tips for being a grandparent - a grandparent and child looking out a window

Trying to Be a Better Grandparent? Try These 12 Fun Tips

Becoming a grandparent is a complete joy. Even though they aren’t your children, you’ll still experience challenges, responsibilities, and, best of all, plenty of fun when they are around. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time grandparent or have been one for a while, our team at Nantucket Family Resource Center (NFRC) wants to give you some tips (12 in fact) to help you be the best grandparent you can be. 

1. Celebrate Their Unique Personalities

Every grandchild has unique traits — so let’s celebrate them! Help them explore their interests. Attend their plays and concerts at their school. Cheer and celebrate their wins at their sporting event. And just ask questions about the things they love. It will give them a huge confidence boost!

2. Keep Up the Conversations

There’s no question that teens and preteens can be a bit tight-lipped, but don’t let that keep you from starting conversations. 

Make your home a judgment-free zone. The most important thing is that they know they are loved because when they feel safe in your presence, they will be able to come to you when they are experiencing bigger issues. 

3. Remember Responsibility

It’s so easy to give in to fully spoiling your grandchildren. After all, you don’t see them every day. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t help you out with some chores if they’re staying at your house for a weekend. In fact, a tip for being a grandparent involves finding some easy ways to get them involved in helping around the house.

4. Make Memories

There is nothing like making memories with the grandparents! So, plan some activities they will love. It can be something as simple as making dinner together or playing a game. It can also be something more dramatic, like a long weekend away camping. There is nothing like a shared experience to help create lasting memories. 

5. Share Your Passions

What are you passionate about? Let your grandchildren know about the things you love and get them involved. If you love birds, take them on a nature walk and point out some of your favorites. If you love gardening, have them help you water the flowers. Exposing them to your passions can spark their interest in the same thing. 

6. Know When to Step Back

When we ask grandparents for their tips for being a better grandparent, the answer we often get is knowing when to step back. You have to remember that they are your child’s children. And you aren’t always going to agree with the way they parent. However, it’s important to step back and not overstep their boundaries or become overbearing. 

7. Keep in Touch, No Matter the Distance

If you live far away, we understand how difficult it feels to not see your grandchildren in person often. Fortunately, technology has given us options to help fill the void. Set up video phone dates. Even if you are thousands of miles away, you can use this technology to play games together and more. 

8. Lead by Example

There’s no doubt that your grandchildren look up to you. So, be sure you’re always modeling positive behaviors. For example, if you smoke, maybe try not to do it while they’re around. And always model positive behaviors like kindness, generosity, and charity. Your grandchildren are always watching what you do. 

9. Make Your Home Safe

This is a great tip for a first-time grandparent. If your grandchildren are toddlers and are coming to stay with you for the first time, you’ll need to babyproof your home. That means plugging electrical outlets and removing potential hazards. 

10. Offer Help to the Parents

Parenting can be overwhelming, especially for first-timers. If you’ve noticed the young parents showing signs of stress, offer to help out. Something as easy as dropping off dinner or taking the grandkids for a long weekend can help reduce the stress on the parents. 

11. Keep Active

This is a tip for being a grandparent that focuses on you. You can’t be the best grandparent you can be unless you stay healthy. One of the best ways to stay healthy is to keep active. It also displays a positive example for your grandkids about the importance of exercise. 

12. Take Advantage of Family Services

Everyone from first-time grandparents to seasoned pros needs a little help now and again. That’s where Nantucket Family Resource Center steps in with tips for being a grandparent. Our local service providers can offer advice regarding just about anything. Visit our family services page or contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you in being the best grandparent you can be.

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