Suggestions for New Grandparents

Suggestions for New Grandparents

“As a grandparent one needs to be steadfast in the involvement with your grandchild. Be that one person this child can know as ever vigilant for him or her. Like the beacon in a lighthouse, ever strong and supportive, not only for your grandchild but also for your child.” 

“Take this frightening and exciting new experience one day at a time.”

“The thing to remember is what it was like being the parent of a normal child and the overwhelming responsibilities that that in itself brings, let alone a new parent of a child with CdLS. The shock and uncertainty your children feel regarding the future of their baby with CdLS is so overwhelming at first. I found that just being there, listening, offering support and letting them feel your strength means more than you can imagine.”

“Be patient. The grandchild with CdLS will develop at a rate far different than anything you’ve ever seen. Your own children will struggle and wander in many directions until they come to terms with the experience of raising a family that includes one with CdLS.  There are no quick answers, no instant therapies that will solve a problem.”

“For the new grandparents out there, I would suggest they try to keep an understanding relationship with the parents and try to give them all the support they are able to give. And let yourself love your grandchild. It may take time but you can see beyond the label.” 

“My advice would be to accept the child as he or she is, help them learn and grow at their own pace, love them and stand up for them. Always be proud to take the child with CdLS out in public, as you would a normal child.” 

“My recommendations would be to stay the course. Be an example of strength and support for your children and your grandchild, not just by words but by example. I will tell you the rewards are endless. Not that you ever look for a reward but it comes back tenfold from your own child and your grandchild. Your children tend to watch, at least mine do, to see how you interact with their child with special needs.” 

“I had to remind myself that my grandchild was exactly that, a grandchild, and not my child. I had to resist offering unsolicited advice.”

“Learn everything you can about CdLS. Be supportive to the parents. This is your child!”  

“If at all possible attend a function with other CdLS families. Our granddaughter was about nine months old when we attended a function in Tampa and got to meet other
families and children. It was a first-hand opportunity to talk to others about the experiences we had been through.” 

“As grandparents, if you are not involved in your grandchild’s life, it is your loss, and the things you could pass along to your grandchild are lost if you are not there for them.” 

“Each day brings new challenges and hurdles. Remember that a child with CdLS needs you and you may not realize it, but you need them. If you think about the problems that they have and dwell on those problems, it’s not healthy for you or for them. Love them and cherish them every day.” 

“She is my only grandchild. She had nothing to do with her disabilities and I will do anything in my power for her. She’s special and deserves all the love I can give her. I would not trade the time I have with her for anything. There are many special moments and milestones that you need to share with these special children. Spend all the time you can and they will teach you many things.” 

“No one asks to be born with CdLS. Love the child. Your children did not ask for a child with CdLS. Help them as much as you can and let them know you love your grandbaby. Let your children know that they can count on you. Do not be afraid to care for the baby. There has to be a lot of trust; you have to know that if the baby dies while in your care, the parents will not blame you. Take the risk, be involved.”   

“Help people to understand CdLS as it applies to your child. People stare and don’t know what to say. Help them by gently explaining about your grandchild. Education is the key.”

“Spend as much time as possible with that little person. They know so much more than we give them credit for.” 

“Love unconditionally. Each child is different.” 

“Sometimes as a grandparent you can pick up on something your child may miss because he or she is too close. I found that my granddaughter will act or indicate things to me she doesn’t show her parents, maybe because she is too close as well. I give feedback to my daughter and her husband sometimes and they will tell me, ‘That is a good point. We didn’t pick up on that.’”

“I know it is out of love, but sometimes I see parents impose their own fears and anxieties on their child with CdLS by not allowing them to try things, because of their fears of failure for their own child. These children need to learn about themselves by exploring possibilities regarding their own potential. When these children accomplish something, they are so delighted. I tell you, it amazes me how these children have more on the ball than they are given credit for sometimes.” 

“One thing I know as a grandmother of a child with CdLS and a daughter of a mother with Alzheimer’s, these people with special needs know about ‘the touch of love.’ They gravitate to loving and caring people.” 

“We all do the best we can in our own circumstances.” 

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