Tips for New Grandparents, From a New Mum

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TIP - Be prepared for some crazy emotions and hormones coming your way.  You are about to be unreasonably crazy in love. The love for a grandchild is unlike anything you’ve felt before.  It is different from your own child, as you get all the blessings and none of the stress and anxiety this time.  DONT - Call your grandchild ‘my baby’ - it is upsetting and insulting to the new parents.

TIP - Be kind and patient with Mum and Dad.  When they make decisions that are different to how you raised them, don’t take it personally.  They are just different and that’s all.  DONT - Force your will onto new parents,

TIP - Ask Mum and Dad about their parenting decisions and discuss them openly without judgement.  DONT assume they have not spent the last 9 months planning and preparing for this child.  You might know more about babies in general, but they will always know more about this baby than you.

TIP - Never give advice or opinions unless you are asked.  You are more likely to be the person Mum or Dad come to, if they feel comfortable and not judged by you.  They are more likely to seek you out.  If you are always offering ‘advice’ they will likely turn from you as their person of support.  DONT - Assume that because they are doing it differently to how you were taught, it is because they don’t know what they are doing.

TIP - If you are after extra time with that baby, but don’t want to come across as being too needy, always offer to change the nappies.  You’ll have special one on one time with the child, wonderful eye contact and interactions, without pushing in on the mother-child relationship.  DONT - Take the baby from the mothers arms - Ever! before asking.

TIP - Be fun, act silly and get down on the floor to play with your grandchildren.  If your grandchildren have fun at your house, then it is more likely their parents will bring them around.  Don’t worry about being mature or grown up, you are not the parents.  DONT - Act old or boring, as the kids will not want to come round to your house anymore.

TIP - With that in mind, leave the parenting of your grandchildren, to the parents.  DONT - Disregard the rule parents have set or go against mum and Dad’s wishes.  It is a fast way to end the babysitting relationship if Mum and Dad don’t feel they are being supported or respected as parents.

TIP - You are still a parent to either Mum or Dad.  Your child has not ceased to exist after the baby is born.  Your child still has a life that you need to remember about and be interested in.  Your child will still want you to be interested in their needs, concerns, lives and future.  DONT - Forget all about the needs and desires of Mum and Dad.

TIP - It is not your right, to have a relationship with your grandchildren.  It is something that must be earned, worked at and maintained over a long period of time.  DONT - Assume that Mum and Dad will bring the kids over because you expect it or think you deserve to see them.  Be prepared to work hard at your relationship with your grandchildren and they will want to come.

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