There are a lot of "dos" when it comes to being a grandparent. But there are also a few "don'ts." Here are 10 things grandparents should avoid doing if they want to stay on their grandchildren's good side.
1. Don't Be Overbearing.
It's natural to want to see your grandchildren as often as possible. But that doesn't mean you should be calling them or stopping by unannounced all the time. Give them some space and respect their schedules. They'll appreciate it—and you'll likely enjoy your time together more too.
2. Don't be Cheap.
Yes, it's true that grandchildren are typically cheaper to entertain than children. But that doesn't mean you should skimp on quality time with them. Take them to the movies, buy them ice cream, or treat them to a special outing every once in a while. They'll remember these fun experiences long after the material things you give them have been forgotten.
3. Don't Try to Take the Place of Their Parents.
It's important to build a strong relationship with your grandchildren, but don't try to take the place of their parents. They need both sets of adults in their lives for different reasons. And if you try to do too much, you may end up alienating their parents—which is the last thing you want to do.
4. Don't Gossip About Their Parents.
It might be tempting to share stories about your children with your grandchildren—especially if they're stories that paint them in a negative light. But resist the urge! Gossiping about their parents will only make your grandchildren feel caught in the middle and confused about where their loyalty should lie. If you have something negative to say about their parents, keep it to yourself.
5. Don't Be Too Permissive.
It can be tempting to let your grandchildren get away with everything when they're with you—after all, you're not the one who has to deal with the consequences! But this isn't fair to either of you in the long run. If you allow them to do things at your house that they're not allowed to do at home, they may start expecting this treatment all the time—which is bound to cause conflict down the road. It's okay to be lenient occasionally, but try not stick too closely to the rules either. Find a happy medium that works for both of you.
6. Don't Play Favorites.
Every grandparent has a favorite grandchild—there's no denying it! But it's important not to show favoritism too openly, as this can cause hard feelings among siblings and cousins (not to mention grandparents!). Treat all of your grandchildren equally and fairly, and they'll all grow up feeling loved and appreciated by you.
7 . Don't Talk About Sensitive Topics Without Permission First.
Yes, there may come a time when your grandchild wants to talk about sensitive topics like sex, drugs, or even politics with you—but that doesn't mean it's okay for you to bring these things up without permission first! Talk about these delicate subjects only when your grandchild initiates the conversation, and never force them into a discussion they're not ready for yet.
8 . Don't Forget Important Dates.
One surefire way to upset your grandchild is by forgetting an important date like their birthday or graduation day. Make sure you keep track of these milestones so you can help them celebrate in style!
9 . Don't Let Yourself Get Bored.
Just because you're retired doesn't mean your life has to revolve around your grandchildren 24/7. Pursue your own hobbies and interests, and encourage them to do the same. You'll both be happier and more well-rounded individuals as a result.
10. And Finally, Don’t Neglect Your Health.
Just because you're getting older doesn't mean you can neglect your health. Make sure you're seeing your doctor regularly, eating right, and exercising enough so that you can stay healthy and active for years to come—and enjoy lots of quality time with your wonderful grandchildren along the way!
Grandchildren are a joy at any age—but being a good grandparent takes some work! By avoiding these 10 common mistakes, you can make sure you're giving your grandchildren the best possible experience(and forming a lasting bond in the process).
So what are you waiting for?
Get out there and enjoy spending time with the little ones today!