“To err is human, to forgive divine.” This often quoted saying by Alexander Pope could be my mantra for grandmas with perhaps a little edit. “To err is being a grandma, to be forgiven is divine.”
As a grandma for 15 years, I’ve made my share of mistakes. Especially, when I was a newbie and adjusting to all the different parenting methods I witnessed for the first time. Fortunately, I have a very forgiving daughter and we’ve always managed to resolve our issues through good communication. I admit when I’ve erred and apologize readily.
I believe grandparents and their adult children can build mutual trust and respect by discussing issues when they come up. Then resolving them in a way that helps both sides understand each other. That’s why I’ve got a gift for grandmas at the top of my GaGa Sisterhood website called “5 Grandma Blunders and How to Avoid Them.”
I thought my list of five was pretty comprehensive until I read a list of “40 Things Grandparents Should Never Do” by writer Sarah Crow.
Crow states that being a grandparent is an undeniable privilege and one in which you get to relive many of the greatest joys of parenthood. But watch out you don’t get too enthusiastic about reliving those glory days or you’ll earn the ire of your grandchild’s parents — and possibly have adverse effects on your grandchild’s life in the long run.
Crow’s list really digs in to every nook and granny (pun intended) in creating her very thorough list. Many no-no’s are absolutely valid like not showing up at the hospital without an invitation — that goes without saying! Equally important: Respect the parents’ health requirements and their choices about discipline, potty training, bedtime, screen time, and food. Don’t play favorites or shower your grandkids with toys.
Some are humorous and just seem like common sense, for example, don’t use “dodgy” remedies for medical issues. If your grandchild’s parents tell you to give them a frozen washcloth to relieve their teething and you rub whiskey on their gums, you probably won’t be asked to babysit again.
Crow offers important advice that many grandmas may not be aware of, for example, don’t act too invested in a grandchild’s appearance or focus on their looks. When you focus too much on their appearance, it can create an obsession with maintaining a certain standard for their looks or make them feel like a failure when they fall short.
All in all, Crow’s list of 40 things we grandparents should never do may seem excessive but I’ve got to hand it to her, she’s got some really good advice in her list.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on her list. Have you made any of these mistakes? Take a look at her list of “40 Things Grandparents Should Never Do” and leave a comment below in the “speak your mind” box.