6 Mistakes Every Grandparent Should Avoid
Being a grandparent is a wonderful experience, but it also comes with its own challenges. From establishing your role as a grandparent, to respecting boundaries and knowing which rules to bend, here are 6 mistakes you should aim to avoid.
1. Don’t Try To Be In Charge
Every couple has their personal preferences when it comes to gender reveals, names, and parenting styles. Whilst you may have the best of intentions, continuously sharing your opinions and views on how you would do things can lead to unnecessary tension. Instead, be supportive and respectful of the parental choices made, even if they differ from your own.
Remember that parents need to find the style which works best for them. Having your support, experience, and advice will be greatly valued, especially if parents don’t feel they are being judged. Instead of trying to take charge or enforce your strategies or opinions, wait until they are sought out.
2. Avoid Surprise Visits
When your grandchild arrives, it’s natural that you will want to spend as much time with them as you can. Depending on how close you live, you might even be able to see them regularly and be available to help the new parents to cope. Just remember to check with them first before dropping by.
It’s likely that your child will be grateful for any help you can offer. However, new parents will also want to spend some quality time alone with their new baby. Rather than turning up by surprise or at late notice, ring ahead and schedule a visit at a time that is convenient for you all.
3. Don’t Be Afraid To Say No
Grandparents are a great source of help. Not only do you have experience, but you also have a desire to spend time with your grandchild. Yet, it’s important that you learn how to say no and don’t agree to do more than you can or want to.
“Parents can inadvertently take advantage of grandparents, particularly if they know that grandparents enjoy spending time with their grandchildren,” explains Margaret Morgan, a lifestyle blogger at College Assignments and UK Top Writers. “Instead, set boundaries early on and make sure that you explain to your own child the kind of role you want to have as a grandparent. By expressing your feelings honestly, you can all have a much more positive and fulfilling relationship and experience.”
4. Lack Of Discipline
As a grandparent, it can sometimes be challenging or even uncomfortable to enforce discipline when looking after your grandchild. It’s natural to want to reassure them, especially when they are upset and have a subsequent tantrum. However, failing to enforce discipline at such times can in fact lead to more challenging behavior in the future. This can be particularly problematic if you regularly give in to your grandchild during such occasions.
Make sure that you establish clear rules and expectations when you look after your grandchild and that you are consistent in maintaining these. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to discipline your grandchild if they are putting themselves in a dangerous situation. In the long run, both they and your child will respect you more for being firm but fair.
5. Breaking Non-Negotiable Rules
It’s acceptable, even expected, for grandparents to break some rules, such as giving grandchildren treats that they wouldn’t normally be allowed. However, breaking too many rules can backfire and cause conflict between parents and grandparents.
“You should always check with the parents about which rules are non-negotiable. For example, if parents have rules regarding safety such as wearing helmets, or maybe a limit on screen time. Whatever these rules are, make sure that you respect the parents’ decisions on these key points and enforce them when looking after your grandchild. It’s important for children to receive consistency when it comes to these key rules,” says Gary Kellum, a business writer at Best British Essays and Revieweal.
6. Being Afraid To Ask Questions
Being a grandparent is a new experience and although you have had a child of your own, the role of a grandparent is different. As such, it’s only natural that you’ll sometimes have questions or make mistakes. The key is to make sure that if you do make a mistake, you are open about it and apologize. Similarly, if you’re unsure about something, don’t be afraid to ask. Your child will be happier that you have checked with them first and respected their parenting style and choices.
Being a grandparent can be one of the most rewarding experiences, particularly if you foster an honest and open relationship with your child. Respect their parental choices, but also be clear about the kind of role and relationship you’d like to develop as a grandparent. Be ready to offer support and advice, whilst not being afraid to establish your own boundaries. Above all, enjoy the experience!
What advice do you give first time or fellow grandparents? Let us know in the comments at the bottom of this page!
Kristin Herman is an experienced tech enthusiast and a project manager at Bigassignments.com and Oxessays.com online writing services. She regularly writes articles for a wide variety of online magazines and blogs, including Bestaustralianwriters.com, amongst others. When not writing, Kristin enjoys spending time with her family and organizing family day trips.
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