Archive for the ‘Grandparenting’ Category

Do You Know The “Grandparent Rules”? Practice Them?

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Being Grandparents is special!  Those of you who are know what I mean. Those of you who will be, you have some wonderful times ahead. I am particularly conscious of this reality at the present time because both of our kids have brought wonderful grandchildren into our lives.

Our daughter, Brittany, and her husband David started this grandparent life a little over two years ago by birthing Hailey. Our son, Kris, and his wife Cara last May brought Kyla into the world. And now Brittany and David have recently told us that they are expecting again, next May seems to be the informed opinion.

These “kids” of ours are exceptional parents from every perspective imaginable. So proud of them. Sherry and I are trying to be the best grandparents. I believe most grandparents want to do that. I thought that perhaps a review of the “Grandparent Rules” might be in order, both as a refresher for us and perhaps for you, Respected Reader. These are the “Rules” I have developed based on my clinical experience as well as recommendations from other parenting professionals.

  1. Support your kids raising their kids. The grandkids are not your kids.
  2. Don’t give advice unless asked for by the parents.
  3. Learn how to connect with your grandchild. Be a positive influence in the grandkid’s life, without usurping the authority of the parents.
  4. Be there when needed when possible, but do not impose. Do not be “used” by parents who abdicate their responsibility.
  5. Don’t spoil the kids. Stay within the parameters of behavior/discipline/consequences established by the parents.
  6. Learn when to keep your mouth shut. Certain comments or observations are unnecessary and create bad feelings.
  7. You are not the only grandparents. Sharing and balance are needed with the other grandparents and members of the “extended” family.
  8. Work through and with the parents – not around them.
  9. Be familiar with the parents’ priorities involving safety, health, feeding, discipline, hygiene, etc… and reinforce their desires through our actions.
  10. Love ‘em with all your heart!

How about you? What are your thoughts about being a grandparent?  How good are you in this role? Dare you ask your child how you are perceived? It is a great opportunity to be a positive force in the development of another generation evolving – yours!

“The unexamined life is not worth living”   Socrates

Brittany is Having a Baby! Grand Parent Time is Arriving. What are the “Rules”?

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

      I’m excited!  Sherry and I are soon to be grandparents for the first time! Our daughter, Brittany, is pregnant and expecting on Labor Day (appropriate enough). Both Brittany and David are enthused about welcoming “Baby D” (Dixon is the family name) into their Lake Norman home. It is interesting to feel emotions not experienced before. They are powerful. “Daddy’s Girl” is having a baby!  I still remember watching  Father of the Bride with her when she was eight. Time flies.

     Recently Brittany sent us via e-mail a sonogram showing the child developing (size of a peach) and last week a video of her hearing the heart beat.  Interesting and affirming  picture and sound. Brittany is doing a great job of including us in her developing pregnancy, for which we are appreciative.

     I wonder what kind of grandparent I will be.  First, what to be called?  “Grandpa” felt ancient.  After sounding out a few other possibilities and getting feedback from family I settled on “Papa John”. (Did you know I also started a pizza franchise?)  Sherry has decided on “Nana”.  “Grandma” certainly doesn’t fit this forever young woman!

     Next question I asked myself, “Papa John”, are you going to practice what you preach? Having counseled many grandparents, their kids, and their kid’s kids, I know well most of the pitfalls that can exist in this new generational offspring’s family.

     My grandfathers were special to me in my growing up years.  I felt loved and cared for in a special way by each of them.  I hope to follow that grandfather tradition – and maybe add a touch or two!

     I’d like to share with you a few of the do’s and don’ts of being a good grandparent.  A few pertinent “rules” would include:

  1. Support your kids raising their kids.  The grandkids are not your kids.
  2. Don’t give advice unless asked for by the parents.
  3. Learn how to connect with, and be a positive influence in the grandkids’ life, without usurping the authority of the parents.
  4. Be there when needed, but do not impose.  Do not be “used” by parents who abdicate their responsibility.
  5. Don’t spoil the kids.  Stay within the parameters of behavior/discipline/rewards established by the parents.
  6. Learn when to keep your mouth shut. Certain comments or observations are unnecessary and create bad feelings.
  7. You are not the only grandparents – sharing and balance is needed with the other grandparents and members of the “extended” family.
  8. Work through and with the parents – not around them.
  9. Be familiar with the parents’ priorities involving safety, health, feeding, discipline, hygiene, etc… and reinforce their desires through your actions.
  10. Love ‘em with all your heart!

     I am enjoying this countdown period as I witness a special glow effervescent on Brittany’s face – and on Nana’s!  I look forward to welcome our “Georgia Peach” (even if the birth will be in North Carolina). Sure hope I can follow the “Rules”.

     How about you? What are your thoughts about being a grandparent.  How good are you in this role?  Or will you be?  It is a great opportunity to be a positive force in the development of another generation evolving – yours!