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Boundaries as a Grandparent

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 7 May 2019 | comments*Discuss
Boundaries As A Grandparent

Becoming a grandparent is one of life’s biggest blessings, but entering this stage of life does not give one license to interfere with the parent’s decisions or madly spoil the children; most parents appreciate and expect their parents to abide by sensible boundaries when it comes to the grandchildren.

Establishing an open line of communication with new parents can help grandparents to develop deep bonds with the children without causing family discord by offending their grown children.

Adjusting to Changing Roles

By the time that they are grandparents, most people have grown accustomed to being in charge, so it can be difficult to suddenly take a back seat to the decisions that other people are making. When it comes to all matters concerning their grandchildren, however, grandparents need to do just that.

It can take a bit of time for new grandparents to fully accept the idea that they are no longer the highest authorities, but coming to such a conclusion can do wonders to keep family relationships harmonious. Smart grandparents begin practicing constraint even before their first grandchild is born by allowing their grown children to make decisions regarding everything from baby names to nursery décor without offering unsolicited opinions.

Honouring the Wishes of Parents

Once the children have arrived and one has been bestowed with the official title of “grandparent,” the importance of relegating authority to the next generation cannot be underestimated. When it comes to the care and welfare of their children, parents make the decisions – it is as simple as that.

Discipline, nutrition, bedtimes, and childhood privileges are all part of a parent’s domain and part of being a good grandparent is to understand and comply with reasonable boundaries. Unless careless parents are truly putting their little ones in harm’s way, a grandparent has no right to interfere.

Differentiating Helpful and Intrusive

The knowledge and experience of a grandparent can be invaluable to parents, especially new ones, but knowing the right answers doesn’t necessarily give someone the right to offer them to others. Helpful grandparents are ready with advice when their grown children come to them with questions; intrusive ones speak up before they’ve been asked.

Although young parents are bound to make their share of mistakes in raising the grandchildren, grandparents may want to look back upon their own child-rearing days and remember what it was like to feel that others were looking over their shoulders with disapproving attitudes. Each generation has their own ideas about raising kids and should be allowed and encouraged to do things in their own way.

Strengthening Family Bonds

The ultimate goal of every grandparent should be to strengthen the loving connections between members of their families. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to determine ways that they can help their grown kids to enjoy parenthood while establishing close bonds with the grandchildren.

Many people have fond childhood memories involving their grandparents – and when the time comes to be a grandparent, it’s important to consider the memories that are being made for the youngest family members. No one would like to leave a legacy of intrusiveness and hard feelings, but by adhering to a reasonable set of boundaries, grandparents can nurture their families and give each of their loved ones the sense that they are valued and appreciated.

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My son lives with us as his marriage broke down 4 yrs ago. Every other weekend his two children aged 8yrs & 5 yrs stay with him in our house. The 8 yr old is bad tempered, rude and disrespectful to us grandparents but my son won’t allow us to speak to the boy. He corrects him & takes away a privilege only to then give him another privilege. Should we be allowed to speak to the boy in our own home?
Lil - 7-May-19 @ 1:42 AM
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