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by Rachel Allison

I’m a fifty-nine year old grandmother to eight beautiful grandchildren.  My oldest grandchild is seven.  My youngest grandchildren are two-week old twins… Grandchildren are on my mind constantly these days.  Since I don’t have all the answers as to how to be the perfect “Nana” I would like to share a couple of things I have learned from other grandmother friends of mine…and I hope you will share some things YOU have learned and experienced.

One of my friends has seven children, and all of them live within just a few miles of her.  ( I would love to be so blessed!)  She said that her rule has always been, “I don’t babysit.  My children have sisters and sisters-in-law just as close as I am… They can all share babysitting responsibilities. “  At first glance it sounds like this woman is a disconnected grandma, but I have watched her in action.  She’s wonderful with her grandchildren, and they adore her.  She takes them to lunch for their birthdays.  She has a sleepover with all her potty-trained grandchildren once a month. She attends their ballgames and concerts, AND she gives them free piano lessons every week as long as they practice.  She sounds like a pretty good grandmother to me!

Another friend of mine has a small garden in her backyard that is dedicated to her grandchildren.  When they come to visit they all plant, care for, and harvest the vegetables together.  Her grandchildren are young, and they love this “grandma” activity.

Did I ever sit and swing for long periods with my children? Uhhhhh unfortunately “No!”  But recognizing my grandchildren’s needs and MY need for occasional down time, we often sit on our porch swing and visit for long periods of childhood/grandma discovery time.

To most everything we do, there is a learning curve that we all must experience.  Grand-parenting is no exception. Sharing ideas as to what works and what doesn’t work is always appreciated!

So it’s your turn…What have you experienced with your grandparents, or what have you done with your grandchildren that would inspire us to be and do better?  Please share your insights so that we can all learn to be the wonderful grandparents our grandchildren deserve.

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