Rick Warren, the evangelical pastor, tweeted this on June 1: "In grandparenting, parents get a second chance." It's the kind of aphorism that sounds good at first, and quite a few people retweeted it, most with exclamations like, "So true!" Which makes me wonder: Is it true?
Most of those responding interpreted Warren's statement to mean that they get to spoil, indulge and have fun with their grandkids in a way that they weren't allowed to do with their own kids. "Yes, I did not spoil my children near enough!" one respondent tweeted. Few of those commenting noted that grandparenting and parenting are very different roles.
Grandparenting is not a do-over. It's a second wave of children to love, but, unless you are a grandparent raising grandchildren, your role is different the second time around. And it's not all fun and games. It's about creating and preserving family traditions and providing a link to the past. It's about sharing your love, your passions and your priorities to give grandchildren a wider, richer view of the world. It's about supporting parents in all that they do and stepping in when needed. At times it can be tiring and stressful. At least that's the way I see it. What do you think?
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