Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Aging in Idaho: Parenting Tips for Grandparents

As I engage with many older adults around our community, it’s clear many are raising the next generation. Some of you have taken on parental responsibilities, through foster care or adoption. Others are finding all possible points of entry into the lives of your grandchildren to influence them. Don’t grow weary in doing a good work. Some tips may be just what you need to re-energize you as you pursue a rewarding but sometimes difficult role.

Share the gift of routine. Perhaps there was wisdom in dedicating certain days of the week to complete farm and house chores. For example, Mondays were wash days. Many young adults today struggle with routine in a world where there are so many options. We sometimes enjoy the interruptions and tangents that technology and our busy lives provide. Maybe you can show us a better way. Don’t be afraid to establish routines that would help your grandchildren thrive. If your role is more of influence, share your ideas with your adult children to use with your grandchildren.

Teach them sexual integrity. It may seem awkward talking to your grand-children about sex and sexuality, but it’s the reality of the world they live in. They are forming ideas about love and relationships. You may be surprised what they’re exposed to at such a young age, whether via social media, at school, during after-school programs and from their peers at church youth groups. Be accessible and available to talk. Become the go-to adult who they can trust and share their lives with.

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