Grandparents don’t have a ‘set’ role, where they know what their responsibilities are in the same way that parents do. Talk over with your adult children what you expect to do as a grandparent and what they would like you to do. Talk with them about:
- how often you will visit them or they will visit you
- how often you will ring, and when not to ring
- what babysitting you will do. Remember that what you do for the first grandchild may be expected for others. Childcare that you do unwillingly may not be a help to anyone. Be prepared to say if it is too much for you, or you need time to yourself. Looking after yourself might mean saying “No” sometimes
- what you can afford to do and want to do about presents as the family grows bigger.
Listen carefully to your adult children’s views on bringing up children and support them if you possibly can. Talk about any problems with them. If you think differently, bring up your ideas and listen to theirs. They may not do things the way you would, and you may have to accept this in the end.