One of the most difficult parts of being a new grandmother is learning  that there is a big difference between parenting and grandparenting. My natural inclination is to take charge (read: be bossy) and it is sometimes a challenge to realize that I don’t get to make decisions about how to raise this baby. I got to make decisions about my kids and my grandson’s parents are intelligent, competent people that get to make their own decisions about his upbringing.  Here is my list of dos and don’ts.

  • Be prepared to love this child beyond anything you imagined
  • Be tolerant when you feel like you are being auditioned to make sure your baby care skills are up to speed
  • Give all the love and support you can to mom and dad
  • Learn to be silly
  • Give your opinion or advice once
  • When the parents don’t listen to your opinion or advice – bite your tongue
  • Make every effort to be with your grandchildren as much as possible so they really get to know you
  • Kiss them over and over
  • Get down on the floor and play
  • Get advice on equipment, toys and games from other grandparents and parents
  • Read books to them even when the kids are babies and just want to eat them
  • When you are the caretaker-make sure you know specific schedule and what to expect
  • Remember you are still a parent- not just a grandparent.  Your child still wants you to consider their interests and achievements
  • Buy toys, games and books but don’t buy safety equipment (car seats etc) at garage sales
  • Be a calm and loving presence in your grandchild’s life
  • Always let your grandchild know you love them
  • Enjoy every minute – time goes really fast these days