Our list of boundaries for grandparents might help avoid grandparents pushing boundaries.
Ah, boundaries! They are the cornerstone of healthy relationships, and yet sometimes they can be so hard to define. Defining them is important, though, especially when the first grandbaby comes along. Being an involved and supportive grandparent is so much more rewarding when you know what the expectations are.
Parents repeatedly complain about grandparents pushing boundaries. They sometimes wish they could print up and deliver a list of boundaries for grandparents.
Well, now they can! But before you read the following list, keep this in mind:
First, this list is long and some of the boundaries may seem harsh. Look at these rules as a starting point for your own conversations, not as a mandate for all grandparents. Some of the boundaries listed may not be of any concern to your grandchild’s parents, and there may be issues that aren’t even on here.
Second, every family is different. What may be a non-negotiable, “you’ll-never-see-your-grandkids-again” rule in one family may not matter at all to another set of parents. (This could even be true within a family: while one of your daughters may forbid all sugar for her children, another daughter may serve Oreos with dinner.)
Read on for a list of boundaries for grandparents.
What Grandparents Should Do
What Grandparents Should NOT Do
Some of these rules may seem like common sense to one person and an extreme overreaction to another. That’s why it’s important for grandparents and parents to talk about boundaries. If your grandchild’s parents haven’t started the conversation, it doesn’t mean they don’t care. It may just mean they don’t want to offend you. You’ll make life easier for everyone if you bring up the subject of boundaries yourself.
When it comes down to it, there are really two main rules for grandparents to remember:
Having healthy family boundaries comes down to clear and respectful communication. Keep in mind that some boundaries can be undefined as parents adjust to their new role. Also, boundaries can shift as time goes by. Making yourself open to communicating with parents can help navigate those changes and work through any misunderstanding caused by unclear or changing boundaries.
You might also like: