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what to do when grandparents overstep boundaries
Grandparents usually mean well. Like you, they want your child to become a great adult, but their way of showing this can cause problems. Sometimes they may seem controlling, undermining, manipulative, overbearing, or critical. They can make you feel insecure, incompetent, or small. (Imagine my thumb and pointer finger getting closer and closer to each other.) You both have desires and expectations. Sometimes, they clash and the grandparents overstep boundaries they may not even know they’ve crossed.
It can be anything: food choices, entertainment, clothing, the holidays, discipline, etc. Things they don’t think are a big deal may be huge for you. You want a good relationship with your parents and in-laws. You also want your kids to have good relationships with their grandparents. In your mind, the boundaries are designed to protect that relationship.
You don’t have to know all the answers, but talking through them with your spouse and the grandparents with an open mind can help you address bigger issues.
1. Get on one page with your spouse.
2. Talk to the grandparent.
3. Ask why?
4. Stay on-topic.
5. If grandparents keep overstepping, then adjust.
6. Search for areas of compromise.
7. Separate the act from the character.
Your child’s grandparents may have strong opinions about boundaries, and it’s tough for some to respect their child as a parent. If you’re willing to stand with your spouse and have some tough conversations, you can help everyone transition to this new phase in everyone’s relationship.
5 tips for raising good kids
Any parent headed home with their first child is probably a bit nervous about this whole parenthood thing. You really want to raise good kids, but unfortunately, each unique baby doesn’t come with its own manual.
Whether you shop local or go to Amazon for parenting help, hundreds of books offer different perspectives on the best way to raise good children. In spite of the many approaches, however, a group of Harvard psychologists found that it really boils down to some very basic strategies.
1. Spend time with your children.
2. Model the behavior you want to see.
3. Show your child how to care for others and set high ethical expectations.
4. Teach your child to be appreciative and grateful.
5. Teach them how to see beyond themselves.
The children in the Harvard study thought their own happiness and self-esteem was really important to their parents. Instead of being overly concerned that kids are always happy, you can emphasize how to be kind to others in their world, whether it’s the bus driver, the Walmart greeter or the referee at the sports event. Focusing on these things will help you raise children who are caring, kind, courageous and responsible.