Guest Blog: Top 10 tips to deal with me now that I’m a grandparent

This week’s blog is from my stepdad Jim:

I realize I’m working against my own interests here but, as someone who’s been a parent, I’ve got some advice for you on how to deal with grandparents now that you’ve just made me one.

1. You’re in charge: You think I’ve been overbearing in the past and maybe a little too free with unsolicited “advice?” Just wait! So remember, it’s your kid and until he starts making decisions for himself you – not me – get to make the decisions for him. That means you should feel free to tell me, “That’s not how we do things,” and to donate inappropriate (or extremely loud) gifts to Goodwill.

2. Ask for the help you want: I’ll be more than happy to hold the baby while you do the dishes or babysit while you go to the store but (and this may come as a shock) I probably won’t think to offer to do the dishes or go to the store for you. However, I (probably) will if you ask.

3. It’s OK to dump the kid occasionally: It’s hard to imagine now but soon you’ll need some time away from the little sprout. Before you drop the kid off you should realize that – in spite of what you may believe – I have a life. On the other hand, I’ve never been a grandparent before and it will take a lot of imposing before I notice.

4. Ignore me: While my opinions and advice are unusually well reasoned and insightful you may – on very rare occasions – not find them useful. In that case you should feel free to ignore them. You should however remember that I did help raise you and look how well you turned out!

5. Flatter me: Should my advice or actions actually prove useful, shower me with praise. “I don’t know how we’d get along without you,” is pretty good. And I’m even willing to overlook the fact that you manage quite nicely the 99% of the time I’m not around.

6. You have to live with the kid, I don’t: Parenting involves a lot of hard decisions, some of which you’ll have to make in front of me. So remember when I’m giving you THE LOOK: I’m going home, you’re stuck with the kid.

7. Tell me to leave: Work me around your schedule not mine (see #8 below).

8. Schedule me: Here’s another shocker. I’ll always be around when the baby is at its absolute baby best and leave her to you when she’s tired and cranky. So you should probably set (and enforce) the schedule.

9. You need attention too: I know you’re used to being the center of my universe but another star is moving in. So, if you need some mommy or daddy time for yourself, you’re probably going to have to ask for it. I promise you’ll get it if you do (just as soon as I’m done playing with the baby).

And finally…

10. Be fair: If I change the dirty diaper, I get to hold the kid.  This is not negotiable.

Have a good week, Jim

Jim is Shelly’s stepfather and a brand new grandparent. When he’s not busy spoiling the baby (or Shelly) he does illustration, web design, and teaches the online Dominate Dreamweaver web/design and development course.

James Cook
studioJMC, inc.
ph: 618.345.9019 (St. Louis)
ph: 541.516.0197 (Oregon)
Dreamweaver Development Blog:

Perfect Helen
Perfect Helen

It is a big pleasure for me to see the photo with so happy grandfather and his baby. Useful parenting tips by the way. Even despite the fact I am a mother of 3 children, who has a huge parenting experience I have made use of some your recommendations.

Jim Cook
Jim Cook

Jill, I'm in a committed grand-parental relationship so Im not available for adoption but I can be rented! (although I guess I'm not local for you)

Valerie (Zane's Mommy)
Valerie (Zane's Mommy)

This is Lovely. Thank you Grandpa Jim for your insight and sharing your thoughts/advice. Great thanks to Shelly and team (unseen supportives) for sharing so many helpful tips and stories. I don't always comment but I enjoy your insight. Take good care.