Giving gifts to your grandchildren is probably the best and most fun part of being a grandparent. Seeing them open the birthday gift you picked especially for them, and how excited they get when they play with it or use it.
It can be hard to know, though, when you stop giving gifts to your grandchildren. As they grow up, you may feel like they’re getting a little too old for presents – especially when they have their own jobs and are out working to support themselves.
The answer to when you should stop buying gifts for your grandchildren is really that it depends on the relationship you have with your grandchildren and your children.
Don’t Feel Like You Have To
Regardless of how old your grandchildren are, if you do not have a relationship with them or not a very good one, you do not have to buy them anything at all.
You responsibility to your grandchildren for buying gifts is absolutely zero. Some grandchildren will also take advantage of their grandparent’s love for them to get what they want out of them.
If you’re not sure about how to approach gift giving for your grandchildren, here is some information that can help you determine what you want to give and when you want to do it.
What Is Your Relationship With Your Grandchildren Like?
Some people will say that you need to look at the relationship with your children – the parents of your grandchildren – but really this is a separate relationship, and should be treated as such.
When your grandchildren are younger, most of the relationship they have with you will come through their parents, though. So if you have a strained relationship with your children it can make it difficult to spend time with your grandchildren when they’re young.
If you have a good relationship with your grandchildren, and they’re in your life for more things than just to get something out of you, then it’s really up to you how long you give gifts for and what kind of gifts you give.
The Type Gift Might Change
When grandchildren are younger, they’re going to be asking for toys to play with for birthdays and holiday occasions.
However, as they get older they may want gift cards or money so they can put it towards a bigger gift they want to buy or spend it on something they really want.
Make sure you keep in touch with your grandchildren to chat about what they’re into and what interests them. This way you know what to buy them and you know whatever you get them will go to good use.
Try to Be Fair
If you have more than one grandchild, you may feel as though you have a better relationship with one of them over the other – which is very natural.
This isn’t to say that you love them more than your other grandchildren, but simply that you feel a closer bond to one person than others.
You may also see some grandchildren more than others due to the geography of where they live so you may develop a closer bond with them than others just because you see them more often.
If that’s the case, you don’t have to feel bad – it’s happens. But what you can do, consciously, is make sure that you don’t favor one over the other when buying gifts.
Try to be fair with your grandchildren
You may have a strained relationship with your child – the parent of that particular grandchild – but that has nothing to do with your grandchild and it’s not their fault. So it’s important that you know that, and try to treat your grandchildren the same, especially when they are younger.
If you can spend time with your grandchild, despite the strained relationship with their parent, this can give you a great foundation for having a separate relationship with them as they grow up.
You don’t have to give each grandchildren the exact same gift, but when being fair it’s suggested that you try to make sure the amount of effort given is going to be equal.
For example, if you buy one gift for one grandchild that costs you about $50 then you may want to consider buying gifts for your other grandchildren that are all around the same value.
This way, each grandchild will feel as though they are not being left out or wondering why everyone else got something and they didn’t.
What About Traveling With Your Grandchildren?
As grandparents, and being retired, you may want to take your grandchildren on some of the vacations you go on.
Maybe you go south every winter, or like to go to Europe. Where ever it is that you like to travel, many grandparents will want to take their grandchildren with them.
If you have a lot of grandchildren, you may feel as though you cannot take them all on vacation with you at the same time. That’s ok – don’t feel bad about that.
If you take one grandchild on vacation this year, you may want to consider asking your other grandchildren next year or whenever you go on vacation again.
Talk to your children about taking your grandchildren on vacation, and make sure they are on the same page about it. As long as their parents are on board, then you can enjoy spending time with your grandchildren on your next vacation.
Make Sure You Respect Their Parents
While their parents are your children, or the partner of your children, you need to respect them as the parents of your grandchildren.
You have raised your children, absolutely, but your children may have a different idea as to how to raise them or what they want their kids to have.
If a child really wants a gift, especially when they are younger, it’s important to clear it with their parents and make sure that their parents are ok with the gift you are getting them.
Sometimes children will go to their parents and their parents say no, or they just don’t want their child having that particular toy.
In some of those cases the child will approach the grandparent and ask because they feel as though the grandparent won’t know that their parent said no.
If the parent has said no, then do not buy this toy or gift for your grandchild.
You need to respect what the parents have decided, even if you don’t think it’s the right thing to do.
This can be more difficult to do as your grandchildren grow up. Although as they grow up, their parents may also have less say over them so if you feel as though you should buy the gift for them then that’s what you do.
As your grandchildren grow up, they may just state that they want cash as a gift so that they can buy whatever it is they want to.
If you give them cash, you have to realize that it is no longer up to you what they do with that money. They may buy something you don’t disagree with but once you give that money it’s not up to you what they do.
If you have concerns about what they may spend money on, ask them if there’s an actual gift that they want. Maybe some clothes or a new book – whatever it is that they enjoy doing.
It’s important, though, that if you do give your grandchildren cash it’s not your decision what they do with it so you need to be ok with the possibilities of whatever they might spend it on.
Giving to your grandchildren is one of the very best parts about being a grandparent – who doesn’t love spoiling their grandchildren?
Sometimes, though, it can be difficult to make sure you are not over-stepping on the boundaries set by the parents and that you’re respecting the rules they’ve set out.
When your grandchildren are young, make sure you have a little discussion with the parents to let them know what you have bought – or are thinking of buying – for your grandchildren so that they know it’s coming. At the very least, it can make sure two (or more!) of the same gift are not purchased for the child.
You’ll also want to try and keep it fair for your grandchildren. Try to make sure that you are spending the same amount of time and effort on giving gifts for all your grandchildren so that someone doesn’t feel left out – children don’t understand strained relationships with parents.
So you can, ultimately, give your grandchildren gifts for as long as you want to. It really depends on the relationship you have with them and your ability to give them gifts.
Sometimes money may be tight, so make sure you are not going without necessities in life to buy them things.
As long as you feel that you want to give your grandchildren gifts, it’s completely up to you – there is no right or wrong answer!