Dr. Robyn Mills: Navigate Family Dynamics and Childcare Support for Grandchildren | All Together #38

In this episode, host Dina Sargeant is joined by Dr. Robyn Mills, who is a retired psychologist and a grandmother of six children

In families, grandparents must balance their influence over their grandchildren with the authority and decisions of their own children. The key to resolving this dilemma lies in open communication between grandparents and their adult children, discussing expectations, boundaries, and the desired level of involvement.

Meet Dr. Robyn Mills

Dr. Robyn began her career as a general and psychiatric-trained nurse. She then obtained qualifications and experience in many other modalities including naturopathy, reflexology, herbal medicine, massage, hypnotherapy, and marriage counseling. With a degree in Psychology and social research methods, Dr. Robyn has worked for the last 15 years as a psychologist in private practice.

She has worked in the health field for 50 years, serving psychiatric units, emergency departments, private practice, and teaching at universities across several disciplines. A PhD in Organizational Psychology enabled her to understand optimal workplace practices in a Psychiatric unit.

Dr. Robyn has enjoyed producing and hosting a successful radio platform in the last decade. She’s also a founding and integral member of Win Win Parenting – educating parents and making a positive difference in the lives of the current and next generation of children. She believes her greatest achievement is raising her three beautiful daughters and being an inspiring and positive influence in her grandchildren’s lives.

Her passion is creating “Humanity’s Heart,” through her art, singing, or spoken words. She believes that when we pour love into the collective heart of Humanity, we leave a heart print of love that shapes the world.

About the episode

Grandparents find themselves walking a fine line between offering support and respecting the parenting choices of their children. Dr. Robyn emphasizes the importance of not interfering in the parental relationship while welcoming in-laws and respecting their parenting styles.

Reflecting on her journey, Dr. Robyn contrasts her parenting style with her approach as a grandparent. The pressures of parenting and working, often without adequate support, made her earlier years challenging. Now, as a grandparent, she enjoys a more relaxed and joyful relationship with her grandchildren, free from those pressures.

The challenge lies in being involved without being judgmental or overbearing towards parents who are not in the same life stage as you are.

Sometimes, these challenges get in the way. Conflicts between grandparents and their adult children can arise, particularly about differing parenting beliefs. Dr. Robyn counts herself fortunate for her open and trusting relationship with her children and grandchildren. She stresses the importance of trust and not crossing boundaries set by the parents, as navigating different parenting styles and beliefs is a delicate process.

Grandparents teach values such as compassion, love, and understanding. Dr. Robyn shares her approach to teaching these values through everyday interactions and play, aiming to instill a heart-centered perspective in her grandchildren. This approach nurtures their emotional development and prepares them to navigate the world with kindness and empathy.

Maintaining a balance between supporting grandchildren and pursuing personal interests is crucial for grandparents. Dr. Robyn highlights the importance of setting boundaries and ensuring time for family and personal fulfillment. This balance allows grandparents to enjoy their role without feeling overwhelmed or sacrificing their needs.

In conclusion

A grandparent’s role extends beyond mere support. They are teachers, mentors, and sources of unconditional love. By embracing their role with wisdom and compassion, grandparents have the power to shape the hearts and minds of future generations, fostering a world where love and understanding prevail.

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