Avoid the Awkwardness: Easy Ways to Successfully Set Boundaries with Grandparents (and Keep your Sanity)

Whether you are a new parent, or a seasoned one there is one thing we have all come into contact with.... well meaning grandparents. Usually they want to know how your doing, or how to help, but it can really end up sounding more like a string of questions, opinions and judgments. You want to keep a great relationship with them, but sometimes it can feel overwhelming! So, what is the key to creating a healthy, happy relationship for everyone? Boundaries!

I’m not here to tell you HOW to parent, but rather to help you and your partner create boundaries that empower your parenting without disrupting your relationships. However, setting those boundaries does not have to be stressful. Here’s 4 steps to setting powerful boundaries: 

  1. Know your values and get clear with your partner’s values. This is the core of YOUR parenting.
  2. Talk with your partner about how you can support one another.
  3. Know what triggers you and be proactive rather than reactive in your responses.
  4. Be direct – Being direct doesn’t have to be harsh. It can be a simple, “Thank you for that, but we have decided to….”

But, then you ask, what do you do if you're already in the heat of the moment with an "overbearing" grandparent? 

  • Take A Breath: Remember your values, and honor them!
  • Relationship Management: try and think; What kind of relationship would you like to build with your in-laws? What would you appreciate guidance on and what do you want to discover on your own?
  • Don’t Explain: 10-year-olds feel the need to explain, you are a grown up and you don’t.
  • Empathetic Understanding: Put yourself in their shoes- Your parents are going to keep parenting you…Your partner’s parents are going to keep parenting them. Let’s face it, they don’t stop being parents just because you’re an adult. Try to think about how you would feel in their position, and treat them how you would want to be treated by your kids!
  • And if all else fails.... Ground yourself in your Confidence: know that you’ve got this! Remember, every parent learns along the way – this is your time.  You are the best parent for your kids. Know this, and keep reminding yourself of this!!

Using these tips and strategies, and being consistent, you will be able to set up some super effective boundaries and have some powerful communication with those grandparents in no time!

Now that you have some effective communication with those grandparents, what about your kids? Need help to diffuse conflict? Sign Up for your newsletter and get a FREE Diffusing Conflict 101 Guide to help you help your kids work through conflict in 3 easy steps!


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