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Grandparents – Help or Hindrance?

GrandparentsGrandma and grandpa play a big role in their grandchildren’s life and the kids love it, or perhaps more accurately, they love to be spoiled by their grandparents. Parents have to deal with the aftermath of picking up the pieces and going back to how they want it to be in their own households.

Grandparents are people with a second chance at investing in a young life. They love to babysit their grandchildren and generally want to be involved, and can play an important role in being -additional’ parents.

 

Hinder

Some grandparents, though, will spoil their grandchildren too much and question the disciplinary actions of the parents, and this can become a problem for the parents. Both parents and grandparents should bear in mind that they have to work together to do what is in the best interest of the children – differences of opinion should be put aside and the interest of the young put forward; everyone has to be on the same page.

There is a thin line here. For example, let’s say a mother tells her child that she cannot have chocolate for whatever reason. When the child goes to visit the grandmother, she gives the child chocolate and tells the child not to tell the mother. The grandmother is working against the mother and this can cause great difficulty in the adult relationship. It can also cause the child to feel confused and develop a sense of dislike for the parent who is trying to keep the chocolate out of the mouth of the child, as well as distorting the child’s sense of honesty.

There are also some nosy grandparents who will always try to interfere with how parents discipline and bring up their children. This should certainly be avoided at all cost, although it can strain a relationship in trying to do so. It’s fine to listen to a parent who wants to help you with your parenting skills, but you have to all discuss what is allowed and what is not, what kind of discipline, punishment and rewards are okay in your house and what are not.

 

Help

Grandparents can bring much wisdom to the table though, years of learning from mistakes and experiences developed and refined over time can offer a lot to young ears. Most grandchildren love to sit and hear their grandparents tell stories of long ago. In most of these stories the grandparents will teach the child current life lessons. Some grandchildren will call grandma or grandpa first before talking to their own parents about a problem that they are going through. It is comforting to know that a child has an adult that they can trust; rather than relying solely on their inexperienced peers to educate and inform them.

Another role that grandparents can provide is helping in taking and collecting children to and from school or various appointments. Parents may be unavailable due to work commitments and having a reliable trustworthy (and cheap!) taxi can be of great relief – the child may even get a warm meal and a safe place to stay until the parent comes home. This is really a blessing to a lot of parents – to have someone that they, too, can trust to watch over their children is tremendously valuable.

Grandparents have already done their own child rearing and in a lot of cases, they will gladly help, but you should be aware that they do still have their own lives and may want to enjoy their retired lifestyle of traveling or going on vacations. As long as you accept this, everyone can work around this and get involved in the children’s life in a positive way. In some instances, grandparents can take their grandchildren along with them on vacation trips and free up the parent’s time to spend with each other.

 

 – Gina

 

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