Written by Sheena Storie
Someone asked me …. “How do you know that you’ll be a good Granny…?”
It was a friend of mine who was about to become a Granny for the very first time.
I told her you don’t know really, but, “You are already a mother, so having brought up your own children is helpful.”
However I could understand her anxiety.
There are no rule books on how to be a good Granny and you shouldn’t label anyone as a good or bad Granny anyway. You are a grandparent…. that is a worthwhile title no matter what kind you are.
I know Grannies who just visit once in a while, squeezed in between travelling to far away exotic places or weekends at the spa. I also have a friend who still works in a demanding job and works a lot of hours.
Also, what about the Grannies who live in another country, and don’t see their grandchildren very often.
And then there are people like me, who live next door to their grandchildren and see them everyday.
I know that all Grannies do what they can.
The children will still love you, and adore you. They will accept you, and whatever time you can give them. Remember, the children have not experienced having grandparents either, so whatever you do is normal for them. The busy hardworking Granny gives them a sense of commitment and striving for a good career. She takes them for sleepovers when she can and they have a great time.
The fun loving traveler sweeps in with photos and souvenirs from faraway places and instills a sense of a wider world out there, and tells them when they are just a bit older she will take them with her.
The Gran who lives in another country can FaceTalk or Skype with her grandchildren every day if she wants to. My boys do this with their Granny who lives in Ireland and they are so excited to talk to her and tell her their news.
The Gran who sees them every day, like I do might be less exciting and be more like a parent, who picks them up from school and feeds them, and tells them to tidy up their toys before they go home. But I make a point of doing fun things as much as I can. But it’s ok if I don’t.
You can be any kind of Gran you want to be.
You can run and dance with them. You can do hand-painting and messy crafts. You can plant vegetables and flowers and dig in the dirt. You can play football games on the iPad, or kick a ball in the garden. Dress up in frilly dresses and tiaras and be princesses for the day.
IT DOESNT MATTER what you do as long as you love them and let them know that, every time you see them.
I have a very good friend who has many grandchildren, some of them are step grandchildren. But to see this wonderful blended family you cannot distinguish one child from another. This Granny loves them all passionately, and equally, and because of her the children have brothers and sisters for life. Her love has bound them all together.
I use my friend as a benchmark that I strive to emulate. It is simply love, and support, and making them feel important.
Treasure your grandchildren they are your future.
Sheena Storie, Bermuda –
Sheena is a grandmother of four children ranging in age from 2 months to 6 years. During her lifetime career as an educator, she was a learning support teacher to children with learning difficulties, including dyslexia.