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Typically, parents are the most powerful people in a child’s universe. One parent
typically means playtime; the other parent means business. However, grandparents typically
are seen by children as being superior: a parent’s parent. It creates a sense of respect.
But respect works both ways: don’t forget to treat the children with respect. Remember, a
grandparent’s influence is overwhelming.
Grandparents are more than just fun and games: your importance can’t be overstated.
However, with the downfall of the extended family, surrogates have taken over many
traditional grandparenting activities. For example: fast-food often replaces home
cooking; family therapists help with family problems; and celebrities are heroes.
Unfortunately, these surrogates do not love your grandchildren as you do. Caring and active
grandparents can do all of the above – and do them much better.
Be an involved grandparent!
Children grieve differently than adults do. First, children don’t show grief all the
time. Many children will seem upset only sometimes – and for short periods of time.
Don’t let this fool you. It doesn’t mean that a child has “gotten over” his or her
grief. It just means that the child can’t focus on these intense emotions for very
long. This is the mind’s way of protecting the child from being overwhelmed by strong
Helping Grandchildren Deal with Grief
.Whether your grandchild is the class genius, the class clown, or the class bully
(or somewhere in between) it is helpful to review some tips and suggested questions for
talking with teachers. We assume that both of you—the grandparent and the teacher—want
what is best for your grandchild and that you will work together to benefit the child.
Making the most of the visit with the teacher.
Stress is with us all the time. It comes from mental, emotional and/or physical activity.
It is unique and personal to each one of us. So personal, in fact, that what may be
relaxing to one person may be stressful to another. Appropriate stress is healthy
and useful; it’s only when stress becomes overwhelming that it becomes distress. Learning
what causes stress and different ways we can cope with it will help us be better grandparents.