You raised your kids and they turned out fine. What could you possibly learn that you don’t know already? The truth is that a lot has changed since you gave birth. The baby gear alone is incredible. My newest grand daughter has a high chair that looks more comfy than my favorite lazy boy chair – and has more positions. Her stroller is so high tech you practically need an engineer to operate it.
You will be learning all the information that the parents of your grandchildren are learning — perhaps more. You will learn the new theories about feeding, sleeping, crying, lying, and handling meltdowns. This is no time to assert that the old ways are best.You can even learn some family rules that will keep you out of trouble.
Questions will be answered, like what happened to punishing, and even spanking kids who are rude and misbehave? Are kids today spoiled? Are some kids discipline-proofed? Are they growing up too fast? Are you too permissive or too strict? What can you teach your grand children that their parents don’t? When should you speak up and when should you bite your tongue?
Getting together with other grandparents can be very reassuring. You will become more clear about your role as in laws as well as grandparents; when it is important to respect the wishes of the parents and when it is okay to bend the rules a little. You will find out that no matter how hard you try to please the parents conflict is inevitable but most conflicts can be resolved if you have some effective conflict resolution skills.
The classes will do one more important thing: they will remind you of the good news about being a grandparent that you’re really not the one in charge here and nothing is your fault, either. As Roxana Robinson writes in Eye of my Heart
It’s like being told you no longer have to eat vegetables, only dessert — and really only the icing. —
So take a back seat, learn the new ways and enjoy the ride.
So take a deep breath,smile and sign up for a grandparenting class. You will learn a lot and you won’t regret it.