Do you ever get upset with your grandkids? More importantly, do you feel guilty for getting irritated with them? It’s hard. As much as we love our grandchildren, we are not in charge of their upbringing.
Not only are we not raising them to our standards, we are sharing them with at least one other set of grandparents. This is actually harder than it sounds.
When you were raising your own children, you had a certain set of rules that the children were expected to adhere to. Even more so, you demanded a code of conduct that befitted your family values.
The odd mixture of feeling so close to your grandkids, that in every sense they are yours, and yet, not yours at all–can create vague boundaries.
Not just for you, but for the grandchildren as well.
However, your standards of behavior can rightfully be expected from your grandchildren.
These are mine. You are welcome to borrow them if you wish.
Tantrums. First, make sure that they are not just truly heartbroken. Just because a child is crying uncontrollably doesn’t necessarily constitute a tantrum. However, screaming and throwing themselves on the ground to get what they want. Now that’s a tantrum. The best way to handle that, I’ve found, is to put the offender in a room–alone.
I simply say, “You are entitled to cry. I am entitled to quiet. Come on out when you’re done.”
Because we love our grandkids, it’s hard for us to put our foot down, even when we know it’s the right thing to do. That makes it easy for the little darlings to try to take advantage of us.
For instance, when you are in a store together. It is not a good idea to buy something, just because they are asking (read begging) for it. It’s uncomfortable for you, and it creates an entitlement mentality in them.
Check the electronics at your front door. Well, for the most part anyway. If the grandkids are there to visit you– then expect them to visit. Our grandkids come by often to use our wi-fi and do school work. That’s not the same as walking in the door with their eyes glued to a screen until they leave.
In spite of the groaning, trust me, you are not killing them.
Expect manners. Whether or not the kids are expected to say ‘thank you’ or not at home, doesn’t matter. More than likely, you’ve been very generous with your grandchildren. You deserve respect. Showing gratitude is the first step in respecting you.
Never tolerate disrespect. Respect is a universal currency. In some homes, the children are not respected, and therefore, they have no idea how to show respect. It’s a natural thing for a grandparent to display love and respect for their grandkids. Expect it in return.
Resist the fear that by expecting these courtesies from your grandchildren they will not like you. Nothing could be further than the truth. Children thrive in an environment where they are loved for who they are–and have their goodness drawn out of them.
You are the perfect one to do just that.