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4 Tips for New and Expecting Grandparents

Anyone who loves a senior understands the importance of being informed on senior issues, and so do we. Our News You Can Use posts are meant to help seniors and their families as they learn and transition together through the physical and emotional changes brought on by aging.

According to the American Grandparent Association, there are approximately 70 million grandparents in the U.S., and that number is growing at the staggering rate of 1.7 million new grandparents a year. (That’s a whole lot of trips over the river and through the woods!)
If you or someone you love has recently been promoted to grandma or grandpa, consider these tips to avoid some common new grandparent pitfalls:
1)    There’ll be plenty of time for presents!
Often, grandparents want to start spoiling their grandchildren right away (sometimes even before they’re born,) with heaps of gifts. Avoid this strong (but fun) temptation. A lot of expectant parents want to pick out their own child’s things, for one, and for some, their growing family has already made space a bit of an issue.  (Want to give a gift that money can’t buy? Offer to babysit! New moms and dads can always use a bit more time for a night out….or a few extra hours of sleep.)

2)    Know when to share your opinion… and when to keep it to yourself.
Yes, your children will always be your children, but when a new baby comes along, it’s easy to forget that they’re the ones with the reins. It’s their turn now. So, try to respect their parenting decisions, even if you don’t always agree.

3)    Beware of “Granimosity”
Regardless of your relationship or physical proximity to the “other” grandparents, be sure to avoid the green eyed monster and not focus on how much time they get to spend with the new born.  A child’s love has no limit, so there’s no need to get jealous. There’s plenty to go around.

4)    Enjoy every minute of it
Almost 75% of all grandparents say that having a grandson or daughter is the single most satisfying thing in their life, and for good reason. One of the great joys of being a grandparent is enjoying the freedom of not being in charge.  So relish in every minute of it! Live in the moment, let yourself be silly and play with your grandkids, and enjoy the new, enriched dimension that they’ve added to your life.

For more information on life events brought on by aging, visit