3. “The person you are is more important than what you accomplish.”
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When I was expecting my first child, I gave my mom a gift—a photo album big enough to hold lots of pictures of the baby. On the cover, it said, Grandma’s Brag Book.
If you ask today’s grandparents about their grandkids, they’re more likely to whip out their iPhone and start scrolling. Regardless of what means they use, grandparents love to brag on their grandchildren’s accomplishments.
It’s wonderful to recognize and celebrate their achievements, but we must be careful to remind our grandchildren that who they are is much more important than what they do.
To reinforce this, commend them for kind deeds, thoughtful gestures, and unselfish acts. Praise them in public and in private when you “catch” them doing something that honors God or others.
When they attempt something and fail, acknowledge their efforts, and talk about the life lessons they learned in the process.
4. “There are rules at Grandma’s house.”
Many grandparents admit they struggle to find the balance between being too strict and too lenient with their grandchildren.
Some have so many rules that a visit to their house is as much fun as a trip to an art museum. Others have no rules, looking the other way while their precious cherubs run wild and wreak havoc.
Most understand that special privileges, food, and activities are part of what make visits to grandma’s house so fun. At the same time, children need to learn proper behavior in different settings.
Your adult children will thank you when you explain and enforce reasonable expectations, because it reinforces what they’re (hopefully) training their children to do.
If they’re teaching the kids to clean up after themselves, and you let them pull every game out of the closet and not put any away, you undermine their training. If rules at home don’t allow them to jump on the furniture, and you allow them to use your couch as a trampoline, you make Mom and Dad’s job that much harder.
At our house we have a few basic rules: Clean up your mess. Treat Gigi and Papa’s things respectfully. Be thankful and kind.
This helps ensure that the grandkids understand that the world is full of rules that are for their own good, instead of thinking of Mom and Dad's as the boring place and Gigi and Papa's as the fun place.
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