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Is Grandma Spoiling Your Children?


BNG BLOG
Posted on 02 May 2011 by BNG Staff

Article by Gary Petrie, BabyNameGuide.com

I ask the question, “Is grandma spoiling your children?” Before this question can be answered, you first have to dig very deep within your memory banks to remember your own upbringing and the time you spent with your grandmother. I remember going over to my grandparents when I was just a little squirt about knee high to my grandma Petrie. The two things about her that bring back memories are, she was so nice and she was such a great cook. What I remember most about my grandma’s cooking was her corn soup and the great pies she made. I was never much of a pie eater, I’m more of a cake eater, but her pies were the best. There was something else she was great at and that was spoiling me. She made it so easy for me to love her because she was so nice to me. She actually had her own nickname for me, Smiley. I think she called me that because every time she did, it actually made me smile. It doesn’t matter how sad I was, she could make a smile appear on my face in an instant. I’m not sure that my grandma actually spoiled me; I just remember her always treating me special. She was one of the loveliest people I have ever known. Today I am 42 and have three children of my own. My kids are very lucky to have a wonderful grandma too.

I wanted to get a grandmother’s point of view for this article. I interviewed Gladys who is eighty-four from Mars, Pennsylvania. She has sixteen grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. As you can see, she has plenty of experience when it comes to grand parenting. So I asked Gladys, “Do you spoil your grandchildren?” She said, “No, I don’t think I spoil my grandchildren.” She went on to say, “I treat all my grandchildren the same. When I know my grandchildren are coming over, I buy things I know they like. For the little ones that might be chocolate milk. And for the older kids I may fix dinner, or go out to eat with them.” I wondered how different having grandchildren is from having your own kids. Gladys said, “I don’t have the responsibility I once had with my own children.” Gladys believes loving your grandchildren and giving them things is far from spoiling them.

I asked some grandmas what tips they might give for new and upcoming grandmothers. Here are some tips for those new grandmothers to be;


  1. Don’t babysit the grandchildren every time you are asked. It’s important to let your kids learn to be parents and a lot of times that means sacrificing other things. Plus, Grandparents have lives too.

  2. Don’t spoil your grandchildren. It’s also very important not to give your grandchildren everything they ask for, including the little things, like candy, toys, etc.

  3. Treat all your grandchildren equally. If you have more than one grandchild make sure to remember that all the little ones want Grandma and Grandpa’s time and spending more time with some and not other’s may result in resentment.

  4. Get to know your grandchildren. One thing that grandparents usually have is available time, so play with your grandchildren and converse with the older ones, even though you may not know everything they are saying.

  5. Don’t be afraid to discipline your grandchildren. Let’s face it, kids are kids and they will try getting into anything. In some families the only lessons they learn may be from you.

  6. Make yourself available in case of emergencies. Remember blood is thicker than water and your children can’t always rely on friends. So, put off that BINGO for your children.

  7. Give advice only when asked. It’s important not to start a feud between you and your kids. The best way to do this is to stay out of your kid’s family business.

All in all the grandmothers I talked to seem to know their stuff. Let’s face it, they have the experience and they’ve learned the hard way, from their own mistakes. There’s a lot to learn from grandmas. All you need to do is lend an ear.

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