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Babies and their grandparents: a special relationship


My parents love looking after my daughter, minding her some nights or taking her on holiday, but sometimes they spoil her too much and let her get away with anything. How can I find a happy medium while sharing the roles equally?

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

Dynamic, sporty, globe-trotters or still working... grandparents today know how to get the most out of life. They also love looking after their grand children and can be a great help to you, on the condition that you do not ask them to give up their activities and their freedom! Aspirations, compromise, complicity and really happy moments are the makings of this very special relationship.

A separate role

Grandparents play an essential role in a child's life. Psychologists consider them to be "secondary socialisation figures". Like parents, they pass on values to their grandchildren and provide a different outlook on the world.

They are the link between the past and the present, and represent the family's history. They show their grandchildren old photos, and talk of their mum's or dad's youths. They provide essential bearings and the roots that enable children to grow. Pampered, protected and guided by both the grandparents and parents, children are able to look ahead to the future with confidence.

Grandparents are complementary as they do all of the things with their grandchildren since the parents do not always have the time to do : playing, taking them for a walk in the woods or going to the the museum!

It's a lot more fun at granny and grandads!

Beyond their educational role, grandparents also form an irreplaceable emotional bond with their grandchildren. You only have to see how they jump on them when they arrive… Grandparents often have the role of "goody" with their grandchildren. Free of the responsibilities of educating their grandchildren, they are more available, have time to listen and are generally more laid back.

To children, grandparents are above all play friends and they know how to make the most of it! They quickly understand that they can do things at granny and grandads that they are not usually allowed to do at home ! When they're naughty granny and grandad let it slide whereas mum and dad would have disciplined them. So when they do return home it's difficult to make them listen to reason!

One thing is certain, you alone as parents have the last word when it comes to your childrens' education. To enable them to gradually understand, be clear from the beginning, by setting out a list of house rules for instance, that should also apply at granny and grandads. Bed at 7 p.m., bedtime story, washing the hands before dinner, putting them in a corner if they're naughty, etc. You may also indicate which areas you want to handle specifically such as potty training or letting your child taste chocolate for the first time!


Ayesha, Talha's grandma:

"Last week our grandson wrote all over the kitchen wall with his pens! I didn't have the heart to tell him off as he was really proud of his art work. When his dad came to get him I told him what he'd done. He said that if he'd done the same thing when he was little I would have sent him to the corner! He's probably right!"

Many grandparents no longer wish to be known as granny and grandad as it is old fashioned. There are some alternatives fortunately such as Nana and Papa, and invented names are allowed!

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