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Life is beautiful, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges that can be hard to navigate. As grandmas, the last thing we want to see is our grandbabies face any hardships, but these just come with growing older.
While you cannot shield your grands from every difficulty, you can navigate them through it. For example, take these 8 common hardships that you, grandma, can guide and assist your grandkids through:
1. Peer pressure
Oof, peer pressure. I remember these days well and how taxing they were during my formative years. Sadly, peer pressure is still alive and well, and maybe even more prevalent now with the internet and social media. In the age of constant connectivity, our grandkids often feel the weight of wanting to fit in, whether it’s wearing the latest trend or engaging in risky behaviors, peer pressure is more pervasive than ever.
How can grandma help? Share stories from your youth about facing a similar pull to go along with the crowd. Let your grands know that staying true to oneself is a strength, not a weakness. You can also remind them that genuine friends will always respect their choices and that it’s okay to stand out.
2. The first heartbreak
Ah, young love. It’s sweet, thrilling, and, unfortunately, sometimes (err, often) ends in heartache. When that first relationship comes crashing down, it might feel like the world’s ending for your grandchild. Your heart will break watching their heartbreak, but what can you do? I’m glad you asked…
How can grandma help? Offer a shoulder to cry on and maybe a pint of their favorite ice cream, listening to their woes and sharing tales of your own love escapades from back in the day. Assure your grand that the sun will shine again and that every experience, good or bad, is a stepping stone to finding true love.
3. Cyberbullying woes
Remember that online peer pressure that we just talked about? It gets worse. Back in our day, we didn’t have to worry about being bullied from behind a screen, but the digital age has brought this new monster to the forefront. The mean comments, nasty memes, and unwanted DMs can be brutal.
How can grandma help? Keep the communication channels open by asking them about their online experiences and reminding them of the importance of online safety. Share anecdotes from your life where you faced adversity and overcame it, reinforcing the idea that they are more than the negativity they encounter online.
Exams, assignments, projects, oh my! School has always been a pressure cooker, but with the added expectations nowadays, it seems the steam is always high!
How can grandma help? Create a calm study space in your home where they can pop over and hit the books without distractions. Share stories about how you tackled tricky subjects or managed study-related stress, emphasizing that every challenge can be overcome with patience and perseverance.
5. Issues of self-image
“Am I too thin? Too chubby? Too tall? Too short?” Ah, the age-old dilemmas. I remember them well… But with the world presenting ‘ideal’ standards more than ever before, it’s easy for our grandkids to feel lost in the whirlwind of self-doubt.
How can grandma help? You can begin by celebrating their uniqueness. Help your grands make a list of things they love about themselves. You can even share tales of how you embraced your uniqueness during your younger days and how it made you the fabulous individual you are today.
6. Financial firsts
From that first paycheck to the confusion of balancing a checkbook or saving for something big, money matters can be a real puzzle.
How can grandma help? It may be time to bring out that old piggy bank or pass on the family’s treasured money-saving recipes. I mean, why not? Give them anecdotes of financial missteps and the lessons you learned, emphasizing the importance of budgeting, saving, and spending wisely.
7. Big, challenging changes
New cities, new schools, new homes, divorced parents. These significant changes can leave our grands feeling uprooted and out of place. Doesn’t it break your grandma’s heart?
How can grandma help? Share tales of your own big moves and how they shaped you while emphasizing the exciting side of change, a la the new friends, new experiences, and the adventures awaiting them. I encourage you to also equip them with a ‘change survival kit’ filled with comforting items and notes of encouragement.
8. The loss of a loved one
The circle of life means that sometimes our grands face the grief of losing someone dear. It’s a hard pill to swallow, especially for young souls.
How can grandma help? Be there, offering a comforting embrace, a listening ear, and maybe some old family photos to relive cherished memories. Sharing stories about a loved one can be a healing experience, emphasizing that love lives on in memories and hearts.
Life’s road is winding and often bumpy, but with grandma’s wisdom, guidance, and endless love, our grandkids are sure to journey through with grace and resilience. After all, who better to guide them than someone who’s traveled the road before? That’s right – it’s you!