How to Teach Your Kids to Appreciate Their Grandparents
It takes a village to raise a child, they say. This is true. Not only that raising children with the help of my parents is better for them, but it is also better for my husband and me as we can organize our time better. My 2-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl take up most of my time and that makes me immensely happy. Not only do my parents help us, but they also have a positive effect on my kids as well as important roles in their upbringing. However, things were not always great; so, I am here to share tips on teaching your children to have a good relationship with their grandparents from my own point of view.
A deal is a deal
We all know that grandparents love to spoil children. They are usually much less strict than they were when they were raising their own kids for unknown reasons. As far as kids are concerned, they quickly learn to manipulate grandparents’ kindness and that creates a tricky situation. What I did was call a family meeting before I left the kids at their grandparents’. I made a list of things that needed to be done during their visit such as homework, TV time and bedtime and had a serious talk with my daughter. I made it very clear that I expected all the tasks to be done and I also said that grandma and grandpa were in charge when mommy and daddy were not present. After that, I had a similar talk with my parents informing them about their obligations despite their desire to play with the kids and give them delicious food all the time.
This is tricky and it doesn’t come overnight. Sometimes, you need to give your parents guidelines on how to deal with your children. They may need help even if they don’t ask for it because this is new for them. They don’t know what they should and shouldn’t do. Also, make sure to show them methods that work for your kids and the way they can show their authority that you approve. Don’t think about how they know it all since they once had small children. It was long ago and circumstances have changed. A reminder cannot hurt anyway.
Set an example
When it comes to teaching your children to respect your parents, there are many ways and the key is being persistent. The best way to teach your kids something is by setting an example. I never had a real problem with my children disrespecting my parents and I think this is because I always valued my parents. My kids were able to see my relationship with my folks and they knew from day one that these people are family and that they love them. Setting an example is always a good method. Even if you need to argue with your parents, don’t do it in front of the kids, do it in private.
Another important factor in getting your kids to appreciate their grandparents is regular visits. Your parents need to be involved in your kids’ childhood as much as they can. For example, you can leave them with their grandparents every Sunday afternoon or twice or three times a week. It should become a habit. My parents now live in one of the coolest retirement homes where there are plenty of things to do, so their grandkids have a great time whenever they visit. We go there every Sunday and once more during the week.
Also, don’t forget that not everything will work according to plan. Your parents will still want to spoil your children and your children will still use their grandparents’ kindness to get out of trouble. In that respect, make sure to keep your demands realistic. This will help your family follow your guidelines while, at the same time, have enough freedom to do what they like together.
We don’t choose our family and therefore, we have to accept them the way they are. This is why patience, understanding and good communication are essential when building a good relationship among family members.
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