When all is said and done, the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is incredibly special and wonderful and sadly, may often be fleeting…

Late American humourist, Sam Levenson, said wryly, “The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy”.

Everything in life can be laughed at, but it also must be acknowledged that grandparents are crucially important figures, both to their grandchildren and adult children, but also to society as a whole. There is a place for grandparents and parents…

Growing up, I always knew that whatever mom and dad said “no” to, then inevitably, grandma and grandad would say “yes” to. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the nicest thing to do, but as a child I knew that it worked. Living far away from my grandparents always meant triple the spoils when we did see them, much to my parents’ disdain.

For those three weeks a year, my brother and I would be horrible brats who could do no wrong and were far too spoiled.

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Now, having grown up (somewhat), I can see what that sort of thing did to my parents. Yes, they got free babysitting, but they were also dreadfully undermined. Where should the line be drawn? Grandparents have earned the right to spoil their grandchildren but to what end?

Many say that the role of grandparents is to spoil their grandchildren like they couldn’t spoil their own children, but this just seems like an excuse to sugar-load grandchildren and give them back to their parents at the end of the day.

In order to maintain the peace – boundaries need to be set by the parents. Roles need to be clearly defined to ensure a happy and healthy grandparent-parent-child relationship.

The 7 unwritten rules of grandparenting

  1. Opinions are allowed, but don’t always need to be shared.
  2. Support decisions made by parents – and that includes no sweets before dinner!
  3. Don’t criticise! Remember, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all
  4. Trust your children to raise their children.
  5. Communicate! If something bothers you, speak up…
  6. Don’t sweat the small stuff. So, your daughter-in-law didn’t tag a photo of you in a Facebook post? Let it slide, it’s not worth fighting over.
  7. Meet halfway – if you want a relationship with your grandchildren, be sure to put in the effort!

When all is said and done, the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is incredibly special and wonderful and sadly, may often be fleeting.

Love, laugh, cuddle and enjoy your time together.

Article by: Lauren Winn from Pecanwood College Pre-Preparatory.