Keep up your own health. Get regular checkups and follow your doctor’s advice. Try to get an adequate amount of sleep and do not skip meals.
Walk or exercise three times a week for about 20 minutes. This reduces physical tension.
Insist on a regular quiet hour. Children can take naps or have a quiet time in their rooms. Teens can listen to their music through earphones. Learn to relax during this time.
Take time for yourself. Look for events where grandchildren can enjoy time apart from you. There might be story hours at the library or activities at the YMCA, YWCA or Boys and Girls Clubs. Some programs in your community may be free or low cost.
Do something you enjoy. Participate regularly in at least one hobby or activity.
Talk out your problems with understanding friends or other grandparents.
Consider your religious community and personal faith for strength and assistance.
Concentrate on the task at hand. Don’t dwell on the past.
Looking too far ahead can also be overwhelming. If you can’t take it a day at a time, try to accomplish one thing at a time.
Try to unclutter your life. Prioritize. Eliminate all the non-essentials. Learn to say “no.”
Practice patience. Let those you are caring for do as much for themselves as possible.
Set limits with grandchildren and stick to them.
Focus on the positive and keep your sense of humor.
Let yourself off the hook. Your adult child’s circumstances are not your fault.
·Accept reality. See things as they are and not how you wish them to be.
Eliminate hurtful thoughts and self pity. These negative emotions only drag you down.
Reward yourself. Even small rewards will help your emotional well being.
Avoid isolation. Make an effort to maintain friendships, even if it is only by telephone for now.
Join a support group. This is an excellent place to get information, ideas and emotional support.
Since you probably have not had to “parent” for a while, you may find it useful to look into parenting classes to learn new methods for helping children develop self-esteem, confidence, accountability and responsibility.
Establish a weekly time for the grandparent and grandchild to talk over the telephone. Parents can encourage the child to give the grandparent one “news” item to get them started.
Arrange to do something special with each grandchild on an individual basis. Keep in mind each child’s individual interests as you plan these events.
Make your home child safe for your grandchildren, keeping in mind the different ages of the children. A home that has been child-proofed for an infant may not be safe for a toddler.
To find out where support groups are located in the state, you can contact your local Department of Aging helpline.
To find additional help, look for assistance from community agencies. Possible resources include financial help from the public aid office and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. You might receive food, clothing, transportation and general aid from religious and charitable organizations, food pantries and clothing banks. Other agencies which can help you include your local mental health center, Head Start, the YMCA, and your area agency on aging.