Grandparents are said to be the best friends of their grandchildren. They support their grandchildren in their mischievous actions and still love them unconditionally. Their caring deeds and amazing stories make this relationship an unbreakable bond of laughter and love.
Despite loving grandchildren unconditionally, raising them in the absence of their parents may sometime become challenging. To ease out with the challenging situation, some useful tips to Grandparents are listed in this blog, which will help them while raising grandchildren.
For many, grandparenting means to play and have fun with the grandchild, to chit-chat over the telephone and enjoy the conversation with grandkids, to enjoy vacations with kids at home, etc. However, there can be some situations in life when you, as a grandparent, have to take the ownership of your grandchild because the parents of your grandchild are not available to shoulder this responsibility. It can be due to several reasons - divorce, death, work schedule, teenage pregnancy, etc.
Raising grandchildren at old age can not only be tiring and stressful but also can be challenging. The traditional concept of a grandparent - grandchildren relationship has to be forgone. The happy retirement time or a happy old-age time, which was envisioned before, needs to give up. Rather, you, though being a grandparent, have to come back in the old routine of your parenting days - fixed daily routine, meals, homework, doctor's routine check-up, etc.
However, this challenging situation has got some positive aspects too. While raising your grandchildren you will get extra moments to connect with your (grand)child. You may feel rejuvenated to meet much younger people at your grandchild's PTM, sports day, and other school's social gathering. You will feel more satisfaction to see that you are providing a safe, happy and nurturing environment to your (grand)child despite in the absence of his parents.
TIP 1: ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEELINGS
It is absolutely fine and normal if you feel a lot of burden of mixed emotions. These emotions can be positive as well as negative. Under positive emotions, you will feel the happiness to see your grandchildren growing and learning something new daily, the unconditional love you feel for them, and satisfaction that you are ‘still’ capable of providing a safer environment to your (grand)children. Whereas, negative emotions can be the feeling of weakness, anger, and the fear of losing them when they grow old.
Positive emotions are easy to express whereas the negative emotions are difficult and take some time to come out. Therefore, do not feel bad if you feel negative, sometimes. It is normal to feel for love and hate at this age when you were expecting your responsibilities to get reduced. Hence, acknowledge your feelings, this will not going to reduce your love for your (grand)children.
What you can do when you feel loaded with emotions? It is a very known fact that you do not have that much energy at this age which you used to have in your younger days. But the experience of raising a child which you have is commendable. The knowledge and wisdom which you have gained through your experience and age cannot be ignored. Hence, take advantage of your knowledge, and experience and keep moving ahead.
TIP 2: DO NOT IGNORE YOURSELF
It may happen that while looking after grandkids you may not get time to sit and relax which may further give you stress and exhaustion. Therefore, if this situation occurs, then take out some time for yourself too. Sit for a while and relax, practice exercise, have your medicines on-time, enjoy good meals, etc. By doing this you are not ignoring or overlooking your (grand)child's wellbeing, neither you are leading a luxurious life. This is something which you need the most at this age of yours. Remember, if you stay healthy then only you can keep your grandkids in a healthy state. If you are stressed and emotionally depleted, you can not provide a safe and happy environment for the children. Hence it is vital to care for your mental and physical wellbeing and do not ignore yourself.
Moreover, in any case, you need someone's help, do not hesitate to ask for it. If your grandchildren can help you, take their help. There is nothing wrong with this. We do not feel so, kids are smarter than we can think of.
By what ways grandparents can ask for help? It is good if you seek support from others. Find someone with whom you can share and discuss what you are going through. It will help you to cope up your stress and tiredness which comes as a result of raising children at an old age. Scientifically speaking, if you do not share your feelings or discuss your issues with someone, it will come out in other ways which may affect your healthy relationship with your grandchildren. Alternatively, there are several support groups available on the Internet. You can be one of the members of the same and get reliable help and support from the peer group. These support groups not only provide information on the aforesaid category but also boosts up the morale and confidence for the same.
TIP 3: CREATE A STABLE ENVIRONMENT
Believe it or not, when children are been raised by the grandparents, it is not only difficult for the grandparents but also difficult for them as well. Hence, give them some time to get adjusted and accustomed to the environment which you are providing them. To make them comfortable, start with a schedule for a day. Set up their routine to have a good start of the day. Take their inputs as well in setting up the daily routine. This will make them feel a part of the home. Encourage them to decorate their rooms and settle down as they want. Do not forget to give them some space where they can enjoy and have some fun too. However, set up clear and age-appropriate house rules which need to be followed by them. House rules make the child independent and responsible. This gives them a sense of security as well. And yes, to create a stable and homely environment, love, care and attention are vital too. Make them believe that you are there to help them as and when they feel lonely and stressed. Interact with them whenever both of you are available to communicate. Spend some good time with your children.
TIP 4: STAY IN TOUCH WITH THEIR PARENTS
No matter how much love and care you are giving to your grandkids, but you cannot match the parent's love. Therefore, if it is possible to contact the parents of your grandchildren, do it and ask your (grand)children to stay connected with them as and when they need. they can do using any convenient way of communicating.
Moreover, if parents are away due to their work commitments, then in this situation as well they should be well aware of the wellbeing of their child. They should know what is happening in their child's life and how things are moving there. Being a grandparent, you should make their parents aware of their child's life and the ways you are using to deal with a particular situation. However, do not show your 'great' work you did for their child(ren), but tell them about the diligence you are showing while raising grandchildren.
Raising grandchildren at an old age is not at all an easy job, but as grandparents are the first upon whom trust can be laid, therefore, be sensitive towards your grandchildren's feelings. Do not take them as a burden of your life, but as an opportunity to make someone's life better and safer.
HAPPY FAMILY DAY!