Grandparenting comes with joy and some challenges

The joy of being a grandparent is really great and fulfilling. It is a rewarding feeling to see your child’s son or daughter. Most parents look forward to the time they will see their own children coming home with the grandchildren. This stage of life comes with a lot of responsibilities and challenges. It is important to note that no matter how tasking the job of being a grandparent, the thrill of seeing those little ones grow and flourish should overshadow all the hitches.

Major challenges that grandparents face:

Communication gap

Grandparents find it difficult to engage their grandchildren in sustained discussion. This is not necessarily because they do not speak the same language but the expressions and slang used by the present generation is a lot different from what the grandparents are used to. 

Differing orientation about culture

Cultural differences is another major challenge for grandparents. There are always some changes in the values and norms shared by different generations. Grandparents will have to learn and find a way to educate their grandchildren about the pros and cons of the values they adopt. 

Declining energy and health 

Playing and engaging in various activities with grandchildren require a lot of physical strength. Grandparents’ passion to engage their grandchildren in playing activities is limited by their diminishing energy and health.  

Technological advancement

The level of sophistication as regards technology is a big challenge that grandparents are facing today. A lot of gadgets are springing up by the day. For grandparents to be able to communicate effectively with their grandchildren, they must be ready to enter the worlds of social media, instant messaging, Short Message Services (SMS), etc. All these media are not appealing to older folks but they have no choice if they want to be in touch with their grandchildren.

Conflict of interest and views with adult children

This conflict can come from their own children expressing displeasure in the kind of instruction given by the grandparents or the grandchildren refusing some disciplinary measures claiming that the grandparents are not their parents. Grandparents might be crushed emotionally when such confrontation arises.

The challenges of being a grandparent can be at times overwhelming but the delights must be relished when things are going well. Children and grandchildren will at one point or the other have divergent views about life but that must not discourage grandparents from carrying on their role and responsibilities.