Guest post: Grandparents can be fun AND consistent

“Mommy lets me stay up late”: How you can have fun and be consistent as a grandparent

by Mary Albert

Grandparenting is a lot of fun. I have a great time with my grandchildren when they come to visit, no matter what we end up doing. Even a lazy day around the house becomes much more entertaining when you’ve got kids to keep you busy.

I struggled, at first, because I didn’t know the rules and etiquette of being a grandparent. I have learned a few things, though, and it has made a world of difference.

I guarantee the first time that I kept my oldest grandson, David, overnight he was old enough to pull the ‘but Mommy lets me’ routine, and I was gullible enough to fall for it. I wanted to be fun, after all, and I didn’t realize that it was a bad thing. I learned quickly that this is NOT the way to do things.

You have to be consistent and make sure that you follow the rules that the parents have set forth. Not only was David not allowed to stay up past 8:00 on Fridays (he was 7 at the time), but there were other rules I accidentally broke during that visit as well. There wasn’t any permanent damage, but I did create a little tension with my daughter that could have been avoided.

You’re a grandparent and it’s supposed to be fun. However, kids need structure and they need to respect you. If you give into their every whim and don’t follow the rules that their parents have, you’re going to create a difficult situation for yourself and the kids.

I still give my grandkids cookies before dinner and take them to get ice cream for no reason at all, but I do try to follow the basic rules that my daughters have set out for them so that I don’t get the kids too spoiled.

Trust me; it’s better to be a fun grandparent that follows the rules than to have grandkids who are too spoiled to really appreciate your time together.

Mary Albert is a blogger for a senior lifestyle web site that provides advice for the 55+ age group as well as information on medical alert systems.

Photo: stock.xchng

Today's question:

What rule(s) do you break on a regular basis, with grandkids or otherwise?