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    Grandparenting as a second chance: 15 things I'd do this time around

    Some grandmas and grandpas consider being a grandparent their second chance at parenting, their opportunity to do things right, do things forgotten.

    Not me. I don't see my time as Gramma being a do-over for my time as Mom. I've already had the headache, hassle, heartache of being a parent. I'm happy now to enjoy my time with my grandchildren without feeling the need to make good on all the things I neglected, all the ways I screwed up with my children. For one thing, there's no way to make up for what was—with those kids or with the kids of those kids.

    If it were, though, if being a grandparent really did provide an opportunity for do-overs, here are a few things I'd do better the second time around:

    • Go on more family bike rides.

    • Complete a doll house for the girls. Boys, too, if they wanted one.

    • Be more adamant about flossing.

    • Allow them to order dessert now and then when dining out. Or an appetizer, instead of saying the budget's too tight for either.

    • Teach them to sew, regardless of their gender.

    • Not allow them to quit musical instruction, be it band, choir, guitar lessons.

    • Not allow them to quit sports mid-season, either.

    • On the other hand, I'd be more adamant about them quitting bad relationships sooner.

    • Take them camping as teens, even if they didn't want to go. Once they got out in the boonies, they'd surely appreciate the s'mores, stories, and sky of endless stars regardless of their protests from home.

    • Go on more picnics. And Sunday drives, with no particular destination, agenda, goal.

    • Buy them each a camera at a younger age. (A far easier consideration now that the cost of developing photos is no longer a factor.)

    • Allow more slumber parties. Though not co-ed, as seems currently in fashion.

    • Sing more.

    • Hug more.

    • Remember more.

    Today's question:

    What would you do differently if given parenting do-overs?

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    Reader Comments (11)

    I am right there with you on being "more adamant about them quitting bad relationships sooner." I would insist that they learn to play a musical instrument. I would also have taken more family vacations, even if I thought we couldn't afford it. Travel teaches so many good lessons about seeing things from other people's point of view.

    November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVicki Valenta

    The idea of a do-over is intriguing but I would probably just make different mistakes if I had it all to do again.....I am just glad it is done and that I didn't do too much damage. :)

    November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeanie

    Good topic! I'd do so many things differently, there's not enough room to list them all. I guess the most important would have been to spend less time working and more family time.

    November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTerri Sonoda

    The list is really to long but I honestly think my list is more about my marriage then my own parenting skills. Tough question.

    November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc

    Great list! I agree with your list. I would really take more hugs too!

    November 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersheri4l

    Do love your list of things you would do Lisa if raising a grandchild.

    As many of you may know my husband and I are raising a granddaughter, she is now 8. Here is my list of things that I have done differently, though not complete.

    Know what battles to fight.
    Not sweat the small stuff.
    Listen more carefully to what she has to say.
    Put in more boundaries.
    Making her responsibile for feeding her cat "Poof." She signed a contract regarding the care of Poof before we bought her.
    Making her pay a certain amount per month for the up keep of the Poof.
    Encouraging her to be more independent, i.e when out for a meal at a restaurant & she is getting bored we let her go & ask the staff for a pen & paper to draw.
    Letting her help me in the garden,
    Definitely more hugs.

    November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSally Kabak

    The first thing on my do over list would be to 'let' her quit sports in mid season. Back then I thought her character would somehow be ruined, and worried about what other people would think if she quit because she was just tired of it. I now realize how stupid that was on my part. She wasn't going to be a professional athlete so what really would have been the big deal. Life is short - enjoy it more.

    November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

    I barely survived raising seven kids; if I were to attempt taking on any of twenty-three grandkids, I'd
    die, I'm sure. And, really, tho' my "kids" are in their forties and fifties, some of them are not finished getting "raised" yet.

    I do so much admire grandparents like Sally Kabak and know they are stronger than I am so, no do-overs for me, please. The world will just have to settle for what I gave the first time.

    November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

    I was lucky, I think, that in the midst of raising my 4 kids - I was aware that time is fleeting and really enjoyed the time with them. But I would be more aware that they weren't always telling me the truth. A couple of them got in trouble and I believed their stories of where they were going to be and what they were my ignorance was certainly not bliss. My one daughter, who got herself, and therefore the family, in some stressful situations, said her kids will not get away with anything because she'll know bull **#! when she hears it. Yikes, right?

    November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

    I think I would just "lighten up" more....more laughing, more spontaneous events, more loving the 3 of them just for who they are instead of as a challenging job to do perfectly. In other words, drop the control freak act!

    November 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

    I love that you don't see your "Grandma" time as "do over" time. I am fairly certain that I will be a much better grandma than I am a mom, and I'm ok with that. My boys are only 2 & 4, and I stay home with them. I don't consider myself a bad mom, but after being around them all the time, it's hard to "enjoy every minute" like they say. Being a grandma is a far thought for me at this point, but I think if that day comes I will be able to enjoy all the playing and spoiling that I don't enjoy as much now! Happy Sharefest!

    November 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMommy's Always Write
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