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A Blessing Grandparent
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When I learned that I would become a grandparent, I realized that once again our family would change. I was excited to meet this new family member. The “Grandparent Club” started to emerge from among our friends. They began to ask things like, “What do you want to be called?” The least of my worries.

How could I be helpful and still not overstep my children’s boundaries or exhaust myself? What if they didn’t want my suggestions or help? How would I know what is correct?

Grandparenting will change with each stage of the child’s development. I pray that we will pass on more than genetics and toys. That in life’s journey, we will all be enriched to have known each other. I’m picking up tips as I become the grandparent who can bless:

We Are All New at This: As soon as my grandchild was born, I called my family and friends. Some reactions led me to believe that we just weren’t doing it right! We were playing it by ear and each family does things a little different. That doesn’t mean you aren’t loved or needed. One friend gave me a pep talk after the birth, when I felt lost. I couldn’t go wrong if I just put aside some of my feelings and focused on offering the things I would have appreciated. So I thought of food, and some housework before the new mom and baby came home.

It’s Not All About Me/Us: The young parents are exhausted and lost in a new world of birthing and relationship issues. A difficult birth, c-section or illness can change how everyone relates to this “wonderful” time of life. It’s not all about me--or us! So keeping communication channels open and having gracious expectations on our adult children are important.

Offer When Asked, and Learn: I can offer my parenting stories or informative findings, but I must be cautious about giving advice. The new parents need to make their own discoveries and schedules so they will become confident. Visiting a large baby store is an education in updated supplies! Some hospitals offer Grandparent classes as a refresher course.

Pick Role Models: In the Bible I remember the positive influence of grandmothers like Naomi (Ruth 4:15, 16) and Lois (2 Timothy 1:5). My husband and I had Christian mentoring friends who were fun and caring grandparents. We often keep them in mind as our models and goal! Our children got to spend some summer weeks with their grandparents at a lakeside rental cottage. Perhaps we’ll find a special place also.

Respect the Family: We have made it past the first few months. The baby is growing and everyone in the family is adjusting. We are fortunate to live near our grandchild. I’m looking forward to helping with grandchild care for one day per week. Handing back an unruly or sick child will not bless anyone. These will be our golden days but we must respect the parents’ wishes and rules. We desire that our adult children always feel our love as much as their children.

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By Karen Spruill. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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