As a grandparent, you have many years of experience in raising children. You may feel like an expert and see that your child, the new parent, needs your guidance. But in this direction lies a disaster. “As hard as it is, you have to understand that now it is their turn to make parenting decisions. Grandparents shouldn’t get in the way,” says Sharon O’Neill, a family therapist in New York.
When you offer advice and opinions, no matter how well-intentioned, you risk making already nervous new parents feel like you don’t trust them or respect their judgment, O’Neill says. Instead, flip the equation and let your curiosity run wild.
Ask them about your grandson’s likes and dislikes, latest achievements and fun tricks. Be careful when asking about nutrition, health issues or sleep habits – you don’t want to be intrusive. Soft, non-judgmental questions show that you care about your child and allow you to support him in any difficulties.