Sometimes, as a Grandparent, you may think you are dispensable. You are kidding yourself. Even grandparents that are visited once a year or even less frequently leave a remarkable imprint on a grandchild’s life and have an important role to play. We know some of the reasons why. For one thing, most grandparents give off a sense of love and adoration for the grandchild that few parents have the energy or interest to sustain. Also, grandparents are good at providing extra treats, often coming through with a special gift or the money for a science camp, a trip to Disneyland or some other experience in life that the parents simply can’t or don’t feel obliged to offer. Lastly, grandparents are so interesting. They may live in houses or apartments that feel from another time. For example, they still may have a record player in the closet with a bunch of rock and roll records on the shelf or maybe opera’s. It doesn’t matter, it is just so much not where the child lives every day. And the TV has a giant back to it! There are old pictures on the tables and somewhere in the back of a closet are white leather gloves that great grandma wore on her wedding day!

But even beyond what I am mentioning so far, grandparents have influence that can be critical. Grandparents have that extra pair of eyes that parents have often sacrificed in the line of daily duty and upkeep of the children. By this I mean that they come to the family and the kids, often with fresh eyes. As the newcomer who may not have visited for a week, or a year, they often immediately can tell when something is off. Parents can miss these subtleties. We know that human nature acclimates to an awful lot. A quick test of this innate quality is suddenly looking at pictures of yourself from a couple of years ago. Suddenly a current look in the mirror reflects aging or at least change. On a daily basis we don’t see change.

So when grandma or grandpa come to visit or you visit them and the smell a rat, listen with every fiber in your body.

And grandma, when Abigail slams the door and doesn’t seem quite right, get ready to put on your detective eyeglasses and play sleuth. You may be even instrumental in the saving of your grandchild’s life, or at least her sense of well-being.

You don’t believe me? Well, stay with me and we will discuss Seven Ways that Grandparents Can Help Their Grandchildren Grow up Strong, Safe and Happy!

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