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Grandparenthood Rewards

No matter how much others brag and express their delight in grandchildren, nothing compares to having your own. These wonderful protégés are to be loved and protected in unique ways not just because they are the children or your children but because they are so special. They usually arrive one at a time (although twins and triplets may occur) so you have time to enjoy each with great one-on-one time. While you may still be working outside of the home, grandchildren enter the home to fill weekends and evenings with love and laughter, and then as bedtime nears or Sunday daylight fades, they go to their home and you are left to recover and bask in the afterglow of these tender hearts.

Point Number 1 – You are responsible but not totally responsible. You want to set standards and follow guidelines to enhance the positive growth and attitude of each child but you do not have to shoulder the weight of homework, washing clothes, cleaning rooms, and other chores and child-rearing practices. Instead you play in the yard, build lock-block structures, eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and giggle. Since finances are usually eased later in life, grandparents can purchases clothes, shoes, and toys that might have been impossible at an earlier date or you can make trips to Disneyland or the movies just because you want to.

Point Number 2 – Grandkids pretty much love unconditionally. While they may fuss and fume a little as kids are won’t to do, most children are pleasers and few things are more important than pleasing Grandma and Grandpa. This pleasing is not for money or bribes, but rather for genuine love. Good behavior buys attention, something that frazzled, working parents may have little of to spare, but grandparents have an abundance. Love heals all, enriches all, and makes life beautiful.

Point Number 3 – Impatience or patience, depending on your outlook and critique, reign with grandparents. Grandparents may be old and grouchy as sometimes happens with as the years plunge by, but they seem to have lots of patience. If Little Suzy wants to color with only blue crayons, Grandma gladly agrees. If Wee Willie insists on one more wagon ride around the block, Ol’ Gramps is certain to consent. After all, out-of-doors and sunshine are healthy, happy treats. If the family is in a hurry to head out the door to dinner, grandparents combine with infinite patience to help little ones into coats and shoes, wiping runny noses and grabbing diapers in route for the door. They know that nagging rarely works (impatience) and that simple games of assistance (patience) usually do.


How To Know Where The Grandparenting Road Leads

I’m the kind of grandparent I wanted when I was growing up…

It’s pretty simple actually, my family was close knit, tight, and fun loving, but my grandparents were present, involved, and active in my life. Well, two of them were…

Dad’s father passed before I was born. Cancer stole him away and left in his place a step-grandmother who was mentally and emotionally challenged during the time I knew her. His mother was a different story, one I most likely won’t share beyond acknowledging that she existed on a far different plain that I ever might have been able to understand. Her involvement in my life was minimal, by her choice.

The grandparents who lived across the street from me during my youth were active, involved, and ‘grandparently’ in most instances. They appeared as if by magic whenever my parents needed backup, or they wanted to see us. They worked in their yard early in the morning, and my favorite early memories are waking up to my grandmother whistling “Red Wing.” My grandfather would work in the shop, work in the garden, or randomly walk across the street to take my sister or I back to his place to ‘work’ with him.

We spent many days helping Grandma prepare a meal, bake cookies or cakes, or sew new curtains, clothing, or some other craft. I learned to sew on a treadle machine at my grandmother’s side.

The road to being a good grandparent has many forks, and you get to choose those forks as your grandchildren are born, as they grow, and as they get older. The fork you choose will often determine your relationships with them, with your children, or later with your great grandchildren. I remember many of my parent’s friends saying, “I’m not the babysitter. I raised my own children.”

Growing up, I knew I wanted to be involved, as a parent, and as a grandparent. I wanted to be the grandparent who stuck around, had fun with the grands, and showed up for events, parties, and when needed. I didn’t want to just be there for the good times, I wanted to be counted on when I was needed too.

As a grandparent, I’ve seen all the options. I’ve even seen forks in the road where life could have taken a variety of turns. Each time… At every fork… I’ve looked at the road ahead and chosen to be an active part of my grandchildren’s lives. I’ve chosen to be an active part of my children’s lives.