My wife and I are the proud grandparents of an 18 month old baby boy. As much fun as that is, it does have its drawbacks. This article is written with the hope that it can be an aid to many grand parents. Being a grand parent is one of the best things to ever happen to me. However, in todays world, grand parents face different challenges than they faced a decade ago. More and more parents just live together instead of getting married. Many children have parents that don’t even live together. For some children, the one constant in their life is the grand parent.
Many times an individual has to not only be a grand parent but a parent as well. Even though they are just a grand parent, they have to play the part of the parent, too. They may have to be a parent to their child and their children’s child as well. This often happens for various reasons. Job demands on the parents is one factor. Another factor might be that the parents aren’t living together for one reason or another. Maybe the age of the young parents is a factor. Regardless of the situation, more and more grand parents are being involved in child care and development.
Why is this? Mainly because they have the time and the experience to help raise their grand children. Their love for their grand children is so strong, that they don’t mind taking an active part.
In today’s society, their are a lot of parents that have a rough time taking care of themselves, much less their children. The term “Parent Impaired” means that the child is hindered in their progression and matureness of life and life skills. Because the parents are so messed up, they slow or hinder the development of their children. Drug abuse, Alcoholism, Schooling, Working, Traveling, are just some of the things that causes this phenomenon in parents today.
As a grand parent, you can see what is going on a little bit better from the outside than up close. You can identify the problem that is hurting the grand children.
So what can you as a grand parent do you ask? A grand parent can do a lot. Since they have more free time, they can give more attention to the grand children. They can teach the life skills needed that the parents don’t have time for or even refuse to do. What do I mean by life skills? Skills like the proper eating techniques, grooming, potty training, responsibilities for certain chores, homework management, managing money properly are what grand parents can help with. Grand parents should be good at this because they learned by trial and error with their own children.
As a grand parent, you make sure that your grand child is getting the proper medical care by helping to keep doctor and dentist appointments. You can see that your grand child is eating the proper foods instead of just fast food because the parents are on the go so much. You can teach your grand child the value of a balanced diet.
Some parents deal with major issues in their own life. Two of the biggest is Drug abuse and alcoholism. Grand parents can see these problems and work to not only help solve them but, isolate their grand children from them. Besides working with your children to get help, you can help take care of the grand children while their parents are receiving treatment or going to meetings. Do not give your children cash for food , gas, rent, utilities, or grand children supplies. If they are addicted to something, they will use the money for that. Instead, pay for the items of necessity yourself. This way you are not giving them a chance to exploit or lie to you. However, you are still showing your love and care for them by helping out. By doing this, you are also helping to make sure that your grand children are being taken care of.
It use to be that parents would bring the grand children over and they would play or spend time with the grand parent and then go home. But, in todays world, being a grand parent has become more than that.
Now I am not saying that every family has “Parent Impaired” problems. However, there are many that do. It is with those types of families that a grand parent can have a big influence in the development of their grand children.
So what does a grand parent get as a reward for helping to raise another generation? They get the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping someone that is very dear to them. They are helping their children as well as their grand children. They realize that they are making a difference in the lives of those that they love.