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How to Support Your Grandchildren

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 26 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Supporting Grandchildren Boosting Self

Of all of the changes that people go through few are more welcomed than becoming a grandparent. The arrival of grandchildren can make even the most serious person giggle and grin with abandon, amazed at the beauty of their tiny grandchild. Much as parents do, grandparents typically show genuine interest in the well being of their grandchildren and make themselves available to offer assistance and support whenever possible.

Making a Difference

Studies show that children who have a solid support system benefit in a number of ways. Kids who are raised in warm, loving environments are typically more self-confident than their peers and as they grow, are less likely to engage in dangerous behaviours. Teenagers, especially, are often placed in situations where they are forced to make difficult decisions about the use of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs.

Kids with a structured background of parental and grandparent influence may be more able to resist peer pressure, insulating them from influences that are detrimental. Additionally, kids who get plenty of attention and are secure in the knowledge that they are well loved will be less inclined to seek the attention of inappropriate friends.

Start Young

Expressing love and affection for babies is easy for most people, so grandparents should begin to form close, loving relationships with their grandchildren right from the start. Hugs, kisses, and words of encouragement are appreciated by people of all ages, and they are vital components to raising happy, confident children.

When kids are raised in the company of adults who are comfortable to show their love, they learn to express their needs. Grandparents can help this process by making themselves available to their grandchildren on a regular basis, all throughout their childhoods.

The Grandchild Fan Club

Everyone needs to feel accepted and appreciated. Grandparents who delight in the accomplishments of their grandchildren help them to build healthy self-esteem. Academic and athletic achievements should be noted and celebrated, of course, but everyday accomplishments need to be rewarded, too. As children grow, they are in a constant state of learning and change. These changes may be subtle, but they are important. From crawling to riding a bike to filling out college applications, children of all ages benefit from knowing that their grandparents are there to support them and cheer them on.

Responsible Guidance

Modern kids have a lot on their plates and are often pulled in many directions at once. Raising children who are emotionally strong and able to make sound decisions for themselves is harder than ever, but grandparents can offer a lot to the development of strong character in their grandchildren.

Children often have a different type of bond with their grandparents than they do with their parents and feel comfortable to seek the advice and guidance of the grandparents. Knowing this, smart grandparents will make an effort to form trusting bonds with the kids and make it clear that they are available to offer a kind ear and a strong shoulder whenever their grandchildren need them.

Grandparents must be sure to exercise caution when doling out advice, however, since it is never acceptable to go against the wishes of the children's parents. When in doubt, it is a good idea for grandparents to check with their children in matters concerning the grandchildren so that it never appears that their authority is being challenged. When done with respect, grandparents can offer a great deal to their children in the guidance of the grandchildren.

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