There’s nothing more satisfying for a grandparent than knowing there are certain things you can and you can’t do. Understanding what those parameters are and having a clear view of all the rules and regulations imparted by the parents for the grandchildren should be your number one concern before you decide on the indulgences.
Yep.. everyone agrees : it’s a grandparents prerogative to spoil the grandkids, bend the rules, and go outside the daily routine – we let them stay up later, eat something special here and there, and get into silliness and a bit dirtier than they can get away with at their own home. Whew, grandparenting sure is fun. But, when you ignore the non-negotiable rules that parents set in order to keep their home their way, the only one who pays the price are the children themselves – our most precious gifts.
Hopefully rules and limits and boundaries are set up for safety, for learning, and for growing.. all of which are imperative to life’s experiences and establishing a set of values.
Together parents and grandparents have so much in common, which begins with their unconditional love for the children in their lives. Knowing this, it is our responsibility to make sure we adhere to the basic principles that mirror the daily parenting routine. But, as unfortunate as it may be, there will be times when grandparent and parent don’t see eye to eye or question the integrity of parental decisions. Time for a grandparent ‘time-out’ so to speak. Do yourself a favor, take a step back, breathe deeply and say nothing, walk away or excuse yourself. Remember, in the scheme of life, you are the grandparent, NOT the parent.
Having your children’s children around you is a gift we are given. We need to make sure that we make every effort to reduce conflict, uphold and support decisions even if we don’t agree, and we need to make certain parents know we are the network they can most depend upon. Given those ideas, it’s ok to go ahead and bend a rule or two with the grandchildren; just make sure no one tells on us that we ate dessert first!