Worried about how often should grandparents see their grandchildren?
Believe it or not, this is usually a great concern for many parents. Sometimes, you are living in a different town, state, country, or even continent.
Other times, parents might be going through personal issues with the grandparents but still want the kids to retain a particular level of personal connection with the grandparents.
Regardless of the reason, setting boundaries between kids and grandparents is like treading on murky waters.
Here’s everything you need to know and how to navigate the situation.
How Often Should Grandparents See Their Grandchildren
Peggy Edwards, the acclaimed author of Intentional Parenting: A contemporary Guide, states that how long grandparents visit to spend time with their grandkids will depend on your comfort level.
How long do you entertain visitors in your home without feeling awkward or someone is invading your space?
From her research, having visiting grandparents from 5-10 days for each visit is usually enough to make about four trips every year.
Well, that sounds plausible, but it all depends on your family dynamics.
Your child might be all grown up and loves spending time with their grandparents.
That means catering for your child’s needs first and allowing them to visit the grandparents or the grandparents coming to stay for longer is what they need.
Second, you might be living close to your parents and can visit each other often.
If you are all comfortable with each other’s companies, or you probably need help babysitting, your families need to come first rather than any research from experts.
Perhaps your relationship with your parents is not that strong now, but there is a need for the two parties to know each other.
In that case, you can have supervised visitations for a day or a few hours and work your way up as the relationship mends.
The bottom line, family dynamics are different.
You should always go for options that suit your family, even when it deals with the relationship between your children and grandparents.
Related post: Leaving Toddler With Grandparents For A Week
How to Build a Healthy Grandparent-Grandchild Relationship
There are many ways to build this relationship, one that ensures everyone knows the boundaries.
1. Make the rules from the word go
For parents, ensure you make the rules from when you announce or during your pregnancy.
This way, the grandparents will know what is expected of them and the boundaries they cannot cross when dealing with the grandchild.
Failure to do this leaves room for guesswork, and everyone will behave as they wish without knowing that is not what you want to happen.
2. No playing favorites
As a grandparent, you should never play favorites with your grandchildren.
Even if you have issues with the parents, this kind of treatment will create a rift between the grandchildren.
It will also be a painful situation for the parents, who might even refuse you access to your grandchildren in the future.
Also see: My Granddaughter Doesn’t Like Me!
3. No making comparisons
If you are a grandparent, you should also avoid making any comparisons between your grandchildren.
The same goes for comparing your grandchildren with their parents. Remember that we are all different, with our own personalities.
Just because they are related doesn’t mean they should be the same.
Making comparisons will deepen the feeling the grandkids of their parents might already have about their dynamics.
This will end up creating a very uncomfortable and unhealthy environment for everyone.
4. Listen to the children
Learn to listen to your kids about how they want you to treat their children, your grandkids.
That ranges from bedtime to meals they should avoid, like candy or activities they cannot do.
Doing otherwise shows your kids you do not respect their parenting style or decisions.
Their parenting style might differ from yours, but respecting their boundaries is the key to building a healthy relationship with everyone.
There are no one-size-fits-all answers for how often should grandparents see their grandchildren.
Ensure you understand your family dynamics and always listen to your child’s need to see their grandparents.