Be the Best You to Be the Best Grandparent
Here’s a secret to be an amazing grandparent. Be the best you, to be the best grandparent.
The more you put into your relationship with yourself; the better relationship you’ll have with your grandchildren, or anyone else for that matter.
A few years ago, I wrote a post called How to Be an Awesome Grandparent. That was the first of many grand-parenting posts that I wrote over the next year or two.
Over a million people have read those posts!
One thing that hasn’t changed is how important my relationship with my granddaughters are. They are ages 2, 6, and 12, so a wide range of ages, and I enjoy each of them.
How I Became the Best Grandparent
I’ll be honest, my grandchildren adore me, are fascinated by me, and want to spend every minute I am at their house with me.
I don’t say that to brag; I share it because by writing about how to be an awesome or unforgettable grandparent, I really worked on these relationships over the years.
The most important thing I believe I’ve done, is I worked on being the best ME.
In the years since I became a grandmother, I have worked hard on my self-development and creating a deep and trusting relationship with myself.
I can’t even believe how I have grown as a woman. And as that woman, my grandkids love to be around me and spend time hanging out with me.
By being the best you that you can be, you will be a person that grandchildren of all ages love to be around!
In this post, I am going to share ways that I did the personal work to become the best version of me, so that I could be the best grandparent.
Let Go of Grudges, Resentments, and Hurt
A huge part of my self-work has been learning the art of forgiveness. If you did nothing else but work on clearing grudges, resentments, and hurt, you will have more peace and calmness in your life.
If you are blaming another person or situation for your life, you might be walking around with grudges, resentments, and hurt.
Now, there is nothing wrong with feeling ANY of those things. However, if you hang onto them for dear life, then it affects you and how people perceive you.
But most of all my friend, hanging on to those kinds of feelings, only hurt you. They truly hurt and cause pain in your own life.
Even if you are 100% justified in your feelings, it is still worthwhile to process your pain and let it go.
This may seem IMPOSSIBLE due to your situation or circumstances. However, even the intent to forgive creates some breathing room.
Letting go does not make you a doormat or weak. It will not leave you open to more hurt. Learning this takes time but it actually makes you stronger and more secure in yourself.
A peaceful person, who is at peace with herself is always more attractive in the sense that people want to be around her. This especially includes your grandchildren!
Take Care of Your Health
There are no guarantees of time for any of us! I consider myself healthy, but I know that doesn’t mean I’ll have 40 more years with the grandkids. But I sure am hoping for it.
For me, eating real food, moving my body, and having a positive outlook on life help keep me active and energetic.
The payoff is that I can actively participate in a lot of things with the girls! While I love quiet activities too, it’s still fun to go to parks, take walks, push them on the swing, or go roller skating.
You may never want to get on skates again—I’m not sure I will either! But I do love being able to do stuff that I do want to do with them.
Eating real food and moving your body, increases your personal vitality. You radiate more energy and enthusiasm for life. Seriously! You become infused with animation and vibrance when you make your body a priority.
Try New Things
Try new things my friend, with or without the grandkids. There is nothing like being a beginner and learning something new to give you some appreciation for what your grandkids do every day, all day.
Just because we’re grandmothers doesn’t mean life is over for us or that we can’t try new things.
I became a grandmother when I was 52. Since that time, I have:
- Got divorced (super bummer and not fun, but I survived it)
- Went from a size 14 to a size 8 and maintained it
- Learned to ride a bike for long distances
- Hiked up mountains and in national parks—and even did one trip all on my own
- Started a successful blog—this one!
- Took on a new job for a while
- Went out with over 40 different men (sometimes just once)
- Tried all the apps for dating: eHarmony, Match, OkCupid, Bumble…
- Fell in love three times, engaged once (that one is over), and hopefully found my forever guy now
- Got certified as a life and weight loss coach (business number two after 50)
- Started a second website with my daughter
At 58, I’m starting new projects, making new friends, and having new experiences.
Believe me, I was NOT like this in my 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s! I was afraid to try stuff and often quit way too soon.
I think doing new things is the fountain of youth. At the very least, even if you don’t look younger, you will feel younger.
It’s funny, because it might appear, that I have this wildly adventuresome life. And it is at times.
But most of the time, I’m a quiet introvert who loves to write and create. My time with the grandchildren is usually spent playing on the floor, doing crafts, or cuddling and watching a movie.
Recently, I bought my six-year old granddaughter this complicated child-level electrical engineering toy. Yes, I AM that kind of grandmother. I had hoped that someone, other than me would help her with it.
However, when I visited a month after Christmas and still no one had opened the box, I took a deep breath and decided that I would tackle that thing.
To be honest, at first it freaked me out! There was no way I would be able to create electrical circuits.
We forged ahead and created several working circuits that gradually became more complicated. The kids loved it and I was so proud of myself.
Be an Enthusiastic Participant in Life
Life is hard sometimes. It is scary, unpredictable, and messy at times. So much so, that it’s tempting to hide away and stick to what we are comfortable with and what we know.
Being a full enthusiastic participant in life requires us to FEEL all the feelings. Are you up for some embarrassment, sadness, fear, anger, shame, and uncertainty?
Sounds like fun, right? But the willingness to feel anything, gives you so much freedom in your life.
On the other hand, you also get to feel amazing, committed, brave, wild, sexy, loving, playful, enthusiastic, and adorable.
Who needs comfortable (a.k.a. BORING) when you have a tray of amazing feelings like that?
Take Responsibility for Your Own Feelings
This is a biggie. Your kids don’t make you happy. Your grandkids don’t make you happy. Your partner doesn’t make you happy. And they don’t create your unhappiness.
Yes, when I look at my grand-daughters I feel like my heart will explode. I am filled with love, happiness, and joy.
But they aren’t doing that. It is me, thinking wonderful things about them.
I could probably if I tried really hard think some not so great things about them. And I wouldn’t feel nearly as good.
The reason this is so important is that we can mess up relationships really bad when we expect other people to make us happy.
I had a period of time, a few years back, when I made some judgements about how my daughter was acting. It was not making me happy. I thought she was the problem.
Thank goodness, I hired my own coach and that’s when I discovered that I was causing all my own suffering. I worked on that myself for myself. I cleaned up my own thinking and that changed EVERYTHING.
Instead of having a strained relationship, we’ve gotten closer and closer and that makes it just that much more fun being the grandparent of her kids.
Be You, not Perfect
I want to end this post by assuring you that you don’t have to be perfect to be the best grandparent. Truly, you can just show up as yourself and be the best.
My life’s work is helping you achieve your version of your best you. You are hard-wired to grow and strive to be better.
It’s counter-intuitive but becoming the best you, means becoming the most authentic version of yourself rather than a “perfect” version of yourself.
Being loved by yourself, just as you are is the very best thing you can do for yourself and all your relationships, including the one between you and your grandchildren.
If you are struggling in any of the above areas, I can help. It’s what I did for myself and now I do for others.
Hi, I'm Sara and I'm so happy you're here! My Think Big Life began shortly after I turned 50. Big changes can happen with a small start, an adjustment of thought, or a simple process. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 30-minute coaching session.