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Grandparenting no-nos

Jul 30, 2012, 8:03 a.m.

Disciplining grandchildren is one of the toughest parts of the job of having grandkids. But sometimes, a grandparent's got to do what a grandparent's got to do. Of course, there are some lines you shouldn't cross. But how do you know where that line is? The following are the top five tips for disciplining grandchildren when an idyllic situation turns out to be less storybook and more "real life."

  1. Don't spoil your progeny's progeny. Being a grandparent can be one of the most exciting periods of your life. But as the little ones age, they can start taking your good will for granted. The best way to prevent this from happening is to steer clear of giving your grandkids everything they want. It may be hard at first, but ultimately by exercising good judgment will ensure you're a lot more respected.
  2. Don't tell your children how to raise their own. Each generation has different ideas about how to bring up their young, and your job as a grandparent isn't to steer them in the "right" direction if you have objections. Try to find acceptance in the decisions that your kids (and children-in-law) make, and be as supportive as possible.
  3. Don't be afraid to lay down the law. Disciplining grandchildren may not require that you put a troublesome child over your knee, but that doesn't mean that you should let the little ones walk all over you, either.
  4. Don't spank your grandchildren. If you encounter a situation that is serious enough to warrant a spanking, don't take the law into your own hands -- defer to the parents to dole out the discipline as they see fit.
  5. Don't expect your grandkids to be angels. Sometimes, a grandparent can overreact to a situation that's not all that grievous. As long as you accept the fact that your grandkids will misbehave in your presence from time to time, you'll find it much easier to deal with when the inevitable occurs.

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