Aging, Family, Relationships

Grandparenting

I’m not sure how to start this.  It’s about grandchildren and being a grandparent.

I want to say how much we love them, but if you have grandkids you know about that.  If you don’t have grandkids you don’t have any idea and probably don’t care.  I used to watch older folk pull out pictures of their grands and think to myself it was because those kids were all they had to occupy them.  Now I know that wasn’t it at all.

The bigness of my love for them took me by surprise and I kind of keep thinking that I’ll grow out of it.  I’m not. My feelings just keep getting bigger.

What is it about the relationship between a child and their grandparent that’s so special?   I think that it’s that being a grandparent is really so simple and pure.

Psychology Today says that grandparenting falls into five different categories:

“1. Formal grandparent: follows what are believed to be the appropriate guidelines for the grandparenting role, which includes providing occasional services and maintaining an interest in the grandchild, but not becoming overly involved.

2. Fun seeker: emphasizes the leisure aspects of the role and primarily provides entertainment for the grandchild.

3. Surrogate parent: takes over the caretaking role with the child.

4. Reservoir of family wisdom (usually a grandfather): the head of the family who dispenses advice and resources but also controls the parent generation.

5. Distant figure: has infrequent contact with the grandchildren, appearing only on holidays and special occasions.”

While these styles ring true none of them is more correct than the other.  Each  style works as long as the time spent with your grandchild is built on  just two things:

1. We will protect them no matter what

2. We will love them no matter what.

I can be my grandchild’s best playmate or his confidante’ or the woman who visits occasionally and sits on the couch at holidays.  I can spend hours with them or just see them by skype .  It won’t matter as long as I am able to communicate that I will do anything to keep them safe and that they can do anything and I’ll still love them absolutely. The parent relationship is confused with lots of responsibility and hidden expectations – and love- but lots of responsibility and expectations.  However, being a grandparent is just shaped by who I am and how I feel.  It’s simple: playmate, teacher, coach,  doesn’t matter to them as long as they know those two things. As long as they know that they are protected and loved, the years  melt between the ages and unbreakable bonds are born.

As always,

Granny Beth

16 Comments

  1. I love being a grandparent and I agree with you I didn’t see that coming especially as they are the children of my husbands son. The youngest we take for weekends twice a month and I know a part of it is missing my own children being that young. I would say I am the funseeker and to her I am wise:)

    Reply
    1. Beth Author

      My grands are the children of my husband’s sons but their is nothing “step” about them for any of us. I am definitely the funseeker for my grandkids…as they are for me.
      Beth

      Reply
  2. I think grandparenting is a really special blessing – so unexpected and so delightful. You have this huge love in your heart for them and to be allowed to share them with their parents is fantastic. Our little grandbaby is almost one and I’m looking forward to getting to know her and to having a really lovely relationship with her as she grows.

    Reply
  3. Thanks, Beth – This is a very timely post for me. I am just leaving today to spend a few days with my Grandson (Charlie, 1.5 years old). Since my son’s family only lives a ferry ride away (5 hour roundtrip), I see Charlie fairly often, but seldom get him to myself for days in a row. I am greatly looking forward to it and your thoughts on grandparenting styles is of great interest to me.

    Reply
  4. I know exactly what you’re saying. There is nothing like a grandbaby. Words can’t describe the feelings and love we have for them. Being in their life is a good thing for them and us too! Loved the video! Thank you Beth for sharing this post at the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty. I shared it on social media.

    Reply
  5. It warms my heart to read your lovely post and all these comments about how wonderful grandparenting is. I feel exactly the same way. I love them fiercely and without the complications of being a parent. And their complete and utter joy every time they see me can’t be found anywhere but from a grandchild. Who knew?

    Reply

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