The grandparent/grandchild bond is very special, yet hard to explain. Not everyone gets to experience an amazing bond. But so many of us do. Since grandkids are part of their family but they don’t have to raise them (on many occasions), this creates an opportunity for the grandparents to go above and beyond. Their relationship can be beautiful; however, sometimes it is important to have a talk about boundaries.
Grandparents oftentimes love so unconditionally that for them limits don’t exist. Chocolate at 8 pm? OF COURSE! Two extra hours of YouTube? YES, BABY! You name it. Sometimes a grandparent’s love can go a little overboard.
All grandparents are different, but their unconditional love can sometimes be difficult because of a lack of boundaries. While chatting with some other moms, we all came to the realization that grandparenting relationships vary. However, we all can see how the relationship between parents and grandparents can be harder than parenthood itself.
In my case, my mom is the type of grandmother who will make pancakes at 2 p.m. simply because that’s what my son wants to eat. Or she will sit on the floor for an hour to play building blocks with my daughter. The bonding and love she has with my kids is definitely special. Yet even in my own situation, I see those boundaries that could apply on occasion, especially for my mom (SORRY MOM!).
However, with their grandfather, it’s the complete opposite. He doesn’t try at all to set up a bond with them which is hard because, while he may not realize it, the children are not building memories with him.
Sometimes grandparents might question our decisions and parenting styles. Many of us have had these conversations, such as “Why are you so tough on the kids?” or “You should allow the baby to do this” and many others.
Then, there are the occasions in which it’s the rebellious stage, not only from our children but from the children with their grandparents as their number one allies. We know they come from a good place, but at the end of the day, we need them to be our allies as much as they are allies with our children.
Let’s meet in the middle, parents and grandparents. Let’s work on a positive path. We must be on the same page and agree that at the end of the day, we want to raise a good child.
Here are some helpful ideas to help parents and grandparents set appropriate boundaries.
Always communicate with an open mind and open ears.
Communication is crucial. In order to better support our children, grandparents and parents need to communicate properly. Have an open mind and open ears to hear what either group has to say.
2. Boundaries are healthy.
It is okay and actually good to set some boundaries. We want to ensure our children are raised with positive values, memories, and skills. Let’s work on setting some boundaries, not only between the grandparents and children but also between the parents and children. Perhaps grandparents compromise by not feeding the children candy after 6 p.m. And parents compromise by not allowing kids to play video games after 4 p.m. It’s a mutual agreement, and it is possible to have a good outcome.
3. Understand times have changed.
Grandparents need to understand that times are different now. Parenting skills have to adjust to the new ways society, technology, life, and everything is evolving. Parents, try to understand that change can be hard for grandparents. They have been in the parenting world for so long that it can be hard to understand the new trends in parenting.
4. Always remember the focus of this bond: the children!
Despite differences, ideas, ages, religion, and anything else, don’t forget the children. Our children deserve to build beautiful memories with their grandparents. Be kind, be open, and be adaptable. The children deserve to have their grandparents and parents be in a positive relationship.
Originally published April 2022.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of El Paso Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.