Being a grandparent

When you become a grandparent it is a truly magical experience.

Holding your child’s newborn is so powerful, here is the son/daughter you once held in your arms, now a parent themselves.

As this brand new person looks up into your eyes you fall in love all over again, what will the future hold, the future is right there in your arms.

Of course, just like when we become parents we have no idea how to do this new job, it is the hardest job in the world. This tiny human being is looking to you to care and protect them, unconditionally. We make mistakes along the way, it is all part of the learning process, it is those experiences that can enhance the role of being a grandparent.

Seems easy doesn’t it?

It isn’t.

Just like when we became parents we have to learn how to be a grandparent, there is no job description, again we learn on the job, and just like being a new parent we make mistakes.

Sometimes we fall into the trap of becoming maybe overbearing, of not allowing the new parents to learn as we did, by making mistakes. We think we are helping by telling them ‘in our day,’ but it is not the way to do it.

Cast your mind back, how did you feel if you felt someone was telling you how to bring up your children?

Our hearts are in the right place, but sometimes our heads aren’t.

It should go without saying that things are different now, the way we used to parent is not the way now. You may think your way was the best way, but maybe it wasn’t.

As a grandparent we have to be there to offer support as and when asked, not to question their parenting skills.

I for one got stuff wrong all the time, still do for that matter!

There is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ parent, or a ‘perfect’ grandparent, just being an ok parent/grandparent is fine.

For those of you who are denied contact with your grandchildren will wonder why I am writing this, it is because even. if you aren’t seeing your grandchildren at the moment, you still worry about them and their well-being, of course you do.

In fact when they are not in your life you worry far more.

We had a zoom meeting this week when we discussed  our worries and concerns, and so many grandparents worry day and night about their grandchildren.

In the majority of cases, unless there is a proven safe guarding issue, our worries are unfounded.

The parents, like we did, are usually doing their best, in fact the children are being looked after, ok, and they are happy.

Possibly they are not being brought up the way we would do things, but that also, is ok, we are not their parents, parenting is not our role as a grandparent.

Whether we are fortunate enough to be part of our grandchild’s life, there is a BGSG mantra for us all.

Think your own thoughts, don’t speak them.

My boys we brought up living with my Mum, and I am sure she wanted to say things all the time, but she never did, she sat by, just being, until I asked for help.

Thanks Mum, you were a genius.

About Jane

Jane setup Bristol Grandparent Support Group in 2007 after a string of incidents led to the loss of contact with her Grand Daughter.

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