Are you worried about how your relationship with your grandchild will change as they become teenagers? Perhaps you’ve found yourself temporarily or permanently caring for your teenage grandchild.
Whether you’re grandparents who have taken on full on parenting or are grandparents who want to be an active part of your grandchildren’s life, it can be challenge dealing with hormone ridden teens.
Parenting a Teen as a Grandparent
For numerous reasons grandparents often have to step in and resume the role of parent for their grandchildren. This can be challenging, as you are not as young as you once were, but on the other hand you have a lifetime of experience and wisdom to call on. It’s important to bear in mind that teenagers these days are quite simply different: there are a number of different pressures, distractions and social standards around today. You will need to find a balance between being a firm grandparent and also allowing your teenage grandchild to have some freedom to grow and develop into their own person.
It can be hard to know how to parent grandchildren as there is such a significant age and generation gap. Get in touch with other parents in your area, either through your grandchild’s school or your neighborhood and ask what kind of rules and expectations they have set upon their children. Teenagers respond best to parenting that they can deem to be fair – even if it does not necessarily always work in their favor. Other parents and teachers can be a great source of support if you are feeling overwhelmed or uncertain.
Spending Time With Your Teenage Grandchild
This is the part where you get to relax – you can enjoy all the benefits of spending time with a younger family member without all the pressures of being a parent. You can spoil them (a little bit) without having to be the big bad wolf – your hard yards were already invested into your own children.
As a grandparent it can be a bit of struggle finding fun activities to do with your teenager, as it is likely their interests vary a lot from yours. Finding an activity you can both enjoy together is a great way to spend some time together and to pass on some of your knowledge. Things such as going on a nice walk to explore your area, cooking together, teaching them some special family recipes, sharing experiences, and even watching an interesting movie together (let them choose) are great ways to enjoy each other’s company.
It’s important to realize that your relationship might change as your grandchild turns into a teenager. It is very natural for teenagers to take space while focusing on their social groups. Do not be alarmed and remember back to your youth; it’s likely you did much of the same. Don’t try to force a relationship with a teenager as their instinct will be to withdraw, just be consistent in your effort and let them know that you adore them no matter what.
What have you found helpful in dealing with your teenage grandkids? Do you have any tips for things to do with teenagers?