Let us look at the list of boundaries for grandparents that are often over exceeded and how you can avoid them. Read on to know more.
Being a grandparent is one of the best experiences in anyone’s life. You enjoy spending time with your grandkids without any stress or responsibility when it comes to parenting.
With the changing family patterns and a growing number of working parents, grandparents have an increasing role in their grandkids’ lives.
However, the path to hell is often paved with good intentions. You may have the best parents in the world, but it is essential to create boundaries for them. Sometimes, they overstep your guidelines for your children, even if they do it out of love and care.
It is important to create a set of healthy boundaries so that you, your parents, and your children can all enjoy the time they spend with each other. In this article, we will focus on a list of such boundaries.
What we will cover:
- What role do grandparents play in the life of their grandchildren?
- Why is it important to set boundaries for grandparents?
- A list of such boundaries
- How do you set such boundaries?
- What are toxic grandparents?
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What Role Do Grandparents Play In The Life of Their Grandchildren?
Having grandparents around is a blessing for grandkids. There are many things a grandparent does and can do without crossing the limits.
They can be role models for kids, babysitters, playmates, and storytellers. A good grandparent will support their grandkids and their parents and always be there to help when needed.
According to studies, children who have a close relationship with grandparents have fewer emotional and behavioral issues. Grandparents have a different bond with their grandchildren and shower them with love, praise and help out with babysitting when their parents are out sometimes.
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Why Is It Important To Create Boundaries for Grandparents?
But sometimes, conflict arises between parents and grandparents. Surveys show that 42% of parents had to set a time limit for grandparents to meet their grandchildren because they did not agree with the parents’ view on how to raise their children.
Making The Right Choices
Parents have to deal with many choices and select what is right and best for their kids. They try to make rules and decisions about kids’ meals, bedtime, and other discipline areas, which will benefit them in the long run. They try to teach them good habits as well.
But when a grandparent comes and tries to break these rules, all the hard work that the parents put in their child is of no use. So it is important to set certain boundaries. These boundaries are set to protect the relationship with your grandparents.
Grandparents cross the line, thus undermining parents’ authority in front of their kids. Whether it is to let kids eat junk food when parents have said not to or to let them do something parents disagree with, there are certain things that grandparents should avoid doing.
It is not necessary for parents and grandparents to look at things the same way. There will be differences of opinion and perspective. Most importantly, some of the things that were acceptable as parenting in their time are outdated and, in some cases, quite illegal!
Having a set of healthy boundaries will help avoid conflicts and create a healthy bond.
After all, how will grandparents know what you don’t like or feel uncomfortable about if you don’t tell them? But make sure everyone is treated and given respect when you set certain boundaries.
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List Of Boundaries For Grandparents
#1 Gifting To Grandkids
Grandparents have the right to give gifts to their grandchildren from time to time. This may be their way to shower love and win kids’ hearts. Sometimes they give their grandchild what they ask for. Grandparents may not even have a realization of doing anything wrong.
Sometimes they may spoil them by giving them expensive toys, candies and giving them junk food. However, this may be the way of showing love and care for grandkids. So there has to be a limit set on how much they can spend and how much junk food their kids can have.
Sometimes parents may feel there is a lack of respect for the rules set and may feel like bad parents to their kids when they have to say “NO” for any expensive toys their grandparents give them.
It is better for grandparents to ask and make requests before giving their grandchildren what they ask for. This way, you can make things clear to grandchildren that their parents will be making the decisions about them.
#2 Going To The Hospital Uninvited
Grandparents will always be excited to welcome their grandkids. But there can be some conflict between parents and grandparents. For example, if your partner wants to go with you to the doctor, your mother may also want to go along, creating issues.
It is better to set clear rules about who will go to the doctor and who they want to be in the hospital during childbirth and other such things.
Grandparents would like to see their grandchildren as soon as they are born. But going to the hospital uninvited may not be liked by the new parents of the baby. It is better to show up in the hospital when asked or invited.
Giving birth to a child is a different experience and may require time to recover. Many mothers like to spend some alone time with the baby and need some rest before dealing with relatives or other visitors.
#3 Posting Kids Picture On Social Media Without Asking The Parents
Grandparents surely will want to post a picture holding their grandkids in their hands. But sometimes parents have a different outlook. They may not want their kid’s pictures or any information online, which should be respected.
So before putting up pictures of grandchildren, it is better to ask their parents. Otherwise, they may have uncomfortable conversations and may need to delete the picture afterward.
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#4 Parents Authority To Their Kids
Yes, you may be the parent of your grandkid’s parents. But you need to realize that they are not kids anymore. They have specific responsibilities and rules to run their house that everyone has to follow, including you.
Parents may have set nap time, mealtime, or time to watch TV for their kids, which is good. Sometimes, you will find that the grandparents cross these rules and let kids have junk food or skip their nap time.
Grandparents should not interfere when parents have set or enforced some discipline for their kids. Interfering or undermining parents’ authority can ruin your relationship with them.
#5 Allowing Outsiders To Hold Their Grandchild
Maybe your grandchild looks cute and adorable. But this does not mean anyone can hold them in their hands. Grandparents would want to show their grandchild to others, and this is perfectly natural and fine.
But there has to be some limit set as to who can hold the baby and keep them safe. Any parent would not want a stranger or anyone they are not very close to to hold their baby and find it uncomfortable. Looking at the current pandemic, it is safe not to let any stranger hold your baby at all.
#6 Raising Them The Same Way As You Did For Your Own Kids
You may have raised your kids pretty well, but at the same time, it is good to know that everyone has a different way of raising their kids. This also means that the things that worked out for their kids back then may not work now.
Parents would want to raise their kids in better ways they can. So it is better not to push your parenting methods on them and let them do what they feel is suitable for their kid.
#7 Reward For Bad Behavior
Sometimes your grandchild will want to stay at the park for some more time, stay up late to watch TV, or maybe eat candy before lunch.
Grandparents have a habit of letting kids stay up a little longer or offering them sweets when the kids ask. While this may seem like a small thing, it leads to bad behavior and undermines the parents’ authority.
The main problem will arise when the kids come back home and won’t listen to what their parents say and break the rules of the house like this. So grandparents should avoid such issues and not make parents live hard by rewarding such behavior of kids.
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#8 Calling Or Video Chat Often
Grandparents will always be excited to talk to their grandchildren, especially if they are of their own family. With the advancement of technology and phones, there are many ways to stay connected with your kids and relatives.
Having phone calls, using social media, and video chats have made it pretty easy to keep in touch with your loved ones. However, it is essential to know that not everyone is available to talk all the time. Everyone has their work schedules set.
So it is better for grandparents to see the time and know when the kids or parents are free to talk and call them at that time. It will help keep the relationship balanced and healthy.
So How Do You Set Such Boundaries?
Sometimes, it may be easy to set rules and boundaries, but it may be challenging to figure out how to get people to accept them. It is essential to look at the need, goal, and family values before setting such boundaries.
Communicate What They Want And Think Very Clearly
Before communicating things to your parents, it is essential to have a talk with your partner and figure out things. Then communicate and try to make your parents understand what they feel and why they need to set such boundaries.
Tell them how you want them to be involved with their kids and how you want to raise them up. Just don’t make them feel like they are not valued or wanted. Try to keep a calm and gentle tone when talking.
Respect Grandparents Intentions
Trying to shift your parents’ minds may be difficult at first. You need to respect your parents’ intention as what they do is out of love and joy. Try giving them credit and praising them for being supportive and helpful.
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Who Are Toxic Grandparents?
There is no denying, people who spend time with grandparents have a lot of fun doing so. Kids love going to their grandparents’ places and spending time with them as they shower endless love and let them do what they want to.
Sometimes they may cross certain limits and need to be reminded that they are not the parents here. When grandparents lack respect and point out parents at anything they do is one of the signs of being a toxic grandparent.
Some grandparents keep giving advice when not even asked or may even emotionally abuse kids. This may lead to some severe issues with the mental health of kids and parents.
If you are not sure if you have toxic grandparents, look for these signs:
They may have been difficult parents themselves.
Did you have a difficult childhood and face a lot of hardships? Though it may not always be the case. But if you have been treated poorly in your childhood, you may feel that your grandparents will treat your kids the same way.
They may play favorites among grandkids.
Do your grandparents love and praise one child more than the other? Do they get gifts for only one child? If this is the case, then this may be a kind of abuse to the other child.
They may belittle your kids.
Any kind of emotional abuse will have some effect on kids. If grandparents criticize your kids or try to put them down, it will have a negative impact on their self-worth.
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Don’t Forget About Having The Benefits Of Grandparents.
Being around grandchildren is a blessing for grandparents. Grandparents would like to spend a lot of time with their grandkids and shower their love and blessings to them. Sometimes out of love, they may override certain limits which the parents may not like.
So it is essential to set some healthy boundaries for grandparents and make them understand what is good for your kid.
I hope the list of boundaries for grandparents that we put up in this article will help you understand why you might have arguments in the house sometimes. While it’s not a comfortable topic for anyone, we hope that reading such articles together helps bring families closer and reduce the differences that may come up between otherwise loving grandparents, parents and children sometimes.
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