandchild Rotten
As first-time grandparents, you’ll enjoy the benefits of having children without the responsibilities. You get to play with and snuggle your grandkids, but at the end of the day, the parents do the disciplining.
In this scenario, it’s easy to spoil your grandkids. The temptation to do can be hard to resist, but you should make an effort.
For instance, if you go all out buying gifts and clothes, the parents may be left with too much stuff that they’ll never use. They may even prefer to have a house free from excess.
In this circumstance, don’t go crazy with gifts. Defer to the parents, ask them what they need/want, and be conscious of their living situation.
4. You’ll Want to Bond Immediately
You may have a picture in your head of how your first meeting with your grandchild will go. You will be expecting an instant bond, but that’s not always how it works.
For example, what if your grandchild screams every time you hold him or her? This is definitely not ideal for any grandparent.
In a situation where the new baby doesn’t take to you immediately, be patient.
Keep working on building trust and familiarity. Eventually, the bond will blossom in its own time.
After all, babies can be fickle – once he or she is old enough to actually recognize you and call you by name, you’ll forget about the rest.
Being a New Grandparent Is a Joy and a Challenge
Nobody said being a grandparent would be easy. Though it’s not all a walk in the park, it will also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
To sum up, be mindful of what the parents need once the child arrives. Give them space, be flexible, and have patience. The journey is just beginning in this new phase of family life. Pretty soon, you’ll be enjoying lots of quality time with your first grandchild.