From Retirement To ReParenting

REPARENTING

From Retirement to ReParenting

By Debra Susan Bowman

    

Grandparents have an awesome impact on grandchildren. Whether full or part-time, your heart will melt at the sight of your kid’s kids. If reparenting happens to you, how do you make the transition from retirement to reparenting in a healthy way?

     

Sometimes grandchildren arrive abruptly when your kids die, leave or overdose. The day our grandson Anthony came to stay with us was the day his daddy died. Responsibility for grandkids could expand slowly as your adult kids use them to leverage what they want from you. Perhaps for years, they have needed milk money or electricity for your grandkids while their money went for cigarettes or drugs. 

     

Whichever way it happens, your priority now is your grandkids. You must take care of the innocent providing them structure, safety, and love. By doing so you are saving the next generation. Where would they be without you? 

Moving into re-parenting means you also have to take care of yourself so you can have the energy to give to the kids who are depending on you.    

Moving from retirement to re-parenting takes effort, time and adjustment. Many days are filled with challenges. But be encouraged, the difficulties are overshadowed by the joy and reward of seeing your grandkids blossom and become caring, respectful and productive people.

   

Moving into re-parenting means you also have to take care of yourself so you can have the energy to give to the kids who are depending on you. Walking, eating right and connecting with family and friends is like plugging in an appliance, it connects you to a current that makes things work and flow. Have coffee and chat with a friend. Walking is great because your emotions will become whatever you put in front of your eyes. If you put green grass, blue skies, red flowers and laughing people before you, they will bring the refreshing you need. Put one foot in front of the other. Movement is the key to finding energy and answers.     

Science shows people of faith cope better and live longer.  Therefore, cry out to God. He will hear you and give strength and wisdom. Connect with people of faith.

Reparenting may bring challenges, like giving up retirement dreams so you have the time and money you need now for the children. Acceptance is key. Moving forward step by step without bitterness or anger is essential because what you live in front of the children is what the children will become and they are a priceless investment.

     

Science shows people of faith cope better and live longer.  Therefore, cry out to God. He will hear you and give strength and wisdom. Connect with people of faith.

   

Everyone’s grief is different. Find the healing balm you need and apply it in the right amounts for your healing. I wrote a blog about grief called, You will never get over it, but you can get through it. You may have lost your child or your dreams for your child. When my son, Zachary died so did my dreams for his future. It was a double hit. Counseling may be necessary for you and the kids to find emotional healing and stability in uncertain times. I found journaling organized my thoughts and gave me answers. 

    

My husband and I wrote a book called The Summer of Paintless Toenails: Losing a son and gaining a grandson. It is our story about finding hope and healing in a difficult situation. In it we share our insights on grief and reparenting.  

If you are enjoying this article, please click here to have GRAND delivered to you FREE

 

If your adult kids, who have not properly cared for their kids, are arrested allow the system to take its course. If you need to, use the moment of crisis to gain guardianship to assure you have the control you need to provide your grandkids a stable, healthy situation thereafter.

     

Finally, reparenting means you choose positive thoughts over negative. The result will be a calm, peaceful environment. If you focus on the negative, worry or anxiety could manifest as physical problems. So, walk in rest – not in stress. I sing with enthusiasm every morning to Anthony, “You are my sunshine.” He loves that validation. Sam, my husband tells him every day “Who is my favorite boy in the whole wide world?” Anthony always says “I am!”

     

Your retirement life may not have turned out like you planned, but you can plan on a new life full of joy as your bond with your grands grows stronger and exceeds your previous hopes or dreams. I wish you well as you make your retirement the best ever by reparenting a new generation of children who love you and need you.

    

Go to awesomegrandmothers.org and click on the Book Trailer tab to see a short video of our story, then click on the Order Book tab to order from Amazon. 

 

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR – DEBRA BOWMAN

RE-PARENTINGDebra Bowman is a retired R.N. after forty years in intensive care and now she takes her intensive care to grandmothers raising grandchildren in her blog, awesomegrandmothers.org and in her book, The Summer of Paintless Toenails.

Share this article...