Grandma's calming influenceNow I don’t want you to think this site is just for new grandparents, being a new grandparent can be both exciting, but also a tremendous learning curve.  In today’s world the role and importance of grandparents will go on really until the child is an adult.  So you need to ask yourself “What is good communication for your grandchild?”

With more and more marriages ending in divorce and single parenthood being completely acceptable now, the grandparent will often be called upon to hold the fort in emergencies.

Baby sitter

With the high cost of childcare it often falls upon grandparents to babysit and even to take full responsibility for the children while the parents work.  This is fine if you are young and fit enough, but I find looking after my granddaughter for more than a couple of days absolutely exhausting

When your children’s world is falling apart due to acrimonious divorce, you may be called upon to provide the glue and stability that is needed for the children.

What should you do?

What happens if the way your grandchildren are being cared for is not just different from the way you would do it, but abusive, what can you do?

Abuse is a horrible idea, one that we prefer not to believe could happen in our family. But the truth is that unfortunately it can happen in the best of families.

Of course when we say abuse, we immediately think of horrific sexual and physical abuse.  But often abuse is much more insidious than that.  Worse still it is not always intentional, the parent may be deeply depressed, over dependent on alcohol or drugs, not able to cope with their own lives and taking it out on the children.  What should you do about that?

Clearly if you think the children are suffering or being neglected it cannot go on.  But you really have to think long and hard about it, try to remember if there was a moment when things seemed to change.  Perhaps you could have the children to stay for a while to give the parents a break.  Be as objective as you can be, but if you feel you need to take action, discuss it with your doctor, if necessary talk to the police.

What is good communication?

The important thing for you is to try to not take sides and if no one else is, you have to put the children first.  Keep talking to them, listen to what they are saying, do they feel it is their fault that their parents are splitting Up?  Try to be there for them, hopefully you will already have a strong relationship with them.  But as families move around the country more and settle far away, there are many grandparents who have had little contact with their grandchildren until something happens.

What happens if your daughter in law will not let you see your grandchildren after a divorce?  What rights do you have?

I don’t know the answer to these questions now!

I found a book on Amazon that I thought would be good value and give you a lot o ideas for games to play, foods to make and stories to tell.  It has just been published by Abigail Gehring  “The Simple Joys of Grandparenting: Stories, Nursery Rhymes, Recipes, Games, Crafts and More”

I see this site developing, firstly as simply a place to come and discuss the issues that are challenging you, but also as issues come up to research them and find some answers.

Whatever happens, the essential ingredient for all this is your relationship with your grandchildren.  Make yourself a good listener, someone they can come to and tell their worries to.   Remember to continually ask yourself “What is good communication? How can I help them to open up to me?”

Never criticize their parents, or undermine them, but take what they are saying on board and if necessary talk to their parents about their concerns.

Families live in a hectic world today, mother’s work, everyone is under pressure to pay the bills and the mortgage. The days when the whole family sat down in the evening for dinner and shared the joys and sorrows of the day are mostly gone for families.   Sometimes they haven’t got time to listen to the fact that Johnny is getting bullied at school, or he is falling behind with his studies.

Not until the situation comes to a head, Johnny gets a bad report and they come down on him like a ton of bricks.  This is where you come in, listen, sympathise, make the parents aware of the situation.  Build that relationship as one of trust let your grandchildren know you love them and are always there for them.

Next time you have a challenge come to Grandmas Delights and share it.

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