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Action points for effective grandparents

Being an involved grandparent doesn’t come without a little work. The roots of grandparenting are formed early on. It’s important to let your children know you want to be supportive to their family.
Hear are some ways to get started.
•Make up your mind to be a better grandparent than you were as a parent. It’s never too late to change.
•Talk with your children about how they see you becoming involved with their children. Let them know what your intentions are. Be involved in the planning and do your fair share of the work.
•Talk to your grandchildren about what they would like to do with you.
•Involve your grandchildren in the activities you choose to do with your grandchildren. Do activities that are age appropriate and do things you like to do. Examples might be cooking, hiking, camping, crafts, dancing, singing, sports and storytelling.
•Take time to do these activities one on one as much as possible. Kids need a break once in a while from their parents. Remember children behave differently when their parents aren’t around.
•If you can’t be physically present with your grandchildren because of distance, be there in other ways. Some examples might be e-mails, letters, phone calls,


gift giving, video and pictures and activity books. Any activity between families takes coordination. Don’t wait for the kids to come to you.
•Tell stories of your past.
•Let your grandchild know how human you are. Your wisdom gained through experience has taught us to be more open to our emotions. Share your happiness, sadness, fears, embarrassments and mistakes.
•Talk about your religion, talk about the lessons you’ve learned in your life, talk about their parents and the fun you had raising them.
•When you are together with the parents, say only good things about your time together.

Yes, our precious little grandchildren will have faults; look where they came from, but love them with no conditions…this is the greatest gift we can bestow on our grandchildren.

About the Author

Don Schmitz is a popular speaker and writer on parenting and grandparenting. He is the author of The New Face of Grandparenting …Why Parents Need Their Own Parents and founder of Grandkidsandme, which includes: Grandparent Camps and Grandkid Days. Don holds graduate degrees in Education, Administration, Human Development and father to three sons and seven grandchildren. Contact Don@grandkidsandme.com.

 

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