Monday, April 7, 2008

One of Life's Surprises: Grandparents As Parents

You've raised your kids.  They're out of the house.  Married (or not) with children.

Peace, you think.  Time to do all the things you've wanted to do but didn't have the time or money.

Then the other shoe drops.

The once-happy couple are now bitter enemies.

Your offspring are again nestled in their childhood sanctuaries...accompanied by your three grandchildren.

Nowadays it isn't uncommon for grandparents to revert back to parenthood, one that now merges the normal trials and tribulations with the age-old grievances of menopause, arthritis, high blood pressure, and fatigue.

Cousin Shirley is a grandma to 4 extremely cute and rambunctious youngsters.  After 23 years of managing hundreds of children, often on her own, this recently retired Kindermusik teacher has some well thought-out suggestions to share:

1. Rarely do for a child what they can do for themselves

2. Provide structure and routine

3. Look for the good; do not respond to the bad

4. When fighting over toys, remove the toy

5. When fighting with each other, remove each child to a separate room

6. Insist on good manners and a pleasant voice

7. Let them choose from a variety of good food

8. Eat with them

9. Tidiness counts


Eamon said...

Some good tips here (type of things one might have thought about, but good to be reminded of ..).

50something said...

Hi Eamon,
Thanks for your comments. Please let me know if you have anything to add. I'd love to hear from you.