Granny the spoiler
Are you over-stepping that special bond with your child’s child?
Thank you Gran (iStockphoto.com)
One of the fondest memories I have is getting on a train with my grandmother and cousin and going to the Company Gardens. She bought us peanuts to feed the squirrels and I chased pigeons for the rest of the day. My mom couldn't do things like that with us.
Being a grandparent is a special thing. You've had your turn, made your mistakes and now you get another chance. But this time you get to do the fun things. You're the one who spoils the kids because that's your right.
That’s not how we did it in my day
“I’ll never be like my mother” you hear people saying. Either they’re the complete opposite of their parents or slowly turn into their parents. You may find fault with the way your parents did things or maybe you found them rather effective. So you cut and paste from what you’ve learned and experienced to carve your own style of parenting.
Grandparents are a well of advice and together you can make a better parenting team. They’re still your kids though and if you say no sweets after 7pm or that they should be on a strict diet of steamed broccoli and tomato juice, then so be it. No matter how disgusting it is.
It’s a line that grandparents seem to cross quite easily. After all they see the kids as belonging to them as well.
Some grandparents will try to parent their grandkids and that’s where the conflict comes in. As a grandparent you watch your children make their mistakes and depending on your relationship with them can either guide them or drive them away.
Tips to keep the peace
• What Mom and Dad say is law: be it what the child can eat, bedtime or who he can play with. Grandparents should respect the parents’ wishes.
• Don’t overload them with sugar. Eventually they’ll go home to Mom and Dad who then have to deal with a hyperactive preschooler.
• Keep the trust. If your grandchild tells you something in confidence try to keep it to yourself. Unless of course it’s something dangerous, unsafe or troubling that you think the parents should know.
• Have fun. Don’t be too strict with them. This is your chance to be childish again, so relish it.What kind of relationship do your children have with their grandparents? Are they strict or fun?