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Simple Steps to Becoming a Better Grandparent

Grandparents can bring joy and be one of life’s most rewarding experiences. So, enjoy the journey and make sure your grandchildren’s memories last a lifetime

grandpa and two kids exploring cooling in the kitchen

Grandparents can be some of the best people in a child’s life. They’re there to offer advice and support but also to nurture them and help them grow into happy, well-adjusted adults. Being a grandparent is a unique role with its own joys and challenges.

You may not be the parent, but you can still be an important part of your grandchild’s life and have a lasting impact. Finding ways to be a better grandparent will help you build a nurturing and loving relationship with your grandchildren. Let’s look at some ways to up your grandparenting skills.

Make time to go the extra mile

It’s easy to get caught up in the daily responsibilities of life, but it’s still important to make time for your grandchildren. They want you in their lives, and they need your guidance. If you want to be a better grandparent, take some time out of your schedule to go above and beyond for them.

One example is taking them out for ice cream or giving them money so they can buy something special for themselves. These small gestures will deepen your relationship with them and make them feel loved, on top of being fun to be around.

But don’t go overboard. Showering the grandkids with unhealthy treats and money they haven’t earned won’t help their health or help them grow into responsible adults.

Be a source of support

Show your grandkids that you’re interested in their lives and future plans by asking them questions and offering support where needed. If your grandkids are feeling down, give them a hug and remind them that you are there for them.

You can also participate in their hobbies or interests, such as attending a sporting event or helping them with a school project. Showing your grandkids love and support will create a bond that will last a lifetime.

Give them responsibility

There are many ways to give your grandkids responsibility. One of the best ways is to let them help with chores and projects around the house, but not all of them at once. Ensure what you ask your grandchildren for help with is age appropriate and not too difficult to do, otherwise they will get discouraged or frustrated.

Giving the grandkids responsibility will help them gain confidence in their abilities. If there are any special projects in your family (like painting a room or organizing closets), consider involving your grandchildren in these tasks.

This will give them the opportunity to learn new skills, feel helpful and productive, build bonds with other family members (including siblings), and gain confidence in their abilities--all while having fun together.

So, get your grandkids involved and see how capable and amazing they can be.

Encourage independence and self-reliance

While you’ll want to do everything you can to help your grandchildren, it’s important that they learn to do things for themselves. You might be tempted to do everything for them, even their homework.

But that doesn’t help them in the long run. Be supportive, but let them do it on their own. This will help them become more confident in their abilities, reduce the chance of being dependent on others later in life, and make them feel good about themselves when they succeed at something on their own.

Encourage independence by showing them how things work (even if it takes a few tries before they get the hang of it). You can also let them know that if they need help from Grandma or Grandpa, you’re there for them.

You can teach them useful skills, such as cooking or baking, or even conduct science experiments together.

Let them know when behavior isn’t acceptable

You don’t want to be known as the grumpy grandparent, but there’s nothing wrong with being firm. If you see your grandchild is about to dump their bowl of ice cream on the floor after dinner, or if they keep getting up from their seat at the dinner table, let them know that such behavior is unacceptable.

Be kind but firm, and your grandchildren will respect and love you even more.

Don’t be afraid to say no, no matter how much they plead. By setting boundaries, you’ll help them learn to be responsible and respect others’ needs. Teach them that it’s important to consider the consequences of their actions. Saying no to your grandchildren doesn’t mean you don’t love them; it shows you are looking for their best interests.

Becoming a better grandparent doesn’t take much effort, but it takes intentionality and dedication. Prioritize spending quality time with your grandchildren, create lasting memories, and pass on life lessons.


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