Common Grandparenting pitfalls to avoid

Being a Grandparent is a wonderful and fulfilling role later in life.

The joy of watching your family grow and being a part of the lives of your young grandchildren can be incredibly rewarding.

But that doesn’t mean it’s without its challenges, and can sometimes create new tensions within the family as you all navigate new ground.

Here’s a few of the most common don’ts when it comes to being a grandparent and how you can avoid them.

Avoid judging parenting style

Telling your children and their spouses how to raise theirs can cause huge tension and mean they keep you at arm’s length. Even when you disagree with their decisions, it’s best to keep quiet unless you’re explicitly asked for help or advice. Navigating parenthood is hard work, and if you want to provide support, a better strategy would be to compliment and encourage them.

Set boundaries and say no

This rule applies to both children and grandchildren. It’s great to be able to help out both financially or by helping with childcare, but you are within your rights to set boundaries and say no. The same goes for when looking after grandchildren; you may feel pressure to bend rules, dispense treats or give gifts, but ultimately boundaries benefit everyone.

Mind the rules

Whether you agree with the rules or not, the rules set by your grandchildren’s parents should be followed even when you’re in charge. Keep to their ideas about things like discipline, TV or computer time, snack foods and bedtime. Make sure the big rules stay in place, and any bending of the rules – like staying up past usual bedtime – are understood to be a one-off special treat.

Don’t compete

Competing for the attention and affection of your grandchildren is a trap many grandparents fall into, but it rarely has positive consequences. Trying to be the favourite grandparent often results in you feeling miserable and grandchildren feeling pressured. Try to respect the unique role each member of the family plays in your grandchild’s life and ultimately the more loving influences a child has in their life the better.

Do you know any other common grandparenting pitfalls? Share your experiences in the comments below.

The following two tabs change content below.

Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assitant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

Latest posts by Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor (see all)

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!