Doulas of Des Moines
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The Doula Dish

When Parents Become Grandparents

Navigating the relationship change with your parents when you become a parent can be difficult. Imagine having raised super awesome kids that are now expecting. You made choices on how to raise them, and you clearly did a fantastic job, I mean look at your awesome adult children! You rock! Now, imagine all the things you will do with your grandbaby!!! The snuggle time, the fun outings, buying them cool toys or letting them have special treats! This is going to be awesome! All the fun parts of parenting but you get to send them home at the end of the day, or weekend. But once the baby is here your kids keep telling you that you can't do this or that with the baby. You feel they are being overprotective. You don't understand why your children aren't doing things exactly like you would. Doesn't sound like a fun start to parenthood or to grandparenthood either.

Safety standards are ever changing. There are so many rules and so many horror stories! (Thanks, internet!) And if all the changes in safety standards aren't bad enough, let's throw in new parenting trends and styles, and communicating across generational lines! Yikes! No wonder so many new parents and new grandparents struggle with understanding one another and agreeing on the best way to raise a baby.

It doesn't have to be a struggle! There is a way to work together to make an amazing team to raise your kids! One of the best ways to start is by having grandparents get updated on infant safety and parenting styles. Prenatal education isn't just for expecting parents anymore. Taking a Grandparent Class can get them updated on safety as well as parenting trends and communicating with their adult children! Gifting a Grandparent class can also be a fun way to announce your pregnancy!

Grandparents are so important! And not just for the free babysitting! They have so much wisdom to offer and even more love to give to your new family. Have you ever heard about a frustrated new mother that hands her screaming baby to the Grandmother and baby suddenly calms down? Grandparents aren't magic: they are wise, they are calm, and they are awesome! They know just how to bounce and sway, they know how to stay calm with a screaming baby, and they know baby will calm down. They also know they can leave if they are wrong about that last part!

They also have the best stories! I love hearing the stories grandparents tell. Not only are the stories great but hearing stories from family about the child's family's history can build self-esteem and stronger self concepts! Additionally adolescents with a “stronger knowledge of family history have more robust identities, better coping skills, and lower rates of depression and anxiety” according to the below article. So, maybe grandparents are magic…

Jill Kvinlaug