Last time I called my grandkids on FaceTime my husband watched me study the screen trying to rearrange my wrinkles and tilt my head so my neck looked smoother. “You know,” he laughed, “I think FaceTime was invented by plastic surgeons!”
Ok, ok, I know that FaceTime was created to provide that live contact that we all crave. It’s just that until they connect, I get distracted…
A Special Bond
But once they answer, I’m reminded that they don’t see wrinkles; they just see their loving Grammy, and I get to see a window into their lives in that moment:
My two year old granddaughter points to all the seven dwarfs and knows their names.
My five-year-old grandson grabs the phone and immediately turns it off.
My nine-year-old granddaughter talks to me upside down in a cartwheel.
My eleven-year-old grandson holds the phone up to his nose and asks if I can see any boogers.
My thirteen-year-old granddaughter says, “Hi, Grammy. I”ve gotta go to soccer.”
And I love every word they say and every action they offer, even the booger hunting.
Whether you are Grammy, Nana, PopPop, Bubbie, MeMaw, or BobaLou, you are an important part of your grandchild’s life. And whether it is a picnic, a party, a simple Tuesday night dinner, or a long-distance FaceTime call, the excitement is there, the love is there and certainly the pride and joy are there. What is not always there is a clear set of family expectations. Each family is different and so are the expectations.
Tips for New Grandparents
Grandparenting is definitely not the same as parenting. To help you navigate this new terrain, I’ve created a small ‘Hand Book” that I call 10 Great Tips for Grandparenting. It includes – yes – 10 great tips that I hope you will combine with your own common sense to figure out how to thrive in this new environment called grandparenting.
Here’s a sample of the first 5 tips:
1 – YOU ARE NOT THE PARENT
Sometimes you may forget and start to discipline or offer your opinion of how things should be handled. Read #1 again.
2 – BE SURE TO PLAN TIME ALONE WITH EACH GRANDCHILD
You can take the child on some grand adventure or simply spend the afternoon at home researching volcanoes, playing a game, or making cookies. Be sure it’s just the two of you.
3 – START AND END EACH VISIT WITH A HUG
Yes. And if you say you are not a hugger, become one.
4 – BE FLEXIBLE
If you don’t remember the chaos that often runs through the home when kids are around, let me remind you. Some of the best-made plans have to be altered. Don’t take it personally if you want to be popular. And of course you do.
5 – BE FRANK AND OPEN ABOUT YOUR AVAILABILTY
So you live in the same city as your grand kids? Lucky you! Sometimes you want to help out and sometimes you just don’t. Be frank and open about your availability with your children. Ditto for you out-of-town grandparents. If any of you stay quiet and just fume, I don’t feel sorry for you!
Those are just the first five in my 10 Great Tips for Grandparenting Handbook. If you would like to talk more or need some help navigating the grand parenting pathways, give me a call and let’s talk.
And by the way, when you call, I might just share my ‘famous’ cookie recipe!
P.S. You can download the other five tips free on my website or order a hard copy as a gift for your favorite MeMaw and BabaLou.