You Should Stop Saying These 5 Phrases To Your Grandkids. And Here’s Why.

The holiday season is usually a time when families from different generations come together to celebrate with each other. As grandparents, ensuring the happiness, love, and connection of all your relatives is of utmost importance to you. Sadly, it doesn’t always work out that way.

At times, comments from grandma and grandpa, whether unintentional or well-meaning, can make grandchildren feel uncomfortable or insecure.

It’s crucial to consider our communication with our grandkids, not only during this time but throughout the year.

Changing the way you communicate can be a challenge, but it is crucial to be mindful of the impact your words can have on your grandkids’ self-perception and their connection with you.

Just a quick heads up: If you’ve ever used any of the phrases below — or if you accidentally use them in the future — don’t stress or be too hard on yourself.

1. «Don’t tell your parents about it… «

It could be giving your grandchildren one or two extra Christmas cookies without telling their parents or letting them stay up late and saying, «It’ll be our little secret.» According to Atlanta clinical psychologist Zainab Delawalla, it can be harmful to encourage your grandkids to keep something from their parents.

According to her, it can have long-lasting consequences as it undermines parental authority. Moreover, it demonstrates to children that there may be instances where it is more advantageous for them to keep certain information from their parents. This can be particularly concerning when a child is being targeted by a predator or experiencing emotional distress due to b*llying  at school. 

Instead, it’s crucial to emphasize the significance of maintaining open and honest communication with their parents, regardless of the circumstances.

2. «You are getting so big!» «Have you gained weight?»

It is highly advised not to make comments about a child’s body or weight, as such comments can have a negative impact on their body image and self-esteem.

It is our responsibility as responsible adults to support and encourage children to feel comfortable in their own skin. It’s important to be mindful of the impact our words can have on others and to avoid saying anything that may undermine their self-esteem or breed insecurity. Comments from grandparents can have a lasting impact, often replaying in our minds.

3. «Oh, you ate more than I did!”

It’s important to remember that commenting on your grandkids’ food intake is best avoided. It’s better to keep any observations or opinions about their eating habits to yourself.

Understanding food and hunger cues is a crucial milestone in a child’s development. When it comes to children and their eating habits, it’s important to consider the impact of comments. Sometimes, kids may adjust their eating behavior based on what others say, rather than listening to their own body’s signals. It can also evoke feelings of shame or confusion in the moment or over time.

4. «You should definitely come over here and kiss or hug me!»

As a grandparent, it’s only natural to want to connect with your grandchildren in this way, especially when you’re filled with so much excitement to see them. However, it’s crucial for adults to understand that not all children may feel comfortable with giving hugs and kisses whenever asked, and it’s important to respect their boundaries.

This phrase, although well-intentioned, can sometimes have unwanted effects. It might accidentally make them question their own boundaries. It can be quite perplexing when messages about consent become blurred.

Try posing it as a question instead: «I’d love to give you a hug, is that OKAY?» This will help you respect your grandchildren’s boundaries. Is that alright?»

5. «Your parents are wrong about … «

Parenting approaches and strategies evolve over time. It’s interesting to observe how parenting styles have evolved between generations.

Naturally, grandparents come from a different era with their own set of customs and norms, and it’s only natural to feel compelled to discuss these differences. It’s important to acknowledge these differences, but sometimes these comments can unintentionally shame others. When it comes to shaming, it involves making judgments about what is right or wrong and finding fault with the grandchild or their parents.

It’s generally advised to refrain from sharing comments unless you notice potential harm for the child. In such situations, it is advisable to address any concerns directly with the parents rather than involving the grandchild.

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