How many times do your hear people say that their parents spoil their kids rotten. Can you relate to that concept? Thinking back on my friends’ experiences, I can see the good cop/bad cop scenario being played out. The parents of young children are busy creating a balance of fun with life lessons, or as children see it, discipline. Parents often feel as if grandparents come along and get to have all the fun without the work of raising the grandkids.
As a parent and grandparent myself, I am aware of the challenges to respect my adult children and their chosen parental style. Creating a dialogue with my kids that allows my husband and me to have quality time with our grandchildren has minimized any problems on that front. Respecting boundaries and guidelines set out by our children and their spouses has kept conflict to a minimum.
A great question to ask, as a parent,is what is best for the child? Grandparents add support, joy and guidance to children. In return, grandchildren add happiness, fulfillment and joy to the grandparents’ lives. Research has found that both grandparents and grandchildren who felt emotionally close to the other generation had fewer symptoms of depression.”Extended family members, such as grandparents and grandchildren, serve important functions in one another’s daily lives throughout adulthood,” said study researcher Sara Moorman, professor of sociology at Boston College.
I have a belief that having a close relationship with your grandchildren strengthens your relationship with your own adult children. Adult children now experiencing parenthood have a great appreciation for what their own parents went through. Long held resentments can be let go when a greater understanding of the challenges are experienced first-hand. Grandparenting has taught me to experience unconditional love on such a deep level that it has transformed my practices of kindness, forgiveness and compassion tenfold. The honour of having these beautiful humans in my daily life has forever been imprinted on me with a joy words cannot express.
Spoiling grandchildren with gifts, candy, and other material niceties is a valid point of concern. However, never confuse a loving relationship as spoiling, for no one ever dies of too much love.