Grandparents are the best. Portrait of grandparents with their grandchildren at home

15 Unwritten Rules for Grandparents to Enjoy Every Moment Drama-Free

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The joy of seeing your children become parents to little ones of their own is a joy like no other. Getting to love and care for a mini version of your son or daughter is a serotonin fix that no pill can offer. But, as with every relationship out there, there are some unspoken rules to follow to make it easier to navigate your role as grandma and granddad.

They say that grandparents feel more affection towards their grandkids than their own children, and this survey has been done to prove it. Often, this results in a strong, healthy, and nurturing experience not only for the grandparents and grandkids but also for the parents. However, it may also sometimes lead to spoiling, biases, and overprotectiveness.

Here are a few unwritten rules for grandparents to enjoy every moment drama-free, whether it is a party, vacation, or just a simple visit.

1. Respect The Parents’ Wishes

Grandmother trying to comfort her grand daughter at home (1)
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We know you love your grandkids to the moon and back and would do anything for them, but you need to remind yourself that you are not their parents. Even if you don’t completely agree with the parents’ rules and style of parenting, you must respect their parental authority and learn to be okay with it.

Do not undermine their ways or label them as wrong or ridiculous only because they differ from yours. Allow them to raise their children according to their wishes (as long as they are safe, of course).

2. Do Not Overstep Boundaries

Little cute girl with grandparents drawing at the table at home
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Whether it is decisions about the kids’ eating habits, sleeping habits, potty training, or even schooling, be mindful of boundaries and make a conscious effort to never overstep them.

Let the parents rightfully take the steering wheel and offer advice only if the parents ask for it. Accept that you have minimal control, and that is perfectly alright.

3. Always Ask Permission

Young boy and his great grandmother using tablet in park
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Whether you’re taking them out for a treat or letting them watch a movie, always ask the parents for their permission. While these little gestures and secrets may seem harmless, they might differ from the parents’ preferences, which can lead to unintentional arguments when parents feel like they’re being undermined.

Be extra mindful of your grandchildren’s first experiences, such as their first outing, their first ice cream, or their first trick-or-treating, as the parents might feel that you stole these from them.

4. Know The Difference Between Loving and Spoiling

Grandparents will always spoil you. a senior couple giving a gift to their granddaughter
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A crucial part of good parenting is to realize the difference between loving and spoiling a child, and the same applies to grandparents.

While it may be tempting to give into every little whim your grandchild makes, it can do more harm than good in the long run if it’s too much. Do everything for them, but make sure they understand the meaning of no and abide by their parents’ rules about limitations. It’s all about balance!

5. Respect Their Privacy

Mother, baby daughter and grandmother playing at home
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To build a relationship based on trust, you must lay the foundation with respect. As a grandparent, you may have access to information regarding both the parents and their children, some of which may be very private. Avoid sharing this private information with anyone.

Also, if you are on social media, keep in mind some parents may not be comfortable sharing their children’s photos with others, and you need to respect their decision to keep them private.

6. Avoid Criticism

Loving understanding old grandma embracing little crying boy comforting upset grandson
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Being critical is a recipe for drama and disaster. There is a fine line between offering guidance and being critical. While genuine guidance might be appreciated by the parents (and grandkids), continual criticism certainly won’t.

If you are concerned about the parents’ decisions and preferences, be respectful and offer guidance that would help them rather than shake their confidence. The same applies to the grandchildren’s behavior.

7. Offer Unwavering Support

Grandparents bonding with grandchild in the garden
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Everyone needs a good support system, and as a grandparent, you can offer unwavering support to your children, especially when it comes to their little ones. It can be a lovely dynamic as long as boundaries are set and everyone is happy with expectations.

Let your children know that you are there for them and support them on this beautiful yet challenging journey of parenthood.

8. Give Them Space

Photo of big family standing hugging feast table holiday roasted turkey
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The love that grandparents have for their grandkids makes them want to spend every waking hour with them (maybe). You may feel the urge to visit them every weekend and spend every holiday together, but you need to understand that they are a separate family and might want to spend time alone sometimes.

While grandparents have their own place and importance in a child’s life, avoid imposing and allow the parents to nurture growth and intimacy as a core family unit.

9. Be Flexible

Loving Grandparents Hugging Granddaughter Sitting On Sofa At Home
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If you wish to spend time with your grandchildren, you need to learn to be flexible and adapt to their routines and schedules as well as to their parents.

Adjust according to their convenience, especially if you are retired. This may include rescheduling appointments, changing plans, and adjusting your preferences. This doesn’t mean you have to bend over backwards to fit their needs, but finding a common middle ground will keep everyone happy and together.

10. Be Open to Communication

Old mother and adult daughter eating cake at home
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There’s no problem in the world that can’t be solved with proper communication. Communication is key when it comes to cultivating a healthy relationship with the parents and their children.

Be respectful, honest, and open to differing views. Simply agree to disagree and maintain open channels of communication with your children if there’s an issue. This can be especially beneficial if the grandparents are pre-teens and above.

11. Favoritism Is a Big No

Grandparents playing chess with grandchild at home
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There is no room for favoritism, especially if you want to have a happy and healthy relationship with your children and grandchildren.

Even if you have a favorite (you can’t help it!), make it a point not to make it obvious, as it can not only be extremely hurtful for the parents of the “not favorite” kids but can also make the kids feel less special and important.

12. Celebrate Differences

Grandparents playing on tablet with kids
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No two grandchildren are the same, even twins have different personalities. As grandparents, it is your responsibility to embrace their uniqueness and celebrate them for who they are.

Comparing two grandkids is a no-no, as it creates a feeling of insecurity and makes room for jealousy to grow, both of which are key ingredients for drama.

13. Be Wary of Grandparent Rivalry

Senior friends wearing knitted sweaters chatting animatedly with each other while having tea party at lovely patio
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Every kid has two sets of grandparents – maternal and paternal. Both are equally important and have a special place in the child’s heart, provided, of course, that they make an effort to be a part of the child’s life.

Avoid competing with the other set of grandparents in terms of how much time or money they spend on the child. It can lead to hard feelings and create an uncomfortable environment for all parties involved.

14. Be Okay with The Mess

Grandparents playing with granddaughter
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If you’re new grandparents, it may have been a while since you had a child over at your place, and you have forgotten how messy children can be.

Creating a fuss about the mess they make can stress the parents out and make them extra cautious and edgy when they visit. While it is okay to teach kids the importance of keeping their surroundings clean, learn to be okay with little crumbs falling here and there or a few things being out of place.

15. Don’t Forget to Love Your Own Kids (The Parents)

Outgoing grandma and woman drinking beverage
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Once you have grandchildren, it’s very easy to shift all your focus on them and shower them with all the love and attention. In doing so, grandparents often neglect their own kids, the parents.

Remember that no matter how old your kids are, they’ll always be your kids. Show appreciation for their efforts and let them know they are always loved and supported.

20 Strong Words Parents Should Never Say to Their Kids

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Countless adults sitting in a therapist’s office today are grappling with the lasting impact of words spoken by their parents during childhood. Regardless of how you perceive yourself, in your child’s eyes, you are nothing short of the most remarkable thing to happen to them since “skip intro.” This underscores the critical importance of being mindful of what you say to your children, as your words become the small but influential voice in their developing minds.

20 Strong Words Parents Should Never Say to Their Kids

16 Common Phrases Grandparents Should Stop Saying to Their Grandkids

Grandparents taking care of grandson
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Do you still remember something your grandparents said that made you uncomfortable? As much as we adore our grandparents, their words (even with good intentions) can sometimes hurt our feelings or are plain embarrassing.

If you are a grandparent, using your words mindfully around your grandkids is as crucial as any other relationship. Words hold immense power and shape our kids’ behaviors and perceptions. 

16 Common Phrases Grandparents Should Stop Saying to Their Grandkids

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