Saturday, February 5, 2011


Ron Howard has a television show entitled "Parenthood" which tells the story of an extended family and how everyone interacts and delves into the topic each week that no matter how old your kids get, you never stop being a parent.

My wife and I recently became grandparents, which means our daughter recently became a mother. No matter what generation you are part of, no books are Vulcan mind melds are available for making someone know everything there is to know about how to be a parent. Lots of books and doctors, such as Dr. Spock and Dr. Phil, giving you their opinions on what parents should and should not do to and for their kids. The lesson that I have learned through my experience is that all kids are unique and you have to learn life's lessons everyday.

Just because your kids have kids does not mean that you stop being your kids' parents. It means that you have new lessons to learn and new ways to learn how to work with, help and love your kids.

Being a grandparent is a whole new bailiwick. Most of the new challenges are enjoyable. Babies, whether they are your kids, grand kids, or just someone else's kids, are very simplistic; they want to feel loved, want to eat, sleep poop and be entertained. If they are upset, they let you know; if you don't pay attention to them when they are calmly expressing their displeasure, they will then voice it loudly in a screaming yell. Then it's your job to figure out what they really need or want. Is it a "change me I'm dirty" cry or "feed me I'm hungry" cry or "I'm so tired but I don't want to go to sleep" cry. If it is the later, you need to be strong enough to let the baby cry himself to sleep.

One of the coolest things about being the grandparent is spoiling the grand baby and then giving him back to his mom and dad. Another cool thing about being a grandparent, or a least the grandpa, is that when the baby makes a stinky, you can give the baby back to his parents and say he needs to be changed.

One of the less cool things about being a grandparent is trying to learn how to help your kids with their new issues or be able to walk away when they don't want your help.

One of the challenges of being a new grandparent is learning how to share again. Our daughter is fortunate in that her partner's parents are both alive as well and we have to share our grandson's time with them and they with us. The cool thing for the grand baby is that he gets double spoiled.

The biggest lesson for the grandparents to learn is to remember to tell your kids that you still love them and love them no less because their is a grand baby now.

One last reminder, make sure to perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as offering a night of babysitting of the grand-baby so the parents can have a couple of hours of quiet time with each other so they can remind each other that they still love one another and love one another no less just because they have a baby.

1 comment:

Susan Adcox said...

Very good advice! A common mistake that I see new grandparents making is ignoring their kids in favor of the grandbaby. Your children still need your love, even if they are parents. Actually, they probably need your love more.


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