Being a grandparent is one of the biggest joys that anyone can have in life. Being able to spend time with a new little love can knock your socks off when it’s been years since you last spent extended time with children. However, if you want to spend time with your grandchildren, you need to be the best you can be. Your time and your effort put in are both going to shape your grandchildren in the future – your role is key!
There are some ways that you can be a fantastic grandparent, but the key point here is that by being yourself, you are already fantastic. Your grandchildren will love spending time with you, as long as you are taking care of yourself. Chronic pain coming from Fibromyalgia can steal away special moments with your grandchild if you haven’t found ways to manage it.
My wellness journey over these past two years has been fueled by my desire to be with my granddaughter and to be active in her life. My current protocol using Low Dose Naltrexone, full-spectrum CBD, meditation, Yin Yoga, swimming, taking walks, and being mindful to take breaks to rest both mind and body are allowing me to be fully engaged as a grandparent.
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By being able to get my FM symptoms managed and able to be more predictable and present, I am now the grandparent that I want to be. The benefits of the time my husband and I put into our granddaughter are innumerable. (As a granddaughter who was close to my own grandparents, I know first hand how that relationship guided my life, making me strong and self-confident.) Research has shown that the connection is reciprocal.
1. Reduces depressive symptoms in both
2. Grandparents (GPs) can give exposure to experiences and ideas that otherwise might be limited.
3. GPs give a first-hand understanding of family history.
4. A close connection helps grandchildren develop pro-social behavior.
5. GPs keep mentally sharp, active, and live longer when regularly interacting with their grandchildren.
6. Creates a deep unconditional love for both.
How to Be a FULLY Engaged Grandparent
Communicate: To be the best grandparent, you need to communicate with the parents – ie, your children! You need to ask them their rules, their routines, and their wishes for their children so that you can play them out, too. It’s polite to ask your children what they want for their children, even with your years of experience! You may have been a parent for most of your life, but it’s time for your children to make their decisions. If you want to make sure that life runs smoothly, you need to go with their wishes.
My husband and I had the opportunity to really
parenting goals and style when they lived
with us for two years. We have great respect
for how they are raising our granddaughter.
They, in turn, have come to fully trust
that what we do strengthens and enhances
growing our little girl. We stay in constant communication,
even while she’s with us via text, photos, audio clips, and videos.
Be Silly: Grandparents are great for baking and gardening and cuddles, but there is nothing wrong with a little silliness, too! You can have all of the fun with none of the responsibility, and you get to hand the sticky, glittery, jelly-filled children back to their parents at the end of the night! As the silly, fun grandparent, you can always get the attention and love from your grandchildren, and the memories you’ll make will last you a lifetime.