One of the directions I’d like to take my blog is into the area of graceful aging. We’re all aging, right? Even if we’re still in our 20’s and 30’s, it’s never too early to begin to think about where we want to be in 5, 10, even 30 years. I can think of SO many things I wish I’d known back in those years that would have made my life today a lot easier.
Today’s topic is grandmothering. If you’re a young mom, chances are HUGE that you will also one day be a GRANDmom! If you’re in the middle of rearing your own children, be aware that how they are raised will heavily influence how they parent their own little bitties. And if your nest is empty and you are facing the grandparenting years, these grandparenting tips and free printable are for you!
Here are just a few things that I think an effective grandparent should do:
- Tell them repeatedly that God has a plan for their life – because He does. I think we tried to do this with our girls, but this is something every child needs to know. No child is insignificant or worthless, and they should never be made to feel such – they are destined for something great! Along with that, tell them that you love them – often!
- Support and reinforce Mom and Dad’s parenting style. If mommy and daddy are trying to potty train, then you can help greatly by continuing that when the toddler comes to Grandma’s house. Or if they use ‘time-out’ as a consequence to throwing toys, then you use it too. I’m not saying it’s not ok to spoil those grandbabies a bit, but you don’t accomplish much by letting the child divide and conquer. (The obvious exception to this rule is in the case of abuse of any kind.)
- Read with them. Yeah, this is a no-brainer, but soooo essential! The bond that is developed between you and little person will go far beyond books. They will love sitting with you to enjoy an activity together.
- Cook with them. Often the things that Mom may not have time for, Grandma can make time for! One of my kids’ best memories of my mother is when she had all her grandkids over in December for ‘Cookie-Baking Day’. She put sheets down over most of the floors, got aprons for each of them, and they made and decorated sugar cookies. Then they portioned them out: some to take home and some to package into tins to deliver to neighbors. Then they would go as a group to some of the close neighbors, caroling as they went! It sounds like something from a Norman Rockwell painting, but I promise it really happened! And last but not least…
- Listen to them. You may have had a similar experience in your childhood, but often a child feels freer to share their thoughts with a grandparent than with a parent. Not sure why this happens, but it’s very common. Take the time to really listen to what they have to say – it could be very important – and can pave the way for openness during the teen years when kids often are much more reluctant to talk about their feelings!
And to help remind you that each of us is destined for something great, I’ve created this free printable just for you! Perfect for printing out for a child’s bedroom, or for decor anywhere you choose! Just click on the printable below to open the google doc and you can then print out your free printable! (Note: watermark will not appear on your printable!)
Go… Be great!
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All great advice. I have 5 grandbabies (and more to come), all very close in age, and they add so much joy to my life. They are funny and sweet and loving and adventurous which allows me to be all of those things once again.