THIS writer want to share with you some observations about grandparenting to your grandchildren and other stories of grandparents who are being accused of "over protective"; "konsintidor"; "spoiler to spoiled brats" or whatever they call to grandparents out there. We, as grandparents, are bounded with some limitations when it comes to parenting to grandchildren.
We must know where to put our parenting duties and responsibilities to the kids of our children. After all our children are also parents themselves. The following statements which this writer wanted to impart to others are compilation of advices from grandparents whom I encountered. There are things you wish to follow:
* Express your love to your grandchildren as much as you'd like.
* Always stay in close touch. See to it that when you are calling or talking to their parents, be sure to also to talk with your grandchildren. Arrange regular visits for doing something special.
* Bring them to places that their own parents may not have time for, or just spend time with them. If your grandchildren live far from, send letter or e-mail and send pictures and encourage your grandchildren to do the same.
* Do give special gifts for enriched learning such as education books or toys. If your children can not manage the cost to purchase a computer, give them one if you have enough. Your grandchildren will remember them.
* Do projects with your grandchildren. Teach you grandchildren some interesting skills such as chocolate or biscuit cooking, if you play music, knit, crochet, quilt, sew, or do woodworking or art, share these interests with your grandchildren. Sharing skills can have a great impact on them. It will make the children feel closer to you, and they will learn to appreciate your talents. Furthermore, they will always remember that a particular skill was taught to them by their grandparents.
* Encouraging children to love books is always valuable for them. You may wish to share books from your own childhood or from their parents' childhoods. Listen to your grandchildren read to you if they enjoy reading aloud.
* Share stories about your own childhood. They will remember them forever. They will appreciate the past and have a better sense of history. Encourage their questions and observations.
* Play games with your grandchildren. Children may be very competitive, so be sure not to let them always win. They should learn to cope with both winning and losing. Children often recall playing board games, cards, or checkers with Grandma or Grandpa. Games are also a nice way for informal communication to just "happen".
* Listen to your grandchildren. Let them talk to you and tell you stories. Be an attentive audience. Children often love to talk, and other children may not be as interested.
* Say positive things about your grandchildren's parents. If the children believe that you respect their mom and dad, it will help the parents maintain their children's respect. This will be good for your grandchildren and for you. They will respect you too.
* Give your grandchildren a very clear message about education. Tell them how important school and learning are. Ask your grandchildren about their grades and how they're doing, but even more important; ask them about what they're learning in school. Your interest in their learning encourages their interest in their learning.
Following are actions of some grandparents you have to get rid of and never do.
* Never spoil your grandchildren by giving them too many material possessions. It makes grandparents feel good to give, but it's not good for children to be giving too much. They won't appreciate what they have and will only want more. Each time you walk in the door, they'll expect gifts.
* Don't secretly tell the children, for example, "Well, Dad is punishing you, but now that your Dad is gone, I'll let you watch TV even though he said you couldn't." Sabotaging parents is the most damaging thing that grandparents can do. Children sometimes believe that they're equal to adults, and siding with them against their parents is likely to encourage rebellion and disrespect.
* Don't do too much for your grandchildren. Encourage their independence.
* Never impose your value system on your children's parenting styles. "Never say...ganito ang pagdisiplina ko sa mga magulang nyo noon" There may be differences in philosophy between a grandparent and a parent, but the grandparent must defer to the parent's wishes. Grandparents should share some (not too much) information based on their many years of parenting but must leave it up to the parents as to whether or not they wish to follow that advice. Sometimes giving your children a parenting book, newspaper article, or tape works best, but, again, giving your children too many newspaper clippings may only make them angry and cause them to feel like you're trying to control them and impose what you really wanted to do.
* Never say a grandchild that he or she is your favorite. Don't say they're the smartest, the most creative, the best, or the most special. It may make them feel good, but the grandchild may learn about that message too. By comparison, the other children will feel less favored. Don't call them "kings" or "princesses". They'll internalize these words as pressures and expectations and may expect too much of themselves or become dependent on praise and attention.
* DON'T talk to your grandchildren's parents about them in negative ways when the children might overhear it (referential speaking). Children who hear grandparents and parents say, "Bubo yong bata na yan, walang alam", "Panggulo lang yan" "She's so disorganized," "He's so shy," "She's afraid to try anything," or any negative words that describe them will feel negatively labeled. It's always better to talk positively about children, but to avoid extremes.
Grandparents, from the aforecited statements, we really know now what to do and say.
Have a great week end. Enjoy and have fun with your grandkids!