Parenting may be one of the most rewarding endeavors anyone can undertake. It can also be filled with frustration, heartache and a sense of futility. As a parent, you simply accept that the bad goes with the good in this enormous burden of responsibility. You choose to do the disagreeable things, like meting out a harsh punishment, because you understand that you are responsible for turning that little person under your care into a contributing member of society.
That’s why becoming a grandparent is so rewarding. Finally, you have the ability to spoil the little ones you love best to your heart’s content. In fact, you practically have a license to do so. You’re the grandparent and indulgent behavior is pretty much expected.
Indulge Their Innocence
As a grandparent, you don’t have to introduce your grandchildren to the ways of the world. If anything, you can encourage a longer reliance on a world of make believe. As they get out more in the world and start going to school, there will be plenty of lessons to learn. Their parents can guide them through this, just as you once did when your children were small. When they are with grandma, it’s good just to feel safe and wanted and loved.
Being a Grandparent Is a Lot Like Being a Kid Again
You probably played with your children while they were growing up, but the pressures of raising a family likely prevented you from playing as much as you would have liked. The beauty of being a grandparent is having time. You play board games and tag. You experience all over again the joys of the swings at the playground. It’s likely that you’ll feel younger than you have in years. Enter wholeheartedly into the games. It will remind you what it is like to live in the moment, and you’ll feel an unalloyed joy that we don’t get to experience often enough as adults.
Spoiling Is Par for the Course
It’s easy to look back on the days when you were raising your children and recall the times you said “no.” You said it when they wanted to have donuts for dinner. You said it when they wanted to stay up past their bedtime. You said it when they wanted to skip brushing their teeth. One of the wonderful parts of being grandma is that you exist in a world of yes. If your grandchildren want to go to the toy store or have pizza for lunch, you can say yes. If they want to stay up past their bedtime when they’re with you, you can say yes. Being a bit indulgent doesn’t mean that your grandchildren won’t grow up to be perfectly fine citizens. It’s a gift you’re giving them, whether it is a tangible object or simply letting them occasionally have their way.
Letting Your Grandchild’s Parents Do the Parenting
Being a grandparent is like being a parent with all of the responsible parts removed. You can firmly and kindly let your grandchild know when he or she has crossed a behavioral line, but if things continue in the same vein, you can simply turn the child back over to their parent. After all, it is mom and dad’s job to mete out punishment, not yours. Let them take the lead when your grandchild is acting up, and take care not to disagree with them in front of the child.
Seeing Your Child Be the Disciplinarian
There’s hardly a grandparent on Earth who hasn’t seen a recalcitrant grandchild and a frustrated dad or mom without thinking they’ve seen this situation before. In fact, they can clearly recall countless occasions in which they were the frustrated parent at the end of their rope and their child seemed bent on misbehaving. It’s a nice case of witnessing that what goes around comes around, and it can be pretty satisfying to see the child who used to give you grief now receiving a dose of grief themselves from their own children. It might even bring you and your child closer together.
Carol is a mother, grandmother, auntie, and great grandmother of many. She is a blogger for Assisted Living Today, helping all families grow and live happy lives!
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