Frequently heard (and sometimes from my mouth, even) “are you sure about that...” and “yes, she’s tired, let Nana just take care of that for you darling”. Helicopter grand-parenting, it’s a real thing. I’ve caught myself doing it: hovering, suggesting, well, let's be, honest-nagging. It comes, obviously from a place of love and concern but it also comes from habit. As parents we spend a lifetime worrying for the well being of our children. It does not stop even when they have their own children. A grandparent’s role is two-fold and calls on us to gather our knowledge, whilst setting boundaries for ourselves.
For me it goes something like this: My job is to bolster my kids as they find and hone those parenting muscles, while creating a place of unconditional love and safety for them and their children. This allows me to do the cuddling and spoiling while they do the nagging. I get to select the cutest pj’s, they get to tackle bedtime. I figure, I’ve been there, done that, and I’ll hold my tongue until I’m otherwise asked.
Our children are all doing a great job in a world full of challenges that were not ours. Work/life balance is an antiquated notion in ‘the gig’ economy and so they brave on. Just like we taught them. If your daughter wants only gender neutral clothing, do not get her the biggest pinkest bow. Should your son want the girliest girl on the block, well, that's ok too. Follow their lead for this will bolster them in their parenting and free you up to create that special unmatched bond that exists between grandparent and grandchild.