7 Common Phrases to Avoid Saying to Grandparents

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What are the common phrases to avoid saying to grandparents? 

Being a grandparent was never easy. Even if you have already raised a child, it will always be hard to keep up with the juniors. You’re no longer in your 30s, and it can be quite challenging to have enough patience to help raise a child.

Some days you will get asked a lot of weird questions, and other days you will be amazed at how inappropriate remarks kids can make. Sure, you can’t be mad at them because they’re just kids, but what happens when you receive nasty comments from your adult friends that you never expected to begin with? “Are you sure you’re a good grandparent?” “Are you sure you’re doing things right?” “Maybe you shouldn’t let them do these things!”

Here are some of the most common phrases to avoid saying to grandparents, and what can you do as a grandparent if you face them?

avoid saying to grandparents
Photo by Andrey Aboltin from Shutterstock

1. Your grandkids are your no.1 priority. Do you remember to take care of yourself?

This is the number one thing everyone should avoid saying to grandparents because they’re trying to be there for the juniors as much as possible. And there is no need to tell them indirectly to “get a life!” Once the grandchildren are in the picture, every grandparent will choose them as their number one priority. If back in the day you were buying new gardening tools or a neck pillow, now priorities have shifted.

I don’t know many grandparents (myself included) who would refuse their grandkids’ requests for a new ball or bicycle. And there is nothing wrong with spoiling the juniors, as long as you don’t steal their parent’s spotlight. If you’re a grandparent and someone asks you a question, politely respond that you are thankful for their concern, but since you’re an adult, you can make choices on your own. And even if you’re giving your grandkids most of your time, that doesn’t mean you’re neglecting yourself.

2. Do your grandkids want you with them everywhere?

Let’s be honest for a bit. I am a grandparent too, and one of the best things in my life lately is attending my niece’s dancing classes. It’s so nice to watch her be happy doing what she loves because that makes me happy too. I am also very proud since she also won various prizes for contemporary dance.

But the question is: do our grandkids want us to attend every single event in their lives? Perhaps they believe that they must talk to you rather than their friends, or perhaps they are too shy to tell you that you don’t need to come every time. After all, they’re kids, and we can’t expect them to communicate everything with us, the adults.

If you’re reading these lines and you feel like this is a personal attack, think that kids are the focus, not you. And while you may be happy to be there for them, it’s also healthy to not exaggerate your presence.

3. Your grandkids seem a bit out of control! Do you allow them to do anything they want?

Why does it sting when we, as grandparents, hear someone say this? Because it looks like none of us, both we and the parents, are doing a good job of tempering the child’s behavior. Second, it ignores the reality that some children have poor impulse control from birth. This may be a behavioral issue that requires a lot of time and patience from both parents and grandparents to adjust.

Additionally, it suggests rivalry—that the one who asked the question would be more capable of handling the circumstances. Here, your only responsibility is to your grandchild: to acknowledge and provide constant, loving attention when they do something good, as well as to cope with hyper-wildness and try to help them understand why certain behaviors aren’t okay.

If you fail or simply don’t know how to teach your juniors, you can ask for professional help. They can get assistance from a qualified behavioral psychotherapist.

4. Spend time with them now while they’re kids, as teens won’t even call you!

This is so painful to hear, mostly because, deep down, we know it’s true. While not every single teenager is a rebel who is eager to leave their hometown as far as possible after they finish high school, there’s still that fear of separation.

But while this remark might make you sad or melancholic because somehow it resembles the situation with your adult children, take a moment to reflect on it before you react. Grandkids will probably leave town, but who is stopping you from reaching out to them through messages or calls?

Start seeing them as adults, and now it’s time to create a new relationship based on maturity. Who knows? Maybe they will see you as the main source of comfort. It’s solely up to both of you whether the relationship will evolve or not.

avoid saying to grandparents
Photo by Dan Rentea from Shutterstock

5. Start learning how to use social media if you want to talk to them more often

Wow! This is actually like a hit below the belt, and it implies that if we’re no longer in our 20s, we can’t use technology anymore. With so many tutorials and such, it’s easy to do almost anything nowadays. And if you want, you can also ask your grandkids to show you how Facebook or other social platforms work. They’ll be happy to help you, especially because after that, they can brag about it!

While this isn’t exactly a meaningful way to spend time with the juniors, there is still a way to catch things up. Especially if they’re out of town.

Looking for a tablet that’s going to help you navigate smoothly on the internet? What do you say about the Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet? It will give you up to 13 hours of reading, online shopping, viewing movies, and traveling while listening to music.

Do you plan on using it only for Skype calls or binge-watching your favorite shows on Netflix? It’s more than suitable. You can find it now, discounted on Amazon, with one click away. 

6. We are going to take our grandkids on vacation. What about you?

This phrase may hurt some grandparents more than others. The reason behind this may be a money issue. Yes, some people may treat their family to extravagant vacations, but when it comes down to it, you may have a good holiday at home doing backyard activities, be a tourist in your hometown, or if you can, go on a day trip to the nearest town.

Remember that we’re all different, and you don’t have to feel bad because your finances aren’t looking as good as other people’s. You can create long-lasting memories with your family based on the time you spend together, not on the money you spend going on a vacation.

7. Are your kids okay with how much you spoil your grandkids?

In most cases, when somebody tells us, “We spoil our grandkids,” it is never a compliment. In fact, it’s a very rude remark that may hurt some people. On a brighter note, because we need to add some positivity into our lives, our job as grandparents is to loosen up the rules a bit and let the kids have fun while their parents aren’t around. Of course, as long as they don’t do something bad or hurt themselves!

How do you react to these questions, and most importantly, what’s your response? Tell me in the comments.

Before you go, you may also want to read 6 Things You Do That Hurt Your Grandchildren the Most

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