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How To Be The Best Grandparent

May 28, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 189

Retirement is a wonderful time in our lives. Why? Because we suddenly have time to do all the things we were previously too busy to fit into our working lives. Suddenly there is no nine to five; the children have well and truly flown the nest (well officially anyway); mortgage and credit cards paid off - so we have time and a little extra money on our hands. Some people take off to warmer climes, but others dedicate their time to learning how to be the best grandparent.

Being a grandparent is special; a privilege that cannot be taken lightly. You probably have many other interests that you wish to pursue at this stage in your life but putting a little extra time and effort into being a grandparent will bring untold benefits to you your children and your grandchildren. Everyone can be a winner in this close knit relationship; the kids get to have lots of fun and plenty of spoiling; parents can feel more relaxed about having to work and not spend a great deal of their income on child care; and grandparents can enjoy having fun with the grandchildren without having the same degree of responsibility as they did with their own children. They can relax a little and enjoy watching the kids grow.

So what are the benefits of being a 'hands on' grandparent?

Firstly and most importantly, they keep you young in mind and body. You certainly can't be a grandparent from an armchair, because they just won't let you. Young children require action be it football, a game in the park or a visit to the zoo - you have to get up and out, which is exactly what you need to do to keep your body fit and healthy.

Secondly, it's great to watch their development and enjoy their achievements. And they can teach you a thing or two as well. If you don't feel totally comfortable with a computer, you can rely on the grandchildren to show you how; plus the school curriculum is so wide and varied now, you'll have to engage your grey matter just to keep up. This may sound daunting but keeping your brain active keeps you young and helps you live longer.

Let's not forget the fact that strong relationships made with your grandchildren when they are young will pay dividends as you grow older. You will, as a family receive benefit from mutual support and friendship. But don't try to fake it for the sake of avoiding loneliness - kids are sure to catch you out.

But what about the grandchildren - how will they benefit?

As a grandparent you have so many life skills and so much knowledge, your grandchildren can benefit hugely from what you can teach them. Talking about your own childhood and your own grandparents, can not only teach them about the past, but can give them a sense of belonging and understanding their roots.

Grandchildren are much more likely to accept the teaching of right and wrong from grandparents - much more so than when taught by their parents. In accepting this and the fact that grandparents are an important part of the family, children develop a more positive and sympathetic attitude towards ageing; this respect for older people is often lacking in society today.

How to develop a great relationship with your grandchildren.

The easiest and yet often hardest thing to do is to listen. Listen to their excitement when they want to tell you about their achievements, but also be a listener when they have problems. Be some one they can turn to; some one who has time, who is uncritical and who can offer the benefit of life's experience to solve a problem.

Next you need to become a kind of role model, setting a good example in every experience you share with them. They will watch how you behave; deal with other people; show good manners and be polite and courteous to others. And it will begin to rub off; they will copy you and quote you because they set store by what you do and value your opinion. But remember not to dictate - let them be themselves, loving them unconditionally - not because they are becoming what you think they should be.

When you're thinking of things that you can do together, don't fight shy of the simple things you did with your grandparents. Feeding the ducks in the park; gathering blackberries; planting seeds, collecting shells, making jam...are all activities they will probably not experience anywhere else and so associate them with loving, caring grandparents and having fun.

Never forget just how lucky you are to have your grandchildren near to you. Many grandparents live too far away to enjoy the day-to-day 'stuff' together. But if you fall into that category, be grateful for modern technology. Encourage your grandchildren to teach you how to skype or set up a facebook account. They will enjoy teaching you these things and it will forge a strong bond between you.

Remember, where ever you are, whatever your circumstance, being a grandparent is a joy, so make every effort to keep in touch and you'll all experience the time of your life.

Retirement can be the most exciting time of your life. We are all living longer and once free from the constraints of the nine to five, there are endless possibilities of how we can spend this precious time. Whether you need or choose to continue working; whether you want to spend more time with the grandchildren; whether you want to travel the world... the possibilities are endless and at we show you how to make the very best of these special years. Don't waste them; come and visit us today.

Source: EzineArticles
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