8 Things Grandparents Wish You’d Say
Grandparents are usually our kids’ biggest fans.
For many grandparents, the love they have for their grandchildren is pure and unconditional. Since they don’t have the responsibility or burden of being in charge, they just get to enjoy being with your kids and showering them with affection.
To show your appreciation to the grandparents in your life, here are eight things you might consider saying to them this Grandparents Day…
1. “We enjoy spending time with you.”
What grandparent doesn’t want to hear that? If you don’t say it, they might wonder if they’re imposing on your time as a family or whether you feel obligated to spend time with them. If you do feel resentful of your time together, you need to set some limits with them (more on that in a later post), but if not, then express how much fun it is when they’re around.
2. “I have a new respect for you now that I’m a parent, too.”
You might be thinking it – and assume they know you’re thinking it – but they won’t know for sure unless you tell them. Give specific examples like, “Now I understand why you got so frustrated every time I ___________.” It’ll form a connection between you and they’ll feel valued, too.
3. “It’s our treat.”
Every once in a while, pick up the tab at dinner or pay for their admission to the zoo…and don’t take “no” for an answer.
4. “Thank you for your input.”
Many parents complain about the unsolicited advice they get from grandparents. Sometimes it can feel like they’re trying to be in control and (still) tell you what to do. Well, you’re in charge now. But every once in a while — even if you disagree with them — let them know you appreciate their efforts to help. Most of the time, they really do mean well and just want what’s best for your kids.
5. “Please visit.”
This is especially important if you have parents or in-laws who live far away. Whenever I meet grandparents whose grandchildren live a good distance from them, they talk about how much they miss the kids and how they wished they lived closer. If you’re worried that they might overstay their welcome, you could say something like, “The kids are off school for a long weekend next month. We’d love for you to stay with us from Thursday to Monday.”
6. “You can do it your way.”
Parents make rules. Grandparents break them. It can be infuriating when you feel that your parenting efforts have been undermined. However, your kids will be ok with a little extra ice cream or staying up later than usual. They're developing a relationship with their grandparents, which is very different than the one they have with you.
Grandparents get to be a little sillier, a little more indulgent, and a little more lenient. So, the next time you start getting upset because they’re not doing it your way, take a deep breath and relax. Trust that everything will be ok and that your kids will adapt to your different styles of caretaking.
7. “I’d love to know your opinion on this…”
Learn from the wisdom and experience of grandparents. You don’t have to agree with it, but asking for their opinion sends the message that you value their knowledge enough to ask.
8. “We appreciate you.”
This is really what all grandparents want to hear. However they show their love for you or whatever they do to help out, be sure to tell them that you're grateful. A little appreciation goes a long way.
To all the grandparents out there:
Happy Grandparents Day!
How are you celebrating Grandparents Day this year? Leave a comment and let me know!
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