Survival Guide For Brand New Grandparents

By Joan Adams

Congratulations! You are a new grandparent. There are few thrills in life as magnificent as becoming a grandparent for the first time. Not only is the baby adorable, and your child thrilled, but there is a sense of the circle of life - a deeply spiritual feeling - a sense of being a part of something so much bigger than we are as humans.

1. Remember that you are not the parent. Your role in this child's life is very important - and yet - you are not the parent. You have already been a parent - it's your child's turn to play that role. It can be difficult to remember, but that one fact is the first key to successful grandparenting. Know your boundaries.

2. Take some time to think about what you have to offer this child. Starting regular savings accounts and adding to those for birthdays and holidays is always a good idea. If you are not financially able to do that, what skills can you teach him/her? Are you an excellent cook? Do you play golf or enjoy skiing?

3. Times have changed and with those changes are medical thoughts on baby care. I was shocked to see my first grandchild lying on her back. I would not have dared to do such a thing with my infant. In my day, the doctors insisted that babies sleep on their tummies. And that's just the first of many changes. Again, it's important to remember, this is their time to be parents. We did what our doctors told us, and now they need to do what their doctors tell them -- even when we don't understand. Someone once advised me to just say the word "hush" when I was tempted to tell someone else how to live their life. She was right. Remember to "hush." Silence is indeed golden.

4. Enjoy! Spend as much time with the baby as possible without being a nuisance. If you live close by, you will most likely discover that you are a part of this baby's world. It's such a super boost for a young mom to have someone nearby who can be counted on in an emergency. And it is a total delight to be the grandparent of little ones who live close to your home. Allow these children to introduce you once again to the joys of childhood - and have fun with them! Enjoy every moment!

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