8 Things Grandparents Would Like to Say to Parents

  • 01 of 10

    ... And Why We Won't Actually Say Them

    Sometimes grandparents need to keep quiet
    PhotoAlto / Eric Audras | Getty

    If you're a grandparent, you probably shouldn't say these things to the parents of your grandchildren. You might be able to get by with one or two of them, especially if you phrase them very diplomatically. But mostly it may help just to know that other grandparents share your feelings and frustrations.

    If you're a parent and you happen across this page, remember that what sometimes feels like criticism is motivated by love and by the desire for all family members to live happier,...MORE healthier, less stressed lives.

    Related: Hints for Communicating With Adult Children

    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    Your Kids Don't Need More Things.

    Children can have too many toys
    Thanasis Zovoilis / Getty

    Every place that you take the children has toys for sale, but don't be afraid to say no. Saying no makes it more special when you say yes. Also, every time that you say yes, you have another item to bring home that will just contribute to the clutter in your life, and in the lives of your kids. Clutter creates stress. Reduce it by concentrating on what your kids really need, most of which can't be bought in a store.

    Related: Do Grandparents Have the Right to Spoil?

    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    Spend Your Time on Things That Really Matter.

    Children like to be messy and creative
    Igor Emmerich / Getty

    If something is a huge time suck, ask yourself if it's really important to your child. If you are doing it to impress your peers, or because other parents do it, or because it's meeting some need of your own, don't fool yourself into thinking you are doing it for your child. Kids don't really need Pinterest-perfect birthday parties or immaculately decorated rooms. They need for you to listen to them, have fun with them and let them be their messy, creative, individualistic...MORE selves.

    Related: The Importance of Free Play

    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Control Your Screen Time.

    Reduce screen time
    PhotoAlto / Sandro Di Carlo Darsa / Brand X / Getty Images

    You can't blame your children for being addicted to their screens if you can't go ten minutes without looking at your phone. Checking screens constantly is a habit, and it can be broken like other habits. Try leaving your phone inside when you go outside, or leaving it in the car when you take the kids to the playground. Set certain times for the whole family to be screen free. From dinnertime until the kids' bedtime is a nice time to have a break from your virtual worlds.

    Related: How...MORE to Manage Grandchildren and Electronic Media

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Have Dinner With the Kids More Often.

    Preparing Food as a Family
    Sylvain Sonnet / Photographer's Choice RF / Getty Images

    Children who regularly have dinner with family members earn higher grades and indulge in less risky behavior. Chances are that they are getting more nutritious meals, too. Dinner is a great time to catch up with what's going on with each member of the family. If you can't have dinner together most nights, it's possible that the kids are over-scheduled. Think about cutting back on their activities.

    Related: Create Family Traditions With Your Grandchildren

    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    Feed Your Kids Real Food.

    grandparents like to see grandchildren eat real food
    Eric Audras | Getty Images

    Grandparents like to see children fed real meals, at regular times, rather than seeing kids snacking and grazing. Still, we're willing to concede that point if the kids are getting real food. We believe that children who are started out with simple foods, simply prepared, including lots of fruits and vegetables, are less likely to crave junk. Still, we know this is a tough battle. We struggle with it, too.

    Related: When a Grandchild Is a Picky Eater

    Continue to 7 of 10 below.
  • 07 of 10

    Examine Your Spending.

    Overspending can cause family stress
    JGI/Jamie-Grill / Getty Images

     Are you buying things because you really need them? Or are you seeing something you want and rationalizing a need for it? Cut down on impulse spending by waiting 24 hours before you buy a small item, longer for big ticket items. Much of the time the impulse to spend will pass. Parents who are worried about bills don't make the best parents. Also, you have college to pay for. And grandparents are more likely to help pay for college if you've done your part, too.

    Related: 3 Money Mistakes...MORE Grandparents Make With Adult Children

    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    Don't Be Helicopter Parents.

    parents should let children achieve on their own.
    Blend Images - Kidstock / Brand X / Getty Images

     It's essential that kids learn to do things for themselves, and it's hard for them to do that if you are always hovering. A school project that looks professionally produced doesn't fool anyone. Kids need to be able to accomplish things on their own, even if the results aren't perfect. (They won't be.) Kids also need to experience disappointment and failure. That way, when they prevail, they'll experience the true sweetness of success. Grandparents can do our part by prai...MOREsing the grandchildren less, even though that's hard for us to do.

    Related: What Can Grandparents Do About Overprotective Parents?

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Make It Easier For Us to See Our Grandchildren.

    grandparents want to see grandchildren
    Cade Martin / Getty Images

    Of course we want to have a close relationship with our grandchildren. Grandparents are like that. But children benefit from having relationships with their grandparents as well. Sometimes it seems as though seeing us is the last item on your agenda. And sometimes we don't call because we don't want to be the needy, clingy grandparents. We get that you're busy, but should grandchildren really be so scheduled that they don't have time for family?

    Related: Don't Deprive Your...MORE Children of Grandparents

    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    More About Relationships With Adult Children

    grandparents and adult children
    Tripod / Image Bank / Getty Images

    There are a few more things that grandparents would like to say to their adult children. Like "i love you." But we don't always say them, because it's complicated. Learn more about these tricky family relationships:

    Another reason why grandparents and parents are sometimes in conflict has to do with generational differences. Learn more:

    As for those eight things we'd really like to say -- maybe we just did.