Key Steps for Great Grandparents

1. Know your place.  Refrain from trying to exert control over every little detail.  Is not really about you being a grandparent, is about your children becoming parents.  Now is when they really get to walk on their own as adults.

2. Follow the Rules.  Do not undermine your children's authority for the sake of your grandchild.  If the mother said "no soda".  Do not give them soda as soon as she walks out the door.  Do not teach your grandchildren that is OK to sneak out on mom and dad, it will backfire.

3. Create Special Occasions.  Are your grandchildren staying over?  Plan ahead for activities or board games.  Make this an opportunity to steal them away from electronics.  Show them how you used to have fun, at least for an hour.  Then let them be.  Keep a pace of activities.  Do not allow them to slumber all day and all night long.  Over-sleeping is fine, going to bed a bit late is OK, but do welcome outside activities as well.

4. Communication is Key.  Listen to your grandchildren and listen closely.  Parents busy lifestyles sometimes make it impossible to catch on unwanted behavior or possible harmful situations.  Dig in your grandchildren's life, provided they allow you. Ask questions, show interest in their projects.  Above all, be your children's, the parents other set of eyes and ears in case there is an adverse situation they need to be aware.

5. Promote Good Oral Habits.  The best legacy grandparents can leave for their grandchildren is good oral habits.  Have them brush their teeth at least four times a day, especially at bedtime.  Tell them stories about bad Mr. Plaque and the Toothbrush Superhero.  Create a culture of personal care in their early years, that will last a lifetime.

6. Let Them Be.  This is a rule that applies to any and every interpersonal relationship: accept them as they are.  Respect their individuality.  There is a fine thread between educating them and letting them be.  The secret is to have a balance, a flexible discipline.  We are not our grandchildren's parents, but grandparents.  Is an awesome feeling as a grandparent to be able to let go and just enjoy moments with our grandchildren.  Is our turn to smile and relax.

7. Spoil them a bit.  But of course, as grandparents, it is granted that some spoiling is not only expected but necessary.  All in good spirits.  Do not spoil them to the point of turning them against their parents, for example.  But small treats and many outings are in order.  Hopefully you have the time to show them the world with that wisdom only you have.

Most Grandparents Acting as Parents are Black

Grandparents RuleCredit: stockphotoCredit: stockphoto

One in Ten Kids are Raised by Grandparents

Their Role is More Active Than Ever

Grandparents acting as parents is a growing trend.  The latest U.S. Census reported that 7% of families with children under 18 are headed by a grandparent, a 400,000 rise since 1990, for a total of 2.4 million families.  The average income for families under this profile is of $20,000 per year.  Is tight for grandparents having to take care of their grandkids without the presence or support of mom and dad.

Do not be afraid to relate to your grandchild your financial situation, if necessary.  Just do it in a way that the child knows that you are still in control but it is important that they participate in some life realities.  If money is tight and there is not enough for that $4 ice cream, offer him to get a bucket of ice cream at the grocery store instead.  That way, he can have ice cream today and tomorrow.

If budget is limited take this as an opportunity to teach your grandchild a bit on personal finance.  Tell him your story.  If yours had a bit of bad ending, tell him how he can do better for himself.  If it is a success story, portray yourself as an example to follow, and please share your story below.  The world also deserves to learn from you!

Things to Learn, Places to Go, People to Meet

Bring your grandchildren back to reality by taking him to see interesting sites.  Take your grandchildren to the museum, to the theatre... Look for festivals around your community.

Read to them.  Reading has therapeutic benefits and both the reader and the listener.  Reading time is a great bonding experience.  Everlasting memories are created during reading.  It proves that money isn't everything when it comes to raising children or tending after grandchildren, attention does.

Take long walks.  If you are physically capable, take a walk around your block or to your nearest park.  Simple activities like getting the groceries and going to the post office, or even writing a letter can turn into a profound learning experience.

Teach them science boiling an egg. This is an example of how simple life experiences can result in significant lessons.  Compare the process of boiling water with where does rain comes from.  After you boiled the egg, press it vertically and show them how the egg will break easier when pressed sideways, that's some physics. Cut the egg in half and tell them that the egg is really a cell, one of the biggest ones around.  An ultra science lesson!

Since 1970, Grandparents Day is celebrated the first Sunday after Labor Day.

Bill Cosby About His Parents as Grandparents

Remember the Rules or Make Them as You Go

If you are a traditional grandparent remember to abide by the rules set out by your children in regards to feeding and discipline for your grandchildren.  If you are a caregiver grandparent, rules are of the essence.  

The role of grandparents is crucial in children's lives.  If you do not have visitation with your grandchildren know that you have the right for visitation and could go to court to file a petition for this matter.  You have a right to relate with your grandchildren and they certainly need you.

On the other hand, if you are blessed with a great relationship with your children and are able to enjoy your grandchildren on a periodic basis, ensure that those moments are treasured forever by engaging in memory creating activities and less electronics.  Go to the park, go fishing, go get some bread, tell them old jokes, teach them the games you used to play and teach them respect.  Above all, give them unwanted advice, make sure they inherit the legacy of your wisdom.

Young President Obama and His Grandparents