How to “Parent” as a Grandparent

New grandmother here and this has been one of my biggest concerns since little Amelia was born. Because let’s just get totally real here, I would snuggle that little girl and never let her go – if her parents would let me!

Emma Grandmother GIF - Emma Grandmother Grandchild GIFs

To put the icing on the cake, we are expecting grandbaby #2 in February 2021! So this grandma and grandpa are super excited about the prospect of having a set of grandkids to spoil!

Whether you are parenting your grandchild for a night, or you are assisting in raising the child, it’s important to know how to parent your grandchild without overstepping your boundaries. It’s common for grandparents to overstep their boundaries, even without meaning to or realizing. (done that!)

Oftentimes, grandparents will make choices pertaining to their grandchild that the parent is not thrilled with, or, the grandparent will do things without telling the parent; causing tension in the family. (done that!)

As a grandparent, it’s important to know how to properly “parent” your grandchild in a way that will benefit the child and the family. This post will detail some tips to keep in mind as you become an important person in your grandchild’s life.


Learn How to Parent Your Grandchildren Without Overstepping Your Boundaries

There are a lot of things to keep in mind as you parent your grandchild; and depending on your relationship with the child’s parents, along with your “parenting” abilities, these things may be more obvious than others. Here are some things to consider:

Ask The Parent’s What is Okay and What Isn’t

This is a seemingly obvious point, but often grandparents don’t think that some of the things they do can be questionable to the parents of the child. For example, it’s common for grandparents to want to take their grandchild out shopping or out to dinner, before doing this, ask the parent if it’s okay to take the child to a certain place and whether or not it’s okay for people to hold the child.

Not only will this benefit the child, but it will also often create a positive and healthy relationship between you and the child’s parents as you assist in parenting. If you are unsure of what is okay and what isn’t, simply ask; it’s better to ask than not ask at all.

Do What is Best for the Child

Another seemingly obvious point, do what is best for the child and his or her needs. This point has many layers to it. If you are simply spending the day with your grandchild, this may mean to make sure that he or she is fed, watched, and bathed. Or, on a deeper level if you are helping raise the child, perhaps the parents are not in the picture or are dealing with detrimental issues- such as addiction, do what is best for the child. This may mean that you need to make an effort to separate the child from the toxic behavior that he or she is subject to at home.

Sometimes doing what is right for the child can be challenging, especially if the child is old enough to ask why certain things are happening; however, this is a part of “parenting” that needs to be done. 

Practice Lax Behaviors

Practice lax behaviors within reason. It’s important that grandparents add a layer of fun to parenting by being relaxed and a calm voice of reason in certain situations. It’s also important for grandparents to provide fun for their grandchildren when necessary and when appropriate, this will allow for a positive relationship between you and them.

Keeping this in mind, make sure to not be so lax that your grandchild feels that he or she can take advantage of you. Grandparents should be entertaining while still practicing obvious parenting habits, such as providing a healthy diet and putting the child in safe situations.

Be Practical

This tip is important no matter your level of parenting in your grandchild’s life. Make practical choices that are appropriate for the child, keeping safety and health in mind at all times. Make sure to make practical decisions for the child depending on his or her age and the lifestyle that you are also living.

For example, if you are living at home with an in-home elderly care specialist, make sure your grandchild is familiar with the specialist and that his or her parents are comfortable with the added presence. In this scenario, if you are parenting a child under the age of two, it would make sense that you are not left home alone with the child, as you may not be able to care for him or her.

It may be most practical to have the child over when the in-home elderly care specialist is there in order to make sure you don’t get hurt as you parent.

Grandparenting Made Easy

In order to be a grandparent that practices parenting responsibilities, keep these few tips in mind. It’s crucial that you do what is asked of you while also respecting the biological parent’s wishes and keeping the child’s wellness in mind. As long as you follow tips such as these, you will be able to be the best grandparent you can be.

kelsey simpson

About the Author

Kelsey Simpson enjoys writing about things that can help others. She lives in South Jersey and is the proud companion to two German Shepherds and spends her free time volunteering in dog shelters.

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