I have no words to express my gratitude to have my child be in a setting where there is much love that goes around- especially from his grandparents. We went home months ago to settle and start anew from over 8 years overseas. My mom and dad would carve out time for me and my son in their busy schedule.
The relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren are far from perfect anywhere in the world, but there are always solutions and ways to connect; it is always, always worth it to invest in that relationship. It does not happen simply- it is created.
All relationships take conscious effort and sincere initiative, and our role as parents is to start it. And if the grandparent is not too keen- or say, too involved, here are a few ways to find the middle ground.
1. Check in with your child's grandparents on the following areas of concern- discipline, rewards and consequences, routines, and anything else that you foresee might have differing views from how you and your parents do things. There is a silver line between expressing help and being too involved, showing interest and being overbearing. Sometimes, grandparents need to be reminded with due courtesy and love if they do seem the latter.
2. Create 'Bonding time' for your child and your parents
It doesn't have to be expensive or even strictly included routines. No need to force your parents to keep up with the latest gadget, too! Time together whatever happens, always means love.
3. Follow through with good manners and courtesy by having your child practice them to your parents. Also, It's worth remembering special dates, such as grandparents' birthdays and anniversaries, and having your child give a courtesy call on those occasions.
4. Be great listeners- to your parents- yes, now and forever! Never, ever miss showing that same respect and attitude you expect from your child. We can always get a thing or a thousand from grandparents' wisdom.
5. Remember, your parents shouldn't have to compete with you for your child's attention or access. Show your authority, be gently frank if you need to, but give space and time for your parents and child to connect and enjoy each other's company.
It IS a complicated thing to balance the access of your parents and the decisions made regarding our children, but do let your parents know that they are needed, appreciated and greatly loved.