Do You Know The “Grandparent Rules”? Practice Them?

Being Grandparents is special!  Those of you who are know what I mean. Those of you who will be, you have some wonderful times ahead. I am particularly conscious of this reality at the present time because both of our kids have brought wonderful grandchildren into our lives.

Our daughter, Brittany, and her husband David started this grandparent life a little over two years ago by birthing Hailey. Our son, Kris, and his wife Cara last May brought Kyla into the world. And now Brittany and David have recently told us that they are expecting again, next May seems to be the informed opinion.

These “kids” of ours are exceptional parents from every perspective imaginable. So proud of them. Sherry and I are trying to be the best grandparents. I believe most grandparents want to do that. I thought that perhaps a review of the “Grandparent Rules” might be in order, both as a refresher for us and perhaps for you, Respected Reader. These are the “Rules” I have developed based on my clinical experience as well as recommendations from other parenting professionals.

  1. Support your kids raising their kids. The grandkids are not your kids.
  2. Don’t give advice unless asked for by the parents.
  3. Learn how to connect with your grandchild. Be a positive influence in the grandkid’s life, without usurping the authority of the parents.
  4. Be there when needed when possible, but do not impose. Do not be “used” by parents who abdicate their responsibility.
  5. Don’t spoil the kids. Stay within the parameters of behavior/discipline/consequences established by the parents.
  6. Learn when to keep your mouth shut. Certain comments or observations are unnecessary and create bad feelings.
  7. You are not the only grandparents. Sharing and balance are needed with the other grandparents and members of the “extended” family.
  8. Work through and with the parents – not around them.
  9. Be familiar with the parents’ priorities involving safety, health, feeding, discipline, hygiene, etc… and reinforce their desires through our actions.
  10. Love ‘em with all your heart!

How about you? What are your thoughts about being a grandparent?  How good are you in this role? Dare you ask your child how you are perceived? It is a great opportunity to be a positive force in the development of another generation evolving – yours!

“The unexamined life is not worth living”   Socrates

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