Senior Living: Developing Meaningful Relationships With Grandchildren

grandandsonMany seniors find grandchildren to be one of the greatest joys in life. After spending years as a parent and seeing children grow into adulthood as respectable and successful human beings, you are now privileged to spend time with their children, spoil them rotten and send them home before they get out of hand.

Grandchildren help to provide a new lease on life for the most exhausted seniors and give life new meaning. Often grandparents find themselves taking part in activities they have ignored for years and visiting places they might not normally visit, simply as it is part of the beauty of caring for the young child.

The Many Benefits Of Being A Grandparent

While grandchildren can be a handful they tend to show their best behavior for grandparents. In addition, grandparents have had plenty of experience in raising children; they are more prepared for the mind games that come with parenting. Since each child seems to have his or her own unique way of attempting to wrap significant adults in their lives around their little fingers in order to play them against each other it is wise to lay down some ground rules before agreeing to watch the grandchildren. This is best done by having a quick chat with your own child before the day begins, in order to determine the latest episodes in the life of a grandchild. While this allows you to catch up on the progress being made, it also alerts you to the tricks the child may have for you. Since you have your experience, you can be fully equipped to deal with their comments and complaints as they arise.

One of the most important things grandparents can do when taking care of their grandchildren is to immediately establish some boundaries. Usually, a child will obey these boundaries as they are perceived as law and not just guidelines for their behavior. For some reason, they respect grandparent boundaries more and challenge them less than those boundaries established by their parents. As a result, they give these boundaries more respect and are less likely to challenge them than they would parental boundaries. As a result, it is important to follow the parent’s rules that have been established. This helps to reinforce parental authority and provides the child with continuity. It makes the rules they live by less ambiguous and they are less likely to complain at home using the sentence “But at Nana’s…” or other variations of this phrase.

This is not to say that grandparents should not spoil their grandchildren. After all, this is the primary task of the grandparent. Grandchildren have a special way of making grandparents feel young once again, and they deserve treats once in a while as a way to say thanks. However, using the treats as incentives also helps to teach vital qualities they sometimes miss at home. Sulks and temper tantrums obscure the teachings of parents as children tend to block out those things they do not want to hear. Treats that come from a grandparent are entirely different.

Any senior with a grandchild or grandchildren is extremely blessed. One of the best parts of life is seeing your own offspring and their children grow into honest and positive humans, but it is important to never lose sight that grandparents can be one of the major influences in the life of a grandchild. They watch and copy everything the grandparent does, so they can also pick up your bad habits. If you have a positive influence on these growing children, you deserve some of the credit for the way they turn out. However, it is most important to enjoy the time you have with the grandchildren because many never have this chance. Make the most of each second and relive your own childhood.

About Susan Day

Susan Day is a mother to two beautiful daughters and a grandmother to one adorable five year old boy. She is determined to live an active, happy life well beyond here current 70 years of age!