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Discipline and Grandchildren

While my daughter is away at college, I am the primary caregiver for her two-year-old son. This means I am responsible for everything involving his life---including discipline.

Just like my daughter did when she was little, my grandson constantly tests his boundries to see how much he can get away with. I am a firm believer that children need limits and boundaries. They also need to understand there are consequences for bad behavior.

The challenge lies in making sure parents and grandparents are on one accord when it comes to discipline. For example, if a parent does not believe in spanking and you, as a grandparent do believe in spanking, how do you handle that? I personally agree with an article I read on the grandparents.com website, which indicates the guardian who has home-field advantage has the rights over discipline.

So what do you say? Do grandparents have rights when it comes to discipline? Or should they simply adhere to the "time-out" policy and leave the real punishment to the parent(s)?

Comments

Melodieann said…
Speaking from experience, grandparents should definitely have the right to discipline as they see fit. My daughter admittedly has a problem getting her own daughter to mind. But at my house it's a different story. Morgan knows that grandma will not put with the same nonsense Mom does. I think it helps her to see that she will have limits, even if Mom and Dad don't always set them.
Beverly Mahone said…
Melodieann,

My daughter also seems to have a tough time laying down the law with her son. That's why they always seem like two kid playing together---while mean old grandma has to discipline BOTH of them!
Kathy Wulff said…
My paternal grandparents lived nearby so we spent a lot of time with them growing up and believe me, they disciplined us like we were their own children! No nonsense in their house!

Of course, my parents weren't shy about whacking us now and again, so there wasn't any conflict between my parents and my grandparents when it came to disciplining us.
Susan Adcox said…
I agree that grandparents should be able to discipline grandchildren when in their care, but only according to the parents' boundaries. If parents say no spanking, grandparents must abide by that. My children don't discipline by spanking, and I have no problem with that.

It's been my experience that grandchildren aren't much of a discipline problem when they just come to visit. Grandparents tend to give them almost complete attention, and they are usually angelic. It's when they come to stay for days at a time that it gets hairy because Grandma and Grandpa have things they have to get done. I'd suggest that before extended visits, grandparents get some advice from the parents about what discipline techniques work best. If the parents are hopeless at discipline, I'd do some reading and come up with some strategies on my own.
Pat Montgomery said…
Here's the deal. If my kids want me to babysit, it is my rules. They all know I was not abusive to them, but there were limits and consequences. And there are for my grandchildren when they are in my care. I did discuss it with the kids first. Now, if my kids are present and the child does something that requires correction, I leave it to the parents. Sometimes I walk away with a bloody tongue from biting it. But I love your quote about "home field advantage"!!
Beverly Mahone said…
Susan,

Asking your children how they discipline their own kids is a good idea, however, I believe children test their parents differently than they do their grandparents so I'm not sure if the same manner of discipline would work for both sides.
Eileen Williams said…
Not being fortunate enough to have grandchildren of my own, I'm weighing in on this as an outsider. However, it does seem to me that the person who has accepted the majority of the responsibility (at this point, you) should be the one to establish the rules of discipline. However, I can guess that this is a complicated matter and one that has varying opinions.
Pam Archer said…
I believe that a grandparent should discipline a grandchild, while they are in one's watchcare. The methods used should be in accordance to the parents' wishes, however when the parent is still a child, some guidance as to why and how one should discipline is advisable.
BluePixo said…
Children need a clear definition of acceptable and unacceptable conduct. They feel more secure when they know the borders of permissible action.

*BluePixo Entertainment - A place for mom and dad to share topics about parenthood*

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