Becoming a first time grandparent is a very precious moment. It is very exciting, and is an event that many people are looking forward with a great anticipation in life. That first time of holding the little hand, or that sweet smelling body in your arms. The first time of hearing the long awaited words of ‘grandpa’ or ‘grandma’ is enough to make your heart melt with pride and joy.
Whether you live far, a few towns over, in another country, or maybe just around the block, you can have a positive impact on their live. You can become an important role model, be a great help, and support your child in their new role as a parent.
First Things First! The New Parents
How much help/advice is too much? Your child, being a new parent, might not yet be comfortable or confident enough in their role. To ensure a good start, you do not want to overwhelm them with too much information, or to make it appear that you question their competence.
Except when you are specifically asked, to avoid possible offense, it might be best to only offer advice sparingly. Don’t worry, once everything is settled in, there will come a time, when they’ll relax, and will better appreciate your unique role as a grandparent.
Unless your granddaughter/grandson safety, health or emotional well-being is at risk, is it better to not criticise the efforts that the new parents had put into. Sometimes letting them make their own mistakes is okay. Helpful suggestion, here and there when really needed instead of pointed criticism will produce much better result. The goal is to help create a loving, and happy environment for everyone involve.
Those things aside, let’s check out the many positive ways that you can add to the quality of life of your grandchild, yours, your child(ren), and others that is involved.
Building a Special Bond with Your Grandchild
You have a golden opportunity, as a grandparent to play a very important, and positive role in their life now and in the many years to come.
If you are one of those lucky ones that live nearby, you might want to spend a quality time by baby sitting your grand child, as long as your time and health permit it. This will not only gives you that precious moments, and would allows you to build a wonderful connection with your grandchild, but will also help and give your children some time off themselves. It is healthy for parents to take a breather every now and then.
Singing softly while gently rocking the baby will soothe the baby, and will give them a sense of contentment. Babies love to be rocked. The more you sing and talk to them, the quicker they will learn the sound of your voice, and the sooner they’ll respond to you. There’s no better sense of accomplishment then when you notice that they love being with you, by giggling and gurgling every time you enter the room.
The Joys of Reading
Young children and toddlers love to be read to. They love snuggling down, looking at funny engaging pictures and listening to your voice. Between the giggling and the snuggles, you’ll be able to build a closer bond with your grandchild. It will also help them develop listening, reasoning, language skills as well opening up their horizon to the world in the book.
Age appropriate, interesting, with lots of bright colourful pictures would be best. Choose stories that have good moral values, and amazing life lessons.
Discuss what happens in the story, ask your grandchild questions about the story, the characters, and so on. Educators emphasises the importance of the first three years of a child’s life frequently. This is the golden time where the size of their brain grows 90%, their unique personality blossoms and new skill are learned. When you engage to a young child in a conversation, it will encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings, which will facilitate food communication, socialisation skills, and will piques their early interest in literary works.
Long-Distance Grand Parenting
If you live a great distance away, you might feel that you’re loosing out. Don’t fret, you can still make a big impact your grandchild’s life. Visiting back and forth might feel all too short, but those visits will be seen as precious moments, and the time together will be remembered with fondness.
When you’re visiting your grandchildren or vice versa, do lots of hugs, and plan special activities with them. A trip to the playground, play games, share ice cream, and do lots of talking and sharing, can fill in the missing months, or years between visits. It does not have to be fancy trips, what they need most is your attention and time.
Distant grandparents can also take advantage of the current modern technology. With the help of internet, especially nowadays with almost everybody have a smart mobile phone with a good internet connection, there are lots of inexpensive, convenient, and fun way to stay in touch and maintain daily contact. Skype, Line, Face Time chats, and social medias will be able to keep you on track and updated in their day to day life, and will help bridge the distance.
Grandparents everywhere, now more that ever have the potential to impact their grandchildren’s live in a very tangible way. They also can have the marvelous opportunity to teach their grandchildren about their family history, to link the past to the present, and give their grandchildren a deep sense of pride of who they are, their culture, their family background, especially when they might live far in a distant country.