Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: The 10 Commandments Of Grandparents

Thursday, 17 March 2016

The 10 Commandments Of Grandparents


Now before I start this post, don't get me wrong - Grandparents are amazing!

My own were lovely (and I don't think they ever did anything on this list but my mum would probably disagree!), and although my kids unfortunately only have one living set of grandparents who don't live that close to us they help out whenever they are here (which is fairly often given the distance!) and are worth their weight in gold!

But have you ever noticed how grandparents seem to have their own special little set of rules that only apply to them?

My Dad himself often says that he prefers being a Grandparents to being a parent as it's all about the fun rather than the responsibility!

I often wonder if Grandparents have their own little bible on How To Be The Perfect Grandparent...if they do, here's how I think it goes!

1) Thou Shall Always Buy The Loudest or Largest Gifts Available

Case In Point: Christmas just gone....

What did my mum and dad buy for the boys?

Well in the eyes of my kids they bought the BEST presents EVER IN THE WORLD!!!!!

In my eyes (and reality) - they bought the 2 year a REAL MOVING POLICE CAR which is the same size as the entire floor space of any room in our house, and they bought the 11 month old a drum....a really loud drum.

But it's ok coz he doesn't get to sit there banging away on it and giving me a migraine for that long, coz it's only about 2 minutes until the 2 year old whizzes along in his REAL MOVING POLICE CAR (complete with sirens, by the way...) to run him over....again.

Cheers Mum and Dad!

2) Thou Shalt Not Obey Any Rules Set Down By The Parents

Reciting the "rules" to the grandparents is nothing more an exercise in wasting your breath because as soon as they walk out of the door with the children, all your words have already fallen out of their heads.

Grandparent time is run wild and do what you want time - so don't bother even kidding yourself, your rules are GONE for the foreseeable future - but don't worry, you'll hear all about it from the children who just LOVE to tell you all the rules they were allowed to break that day!



3) Bedtimes, In Particular, Are Made To Be Ignored

When you walk out of the door and inform the babysitting grandparents that bedtime is strictly at 7.30 pm, you can bet your bottom dollar that those little feet won't be hitting the stairs until at least 9.

And (this one is mainly to allow my poor unsuspecting sister in to a little family secret) you can try saying you'll call home to make sure they're really in bed if you want...but kids can be quiet when Mummy phones home! Nobody is any the wiser! ;)

4) ....As Are Limits On Sugary Foods & Drinks

If you try to limit sugary foods and drinks, and treats you might want to keep an extra eye on the grandparents as in my experience they're like the Pablo Escobar of Fizzy Drinks and chocolate.

They have an endless supply of the stuff just hidden away, waiting for your back to be turned!

5) Thou Shall Always Exaggerate

Do phrases such as "He'll catch his death of cold like that!" or "He didn't eat any of his dinner, he's going to STARVE if you don't make him something else right away" sound familiar to you?

Grandparent language is all about the OTT dramatic statements.

Come on Mum, he's not actually going to catch his death because his coat isn't buttoned up in September...calm down?!

6) Thou Shall Notice All Silly Mistakes Parents Make

In a similar vein to the above, if you make a simple little error in judgement such as forgetting to put a hat on your child at the park or putting them in a sleepsuit that's ever so slightly too small - you can guarantee that the grandparent will notice and call you out on it!

My mum is actually exceptionally talented at this - she can spot a missing glove from 250 miles away via a Facebook photo and will be immediately on private messaging to tell me that he'll "catch his death" if I'm not careful.....

7) Thou Shall Use The Phrase "He's Never Like That With Me" At Least Five Times Every Day

This one is my personal favourite!

It usually comes when your child is in the middle of putting an Oscar-worthy performance as the Demon Spawn Personified - when you're getting all flustered and the prickly heat is rising in your neck with embarrassment as you struggle to control the writhing re-enactment of The Exorcist from the 2 year old in front of you who doesn't want to go to bed...and then you hear that voice, in that ever so condescending tone...."Ooooh he's never like that with me....."

8) Thou Shall Thoroughly Spoil Children At All Times

Whether it's greeting them with sweeties or having gifts ready in their nan-handbags, having special treats hidden away for them at their house to find when they visit (My Nan did this! Rolos in the cupboard under the TV!),  or ensuring that every special occasion is marked with an influx of OTT gifts and treats - you can always count on a grandparent to go all out!

The word "no" doesn't often seem to be in their vocabulary, and no matter how bratty the child is being...the grandparents can never quite seem to see it! They are always perfect little beings...it's everybody elses fault!

9) Thou Shall Always Redress The Children In Clothes You Purchased Wherever Possible

This might just be my parents? I'm not sure...but no matter what the boys are wearing when they arrive for a visit, I can almost guarantee that by the time they leave again...the kids will have been redressed for some reason or another, but always into an item of clothing that my parents bought rather than something I chose!

Hmm...not sure what they're trying to tell me about my fashion sense there?!

10) Thou May Drive The Parents Potty But Thou Shall Always Be The Best Person In The World In The Eyes Of The Children!

Yes, as much as they might irritate us...there is no denying, grandparents are super heroes in the eyes of the grandchildren!!!! God love them (but if you could ease off on the toys with sirens, that'd be ace!)

Do your kids grandparents follow any of these commandments too? I'd love to hear from you!

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4 comments:

  1. This post literally had me nodding in agreement and laughing out loud. Grandparents definitely have their own set of rules when it comes to the grandchildren, my mum lets the boys get away with murder and ALWAYS buys toys that can make the loudest amount of noise because she knows how much it winds me up! lol. We wouldn't have them any other way though would we?!?! xxx

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  2. One of these in particular really applies to me.
    It was a lovely morning here yesterday, it was warm, the sun was shining and so when we left the house for preschool we didn't take coats. My mum works at preschool and did the biggest eye roll at me because dexter didnt have one and put a lost property coat on him to play outside. I wouldve let it pass but the other mums saw said eye roll too.. Not cool mum!

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  3. This post had me laughing and agreeing, Emily doesn't see her grandparents (much to my annoyance and repeated attempts to mend the relationship). Although while I was little I was raised by my grandparents and they were soooo much more laid back than my friends parents. Nothing is off limits if you ask and say please, i can see it being frustrating as a parent but we wouldn't have them any other way right!? xx

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  4. Ahahahaha hilarious. Sounds about right from our end. The kids grandparents on both sides (my mum and dad, and the hubs mum and dad) are both great but my lord can be hard work. Last Christmas my mother in law bought one of those push along toys for my daughter. A squawking duck with no off switch and it starts it's screeching chime the minute you look at it!

    My mum and dad get the sweetie and lollies out before the kids even enter the house. They must sense them coming. Then the kids are high as kites!

    It's all good fun though (for the kids and grandparents that is).

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