The Stress and Joy of Parenting and Grandparenting
by Joanne Ellison

The picture above is Grandfather Pappoo after a weekend with grandkids.

We have just celebrated Father’s Day and first I want to pay tribute to all of the father’s out there. As a father, in many ways you are called to be a reflection of our heavenly Father. Your call to help raise your children is significant.

I am now in the grandparenting season of life. Recently, I went to Greenville to see my daughter and her family. I took one of my grandchildren with me and on the way up she told my husband and I about a girl in her class who was being mean to her. I told her that she needed to see this little girl through God’s eyes—maybe something was going on with her and what she really needed was a friend; that often people who behave poorly are dealing with something. Her grandfather, on the other hand, told her simply not be her friend. It’s not that he is uncaring. He is just very pragmatic. Funny how different our grandparenting styles are from each other. Actually this was certainly reflected in our parenting styles. I was the soft one and he was more the disciplinarian.

Today I want to address parents and grandparents and how to navigate the sometimes stress in parenting or grandparenting together. I remember my husband and I discussing that we needed a united front, and in theory that is helpful and sends a clearer message to children. In a perfect world, we will do this but in an imperfect world we find ourselves stretched and challenged pulling in different directions. Often this can end up in arguing and create even more issues. The child needs to see that parents are working together, not working apart. This became even more apparent to me as my kids hit their teenage years. The kids knew how to work the system. Divide and conquer, and perhaps they would get their way. And sometimes it worked.

As we navigate our way in parenting and grandparenting, we need to remember the goal is for the child to grow up to be a good person, and most of all to know Jesus. They need to see consistency and solidarity in their day to day lives, as the world is sometimes a place of instability and inconsistency.

So let’s get practical. Here are a few things that worked for me and perhaps will be helpful to you to create a safe secure and loving home for your children:

  • Talk less and listen more.
  • Find out what is driving their behavior so that you can help them work through the issue and thus help them to adjust their behavior.
  • Work with the other parent to find an agreed upon solution.
  • Present a united front in raising your child.
  • Allow for mistakes. We all make them every day. Tell your child you are sorry when you lose your temper or inflict an unfair punishment.
  • Beware of the temptation to tell the child that you do not agree with the other parent in terms of consequences.
  • Parenting and grandparenting might be the most difficult job that we do. But with Jesus at the center, we are setting up a home filled with love and stability.

Children are a heritage from the Lord (Psalm 127:3)



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