We’ve all been there. One of our grandkids is throwing a fit, punching his or her sibling or caught in a lie. We aren’t their parents but what happens in our homes, is ours to handle. How do we go about disciplining our grands?
First, and most importantly, we need to be in agreement with our children about methods of discipline. If a situation arises and we aren’t sure, playing it safe is always best.
When our youngest grands are throwing a tantrum and we’re sure they’re safe:
- We can tell them we’ll stay close by and are ready to enjoy a book, TV program or another activity whenever they’re done.
- We can stay in sight yet not coach or console.
- If they turn up the tantrum, we can remain quiet and ignore them.
- When they’re done we can address their behavior, briefly, then move on.
When our grandchild physically hurts someone, first we make sure there is no serious injury then:
- We can separate the two and wait for calm.
- We can follow the same steps as with a tantrum then instruct.
- If the two cannot play without fighting, we can find separate areas for them to play solo.
The Older the Grandchild, the More Difficult the Discipline
When our preteen grandchild displays poor behavior but there’s no physical threat:
- We can tell them to sit in another area of the room and remain quiet.
- If they persist with verbal attacks, we still keep cool and wait.
- When they calm down, we can come closer and explain our position and the effect of their words.
- If they express remorse, it’s over.
- If they escalate again, we can take away privileges.
- When all else fails, we may need to call their parents for an early pickup.
When our teenage grandchildren are verbally out of control but all is physically safe:
- We may need to call in reinforcements. First, we can try to reach their parents.
- If things do not calm, we may need to call the police.
- If they leave our homes, we should not attempt to physically stop them. Chances are they’ll calm down after a walk or drive but we must notify their parents immediately.
Most of these tips are common sense. The calmer we are, the better. However, if we’re unable to sit with our young grands due to the energy it takes, we should refrain. And for the extremely rebellious grandchild, it may be best not to interact with them apart from other family members.
Being a grandparent is tough. There are times we’ll wipe away the tears, wring our hands, or wish we were back in the days of the woodshed and belt.
Yet somehow we make it through the discipline and so do our grands.