When we adopted Amy and Josie, my mother was concerned that she might find it difficult to connect with our children and that she would do or say something wrong. If I’m honest, I probably still feel a bit like this myself at times, although I now realise I am unlikely to cause any lasting traumatic effects! However, one of my highlights as a parent is watching my parents and Mr March’s mum with our children. This was especially true this weekend; one of the highlights being watching my dad scooter round the garden with my girls.
It seems to me that grandparents seem to have a knack for parenting in a very PACE centred way (What is meant by PACE parenting). They seem much more playful than I am (I find being playful really difficult at times). They use gentle persuasion, games and patience to encourage them to clean their teeth or put their shoes on. They can play at being a little bit silly at times too which the girls find really engaging.
As grandparents sit just outside the immediate family they seem a bit more distanced from household tensions. They are able to see everyone’s side, and as such, use acceptance and empathy to communicate that they understand how each person in the family is feeling. Added to this our grandparents are also able to ask questions that as a parent I don’t always make time to, and in that way they can be more curious and open to understanding the world of their grandchildren.
Of course grandparents aren’t with the children all the time and don’t necessarily have to worry about all the concerns that parents have to such as running a family household, going out to work, walking the dogs and making sure everyone’s clothes are washed and ironed when needed. But maybe we as parents should make some time to set those worries aside and spend more dedicated time parenting like a grandparent.
I would like to thank the March family grandparents for all their love and support.
What do you think? Do your families find grandparental relations helpful?