Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What happens with Grandma stays with Grandma

I recently had the opportunity to spend a week with my two older sisters and their grandchildren. My oldest sister, Stephanie, started a tradition several years ago — uninterrupted time alone with her grandchildren which she aptly dubbed Camp Grandma (no parents allowed). Now that my other sister Sharon is also a Grandmother, they decided that this summer we should all get into the act. So Great-Aunt Peggy (me) tagged along for the ride.

Camp Grandma is a weeklong adventure consisting of all kinds of fun activities: bowling, miniature golf, going to a Reds game (we were in Ohio after all), tie-dying shirts and this year for an extra-special twist, a visit to Great Wolf lodge. If you haven’t been there and have kids, it’s worth checking into for a weekend. There’s one in Grapevine so you don’t even have to travel to Ohio! I refer to it as the Las Vegas for kids. It has everything a kid could want — a water park filled with those enormous slides that go on endlessly, a wave pool, a huge video arcade, magic hallways, story time and all the pizza and junk food a kid could want.

Which brings me to the real topic of this blog — Grandmas. I remember fondly spending time with my own Grandma. There weren’t very many rules, if any, at Grandma’s house and you could always count on an endless supply of sugar cookies and ice cream. Life was good.

As I watched my sisters with their grandchildren it struck me that some things never change.

Kids typically love to spend time with their Grandparents. Why? Because there are no rules and they can eat all the junk food they want. So as parents, we need to let go and let our kids enjoy these precious times. Don’t try to interject your rules when the kids head to Grandma’s house. They will survive a few days, or even a week, staying up late, eating cookies for breakfast or even eating a sucker bigger than they are while watching Caillou on the iPad. They will come back to you tired, out of sorts and possibly with a tummy ache but with big smiles on their faces and memories that will last a lifetime.

So celebrate those Grandparents (and Great-Aunts) in your kid’s lives and enjoy the free time you have while your kids are out doing who knows what at Grandma’s house!

Peggy Norton is a senior communications and public relations specialist for Texas Health Physicians Group.

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