This is the first post in a four-part series about being a grandparent.
As a young parent I was often confused about the conflicting parenting advice I received from family and friends…
“Don’t pick the baby up every time she cries or you will spoil her”
“Pick your baby up when she cries, she is calling for your help”
I read books and asked my doctor but still was left wondering what was best for my baby. If only there was someone for me to talk or help me at that time! (My decision to become a nurse was driven in part by getting information and answers to my questions).
Now as a grandparent, I am being asked for information and advice from my kids who have become parents…
- Did you drink alcohol when you were pregnant?
- Did you breastfeed me?
- Did we sleep with you and dad?
I thought my parenting role was over when my kids grew up and left home, but I have since learned that I have an important role in the life of my next generation.
You have heard it takes a village to raise a child and recently I have learned that there is a lot to this expression; the importance of grandparents and other adults in a child’s life. Halton as a community is promoting something called Developmental Assets, things that together create a strong protective environment for a child to grow and be healthy.
Lots has changed since I had my kids and lots has been learned about better positive parenting techniques to manage even the most challenging of behaviours.
There was a time when threats and wooden spoons seemed acceptable as ways to discipline children, but we know now there are better ways to discipline your children and develop more positive long-term relationships with your kids. In the last 20 years new information has been uncovered about the brain development of infants, which is changing those old beliefs about how we should raise our kids.
Becoming a grandparent, just like becoming a parent for the first time, is life changing but can be complicated. I had to figure out what my role will be… what do my kids want it to be? Can I “zip my lip” when I think they are doing something I don’t agree with? Or will they invite my opinion but do what they want anyway? We talk a lot. I realize they are the parent – not me – and I need to respect their rules.
I encourage them to call 311 and speak to a Public Health Nurse on the HaltonParents information line to get research-based information to help them sort out the best thing to do. I wish I had a resource like this when I was a parent.
While I am a nurse in my head, I am a grandmother in my heart, and I know that the public health nurses help me and my family make better decisions. Encourage your kids to call or get connected online.
Share your experience:
For more tips and hints about parenting, or to share your experience, there are many ways you can talk to one of us directly:
- Leave us a comment below – we’d love your feedback
- Talk to us on Twitter: @haltonparents
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call the HaltonParents line for parenting information or to speak directly to a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.
About this guest blogger:
Kathryn Webb is the Manager of the Early Years Health Program and has over 30 years of nursing experience. She has 5 grandchildren and 1 grand puppy named Zephyr.
Yes, it’s life changing, and I can’t wait (days and counting!)
Oh congrats! Im sure you will love being a grandparent 🙂 Glad that you enjoyed our post.
Katie, on behlaf of HaltonParents