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Are You Ready for Being a Grandparent


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Grandmother sitting along with grandchild on a bench eating ice-cream and having fun

Is being a grandparent an easy task? You can best know the answer when you really become a grandparent yourself.

Presently you can, like me, just wonder what life would be like once you become a grandparent. But I can tell you it is tough for some grandparents from what I’ve read and heard around.

Honestly speaking, I’ve been thinking how I would look once I become a grandparent and how my life would change being a grandparent to my grandchildren.

Oh, don’t get it wrong! There is enough time for me to be a grandparent, as my kids aren’t even married! In-fact they are still studying!

Such thoughts came to mind because I know that grandparent’s day is near, which made me realize that I too might become a granny in the near future, as time flies fast.

What occurred to me was that I keep telling people to prepare themselves for parenthood, and all about how to be a good parent.

But why ignore the aspect of becoming a grandparent? That is important too!

I’ve had loving grandparents in my life, and from that experience I know that grandparents are important.

Don’t believe me? Okay, so hear from those who matter most to a grandparent.

Grandparents are Important ~ YouTube Video

“What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars’ worth of pleasure.” ~ Gene Perret

Cute kids, aren’t they? Well, their message is loud and clear – grandparents are important, so we too should be such!

Don’t you think being a grandparent also needs preparations beforehand?

“Oh, c’mon. I’ve got many years before I might become a grandparent, so spare me from such far-away thoughts, and let me enjoy the present!” my mind suggested.

Well, it’s good to be in the present and enjoy it to the fullest, as I always keep saying, and thinking or planning too far ahead sometimes doesn’t help.

But you cannot neglect the important issues of life – can you?

I know some married lots might think that since they are not going to be grandparents soon, so the post does not concern them.

While on the other hand some youngsters would shrug it off as stuff for old people.

Interestingly, that’s not the case! Because there is a deep connection between being parents and being grandparents.

“Surely, two of the most satisfying experiences in life must be those of being a grandchild or a grandparent.” ~ Donald A. Norberg

Being a Grandparent and Parent are Interdependent

You see, if you’re a happy parent, you’re more likely to have a content life as a grandparent.

Moreover, it could be the opposite for you as a grandparent, if you were to fail as a parent.

Although I do not universalize my theory, but I believe that grandparents are just another form of parents.

And, your life as a parent will likely be one of the determinants of what kind of life you’ll live as a grandparent.

Today’s post is especially written for the unmarried youngsters and young parents, and of course, for parents and grandparents too. It’s an echo of what I suggested in my earlier posts.

It’s a reinforced suggestion that they should start re-investing their time and value in themselves and their families for a new reason – for a brighter grandparenthood later in life.

If they take actions now, they can reap the benefits by the time they become grandparents.

“Being grandparents sufficiently removes us from the responsibilities so that we can be friends.” ~ Allan Frome

Why Should You Plan About Being a Grandparent

Since important things and events need planning, one should also plan about how to be a successful grandparent.

I know you’d say, “Hey isn’t this thinking too far ahead!” Well, yes it is!

I think it is quite logical to be ready than not, especially for one of the most important phase of our life. Wouldn’t you agree?

Even if you don’t make efforts in preparing yourself for being a grandparent, life will go on and take its own course. You’ll eventually become a grandparent and accept whatever happens next.

However, I feel you can try to change your own script and re-orient your life by being a good parent to increase your chances of attaining a good life as a grandparent.

“Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.” ~ Alex Haley

What You Might Face as a Grandparent

“Okay, I’ll be a grandparent, whenever, so what’s there to plan and prepare about?” This would be an obvious thought in your mind.

Grandparents face a whole new lot of problems that parents don’t. Most of these problems arise because of the children of the grandparents.

Take a look at this video, where the Director of the New York State Office for the Aging explains what we want to know:

Celebrating Grandparents’ Day ~ Michael J. Burgess ~ YouTube Video

“Never have children, only grandchildren.” ~ Gore Vidal

This really makes the picture clear. It’s mostly the failure of their children that puts the grandparents in a spot.

And this aspect proves good parenting to be all the more a crucial factor in determining happiness in life.

What difficulties could you face after you become a grandparent?

Here are some of the common problems that some of the grandparent’s face, which I have explained in detail in my earlier posts here and here, and as was explained in the video above:

1)      If the parents of their grandchildren are absent, they might be needed to take over the parenting job instead.

2)      When grandparenting their grandchildren, they might face financial problems of properly raising the grandkids.

3)      If the grandparents do not have a good rapport with their children, they might suffer or be forced to opt to live in an old age home.

Don’t be scared. This isn’t happening to you, but it can too!

People plan to have a happy and peaceful life as grandparents after retirement, either living alone or while living with the family. Nobody wants more responsibilities, bondage, and headaches of parenting again!

There’s no surety or guarantee of what will happen in the future. However, you can try to reduce the negative consequences.

“To become a grandparent is to enjoy one of the few pleasures in life for which the consequences have already been paid.” ~ Robert Brault

How to Be a Happy Grandparent

A happy grandparent is the one who is free of problems and stress after his or her retirement.

To be problem-free I suggest prevention of the problems that grandparents face should always be the first step. If you succeed in not letting the problems originate, you need not look for a solution.

I know it’s easier said than done as you can never predict the future. But you can certainly take some precautionary measures in the present.

Let’s analyze the three common problems mentioned above that grandparents face, and see how they can be avoided.

Grandparents Parenting Grandchildren

Your children could be absent because they are jailed or absconding. Few of the reasons could be because they took the wrong path of either drugs or substance abuse, anti social activities, thefts, robbery, or even murder.

There could also be other reasons for the absence of your children that may not involve behavioral issues, but we’ll just consider these here.

You need to understand the reasons for such a behavior and what role does a parent play in letting it happen.

To avoid your children resorting to such options, you need to raise them with love and support by being  a love teacher all throughout.

You might feel what’s new in this as every parent tries to be one? Well, not every parent is such.

Not every family has the love and bonding as it should have, and that’s why there are high chances of such problems arising.

A child living under conditions that are favorable and loving, and who is under constant supervision and guidance is likely to not go astray.

This bonds a family and brings about happiness, which indirectly makes grandparents happy as they don’t face the problem of raising their grandkids on their own.

Financial Problems While Raising Grandchildren

If for some reasons you need to raise your grandchildren, you could face financial difficulties and find nowhere to seek help from.

Yes, there are many organizations out there to help such grandparents raising grandkids.

However, a good career and financial planning from the beginning could probably see you through this difficult phase of life. This may not necessarily work or you may not have such chances in life.

But money does give you security and help you face difficult times when you become a grandparent.

Most grandparents start saving for their grandchildren when they are born. It’s a good habit to set aside funds and cater for such unforeseen events in your old age.

Bad Relations with Their Grandparents

Children often see their parents as role models. They see how you treat your parents.

If your relations with your parents get estranged, and they are forced to move away from your home and life, it leaves a bad impression in the young minds of your children.

It’s likely that if your children don’t see their grandparents being treated nicely by you, you might end up receiving the same treatment from them and even from your grandchildren.

To avoid such problems you should treat your parents well, and even instill such values very early in your children. They in turn would carry out them and so will your grandchildren.

This will make sure that you have a loving family and get to stay together.

The key for preparation to have a great and happy life as a grandparent is to first be a good person and then a good parent.

If you have a good and happy family, your children will probably have the same, and they too will have a successful bond with their children.

“Grandparents are a delightful blend of laughter, caring deeds, wonderful stories and love.” ~ Unknown

grandparents standing behind a swing being full of their grandchildren seated on it

Speaking About Myself -

As for me, I don’t want to waste any time preparing myself to be a grandmother.

I hope I’ll be able to leave good impressions in the mind of my grandchildren, just as my grandparents had on me.

I’ve had wonderful grandparents and I realize that I am so grateful to them for being in my life as caring and loving teachers. They have taught me to see the good in everything, whether big or small.

I still remember the good times we spent together, things they taught, values they instilled, and the experiences they shared with me.

“A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend.” ~ Author Unknown

Salutations!

I salute all grandparents who have made a difference in the lives of their grandchildren through their love, sacrifice, and hard work.

They deserve to be flattered, pampered, and showered with love, especially on this grandparent’s day, for being who they are and what all they do.

Here’s the official song of U.S. Grandparent’s Day, especially for you and your loving grandparents!

National Grandparents Day Song ~ Johnny Prill ~ YouTube Video

Wasn’t that wonderful! No matter what nation you belong to, what really matters are the emotions that captivate you.

Happy Grandparent’s Day – one and all!

“A child needs a grandparent, anybody’s grandparent, to grow a little more securely into an unfamiliar world.” ~ Charles and Ann Morse

Over to you –

Do you agree that having a happy and strong family can make life easier for grandparents? Are you ready for being a grandparent? Do share your experiences by adding to the conversation about the various aspects of being a grandparent in the comment below.

 

Photo Credit: kindergentler2001Kradlum


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About Harleena Singh

Harleena Singh is a positive thinker and a freelance writer. She loves to write inspiring and thought provoking posts on self-improvement, family, relationships, health, and other aspects of life. She's not another personal development guru, but just an average person with great life experiences. She's also a blogger, who loves to share her blogging knowledge and experiences. Network with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+..

61 Comments

  1. Debbie

    September 7, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Great post for grandparents, Harleena.

    I do enjoy being a grandparent. Those little ones keep you young and as a grandparent you learn and have time to enjoy the little things about a child.

    When you are parenting your own children sometimes you get so busy that you miss the little things.
    As a grandparent you realize what isn’t going to matter in a week or year. Instead of getting up set if the milk is spilled, you teach them to clean it up and they are so proud of themselves.

    For myself I never had any grandparents and always wondered how it would have been to go to grandma and grandpa’s house.

    What I try to do the most is listen to my grandchildren. Give them unconditional love, play with them, do things there parents don’t have time to do with them in there busy world.

    Thanks again for sharing these words and videos.
    debbie

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      Harleena Singh

      September 7, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      Glad you like the post Debbie!

      I loved two of the three videos and had to share them. The third one mentions the issues, which is what my post is based on.

      Your grandchildren are lucky to have you as their grandmother. You enjoy doing all those things that grandkids love from their grandparents.

      You’re absolutely right; it feels so good being with young children. Not only do you feel young but also there’s this sudden rush of energy.

      What you stated is a fact, and it’s sad that parents do not get much time to spend with their own kids. These little things and moments of happiness mean a lot for these little kids.

      It’s good you’re making up for somebody the things that you missed in your childhood. I enjoyed my childhood with my grandparents, and there wasn’t a day when I was not pampered. Also, I learned a lot from my grandparents, which I keep passing on to my children.

      It’s great to know your story and how wonderful grandparent you’re. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Aditya Samitinjay

    September 7, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    I have a long long long way to go before I become a grandparent. However, the relationship I forge with my grandparents is one to die for. Ah, I miss the all those lovely and sweet ‘animal’ stories they tell, starting with that age-old ‘Long long ago there was a…..’. Thank you so much for bringing back my memories. I can safely say that I’ve got the best grandparents I could ask for and being the youngest in the family I had an even stronger bond than my brother or cousins.

    Good luck to you as you say that you’re gonna be one in the near future.

    Lovely post!

    Aditya

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      Harleena Singh

      September 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm

      I’m glad you loved the post Aditya!

      It’s heartening to know that you’ve such a beautiful relationship with your grandparents. They’re truly blessed to have a grandson like you, or maybe you’d say it the other way round.

      Regarding the stories and lullabies, I think those who’ve spent good amount of their childhood with grandparents can never forget those. I remember I used to talk a lot to my grandparents, something which maybe I didn’t do much with my parents.

      I wanted to convey through this post that you can start early making preparations for being a grandparent. Take it as a long-term project of 30-40 years, and you need to develop and evolve yourself gradually, and you can even start that now or before your marriage.

      I too have many years before I might become a grandmother, and I wish to prepare myself for it by bonding my family with love.

      Thanks for sharing the post and your life story with us here. :)

      • Aditya Samitinjay

        September 7, 2012 at 11:43 pm

        It is never too early!

        You’re right I’m blessed to have grandparents like them! They really made my childhood truly wonderful.

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          Harleena Singh

          September 7, 2012 at 11:53 pm

          That’s right!

          Now, it’s up to you to make their old age wonderful. That’s a fair exchange, isn’t it ;)

  3. Vidya Sury

    September 7, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Grandparents rock! I grew up with my Grandma and I am ever grateful for that. She was the essential strong silent woman with a dimpled smile and twinkling eyes. Oh, I miss her.

    Nice post! Those who know their Grandparents and spend time with them are lucky people!

    Love, Vidya

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      Harleena Singh

      September 7, 2012 at 11:50 pm

      Glad you liked the post Vidya!

      A grandparent is successful if he or she can leave an everlasting impression on your mind, which your grandmother has done. I can relate to your feelings as I too miss my grandmother and she was very dear to me.

      Yes, I do feel lucky, but at the same time I feel sorry for all those who did not get an opportunity to spend their childhood with their grandparents.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  4. Ilka Flood

    September 7, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Just simply beautiful! And those two little ones were just darling. (They must have German grandparents calling them “Opa and Oma.”)

    I can’t wait to become an Oma, but my boys don’t seem to have any interest in settling down and starting a family yet. I hope they do before I get too old to enjoy my future grandkids….and before the gadgets they play with get too sophisticated for me to keep up, lol.

    I wasn’t lucky enough to grow up with grandparents and our children really only got to know my husbands parents. As I shared with you before, my mother died 40 years ago. However, I will do my darndest to be a great Oma when it happens :)

    Thanks for another beautiful post, Harleena!

    Ilka

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      Harleena Singh

      September 8, 2012 at 12:12 am

      Glad you like the post Ilka!

      I didn’t know the cute kids were using German names for their grandparents. Thanks for letting me know. But “opa and oma” sound cute too!

      It’s difficult to beat the technology, I agree. It’s growing at a faster pace than us. Maybe your children will rethink if they read your feelings on my blog! Whenever you become a grandmother, it will be a truly blissful feeling.

      Life is not favorable to all in all ways. You missed on the company of your mother and grandparents, but you’re and will be giving that pleasure to your children and grandchildren.

      Here’s wishing that you become a great Oma, at the earliest. Thank you for contributing your personal story to the post. :)

  5. Sylviane Nuccio

    September 8, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Excellent post for grandparents, Harleena.

    I will never be a grandparent and neither did my parents. My father being long gone and my mother while still alive has got two kids who have desperately remained childless :) But nothing to be sad about since neither me or my brother have ever felt that need for having children.

    As for as my grandparents, I barely knew my grandparents on my mother’s side and both my grandparents on my father’s side were already gone by the time I was born.

    How do I wish that I had known my grandmothers and grandfathers, though. Even though I was only two when my grandmother died and 4 when my grandfather died I remember their tenderness and love for me. I was like a little queen for them, and I can only imagine how cool it would be to have had them for many more years.

    This is why to this day, I really envy people who do have their grandparents. They might not realize how fortunate they are.

    Thanks for this great post and videos :)

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      Harleena Singh

      September 8, 2012 at 8:18 am

      Glad you liked the post Sylviane!

      I can understand how you feel. You’ve lived without a grandparent and your parents too! Maybe not many families have such a coincidence, but yes it is something you cannot do anything but accept it.

      You’re right that grandparents are able to make everlasting impressions on the minds and hearts of their young grandchildren. You still remember and cherish whatever little times you had with your grandparents, and there are some who have grandparents with them all their lives but regard them as useless. It’s sad, isn’t it?

      My mother couldn’t be for long with my children, but my father very nicely doubles up the grandparent role and pampers his grandchildren to the fullest! And the kids look forward to being with every vacation to be treated like a princess :)

      One more factor that comes to my mind is the late marriage and having children later in life, which also does have chances of children not being able to be with their grandparents.

      Thanks for sharing your life and your thoughts. :)

  6. Carolyn

    September 8, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Hi Harleena,

    I was just thinking of that today. I keep seeing cute little kids and I so want to be able to cuddle little kids again. My girls are teenagers and aren’t anywhere near wanting to be parents. But when it’s time to be a grandparent, I will be more than ready!

    I had four grandparents who lived past 80 but my girls never met my mother because she died so young. Their paternal grandmother died just after we moved to England but at least they got to know her before she died. She was an amazing grandmother to them and their grandfathers are both engaged and loving grandparents.

    I am really surprised that some of my friends’ parents aren’t embracing the grandparent role. It made me appreciate how wonderful my chidlren’s grandparents have been.

    I agree with you, it’s very sad when grandparents have to raise their children’s kids. The kids are really missing out on true grandparents then.

    Thanks for this beautiful article, Harleena!

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      Harleena Singh

      September 8, 2012 at 9:32 am

      I’m so glad you liked the post Carolyn!

      Grandparents are an important asset to any family. Those who miss on their grandparents are deprived of the vital role that grandparents play in shaping the children’s tender minds and hearts, and help in orienting the family in the right direction.

      The old wisdom consisting of knowledge and experience does come in handy, and if grandparents voluntarily opt out, the grandchildren suffer the most. You were lucky to have shared such wonderful moments with your loving grandparents. It’s great that your children too have had the experience and opportunity to know how important grandparents are.

      I’m sure being a grand parent will come naturally to you, though you seem to be as far from that stage as I am! I really felt sad to know that there are millions of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, and many of them are not even able to cope up. I just wish that everybody has a complete, loving, and strongly bonded family.

      Thanks for sharing your family experiences and views about grandparents with all of us. It’s always nice to have you over. :)

  7. Mridula

    September 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I have had awesome grandparents, so I could relate things in this post. Sweet one!

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      Harleena Singh

      September 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Welcome to the blog Mridula!

      I’m glad you like the post and happy that you enjoyed being with your grandparents.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  8. Mayura

    September 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Lovely! It’s very lovely :) Love the video of two kids talking about their grandparents. Isn’t that a life we always hoping for with our children and grandchildren? People always see the connection as Children – Parent – Grandparent. But I think it should be Friends – Friends – Friends.

    I don’t know how others will think about mother, father, grandparent days and … days etc. Actually I don’t stuck on those days and find nothing special really. It matters for people who doesn’t get love as they were looking for. But I prefer having all days everyday. Having love in heart and care our children, parents, grandparents, friends etc.

    I have wonderful grandparents too. Always have respect, faith, love and caring. I always wanted to have all of them in one house ;) Jus’ my thought. I can’t right now, but I’m looking forward to it whenever I become a parent and keep my parents and children together. I think they will make a great team with love and affection of both parties. What do you think about that Harleena? :)

    I don’t think I need to ready for it. I think I have it in my heart. I can pour love on my children and my grandchildren. Give them what I couldn’t have in my childhood. Learn how to stand alone and teach what’s real love in those little cute hearts.

    Cheers…

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      Harleena Singh

      September 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      Glad you liked the post Mayura!

      I agree, the kids video is really cute and I couldn’t resist putting it up on the post. Eventually what you want in life is to be happy and evolve, not only for yourself but also for your family and its members. A grandparent gets the opportunity to implement this wish with their grandchildren.

      And yes, they become more like friends, as you point out, perhaps that being the reason why grandparents and grand children have such a solid bond between each other.

      In this modern busy world with hectic schedules and never ending activities, people lose track of their relations and families. And that’s where such “days” come in handy and act as a reminder to not to forget the important things in life.

      You’re right, people want to be loved but they don’t get the love they wish to have in their lives. As it happens, we take our family for granted and label it as the last priority in our everyday important to-do list. But those who are wise do, as you say, consider everyday as an opportunity to express their love in the family.

      I think your family will be a blessed one with such loving thoughts you’ve for your family. Yes, it’s a good and different feeling you’ve when the entire extended family live together. This acts like a chain reaction – you respect your grandparents as probably your parents do too, and when you show the same respect and love to your parents, your children will very likely follow the tradition forward.

      Wishing that you’ve all the love in your family. Thanks for contributing your loving thoughts. :)

  9. Lisa

    September 8, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    I was very close to my grandparents and miss them still. I hope to become one like them. I spent a lot of time at their house as a kid but they didn’t do any discipline – that was left for my parents. They taught me a lot especially family history and how things were at one time. So different than today. If they came back for a visit today they would not believe all the technology that is now here.

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      Harleena Singh

      September 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      You’re lucky to have experienced the bliss of grant parenting, Lisa!

      And grandparents sure do leave beautiful impressions and memories. The beauty is that they do it without finding the need to discipline the children; that’s what is so magical and special about grandparents, they’re great teachers.

      Oh yes, anybody from the past will find the future as fascinating. I’m sure it’ll be an altogether different world even after we’re gone; such is the pace of technology!

      Thanks for sharing your personal experiences with all of us. :)

  10. Hajra

    September 9, 2012 at 12:29 am

    I am not yet ready to be a parent! It freaks me out! ;)

    I have seen my parents transition to wonderful grandparents.. yes, my sister has two kids. I think grandparents just spoil their grand kids rotten… that is something every grand kid is ready for! Any role takes some effort and I remember missing my grandparents when I was young. My mom lost her parents quite early in life and my dad lost his father before I was born. I just could meet my Dadi Amma (that’s how I called my grand ma). And she was paralyzed at an early age. But I remember the good times with her. She always overlooked our naughty acts and “saved” us from mom’s disciplining acts!

    But she always said things that remained with us till a long time. It not only made us wise, it made us better people.

    Thanks for reminding me of those memories.

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      Harleena Singh

      September 9, 2012 at 5:40 pm

      I’m glad the post was able to stir good memories of your Dadi Amma, Hajra!

      You experienced how giving and loving your grandmother was, and that is how most grandparents are. And they also share their wisdom, which they attain in the long run of life. Grandparents are such an essential part of a family, and only few of the children deprived of such a luxury get the opportunity to have foster grandparents.

      Grandparents are made to be spoilers! It’s nature’s balancing act that takes place in a family – to balance the strict parents. It’s something that my husband too understood a bit late who has always been a disciplinarian and would initially get upset when my father used to give all liberties to our children. :)

      Thanks for sharing you personal life experiences. :)

      • Hajra

        September 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm

        It is nature’s balance after all. I see my sister’s disciplining acts being battled against my parents spoiling her kids… It is kind of adorable too!

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          Harleena Singh

          September 10, 2012 at 6:38 am

          Yes it is. And grandparents are the much required stress busters for the grandchildren! They help the children to open up their emotional channels, which is equally important for their overall development. :)

  11. Galen Pearl

    September 9, 2012 at 5:39 am

    I didn’t get to plan very much for being a grandparent because two of my three daughters surprised me last year with my first two grandchildren, born just five weeks apart. Big surprise! But now I get lots of practice since one daughter and her son live with me. I’m here to tell you that being a grandparent is lots of fun! So much more fun than being a parent! I highly recommend it! Maybe one thing that has helped me transition into this new role is being flexible and letting go of expectations. And letting my daughters, young though they might be, be the moms.

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      Harleena Singh

      September 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      I bet all grandparents would agree with you, Galen! Certainly being a grandparent is more fun than being a parent. Now that we’ve your recommendation, we won’t let go of such a chance! :)

      I’m sure your grandchild is giving you the opportunity to learn lot new things. You’ve given a few important tips for all those getting ready for being a grandparent – be flexible, let go of expectations, and let the moms be the moms. First two are handy tips for all kinds of relationships, and the last one really helps the young moms learn the lessons on their own, and of course the grandmother is there for help whenever needed.

      Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and the wonderful tips. :)

  12. Jodi Heal Now and Forever

    September 9, 2012 at 6:51 am

    I cannot wait to be a grandmother! I am sure my grand-career will be full of ups and downs, bu I would do well, just having faith in my grandchildren, knowing that it is their path and witness their skill in navigating it!

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      Harleena Singh

      September 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      Oh yes, you’ll be a good grandmother, teaching all the good things to your grandchildren. A foundation of good personal and family values will equip the grandchildren with the wisdom to find their path to success and happiness.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  13. dadblunders

    September 9, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Harleena,

    I have seen it far too often grandparents taking over as the primary caretakers for any number of reasons. Most of the time it was because they failed the first time around as a parent and generally they were failing the second go round also. There is a lot of truth in we reap what we sow. If you are a bad parent you are probably going to be bad grandparent. you won’t be involved and you won’t care. The one problem with people that feel that way is as they get older they normally change their views. They decide they want their kids in their lives. Often by the point it is too late and their children don’t want them. My philosophy is practice being the best parent you can be now and you won’t have regrets later in life.

    Aaron

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      Harleena Singh

      September 10, 2012 at 8:04 am

      Exactly, Aaron! You’ve caught on to the point conveyed by the post, and in fact, made it clearer.

      The preparation for being a grandparent begins much before your grandchildren and born. It actually begins after your own children are born and your life as a grandparent depends very much on how you parent them. And people mostly ignore this aspect or do not understand the significance.

      The “we reap what we sow” dictum generally hold good for everything in life. Being a bad or not-so-good parent translates to having a not-so-good or tough life as a grandparent.

      Although I believe people do have the capability to drastically change for better and improve, but you’ve highlighted one important aspect that sometimes it gets too late to change, and that doesn’t really have the desired impact.

      I totally agree with your philosophy of “being a good parent”, and that takes care of everything.

      Thank you for your important contribution to the post. :)

  14. Hiten

    September 9, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    What a wonderful post honouring grandparents!

    Your post brought back a flood of memories about my own grandparents, great uncles and great aunts too! It also made me reflect on the nature of such relationships and how special they are.

    They are just the way you described in your post. It is as if they are like parents and at the same time are more like very kind and caring friends. How amazing!

    I definitely agree that it is important to set appropriate examples to our kids when interacting with our own parents, else there is the risk our kids might treat us the same, and their kids (who they will have learnt the same from) will treat us as their grandparents like that too. Unfortunately, I’ve seen some cases of this in my own family too, so know all too well the importance of addressing it in our own lives.

    I really enjoyed your post! :-)

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      Harleena Singh

      September 10, 2012 at 8:43 am

      Glad you liked the post Hiten!

      Grandparents are special people, and I’m happy that you too agree with this fact. The term grandparents truly reflects their stature, as you describe, they’re a perfect blend of a parent and a friend; they are “grand” parents.

      Yes, you’re right; being a role model is what every parent should do. Before marriage everything we do gets coded in our genes, and after our marriage besides our coded gene information the children also get the information embedded in our behavior which they observe.

      So, we as parents are to an extent responsible for how our children become. And we only have the power to change the fate of our family by being better persons and better parents.

      As Aaron points out in the previous comment, we reap what we sow, so if you respect your parents and grandparents, and if your parents did the same and were a good parent to you too, you too would be the same, and get to lead a life of a happy grandparent. Everything’s connected!

      Thanks for help making the post more meaningful. :)

  15. MELISASource

    September 10, 2012 at 2:04 am

    Being a Grandparent in this day and age is hard work — a far far cry from what it used to be. I pray that I’m a long….LONG way from being a grandparent (LOL) — but I know that the choice is ultimately based on my children and their decisions. A great “food-for-thought” post here! ~ thanks for sharing! :)

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      Harleena Singh

      September 10, 2012 at 8:55 am

      I’m happy that you liked the post Makeba!

      You’re absolutely correct – being a grandparent in today’s world is not as easy a job as it was maybe a few decades back. We’ve made our life more complicated, and that extends and increases the work load of grandparents.

      It is now that everybody needs to understand some basics and prepare themselves much before they actually become a grandparent, so later they lead a happy life as a grandparent.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  16. Dukeo

    September 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I’m still quite a long way from being a grand-father.. Heck, I’m not even a father yet. But I still loved this post. I didn’t have the greatest relationship with my grandparents but I can’t wait to try to do a better job than they did!

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      Harleena Singh

      September 10, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      Glad you loved the post!

      This post is especially for people who aren’t parents yet, so they know the importance of good parenting, and how it affects you as a grandparent later in life. It’s great to know that you want to learn from your personal experiences and try being a better grandparent.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  17. Jeevan Jacob John

    September 10, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Stuff for old folks ;)

    Just kidding!

    Lot of things here, but I can’t add much (well, I have only started my life, but based on what I have seen – I agree with you). Kids treat their parents the way the parents treat their parents (well, that’s when you are living with your grand parents. Lot of folks these days travel around and leave alone – so their isn’t that continuous grand parent connection). Anyways, grand parents are indeed important. Take for instance, my case, I respect and love my grandparents more than my parents (a bad trait?). For grand parents are experienced, they know how you should look after children (no offense to parents, but it takes some time for parents to gain that experience).

    That’s it ;)

    Thanks for the tips anyways (Don’t know, might help some day if I plan to get married or something, but I have big goals in mind, let’s see if I can accomplish those within a good age :D).

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      Harleena Singh

      September 11, 2012 at 10:29 am

      You’re welcome Jeevan! I hope the tips come handy in your life, whenever.

      You’re right, not many families have grandparents living with them for various reasons. But even if you live far-off, you can maintain a connection. When I was small, I regularly used to write letter to my grandfather. Nowadays we’ve enhanced communication and networking options, but I agree that continuous grandparent’s connection happens only if they live with us.

      It generally happens that the grandchildren are more attracted to and love the grandparents more than their parents. There is guess work as to why does this happen. So, if you too do that, then know that it is normal. But if you disregard your parents, just talking generally, then there is a problem.

      Grandparents sure learn with experience. And they also learn about the mistakes that they made when they were young. There are many grandparents who suffered problems when they reached that stage of life, and advice the young to not ignore certain aspects that can negatively impact your life as a grandparent.
      The one most important thing you can consciously do is try to be a good parent from day one. This is the best tip and preparation to be a happy grandparent later in life.

      Thanks for contributing your views, and we’ll talk about the “goals” of life sometime later. :)

  18. Adrienne

    September 10, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    This is something I’ll never be Harleena.

    I don’t think people can really prepare. I mean like having children you prepare for their arrival but once they are here sometimes everything goes out the window. Just watching some of the people I personally know who are grandparents and some of those things they said they would never do. Yeah, right!

    My Mom is a good grandparent I believe. She definitely never spoiled the kids, she never spoiled us. I do see though at the age they are now, in their early 20’s, how much they appreciate and love my Mom. I think it’s knowing that they do have her in their lives and now that my Dad is gone that’s left a whole in their heart. They are more appreciative which I’m so blessed to see.

    Wonderful post though, as always. I loved reading the comments from those who are and even those who are not.

    ~Adrienne

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      Harleena Singh

      September 11, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Glad you liked the post and I agree that my blog readers have left wonderful comments, including you Adrienne!

      I respect your views and agree that we cannot – nor should we try to control our children’s lives. But I feel people can and should prepare themselves to be good parents.

      Good parenting is a task like any other important job and it requires people to learn some skills, gain knowledge, and be aware of the problems involved in parenting and how to deal with them. Though parenting is a natural instinct to many, but many also have problems in their lives because they fail in their parenting task.

      Being a grandparent is one phase of life that depends a lot on how you’ve been as a parent. And I believe that indirectly and inconspicuously, the preparation to be a grandparent starts right from the day you become a parent, or even before.

      If people do not prepare, they’re likely to suffer and have problems. Your mother has been a good mother, and so a good grandmother and it is also evident from how appreciative the grandsons are of her. Truly blessed to have such a grandparent and grandchildren in the family!

      Thank you for presenting your views; they’re an asset to the post. :)

  19. Cathy

    September 11, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Enjoyed your post on being a grandparent. I am not one yet, but do look forward to that day.

    Thanks for sharing your insightful information on the topic. Sometimes grandparents need to step in when parents become addicted to drugs. This is unfortunate, but hopefully can be a temporary situation if the parents find recovery.

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      Harleena Singh

      September 11, 2012 at 11:31 am

      Glad you enjoyed the post Cathy!

      You’ve highlighted a very important issue that’s becoming common – of young parents becoming addicted to drugs. In such cases, grandparents have no option but to step in and take charge. Unfortunate it might be, but it’s a blessing for the grandchildren who’re saved from ruining their lives.

      The point this posts raises is that if we as parents prepare ourselves from day one and try to be good parents, we’re most likely to not face such problems when being a grandparent. However, there’s no guarantee as even kids raised in the best way can also fall for trouble like drugs.

      Thanks for contributing to the post. :)

  20. Laura Black

    September 11, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Great article, funny, too. I never planned on becoming a parent (four children) or a grandparent (seven grandchildren) in any organized, book learning sort of way. It just happened. :) And I love both roles.

    For me, the significance of being a grandmother is being someone that both my child and my grandchild can come to with complete confidence that I will be understanding, compassionate, kind and loving. I want my child to know that I trust their capacity as parent (I did raise them myself after all). And I strive not to interfere. Yet, I also want my grandchild to know that they have someone they can always come to even when their parents don’t understand.

    As I’ve gotten older, I find that I can be more present for my family. Finally, always be a good listener, no matter who’s talking.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      Welcome to the blog Laura!

      I’m happy that you like the post, and apart from being funny, I hope you find it useful as well. :)

      You’re right; nobody plans to become a parent or a grandparent. Many people instinctively play the roles, like you, and are successful. They’re also guided by their intuition and parenting or grandparenting just happens.

      However, those who remain clueless and find parenting a difficult task do need to learn the hows of parenting and prepare themselves. And it is better they do that then be troubled and suffer being a parent or a grandparent.

      You’ve spilled the secret of being a good grandparent and you’re so correct in everything you mention in your comment – in fact, I’m writing my next post on something very similar to that! It’s what I call a great coincidence. :)

      You’ve given us all some awesome tips to be a good grandparent and a good parent as well. And I’m sure you’d agree that one needs to be a good parent in order to have a high probability of having a happy grandparenthood.

      Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the post. :)

  21. Anne

    September 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    You probably know this from my book, Harleena. But I had the most awful grandmother whom I had the bad luck to have to live with.

    I have no good experience with grandparents, but I know that most grandparents are great. My own kids’ grandparents (my husband’s parents) are just simply golden.

    I hope that God blesses me to have a long life with enough time to enjoy all the grand kids He’ll ever give me. I plan to be the most loving nana in the world!

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      Harleena Singh

      September 11, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      I’m sorry for your bad experiences, Anne, but on the other hand I am happy to know that you’ve made a choice to not let that affect you and instead you desire to be a good grandmother yourself.

      I know you’d be very happy that your children have the opportunity to have wonderful grandparents. Yes, you’re right that generally most grandparents are great, but there are exceptions to everything.

      I wish you get a chance to be a grandparent and enjoy the grandparenthood!

      Thanks for the contribution and for being so spirited. :)

  22. Corinne Rodrigues

    September 12, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    I was blessed enough to have known one grandfather and both my grandmothers, Harleena.

    My grandfather lived up to his eighties and both grandmothers to their mid-nineties. I know what they meant to me and how much of a difference their being in my life made. I don’t think it’s practical for me to expect to be a grandparent, but I certainly know what you mean when you say we should prepare to be grandparents. I have a niece and nephew in my life, so there’s some hope of being a grandaunt, someday :)

    I enjoyed reading this post and watching the fantastic videos – especially the one with the children – so delightful. Thank you for sharing.

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      Harleena Singh

      September 13, 2012 at 7:56 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Corinne!

      Oh, yes. The kid’s video is so sweet and I liked the grandparent’s song too. Grandparents are a blessing, and you’ve been lucky to experience that. Of course, there are some exceptions that’re not so lucky, and my heart goes out to them.

      I’m sure you’ll play the role of a good grandparent being a grandaunt, as you know what and how a good grandparent is. Wishing you all the best in advance!

      Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts. :)

  23. dadblunders

    September 13, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Harleena,

    I so wanted to tell you when you stopped by my blog the other day but I couldn’t say anything! I knew I had been nominated for this and was wanting to nominate you back as one of the recipients! When I found out about the Super Sweet Blogging Award you were one of the first people that came to mind for my nominations! I hope you enjoy! I am nominating you because of the way you care about people and the depth you go beyond in your follow-up! It truly shows you care! Please take this award from a friend!

    Aaron

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      Harleena Singh

      September 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      Congratulations for the award and for passing it along to me as well Aaron!

      I was given the irresistibly sweet blog award earlier, but this one takes the cake for being extra super sweet! Thank you Aaron for those warm and kind words. :)

      I’m glad you found my blog worthy enough, and I accept the award that I shall keep aside to pass on later to other sweet bloggers.

      Thanks once again. :)

  24. farouk

    September 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I still have a looong time before I can become a grandparent , I am not even a parent now but I loved your article. I wish you and your family all the best :)

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      Thanks for loving the post and your wishes, Farouk!

      You’ve all the more reasons to read the post. In fact, I wrote in it that it is targeted on the unmarried and newly married people, so they learn to be better parents from day one, which would increase their chances of having a blessed grandparenthood!

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  25. Nawaz

    September 14, 2012 at 1:31 am

    Harleena, you are always talking on the live realities of life that have concern with relations. All those people who have respect for their elders always see the dream as being elder in relation, but the people who are disobedient never think that they should be at the rank of grandparents as they are encircled by the fear – as you sow so shall you reap.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Welcome to the blog Nawaz!

      Our social interactions affects our well being to a greater degree, and to feel better we need to assess the realities of our relations. You’re right, Nawaz – the karmic principle of reaping what you sow holds good in all circumstances, and no body can escape that.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  26. Praveen Rajarao

    September 14, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Once again you have touched my heart with this article. I clearly realize and understand the importance of grand-parents in a kid’s life. My daughter has missed those days so much and now she is making up for all the lost days with my parents. When I see her with them, I can see the bond between, and there is an immense pleasure just watching them together.

    Still a long time to go for me to experience it :-)

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      I’m glad my post could touch your heart, Praveen!

      Yes, being a grandparent might not be a near possibility for you but being a role model and better parent is certainly what you can do presently, which I’m sure you’re doing. However, many people do not realize that these are the two important factors that greatly shape up the prospects of their grandparenthood.

      I believe grandparents are not only important to kids, but even to the whole family.

      Thanks for stopping by and reflecting on the post. :)

  27. BellyBytes

    September 15, 2012 at 7:05 am

    That was a well researched article!

    Grandparents are really special and in today’s modern age have a new role to play. With both parents working, “good” reliable servants and child care givers , hard to find , and even the concept of child rearing having evolved, grandparents have become even more essential.

    No longer is grandpa around to just play with the kids very often grandparents have a second lease of parenting with the grandchildren around. This time round they are more relaxed and definitely wiser so it is a win–win situation for all. I can’t wait to become a grandma and as for my husband, he is even more excited.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      Glad you liked the post and I wish I could refer to you by a real name!

      You’re right, times have changed and so have the roles of the family members. Grandparents are certainly a boon to the working parents, especially the working and single mothers. However, the intention of making use of grandparents for selfish purposes spoils relationships.

      I believe grandparents should first be respected and loved for what and who they are, and not be considered or treated like babysitters. The second lease of parenting sometimes takes a toll on them if the parents get complacent. However, if co-operated by parents, grandparents can really help by sharing their wisdom and better shaping up the lives of kids.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  28. Manickam Vijayabanu

    October 13, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Harleena,

    I am coming to your site through Dailymorningcoffee.

    Wonderful article. You have travelled very deeply on all emotional corners of the relationship. I like the simple questions and the way you have narrated.

    Absolutely! With current busy life style and an ongoing trend, combined family structure almost gone globally, and meeting Grandparents and kids together become like a festival moments.

    As we know, TIME is precious. When kids grow up, Grandparents love, affection and values should be embedded in their mind, importantly when they are very younger.

    There is an art about life, which can be portrayed only at specific ages and can only thought through by specific people. In my way..Good parenting could show up life path. But most time, Grandparents only can illustrate How to live!

    Thanks for the emotional and insightful article.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 13, 2012 at 11:28 am

      Welcome to the blog Manickam – I guess I need to thank Praveen for connecting us here!

      Glad you liked the post, and yes, these are mainly my feelings that I’ve weaved into words to share with everyone. :)

      I wish that wasn’t the case, and even though our lives are busy, we could take out some time for the elders in our family who have lived their lives raising us – isn’t it? You are absolutely right – kids should be taught to value their elders right from the time when they are young, which then becomes a habit by the time they are adults. I guess this is something that we lay stress on a lot in our country.

      I think grandparents in the family can teach a lot directly and indirectly to their grandchildren and their own children as well, provided we are ready to listen and implement. They have so many years of experience and wisdom that we can all learn from.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  29. Chloe Wallace

    April 30, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Being a grandparent is hard most especially when you are already affected by the signs of aging. There’ll be a time that you can no longer play your role. But what is important is that you have shown to you children and to your grandchildren how you love them and how special they are to you.

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