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How to Help When Your Grandchild is Born
Written By : SeniorsList 
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Many grandparents share the same sentiment that their role is the best in the world. For most people, the joy of being a grandparent is indescribably wonderful. However, it is important to know how to be supportive without overstepping any bounds that may make the parents of the child uncomfortable. Keep in mind that while you do have an important role in the child’s life, you are not the parent. That said, there are many fantastic ways that you can provide much-needed assistance.

Care of a Grandchild

Many parents need a break now and again from caring for their newborn or young child. In the case of a newborn, don’t be surprised if you feel out of practice or nervous about your ability to care for a child. Even though you have had a child before, it is completely natural to need time to settle into your role as a grandparent. Soon enough, you will feel begin to feel comfortable in caring for a baby again.

Helping with Errands

Many parents do not feel comfortable leaving their newborn at first. However, running errands with a baby in tow can be a tremendous chore and most parents will welcome an offer to run errands for them. Ask if you can pick up groceries or run other errands that will save parents time and energy.

Assist with Housework

Housework tends to fall behind when there is a new child in the home. Ask what you can do around the home to help the parents out. Keep in mind that new parents are probably exhausted and may be sensitive to what sounds like criticism on how they are maintaining their home. Do not offer help by making negative statements about the condition of their home. When done in a respectful manner, most parents will welcome such help as having their dishes washed, clothes laundered, floors cleaned, or other household chores performed.

Provide Emotional Support

While a new baby can be a tremendously rewarding experience, parents can also expect a certain level of exhaustion and emotional upheaval. In addition to physical support, grandparents can also provide a great amount of emotional support. Remember to only give advice when it is asked for. You will begin to gain a grasp of how much advice and support the parents are willing to accept, and you should respect those boundaries as much as possible. What most parents need is someone to just listen to their struggles.

As a parent or father/mother-in-law, you can also keep your eyes open for any signs of postpartum depression, which is common among new mothers. If you believe that the mother is showing signs of the “baby blues,” it is important to alert the partner and learn how to provide support for the condition, which can become serious if not treated.

If you have any questions or concerns about your role as a grandparent, discuss them with the parents. By being respectful about the support you offer, you are sure to develop a deeper bond with the parents and a strong bond with your grandchild.

Copyright © 2011

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