- I love the heck out of them and I enjoy doing things for the kids and grandkids!
- It comes very naturally to me.
- I, thankfully have the ability in time, health, and money. Not much, but enough.
- I want my grandkids to be healthy, happy, and successful.
- And yes, I’m providing experiences I wish I had as a child.
That last reason is not to fill a void of mine, but to ensure they have no voids--at least as grandchildren. But let me be quick to say all my grandchildren have great parents, meeting all their children’s needs including love and discipline. My grandchildren don’t need me or their grandmother, and that is a good thing. We want them to want us. We are icing on their cake and that is how it should be.
Speaking of their grandmother, she spoils them in her own loving ways. She makes them special pillow cases, buys them cute outfits, makes sure we add to their education savings on every special occasion, and so much more. We watch our three toddler grandkids two days a week because childcare is so expensive. It is quite a bit of work, but in return we have close personal relationships with all of them.
There is no doubt that there are grandparents all over the country who are much like us, but there are also many complications that many grandparents face making grand-parenting an often tough situation.
- When parents (or grandparents for that matter) divorce and remarry, it creates complicated dynamics that are often contentious.
- We have a mobile society which often separate grandparents from their grandchildren by large distances, making it difficult to develop loving relationships.
- Not all grandparents get along with their children, but even more so, they don’t’ get along with their children’s spouses. This is an unfortunate truth in many instances that deprives children from loving relationships.
- Some grandparents become the ‘parents’ of their grandchildren. This robs the grandparents of the things grandparents can do for their grandchildren. It also robs the kids of that unique relationship.
Grandparents also have rights. After the responsibilities of raising children of our own, we are free to live our lives as we wish. If we want to retire away from family to Florida, we can. If we don’t want to take care of kids any longer, we are not required to do so. We don’t even have to go to birthday parties. If fact, I’m not aware of anything that is required of a grandparent. We are who we want to be in the world of grand-parenting.
So what is the role of a grandparent? It is whatever we want it to be when we have the blessing and cooperation of the parents of our grandchildren. I’ve mentioned the roles my wife and I choose to have. Understandably, our choices don’t work for everyone. But I do hope that all grandparents can have positive relationships, beneficial to everyone in the family. There is never enough love to go around. Grandparents can provide a special brand of love--and hopefully be the icing on the cakes of their grandkids.