Tips And Tricks For Setting Healthy And Fair Boundaries With Your Child’s Grandparents

The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren can be incredibly special. Grandparents can be incredibly important in your little one’s life, and in their development. However, sometimes it’s important as parents that we set boundaries for our children’s grandparents. They may have more parenting experience, but they should respect you and the way in which you want to parent your child.

Some parents wait until the grandparent steps over the line before saying anything. That’s okay, but if you set boundaries before they become an issue, everyone has a clear idea of what is expected. It can feel awkward, but these conversations can help to prevent conflict further down the line.


grandparent boundaries


Setting Boundaries With Your Child’s Grandparents


It can help if you think of setting boundaries as a way of preserving your relationship with your parents or in-laws. It’s a method of preventing conflict. Here are some tips to help you approach setting boundaries with your child’s grandparents.


Set Boundaries With Others First


If you’re nervous about setting boundaries with grandparents, or if you’re someone who struggles with setting boundaries, it can help if your practice with others. Try setting boundaries with someone in your life who will respect them, such as a friend or a babysitter. As you gain confidence in making your boundaries known, you can build up to setting boundaries with your child’s grandparents. Also, if you’re setting rules with other family members, it can help to make grandparents feel less defensive or worry that they’re being targeted.


Make Sure You And Your Partner Are On The Same Page


Before you begin to think about what boundaries you want to put in place, you should make sure that you and your partner are on the same page. Discuss it and remember that it’s not entirely about what you want, it’s about what ‘you’ as a couple and as parents want. Be clear and remember that you may need to compromise with your partner. However, if you have things that are non-negotiable, be honest about what they are.


Be Clear


Before you begin the conversation with your child’s grandparents, list the points you want to make and your boundaries. When you’re talking to the grandparents, you need to communicate clearly. Consider explaining why you’re setting these particular boundaries. You don’t need to justify yourself, but sometimes an explanation can help bring grandparents around to your point of view.


Stick To Your Boundaries


Be careful about making sure that you don’t let things slide when grandparents do overstep. Letting things go can make people think that you aren’t serious about your boundaries, and they may continue to overstep more in bigger ways.

Be clear that you expect your rules to be followed, and you deserve to be respected. You don’t need to be confrontational or aggressive, but you do need to communicate your feelings and wishes.


Appreciate What Your Child’s Grandparents Do


If the grandparents are insulted or feel defensive about your rules, you might want to soften the blow. Let them know that you appreciate what they do, and that you feel it is so important for your little one to have their grandparents in their life. Thank them for supporting you and your little one. Ask them for help when you need it and let them know you value what they contribute to your little one’s life.


Examples Of Boundaries For Grandparents


The boundaries you set will be individual for you and your family. Rules and boundaries are different for every family, and household, but it can help begin the conversations if you have some examples of boundaries.

  • Family members should not visit unannounced.
  • Extravagant gifts should be limited to special occasions, or gifts should have a price limit.
  • No family member should post pictures on social media without permission.
  • Parents should never be criticised in front of the children.
  • Screen time should be limited.
  • Family rules should be followed.


Remember that grandparents may push back on your rules and boundaries, or they may dismiss your opinions and views as they may be different from how they raised their children. However, the approaches and advice for raising children has progressed, and much more is known about the effects of how we are raised.

Your views are the ones that are important. Setting your boundaries according to how you want to raise your children isn’t wrong, and can improve all relationships, and help to avoid conflict.