Ahhh, grandparents. I don't think the world could run without them. Seriously. Figuring out the role of a grandparent can be hard when the parenting is left to those whom you used to wipe the noses of and spoon feed, right?
Times have changed as we hope you're still not doing the above mentioned duties. Here's some good boundaries to have with your children as they parent:
Allow adult children to establish their own Holidays
As nice as it would be for you to see your grandchildren wake up in your house on Christmas morning, it's healthy to allow your children to create their own traditions with Holidays. Communicate that you support their own family development of their own holiday traditions that are separate from you (Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween, etc). Once they've established their tradition, ask how you can create your own new celebration with them.
Be careful offering unsolicited opinions
This, in general, is always a good rule-of-thumb for anyone at any given time. While you have been through the parenting ups and downs and have an extensive amount of knowledge to give to your children, it may not be welcomed if it hasn't been asked for to begin with. We encourage you to offer opinions when they've been sought out. This will not only help avoid hurt feelings for your children (being told what to do and possibly feeling "inadequate") but also hurt feelings for you as well (having your opinion ignored and feeling "dismissed").
We want all grandparents to be celebrated and honored! Thank you for all you do to love, care and spoil us.
Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.