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Role of Grandparent – Disciplinarian or Fun Maker?

The school summer holidays are in full swing, and this is where grandparents may be on call, as working parents often rely on the help and support of grandparents to provide day care for the little ones.

So what exactly is the role of the grandparent when caring for their grandchildren? Is there a job description? It will happen even to the grandparent who wants nothing more than to spoil a grandchild, the grandparent who is most determined to be the “fun” grandparent. A grandchild will misbehave with no parent in sight to act as a disciplinarian. So what’s a grandparent to do?

Grandparents love to treat their grandchildren, but should they play a role in discipline too – and when is the right time to step in?

With an increasing number of grandparents being called upon to help out regularly with childcare duties, getting involved in disciplining can be hard to avoid even if you want to.

What are your views?  Should grandparents get involved in implementing discipline? Should they use their own methods, or use the same discipline style as the parents? Or should they focus on providing fun, entertainment love, and treats? Do you support the view ‘what happens at grandma’s house stays at grandma’s house’?

How do you see the role of a Grandparent - Disciplinarian or Fun Maker?

218 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Disciplinarian Fun Maker

What are your views?

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magician
17th Oct 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
One of the best things about a grandparent is hearing parents tell their children off for everything they used to do when they were children!
1BA
24th Aug 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
My 96 year old papa is grandfather, greatgrandfather and great great grandfather and spends time with all his grandchildren who clearly adore him. He is a firm but fair grandfather as he was a parent. Everyweekend and holidays his house is full of his grand children ranging in age from 28 to 2. The house is Chaotic but the children know pops rules and and never cross the line. My sisterinlaws and I have always found it quite amazing how pops can cope with all these children and never raise his voice. i think another important thing is he is consent the rules do not change from day to day and the children know exactley were they stand, He is fun, caring and likes to earn new things from his grandchildren. They taught him gangland dancing last year.
ginntonic
4th Aug 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
As a grandma of two young grandsons I do set rules and boundaries when they are with my but for safety and wellbeing not discipline. I like them to have fun and a good time when with me, even when I look after them after school not just holidays. I want them to look forward to spending time with me, the way I did with my grandmother and my daughters did with their grandparents.
Pam1960
29th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
A little bit of both. I don't have any grandchildren yet but I expect the parents to be the main disciplinarian and for us to reinforce their rules. I hope I have instilled into my children the importance of respect and manners so we will be singing off the same hymn sheet. My future daughters in law are both lively girls with excellent manners. I want the grandchildren to want to visit rather than it be a chore so I'm hoping to make it a fun environment for them x
JoD
28th Jul 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
I love having fun with my 3 granddaughters and I spoil them rotten but I still expect good manners and respect , not just for me but others around them.
pat123
27th Jul 2017
4
Thanks for voting!
I see lots and lots of my granddaughter, as it should be. I don't agree with being a 'disciplinarian'. My granddaughter comes to us to be spoiled, but she also knows there are certain lines she doesn't cross. She is now a beautiful 13 years old and I have only had to give her a very, very few gentle talkings to. Love her to bits!!
EileenD4
27th Jul 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
Your kids will know that you will be the same sort of grandparent as you were a parent although you get to hand the grandkids back, eventually. The emphasis should be on providing security and consistency and that is usually achievable by being a fun maker, a bit like you were when you were on holiday with your kids. I want to remember the good times and want my grandkids to have happy memories too. Common sense and kindness prevail.
tuds
27th Jul 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
It has to be both, I love going out with my grandchildren but I will discipline them when necessary.
Lynnie
27th Jul 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
Both! My 6 grandchildren always behave better when their parents are not around but I always let them know the boundaries.
CarolineR3
27th Jul 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
Grandparents have to be a bit of both . It's important to have fun with your grandchild but you also need to dish out some discipline and enforce the rules that the parents have made otherwise you undo all the hard work that the parents have done trying to get their child to behave correctly ! Obviously there are times when rules can be broken .
1
Thanks for voting!
I want our grandchildren to enjoy their time with us we will be looking after all 7 of them at different times right across the summer some for the odd day some for a week at a time and some for a day each week . We love them to experience new things but keep costs down . As for discipline I find exhausting them each day reduces the requirement !
trish58
27th Jul 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
I think a bit of both is the answer. We love to have fun with our grandchildren but also make sure they behave.
Lionel
26th Jul 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
My second wife and I raise two of her grand children (my step grand children) into their teens. We were providers, disciplinarians and fun makers so I don't think we fit the stereotypes. We were in the place of ageing parents - I don't envy anyone having a family later in life.

The cultural divide between the kids and us is enormous and always was. Our home doesn't allow for free expression parenting. There are rules here we abide by and the kids must too. It helps us all get on. It gives them a much needed framework in which to live. But there was always time to let off steam. Running with three Collies, chucking mud pies or snow balls at one another ... climbing trees and getting stuck - oh, the times I've been up a tree rescuing a grand child!

Their birth father's discipline was very harsh indeed so here disapproval was shown with a withering look - my Victorian grand mother was so good at that. i have shouted at them when money was stolen from us. But, when genuine remorse was evident I gave them money and told them, there's a small pot here. I'll put some money in for you to share. But don't steal from us. That did the trick!

Their own home is now stable. Father departed nearly five years ago. Mother has a new man and he's a good man too. When the kids come here we can see the beneficial impact a framework of behaviour had on them. One could dine with the Queen. The other is getting there - except he's not a monarchist.
pat123
27th Jul 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
Ah, well done Lionel. I am sure it would be very hard and exhausting work bringing up children when one is the GrandFather. Lots of respect to your wife also. When my granddaughter was younger I would be exhausted at the end of one day!!
Lionel
27th Jul 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
Thank you for your kind words Pat. Yes, it was tough going - there's fifty years between the kids and us. I can tell you I've been up so many trees rescuing the kids even now I'm exhausted at the thought of doing even one more rescue job.
Marley444
26th Jul 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
I think the relationship with grandparent and grandchild is one of the most special, and the value to both should never be underestimated. I think time spent with grandchildren should be fun.

My children are still scarred in their 20s from an apple crumble incident when they were very young - their grandma wouldn't let them leave the table unless they ate it, and they sat there for a very long time. They would have happily eaten an apple, but just didn't like apple crumble, and one still won't eat it to this day!

I think that grandparents should encourage good behaviour at all times, balanced with love, cherishing and special treats and shouldn't be to heavy handed on the discipline front - parents should be responsible for that.
pat123
27th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
Marley, I so agree with you! I hope you gave that GrandParent what for!!
CaroleAH
26th Jul 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
I think that the emphasis should be on Fun - but the grandchildren should also abide by your house "rules". My ex-partner has three ill-disciplined grandchildren (all under the age of 5) who used to come to our house and run riot; jumping on the furniture, pulling my old and sentimental Christmas decorations off the tree and throwing them on the floor, emptying all the stones from a water feature and throwing them on to the patio, throwing stones near the greenhouse .......... I could go on, but I'm sure you will get the picture! It fell to me as "the baddy" to discipline them whilst my ex looked on with a benevolent smile and then complained bitterly once they had departed. I used to try and think of diversion tactics so that it didn't seem as though I was always saying "Don't do that" or "No, you can't" etc. Children need boundaries setting so that they grow up into nice adults who are welcomed by one and all. Once they know what is acceptable behaviour then by all means have loads of Fun because many hard-working parents just don't have the time, funds or energy to spend with their off-spring.
Marley444
26th Jul 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
I agree with you CaroleAH
CaroleAH
26th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
Thank-you, Marley444 🙂
Wilf
26th Jul 2017
4
Thanks for voting!
Its got to be Fun. The world is full of work and time constraints and discipline. Kids need to live a little . When I was a boy "groan from my kids in their 20s" in the 1960s we just roamed everywhere and were full of mischief and adventures. Kids should do the same nowdays . Its up to mum and dad and school to discipline them. Sure you can guide them a but but its good for grandparents to spoil the kids and be seen as a bit of a relaxed place to enjoy a short break.
Marley444
26th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
Lionel
27th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
You're getting some green thumbs back Wilf. Doing my best for you!
Wilf
27th Jul 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
Thanks Lionel-I think I need them!
Lionel
27th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
annggel
26th Jul 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
Glad to see it's a 50/50 split.
MrsPat
26th Jul 2017
4
Thanks for voting!
Funmaker everytime. Its not up to me and my husband to discipline our grandkids. They come over to us when our children go on short trips or like a few months ago when one of them moved house. They have fun here and enjoy watching TV when they want-play on their computer games and go out for walks with us and the dogs which they enjoy a lot. We do spoil them and buy them small presents but that is what grandparents are for. When they go back to mum and dad the daily routine of life including discipline happens as usual.

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