In India we say that children are like milk, and grandchildren are like the cream that rises on top of the milk. Sweeter and more satisfying. I think they take this adage a tad bit too seriously. So many instances can be seen where people are overly disciplinary when it comes to their children but too lenient with respect to their grandchildren.
While I do not recommend that all rules that were laid for the children should also be laid down word-for-word for the grandchildren, but there have to be some limits to the pampering too. As parents set the limits for their children, the grandparents share the responsibility of making sure that the kids stick to it. Doing otherwise will not lead to children who think they are loved by their grandparents. It will lead to confusion in their tiny minds.
Pamper but within limits
Chocolates and sweets are okay, but there has to be a limit set to it. You can’t give in to every whim and fancy of the child. The child will only become unreasonable. You didn’t do it for your kids, why do it with your grandkids?
Respect parents’ rules
The parents have set some rules with the current scenario in their mind. You have to accept these rules and stick to them. If the child must be sent to bed by a prescribed time, then there can’t be exceptions.
Question the parents, but in private
Children are uncannily smart. They know that parents are authority but grandparents are authority to that authority. When parents reprimand, they go to their grandparents for approval. Whatever the reason for reprimanding, please make sure that you do not question parents’ authority in front of the kids, whether you agree with them or not. Question their reasons, by all means, but in private, when the kids are not around. The kids have to know that grandparents and parents are one when it comes to their upbringing.
Most grandparents are responsible and I don’t want to sound condescending. But sometimes grandparents forget what it was like when they were raising their own kids. Enjoy your grandchildren. Spend time with them. Take them for a walk with you. Teach them things that parents can’t. Love them in a way that parents can never love their children. Weave stories together. Splash about in the rain together. Kiss them goodnight.
Your grandchildren are the doors to the future. Make sure that their foundation is strong.
Your kids still depend upon you for that.