Thursday, November 2, 2017

5 Rules for Grandparents by Melinda Curtis

My first grandchild is due to arrive on Valentine's Day. I'm not normally a Nervous Nelly, but it's my oldest son's child, and I think there's the added pressure of not being too overbearing or annoying to my daughter-in-law (who I love, btw). So I've been keeping my online "ears" to the ground, trying to create some rules for the road of grandparenting. Want to hear some of what I've found? Ok, here we go...

Don't suggest baby names (or criticize baby names selected).  My son is a huge Marvel hero fan. If he has a boy, he'd like to name it Clark or Bruce, aka Superman or Batman. Don't judge. You are going to love that baby no matter what it's called.

Don't expect to be in the delivery room. My mom birthed three children under a lot of medication. She remembered nothing. She was dying to go into the delivery room to see one of her grandchildren born. But it just so happened that I had to have a baby while Mr. Curtis was at work. (File this under when the doctor says it'll be 8-10 hours before you deliver and you need to push 2 hours later.) Anyway, Mom was the only person with me at the time. You could say, I made her dream come true. But that wasn't the plan.

Don't come over to help with the baby and sit and hold the baby (unless New-Mom asks). New-Mom needs help getting fed, keeping hydrated, cleaning, getting rest. Her wish is your command. You'll get your baby time, but like anything else, you should earn it. Be a blessing.

Don't take baby for baby pictures during your babysitting shift if you haven't asked. My kids had four sets of grandparents. One set was determined that we take pictures at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 1 year old. When we missed Baby #3's 3 month photo, they snuck her out while we were at the movies and had her photo taken...without asking.

Don't play favorites. If you bring baby a gift, make sure you bring something for older siblings, too. It doesn't have to be a lavish gift (a coloring book, a small Lego figure, a cupcake), but children notice. Be considerate of all your grandchildren - whether they be your blood relations or step-blessings.

Do you have any advice for grandparents? I'd love to hear it!

Melinda Curtis is an award-winning USA Today bestselling author. She writes sweet romance for Harlequin, sweet romantic comedies and sexy sports contemporaries. Her latest releases are Support Your Local Sheriff (a full-length Harlequin, $4.99), Rumor Has It in Christmas Falls (a full-length sweet romantic comedy, $2.99), A Heartwarming Thanksgiving (a collection of 13 turkey-day related romance novellas by Harlequin Heartwarming authors - a steal at 99 cents), and Heartwarming Holiday Wishes (a collection of 10 Christmas romance novellas - a steal at 99 cents - includes a $1 off coupon for a Heartwarming purchase at

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  1. Wonderful post, Mel, and excellent advice. I like the advice of not playing favorites and being considerate of the older siblings.

  2. All very good advice. Congrats on the upcoming grandchild. It's the most amazing feeling.

  3. Congrats. I'm waithing until the middle of December for great granddaughter number 3

  4. Great advice! Always remember that no matter how much you love the grandchild--who is perfect in all ways, by the way--s/he's not your child but theirs.

  5. I've been a grandmother for 13 years. For the last 9 I've been Mom too. But, when I was just "gam", I had to step back and let the parents make all decisions. I was known as "fun gam" but I also had to find that fine line where you discipline when needed. I'd watch the kids a few days a week early on to save on child care. Remember that you still have to disipline or they will take advantage of the situation. Also,grandparents are supposed to spoil the grandkids right? NO,always ask if they can have whatever it is you want to spoil them with (you have more leeway for this when they spend the night with you or are at your house.)
    The number one rule... love them unconditionally!
    A side note: I found that they love it when they can talk to you! Parents are busy and don't always have a lot of time to just let everything go and listen and answer the children's questions. It's such a special treat to hear what they are thinking about. I guarantee that you will build a special bond with them if you give them the time to ask why a thousand times.

  6. Nicely put, Mel. You said getting fed. The hardest thing for me, after my c-section, was remembering to eat and being able to cook for hubby (who couldn't take off work and was working ten to twelve hours a day). My stepmom at the time brought me take out for several days in a row (that could be reheated) and my mom took off work for a week or two to cook and do laundry (not just hold the baby).

  7. Bravo, Mel. I went through the grand-parenting process. They asked me to be there and help and sleep in baby's room.