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20 Unique Privileges of Grandparenting: What Grandparents Can Get Away With

Grandparents often enjoy a special status in the family dynamic, one that comes with unique privileges and freedoms that parents may not have. This article explores the various ways in which grandparents can bend the rules and get away with things that parents typically cannot.

The Sweet Indulgence

Grandparent with child.
Image credit Tekkol via Shutterstock.

Grandparents are notorious for spoiling their grandchildren with treats and sweets. While parents enforce a balanced diet, grandparents can slip their grandkids an extra cookie or a piece of candy, making them the heroes in the eyes of their little ones.

Bedtime Leniency

Grandma with child.
Image credit vladgphoto via Shutterstock.

Parents are sticklers for bedtime routines, but grandparents can afford to be more lenient. They might allow grandchildren to stay up past their bedtime for a special movie night or storytelling session, creating cherished memories.

Gift Generosity

grand parents giving gifts.
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Parents have to be practical about gifts, but grandparents can indulge their grandkids with presents that parents might consider unnecessary or extravagant. From the latest toys to new clothes, grandparents often take pleasure in their grandkids’ excitement over gifts.

Rule Relaxation

Grandparents with kids.
Image credit Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock.

At home, children have rules to follow, but at their grandparents’ house, some of those rules might not apply. Grandparents can allow a little more screen time or overlook a messy room, much to the delight of their grandkids.

Adventure Partners

Grandma and child.
Image credit Jacob Lund via Shutterstock.

Parents have to juggle work and household responsibilities, but grandparents can often dedicate entire days to adventures with their grandkids. Whether it’s a trip to the zoo or a day at the park, grandparents can be the companions for fun that parents sometimes cannot.

Emotional Refuge

Grandma and granddaughter.
Image credit fizkes via Shutterstock.

Grandchildren might find it easier to confide in their grandparents about problems they’re hesitant to discuss with their parents. Grandparents can offer a listening ear and advice without the pressure of parental judgment.

Educational Spoiling

Grandparents and child.
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While parents enforce homework and study time, grandparents can focus on fun educational activities like museum visits, learning about nature, or conducting science experiments, making learning enjoyable without the stress of grades.

Cultural Conduits

3 generations.
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Grandparents can share stories and traditions from the past, giving grandchildren a sense of history and heritage that parents might not have time to impart.

Hobby Introducers

Grandparents gardening.
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Grandparents can introduce grandchildren to hobbies and interests that parents might not have considered or had time for, such as gardening, or stamp collecting.

Discipline Detour

Nana, daughter and child.
Image credit fizkes via Shutterstock.

Parents are the primary disciplinarians, but grandparents can often bypass strict discipline in favor of gentle guidance and understanding, which can be a relief for grandchildren.

Unconditional Cheerleaders

Nana with grandson.
Image credit Olesia Bilkei via Shutterstock.

While parents support their children’s endeavors, they also provide constructive criticism. Grandparents, on the other hand, can be the unconditional cheerleaders, celebrating every achievement without reservation.

Culinary Co-Conspirators

Nana and child baking.
Image credit fizkes via Shutterstock.

Parents might insist on healthy eating, but grandparents can be the co-conspirators in culinary adventures, from baking cookies to trying out exotic foods.

Secret Keepers

Telling secrets.
Image credit imtmphoto via Shutterstock.

Grandchildren might share secrets with their grandparents that they’re afraid to tell their parents. Grandparents can keep these confidences, building a bond of trust.

Patience Providers

Patient grandma. reading to child.
Image credit M2020 via Shutterstock.

Grandparents often have more patience than busy parents, allowing grandchildren to take their time with tasks and activities without feeling rushed.

Tradition Transmitters

Muslim grandmother.
Image credit Drazen Zigic via Shutterstock.

Grandparents can pass down family traditions that parents haven’t maintained, whether it’s a special holiday recipe or a family storytelling night.

Playtime Pals

Grandmother dancing with child.
Image credit fizkes via Shutterstock.

While parents might be too tired for play, grandparents can get down on the floor to play with toys, build forts, or engage in imaginative play, much to the joy of their grandkids.

Wisdom Whisperers

Grandchild and grandmother.
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Grandparents have a lifetime of experience to share, and they can impart wisdom in a way that’s different from parental advice, often more palatable to grandchildren.

Stress Relievers

Grandparents and kids.
Image credit Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock.

Parents deal with the daily stresses of child-rearing, but grandparents can be a source of stress relief, providing a calm and comforting presence.

Memory Makers

Birding with grandma.
Image credit ElenaEmiliya via Shutterstock.

Grandparents can create lasting memories with their grandkids by engaging in activities that parents might not think of, like star gazing, birding, or collecting seashells.

Love Amplifiers

Grandmother and baby.
Image credit Robin Jaffin.

While parents provide the foundational love and care, grandparents can amplify this love, showering their grandkids with affection and attention that reinforces their sense of being cherished.

The Takeaway

Grandparents and child.
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Grandparents have a unique role that allows them to bend the rules and provide experiences that complement parental care. This special bond between grandparents and grandchildren is not only beneficial for the children but also deeply rewarding for the grandparents themselves.

Science Tells Us What To Expect As We Age: Strategies For Thriving In Later Life

Beautiful happy older woman.
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that pertain to us all. Aging gradually alters people over decades, a long period shaped by individuals’ economic and social circumstances, their behaviors, their neighborhoods, and other factors. Also, while people experience common physiological issues in later life, they don’t follow a well-charted, developmentally predetermined path. Let’s take a look at what science has told us to expect. READ: Science Tells Us What To Expect As We Age: Strategies For Thriving In Later Life

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Author

  • Dede Wilson

    Dédé Wilson is a journalist with over 17 cookbooks to her name and is the co-founder and managing partner of the digital media partnership Shift Works Partners LLC, currently publishing through two online media brands, FODMAP Everyday® and The Queen Zone.

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