Parenting Advice – With a SmileBy Lori Felix
If you are a new parent, congratulations! I just became a grandmother and I know we can get a bit overzealous. It’s exciting to watch your child become a parent, and oftentimes, as grandparents, we get carried away with enthusiasm. Many may call it helicopter grandparenting. Our intentions are to help you navigate this experience and offer up our wisdom and experience. Here are some suggestions to help pave the way for a good relationship with your parents. That way, you’ll still get free babysitting while establishing your authority as the parent.
#1 Caution: Strong Opinions Ahead
There are many decisions to be made – from what to name the baby to what to feed the baby, which childcare options are best, and more – and grandparents can become a bit opinionated. As a parent, you may get frustrated hearing the opinions of your in-laws or your own parents. My son and daughter-in-law always hear me out, but they will do what they think is best for their child. I love how honest they are with me. If you’re a new parent, set a tone of cooperation and make it easy for the grandparents to share ideas with you while reinforcing that you have the final say.
#2 Avoid a Food Fight
New parents are exhausted. Every stage in an infant’s and toddler’s life has its challenges. You don’t always have to be supermom or superdad. My daughter-in-law makes her own baby food and is introducing new foods slowly and carefully to our grandson. But I like to remind her that there are also healthy alternatives readily available. Smart & Final’s new Sun Harvest brand of non-BPA and non-GMO organic baby food is a great choice. It’s an affordable organic option with no fillers, salt or sugar. My grandson is enjoying all 10 flavors with pear being his favorite so far! Some of the other delicious varieties are Apple, Pear and Banana, Apple Mango, and Sweet Potato. At 99 cents per 4-ounce serving, it’s a great option that lets busy parents (and grandparents) feed their children wholesome, nutritious and organic foods. And for those of you keeping close to home these days, Smart & Final also offers convenient, quick delivery options at SmartandFinal.com.
#3 Encourage Involvement in Baby’s Milestones
Grandparents experience all sorts of feelings when they watch their grown children become parents. Sometimes when I look at my grandson, I get overwhelmed with feelings of nostalgia. I’m lucky to have a son who is aware of my feelings and tries to include me in the baby’s special moments. I’m looking forward to reliving the excitement of seeing things through my grandson’s eyes. If you’re a new parent reading this, be patient with us. Like I said above, we can be overzealous, but check in with us from time to time and let us be involved with important milestones.
#4 Holidays Will Be Different
There are adjustments to be made on family traditions and how to spend holidays. There are grandparents to share time with, and the new family will start their own holiday traditions. It’s OK if you want to keep the festivities small this year, but try and carve out some special time with grandparents during this special time of year.
#5 Count Your Blessings
Having a child will change your family dynamic in ways that you cannot anticipate. Grandparents enjoy watching their grown children become child-like as they get silly with their own children. Feel blessed that you have a strong family unit and please take us up on our offer to babysit. New parents should carve out time for each other to keep their relationship strong.
Congratulations to all, and happy parenting!
Lori Felix is the publisher of the lifestyle blog, More with Less Today. She lives in Southern California with her husband of 35 years and her little rescue dog Buddy. She has two adult children, one grandson and looks forward to more! She is an advocate for living well in every season of life.