If you’ve got the news that you’re going to be a grandparent, these tips will help you stay a favorite for many years to come.

1. Show Your Excitement

When your children give you the announcement that they’re expecting, no matter what else is going on, show your excitement. Don’t think about finances, their relationship, or anything else but the positive news that you’re going to be a grandparent. Your child is probably excited, nervous, and even scared to tell you, because it’s going to make it all very real for them once the word is out. They need you to be happy and positive about it.

2. Tell Positive Stories

It can be tempting the moment you find out about your daughter or daughter-in-law’s pregnancy to start sharing stories of your own. If you do, try to tell only positive stories right now, unless they ask. You don’t want to add to their anxiety about the situation by sharing your birthing horror stories or focusing on anything that can go wrong right now.

3. Help the Parents More Than the Kids

Once your grandchild is here, it’s tempting to go help them and take over the childcare. But, when you do go help after the baby comes, your real job is to take care of the mother. Be ready to take the baby when the mom asks but until asked, keep things clean, and guard mommy’s sleep and rest carefully.

4. Let Go of Spousal Doubts

If you don’t like your child’s choice of a partner, it’s too late now. The best thing you can do (unless there is abuse of some kind) is to let it all go. Keeping the relationship together is more important now that they’re having a child. You really can’t predict what is going to happen, so keep any bad thoughts to yourself.

5. Defer to the Parents

While the word “Grandparent” has the word “parent” in it, that’s not the first part. The first thing is “Grand”, so be grand by deferring to the parents. If your children want a vasectomy or don’t want a vasectomy, want to breastfeed or don’t want to breastfeed, this is up to them and not you. Over the years they’ve already learned your position on these issues, so no need to talk about it now unless they ask.

6. Get Permission for Gifts

You probably want to surprise your kids with some gifts but for big ones, it’s best to talk to the parents first. They may have already planned for cribs, swing seats, strollers and so forth. Therefore, ask them about what type of things they need and then tell them what you’re able to do. If you can, a check that the new parents can spend how they need is probably the best gift.

7. Buy Experiences over Things

As the baby grows inside mommy, and then outside of mommy, the best type of gifts you can give anyone are experiences. If the parents don’t have enough money to have the type of birth they want and you’re able to help, offer. If you want your grandkids to have lessons such as dance, karate, or swimming, ask first. It will be appreciated just as much, if not more, when you ask. But, experiences are often remembered much more by the recipient than things that kids grow out of or toys kids break.

8. Offer to Help Carefully

When you’re helping with the grandkids – whether it’s helping the parents, or the child physically or financially, always offer to help carefully without any pressure or expectations. When your kids say no to you, it’s not because they don’t love and respect you; it’s just their preference and this is their child, not yours. Also, never tie any type of requirements to the gifts you give, whether monetary or not.

9. Remember the Other Grandparents

More than likely, you’re not the only grandparent. Typically, the grandmother of the daughter is the one who visits first after a birth to help her daughter during this intimate time. Then, the son’s mother will go and help too. In addition, if there have been divorces there may be even more grandparents waiting to help. Don’t stand in their way and don’t discourage them. The more people there are to love this new life, the better.

10. Give Advice When Asked

It can be very tempting to start shouting out advice to your children now that they’re parents too. But, you already raised them. They’re adults. Don’t talk to your children any differently than you would any other adult. But, let them know that you are always there for advice that’s straightforward if they need it. Otherwise, let it go.

The more positive you can be about and with your children and grandchildren, the more you’ll be asked to participate. It can sometimes be very painful for grandparents to let go and back off, but you’ll find that you’ll be more likely to be involved when you do.

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