Last Updated on June 29, 2023 by Lori Pace
There are many types of stepfamilies. No matter your circumstances, being step-grandparents can be very rewarding but also a challenging road. This article will help you to understand your new role and how to deal with difficult family situations.
How To Be Step-Grandparents
The role of a grandparent to a grandchild is different depending on how close you are. It also runs true for the relationship and role of step-grandparents to their step-grandchildren, and their biological parents, as well as how much you want to participate in their lives. The age of your step-grandchildren, their proximity to you, and their biological grandparents may all play a role in this decision.
Connections are dependent on many different circumstances. A step-grandchild is someone we will never see. It can be difficult to establish a close relationship when you live far away.
Your relationship with step-grandchildren will take time. So, be open-minded, be flexible, and be willing to take a step back! Acceptance and trust must be earned, not taken for granted. Soon you will have a role to play, which may be different from that of your step-grandparents and grandparents. Don’t compare yourself with others in similar roles.
Each relationship will be different, but you can learn from the biological parent of your step-grandchild. You will have more chances of making contact with them if you keep the communication channels open than if your ‘position’ is to make yourself heard. Children are drawn to people who are friendly, kind, and entertaining. Be that person.
What Are The Rules Of Step-Grandparenting?
Although being a step-grandparent can be difficult, there are no rules or codes. It is important to accept each day as it comes and to assess the situation. Then, you should work as hard as possible to build trust between yourself and your step-grandchildren. However, if you are worried about getting lost in the sea of step-grandparenting politics, here is a short guide:
What You Should Do as Step-Grandparents:
- Always be available.
- Accept your step-grandchild as yours.
- Be careful, especially when it comes to grandparents or parents.
- If possible, establish a strong relationship between the biological parents/grandparents.
- Each situation is a learning opportunity.
- You can learn as you go (no one is perfect).
What You Shouldn’t Do as Step-Grandparents:
- Compete with their biological grandparents when they visit.
- Be judgmental
- Assume that they’ll call you Grandma or Grandpa.
- Feel guilty for not feeling the exact same way about step-grandchildren as you do about your biological grandchildren.
- Favoritism, such as, with time spent and gifts to your biological grandchildren and step-children.
- Encourage a connection with your step-grandchild even if they just need time and space.