How to Be an Amazing Grandma
Becoming a grandma is an entirely new experience in a woman’s life. As a grandmother, you will become a source of comfort, love, and support for a new generation in your family. You will get to see your grandchildren grow up, released from the stress of being a primary caregiver.
In other words, as a grandmother, you have the option of deciding how much you will contribute to the extended family. For example, you can opt out of child care or disciplining duty or be fully on board with your grandchildren’s upbringing.
How Can I Be the Best Grandma?
It is up to you and your family to determine how much you will be involved in the lives of your grandchildren. However, make sure to communicate openly with everyone involved and keep the child’s best interests in mind at all times.
So, here are a few tips on how to be an amazing grandma and enrich your grandchild’s childhood.
Becoming a parent is fantastic, but it can also be an overwhelming experience. So, new parents will need a great deal of support. However, offer advice only when asked and make sure to do so in a non-judgmental manner. Allow the new parents to find their way and figure out parenting for themselves. The new parents will be relieved of stress when they know that they can rely on you.
Learn to Let Go of Control
The birth of a grandchild not only gives you the opportunity to lavish love and attention on that new little being. It also alters the family hierarchy; suddenly, you are no longer in charge. It is your responsibility as a wonderful grandmother to follow the rules of the new parents. Be there for a new family, but not in the way.
So, don’t turn into Jack Byrnes. Instead, allow the new parents to establish their own “circle of trust.” Then, accept that you might not be a part of it.
Give Only What You Can
You may believe that a new grandmother’s role requires you to be selfless and sacrificing. However, even if the new parents want you entirely on board, you still owe your time (even if you are retired). So don’t bite off more than you can chew, allowing your childcare services to become a burden.
Instead, plan your childcare schedule to ensure these arrangements work for everyone involved.
Be Someone in Whom Your Grandchild Can Confide
Parents are generally seen as understanding and non-judgmental. And children benefit from having someone to offer an alternative viewpoint to their parents. So, to be an amazing grandma, make sure to earn your grandchild’s trust. Listen to them and encourage them to open up.
Maintain regular contact with your grandchild and keep track of their interests and hobbies to demonstrate that you have been listening to and supporting them.
Make Certain That Your Home is Safe
If you are going to be involved in childcare, you must provide a safe environment for a young explorer. So, before your grandchild arrives, inspect your home for safety and keep anything that could be a hazard out of reach.
A Little Bit of Rule Breaking Won’t Hurt
Most kids enjoy staying with grandparents because they know the rules at grandma’s are less strict than at home. So, allow your grandchildren to stay up late from time to time. Or treat them with their favorite candy.
Remember that a little bit of breaking rules can be harmless as long as you don’t violate clear rules established by the parents.
What Are Grandmas Known For?
A grandma is an ultimate friend, maybe the best your grandkids will ever have. The list of reasons why a grandma is the best is nearly endless, but here are a few things grandmas are known for:
- Grandma exhibits endless, unconditional love.
- She listens patiently to everything you say.
- Grandma cooks the best food.
- She provides comfort and understanding even when no one else does.
- She is selfless.
- Grandma is patient and non-judgmental.
- She gives the best advice.
What are the Grandmother’s Duties?
Your responsibilities as a grandmother will vary depending on how involved you want to be and how your grandchild’s parents feel about it. However, as your grandchild grows and new grandkids join the family, your duties may shift.
An amazing grandma knows how to make her grandchildren feel loved and a bit spoiled while remaining within her boundaries.
The most important part of grandma’s responsibilities is bonding with a grandchild in a relationship filled with love and care.
In addition, here are some other roles and boundaries of being a grandma:
- An amazing grandma spends quality time with grandchildren.
- She tells stories about family history.
- She is there for grandchildren’s milestones.
- An amazing grandma teaches grandkids about the world.
- She is a grandchildren’s confidant.
- She respects the grandchildren’s parents.
- An amazing grandma the role in a grandchild’s life.
- She provides a babysitting service on necessary date nights.
- She maintains her own life.
What Should Grandparents Not Do?
The role of grandparents includes a variety of responsibilities, ranging from childcare to providing advice to new parents. However, every grandparent should establish and maintain boundaries for their duties.
Even the most careful grandparents can make slipups now and then, whether by going against the parents’ wishes or insisting on different parenting strategies.
Here are some things grandparents should never do:
- Pick favorites.
- Give advice when not asked to.
- Suggest (or worse, insist on) names for a new baby.
- Go against the parents’ rules or disregard their rules about discipline.
- Break meal and bedtime rules.
- Criticize parents in front of grandparents.
- Repeat your parenting strategies.
- Compare grandchildren to their parents.
- Reward challenging behaviors.
- Provide unlimited screen time.
- Post about grandkids on social media without parents’ permission.
- Spoil grandchildren too much.
- Provide an unlimited amount of treats.
- Criticize parents’ disciplining methods, educational choices, and other decisions.
- Ask grandchildren to reveal secrets about their parents.
- Shower grandchildren with gifts.
What is a Toxic Grandparent?
Relationships with toxic people typically make us feel insecure, unhappy, and emotionally exhausted. A toxic person can happen to be a grandparent, draining everyone around them.
A toxic grandparent is not looking out for their grandchildren’s best interests. Toxic individuals are typically self-centered and manipulative. They seek attention and praise, never accepting responsibility for their own words or actions.
A Toxic Grandparent is Self-Centered
A narcissistic grandparent is overly self-absorbed, possessive, controlling, and incapable of forming healthy relationships. They usually compete with their children or pick favorites among the grandchildren.
They Don’t Respect Boundaries
A toxic grandparent will disregard parents’ and grandchildren’s boundaries. They don’t understand that their children and grandchildren need space and privacy. Your toxic grandparent may show up uninvited or insist you spend holidays with them, disregarding other grandparents and relatives.
They may insist on their own disciplining methods and withdraw assistance and support if they don’t get their way. Also, a toxic grandparent may play a victim, complaining or accusing you of a lack of affection and attention.
A Toxic Grandparent Disrespects Parental Authority
Toxic grandparents don’t let parents be in charge. They deny the parents’ autonomy and responsibility, insisting on their own rules and imposing their will. At the same time, a toxic grandparent may be in denial of their own flaws and mistakes.
How Old Should a Grandma Be?
According to research, the average American becomes a grandparent in their 50s. According to a recent AARP study, 95% of participants had at least one grandchild before the age of 65. Many couples nowadays become parents in their late 30s, so the age of first-time grandparents is steadily growing. Regardless of their age, most grandparents in western cultures are much more open-minded and supportive of their grandkid’s life choices.
How Can I Be the Best Grandma?
To be the best grandma possible:
- Make your grandchildren feel valued for who they are.
- Let their parents know they can rely on you, but keep your limits in mind.
- Respect parental authority and rules, and learn the rules that a grandmother should never break.
- Also, if you want to be the best grandma, make sure you get along with the other set of grandparents rather than viewing them as rivals.
- Don’t be afraid to be silly with your grandchildren, but also teach them essential life lessons.
- Above all, be someone to whom your grandchildren can turn for affection, bonding, and support.
What Should a New Grandma Do?
Becoming a grandparent can be one of the most exciting moments in your life. To be an amazing grandma, make sure you’re well prepared for this new role. Offer the right sort of help to new parents, such as a home-cooked meal or taking care of laundry.
Be discreet and allow the new parents to get to know their baby and some alone time. Then, accept that you have no control and accept the parents’ rules.
So, don’t buy excessive gifts, give unwanted advice, or spoil your grandchildren too much. Remember that the backbone of being a good grandma is respect—for the parents’ wishes, your grandchild’s well-being, and your own time and needs.