10 Things Grandmas Should Never Do (Even If You REALLY Want To)

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When you are a grandma, you get to be your grandchild’s best friend, biggest cheerleader, and spoiler extraordinaire, a job we all take very seriously! While grandmas get to do pretty much anything they want (most rules do not apply to us – isn’t it great?!), there are some things that we still shouldn’t do, even if we REALLY want to! What am I talking about? Allow me to explain…

1. Watch your soaps or the news with the grandkids around 

Soap opera on TV
Flickr/Pat Pilon

Like our grandkids, we are creatures of habit and enjoy watching our soap operas daily, followed by the news. (I am a CBS Soaps kind of grandma – how about you?) Even if you think the grands aren’t paying attention, they soak up so much in such a short time, meaning they may be watching the love triangles/innuendos and hearing about the scary and unsettling news that happens nearly every day. If you can, DVR both so you can watch them quietly later.

2. Offer too many treats 

I know, I know… I am guilty of this one, too! But too much sugar, dyes, and processed ingredients can wreak havoc on growing bodies and should be enjoyed in moderation. 

3. Push yourself too far 

Children have endless energy and can play non-stop from sunrise to sunset. Unfortunately, grandmas are not built the same and can get over-exerted quickly. Listen to your body and know when to take a break or ask for help. Doing this will allow you to enjoy quality time with the grandkids without jeopardizing your health.

4. Ignore your health

Eye doctor's office

Keeping on the topic of listening to your body, it is essential to take care of yourself and not ignore your health. Stay on top of your medical appointments, maintain a healthy lifestyle, take your vitamins, stretch, and seek support when needed. By doing this, you will be around for many years to come!

5. Pressure your grandkids

You’ve seen how great how grandchild’s hand-eye coordination is, but if they don’t want to play baseball or softball, it isn’t our place to pressure them into it. (I know, I have been there/seen it, too!) The same goes for choosing a school, career path, or any other significant life decision, even if you think it is best for them.

6. Disregard your child’s (your grandchild’s parents) wishes or requests

Once again, I get it: You have ample life experience and much to share, and you want to help out as much as possible. However, mom and dad make the rules, and we must respect them. Just as you didn’t appreciate your parents (or worse, your in-laws) disregarding your wishes, your child and their spouse feel the same. Speaking of in-laws…

7. Overstep boundaries with in-laws

Bride and groom

…Relationships with a daughter or son-in-law can quickly turn murky, so it is extra essential to respect their wishes and not offer unsolicited advice. While it’s natural to want to share your wisdom and experiences, it’s important to recognize when your suggestion is welcomed or not.

8. Compete with the “other” grandma

We all want to be the favorite grandma (trust me, we are the favorite :P), but doing so should not include competing against the “other” grandma, especially if it includes badmouthing them. If your grandchild is lucky enough to have two (or three!) doting grandmas, they are beyond blessed. (Trust me: I have seen situations where kids have no grandma to love on and spoil them.)

9. Disregard your grandchild’s emotions

Do you remember your brothers or male friends being told to rub some dirt on it and not to cry? This was the wrong way to go about reacting to emotions. We all get sad, scared, stressed, and angry, and our grandkids need to know this is normal and that it is okay to feel our emotions. Empathize with your grandchild’s feelings, offer support, and help them work through their emotions in a healthy manner.

10. Let poor behavior slide

Boy sitting in a field
Flickr/Wesley Nitsckie

Kids get away with more things when grandma is around, but that doesn’t mean they can expect to misbehave without any consequences. While you don’t have to be a stickler about everything, it is essential for your grandkids to be still respectful and to know the rules and expectations ahead of time.

If you can think of any more things that grandmas should never do, please let me know! And remember that you’re doing a great job! Being a grandma really is the best, but it does come with its own set of challenges. I hope these tips help make things a little easier for you, my fellow Devoted Grandma.

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