Becoming a new parent is a harrowing experience, and you know that because as a parent yourself, you’ve been through it before. Now that your adult children are going through it themselves, you have a chance to share what you’ve learned. Here’s how grandparents can support new parents through the years.
Lend Wisdom Through the Pregnancy
One of the best ways that soon-to-be grandparents can support soon-to-be parents is by filling in the blanks when it comes to any and every aspect of pregnancy. Your children are bound to have questions for you about how to keep up with changes.
There are a handful of answers you can offer that pregnancy books can’t. One of the most important pieces of information you can give your children is the family medical history. Having a better understanding of diseases and medical problems in the past can be a huge help during prenatal care. You can also lend advice on what to do and what not to do when it’s time to create a birth plan and prepare your pregnant loved one for what it will be like in the delivery room.
Be a Resource in the Toddler Years
There will be days when your kids come to you desperate for a break. Even daycare can’t give parents the chance they need to fully recharge and be there in the healthiest way possible for your grandchildren. In the toddler years, choosing to take the little ones for a weekend and let their parents catch their breath is an incredible gift.
Grandparents can support new parents by answering the litany of questions they undoubtedly have about life with a little kid as well. Communication barriers, growing pains, and a lack of understanding both ways can make these early years miserable for parents who struggle to adapt to their child’s needs.
Be a Friend Every Year After
Once your grandkids start to get older, your adult children will likely look to you for help raising the little ones less often since schools and daycares will now fill that role. Even now that your own children are less stressed from sleepless nights, you can still offer them some reprieve.
Offering to meet them at a restaurant, catch up over coffee, or simply join them on a walk gives you a chance to connect with your son or daughter over the trials and tribulations of parenting and adulthood with your new shared context in life. There will still be ways for grandparents to support new parents in the later years, even if it’s just lending a listening ear and some solid life advice.
Just like always, being there is the greatest gift you can give your own adult children as they learn what it’s like to raise kids of their own. You may not always have the answer, and not every question will be asked to seek a solution. Simply listening and learning with your loved ones will be enough.