There’s something special about becoming a grandparent. Seeing your child have children of their very own can install a huge sense of pride and accomplishment within you. And unlike the times before when you were the parent and had to lay down the law, you can finally have a little more fun and spoil the grandkids to your heart’s content!

But it’s also important to know your role in a child’s life and to avoid overstepping any boundaries that their parents may not approve of. Doing the right thing and doing what you think is right can be two very different things when generational gaps come into play.

Therefore, despite having the best intentions, it’s always best to find a good middle ground between being a fun grandparent and understanding where boundaries are that shouldn’t be crossed. And while finding perfect gifts for your grandkids here can be a great start towards being the world’s greatest grandparent, there are other criteria you’ll need to consider before being the pride and joy of a new generation of youngsters.

Understand that times will inevitably change

As an experienced person from a generation that has seen a lot of changes in the world, you have a lot of wisdom and love to bestow on your grandchildren. However, that wisdom can quickly turn into bitterness and a distaste for the present in the eyes of impressionable minds.

With generational gaps can also come changing standards in discipline and expectations in young children. It’s important to remember that your grandchildren are a product of their modern environment and that nothing is going to change that.

Being supportive but knowing when to be firm

Embracing those differences and changes can give you the freedom to be a fun and supportive presence in their young lives, without the pressures of day-to-day parenting and discipline matters.

But there’s always a fine line to walk here, and the grandkids need to understand that while you’re a kind and supportive figure, you’re also not to be taken advantage of. A good grandparent is kind and attentive, but certainly no pushover!

Respecting the wishes of their parents

It might not be easy to take a back seat and allow your own children to raise their kids as they see fit. Chances are that you’ll be fighting the urge to comment on several different things your grandchildren may say and do. But despite this, it’s absolutely essential that you avoid becoming that stereotypical grumpy elderly person that so many kids are embarrassed to be related to.

You aren’t the parent here, and whether you agree with their methods or not, you need to trust that your children know what’s best for their own kids. By understanding and appreciating your children and grandkids, there’s the opportunity to learn just as much from them as they do from you. It’s a powerful relationship that needs to be based on mutual respect, trust, and a lot of fun!