Respectful Grandmothers

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we’ll be highlighting all you ‘Grand Mothers’ this week. As you know, we come in all sizes as well as names – Grandma, Bubbe, Granny, Nana, Grams, or whatever special name your grandkids have for you. We have 10 grandchildren between us – living near and far; in preschool, grade school, college and beyond; from intact as well as blended families. What we share in common is our concern for them and our desire to maintain a loving relationship with them. This week we’ll be talking about how to do just that.

Today we’ll look at the important concerns revolving around grandkids who live nearby; tomorrow, significant issues for those who live far away; on Wednesday, chief relationship matters with step-grandchildren and those whose parents have divorced. On Thursday, we’ll host Sally Olds, author of Super Granny: Great Stuff to Do with You Grandkids. And Friday, we’ll wrap up with your feedback.

For any and every kind of grandmothering, the unifying concept for you to remember is respect – for your children, their partners, your grandkids, and for yourself. Treat everyone with the respect they deserve and value their individual needs and rights in the relationship. When you do that, you set the stage for creating strong bonds and enriched relationships between everyone in the family.

When your grandkids live nearby, you can enjoy the pleasure of being an integral part of their lives. You probably have the chance to spend time with them weekly, participate in significant events, and learn first-hand about their latest interests and achievements. The main concern here is boundaries – on all sides. It’s vital for you not to over-step and usurp your adult children’s authority, even as you pitch in to help them with their child-care duties. And it’s just as imperative for you to retain your own personal identity and not become submerged into the role of grandmother only. You’ll enjoy the relationship more when you also have some separation from it.

Click on the title above to take you to our newsletter, Stepping Stones, for an article with reflections on becoming a grandmother.

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