Becoming a grandparent is one of the best parts of getting older. After you’ve raised your kids and they’ve left the nest, you get to have many of the same perks of parenthood but without the stress. Welcome to grandparenting … the best part of having kids, and here’s why!
All the Fun, None of the Diapers
Many might say the worst part of being a parent was the 2–3 years each kid was in diapers. And if you have multiple kids, the diaper changes just compounded from there … a necessary evil, indeed. But as a grandparent? You’re usually free of the messier tasks, and thank goodness for that.
Being off diaper duty is a pretty good metaphor for grandparents in general. Once you’ve put in the time being a parent (remember those long nights?), being a grandparent is the reward you get for the time you logged in the trenches. Now you get to be the fun one who spoils the kids and sends them home with their parents.
Being a parent is hard work—you don’t know what you don’t know. By the time you’ve leveled up to grandparenthood, you’ve had a few more years under your belt, and a whole lot more experience. This allows you to give sage advice and give some perspective to your kids and grandkids.
Broken toys, broken hearts, skinned knees, and bruised egos can be helped by a hug, a cookie, and a listening ear. Especially as your grandbabies get older, you have the time to truly listen when they talk. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to grandma than mom and dad. Listen first, then draw from your own life experience to assure it will all be okay. You don’t have to know what TikTok™ is to find common ground.
Making the Most of It
So how can you make the most out of this magical time with your grandkids? We have some ideas to help.
Weekly Play Dates
We are huge fans of the weekly playdates with our grandbabies. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, just that we get to spend quality time together. Set a day and time you can keep most weeks. This helps kiddos feel a sense of security and routine and will enhance your relationship further.
What you do during the day totally depends on your interests and abilities. Let the kids choose at least one activity, but having some ideas ahead of time helps.
Here are a few ideas to try out!
- Bake cookies
- Build with Play-Doh™ or whip up your own batch with this DIY recipe. (It’s nontoxic, too!)
- If you have good weather, play outside and let those kids run! (Their parents will thank you come bedtime!)
- Try a game like SpotIt™ which has a bunch of different variations to cater to different interests.
- Read books together! One of the best ways to build a solid bond is through snuggles, fun character voices, and a good book.
Telling Family Stories
There’s nothing quite as magical as hearing a story from your grandparents, so this is a perfect activity to bond with your progeny. Some kids might not fully appreciate learning about their family history until they are much older, so saving this activity for older kiddos might be a good idea.
Want to up your game? Tell your grandkids a simple story and have them act it out and record it! This is a fun way to get your family stories deep into their hearts and memories, and if you capture these moments on video, you’ll have plenty of footage to show at their wedding and to their kids!
A night away from mom and dad is a fun opportunity for any grandkid, big or small. If they live nearby, why not make sleepovers a regular thing? When kids sleep over, you get to be with them until the moment they go to sleep. No need to say goodbye! Play until their eyelids just can’t stay open any longer, and then you get to read a story and kiss them goodnight.
Being a Grandparent Rocks!
Just like parenting, there’s no right or wrong way to be a grandparent. It will look different from person to person, but be willing to try new things. You never know what your grandbabies will love most.
Are your grandkids asking you “why” all the time? Read our blog “The Importance of the “Why?” Phase” to learn more about the importance of this simple question, and how to respond.