Should grandparents be responsible for carrying out the parents' punishment for a grandchild when the parents are busy or out of town?
From: Alexis, Spring Branch, TX
Parents are the disciplinarians of their children. If parents can't follow through with discipline, they should not initiate it, or should postpone or delay it, if the child is old enough and mature enough to understand the delay.
Parents should not expect grandparents to enforce their discipline even if grandparents are coming into the parents' home to care for grandchildren. Grandparents' time in charge begins with a clean slate. Here's why: Let's say a teen has been grounded for the weekend and it turns out to be a weekend when grandparents are caring for the kids. Can't you just hear the conversation: "Nan, this is my best friend's birthday, and she will be so sad if I'm not there, and I promise to be grounded next week, and you're the best nana in the whole world, please, please...."
Parents should not put grandparents in situations like this! It's not fair.
Grandparents can and should have their own rules in their own home for when grandchildren visit. As much as makes sense, the rules should be similar to or at least not fly in the face of the parents' rules. Here's an obvious example: if the parents have a rule that there is no hitting, grandparents would never say, "Oh, it's OK to hit each other in our house. We don't care." When grandparents' rules contradict parents' rules, it undercuts the parents.
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