Are You Ready for Being a Grandparent

- | 61 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Family & Parenting

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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61 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    • 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. 🙂

  3. 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.

    • 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. 🙂




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Are You Ready for Being a Grandparent

by Harleena Singh time to read: 8 min