Please give some advice to new grandparents!

LynnZeeNovember 19, 2002

Hello everyone, we have 2 grandsons, born a month apart, one lives out of state, the other a few hours away. We are trying to be equal in money, gifts, attention. They are just a year old, could any of you with years of experience tell us what you have learned that you wish you knew from the very beginning? Thank you! LynnZee

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Hey LynnZee, I don't have years of experience, but I think what DH and I do for our grandbabies would be good advice to you.Our grandsons are just 2 and 3. As far as gifts go, we give them moderate gifts on holidays and birthdays etc. We don't by any means overload them. After we have bought a moderate gift, we put money in an account we opened for them. We believe that it will be much more appreciated and well-spent this way. Usually kids today are overloaded with toys etc. anyway and I really don't want to spoil mine thinking that they are going to be showered with gifts for every occasion. When they get older, I feel that they will appreciate the little nest egg.
As far as dividing attention, being that you don't live in the same community with either of them, I would just do my best to have family gatherings which include both families and try my best to visit when I can. That is really all you can do.
Good luck and congratulations!! It is wonderful being a grandparent, as I am sure you know by now!!
Lulie Cosby

    Bookmark   November 20, 2002 at 3:11AM
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Lulie, great ideas. What do you consider a "moderate gift"? Just last night my husband said he's trying to think of something to give that's not "fleeting"... in other words, something that he will enjoy and appreciate and won't just be one of dozens of similar toys he'll soon be disinterested in.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2002 at 3:30PM
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Even though they are only one, you might look for books, etc. Soft books, that they can and will chew etc. Also I use to look for "educational" toys etc. Places like Toy 4 US group items by age. Don't be afraid to dicuss this with the parents. You probably will never be "even" with gifts, and this should not be a problem. Learn their personalities, and give a few gifts etc. You could develop a hobby also. Picnics, walks in the park, etc. Do you have a viedo camera? Start a Grandma book with things you like and maybe they will like later--poems, songs, pictures etc. Even a little about when their parents were little. Reading to them will help. Your husband could have a special book, a special tool, a bird house, etc. I am sure just looking around the stores you will get ideas.
Congraulations and good luck

    Bookmark   November 20, 2002 at 8:45PM
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I have wonderful memories of my Grandmother. Unfortunately, I came along fairly late in life and didn't know the others. You know what I remember? The time she spent with me. I use to spend the night with her and we'd play cards for hours. she didn't have much money and lived with her friend in the upstairs of her home. It was a small upstairs and just right for the two of us. I'm getting warm all over just remembering :-)

I have a son that hasn't had the benefits of good Grandparenting and I feel bad for him. His step Grandma is so busy volunteering and doing good stuff for others that all the Grandkids seem unimportant. Her and my Dad have never even had him spend the night and he's 18 now. Too old to care. My husbands side was even worse. From the day he was born they made it clear they were never going to babysit and they didn't. They never built a relationship either.

I don't know if your retired or still working, but how special it would be to make time for them during summer vacation or other holidays and spend special time with you. I know when our son was little the pool at the hotel was the greatest entertainment, and it didn't have to be fancy. A walk, an ice cream, etc all willl make memories for that child to hold for the rest of their lives, and it will make them both feel real special. Perhaps you could even be a catalist for the relationship between the grandkids if they don't get to see each other much.

I don't have years of wisdom to pass on, just some stuff I appreciated and treasure and regret in the life of my son and his cousins.

How wonderful that you cared enough to ask on this forum. I bet your going to be wonderful Grandparents!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2002 at 9:35PM
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LynZee, welcome to the GP club. You are going to experience something unique and quite wonderful. My GDs are undoubtedly the joy of my life.
All of the advice above is excellent and wise. I would just like to add re showing favouritism. My daughter was concerned that I would show preference for the first born granddaughter (one of three) but what I do is refer to each one as "my favourite seven year-old, my favourite five year-old and my favourite three year-old" so when I greet them each one knows that she is special to me in her own way
Also really LISTEN to them, that is give them your full attention when they are trying to tell you something. One last thing, my GDs love to hear stories from my life, experiences I have had, fun or sad things. They always say "Tell us that story again, Gran" Even when I`ve just finished it! We talk a lot. I could go on and on. Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2002 at 7:37PM
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