Five Christmas Gifts Grandparents Should NOT Give to Grandkids
A significant part of a grandparents’ job is to spoil the grandchildren. Indulging the little darlings is practically written into the grandparenting DNA (stay tuned for further scientific information.) But there are some gifts we should probably forego when shopping for our grandchildren this Christmas if we want to stay in their parents’ good graces.
1. Anything alive
We agree, there is nothing cuter on Christmas morning than seeing your grandchild’s delight when they get that cute little puppy with a red bow bounding into their laps. Just think of all the adorable photographs on social media; just think of how happy your grandkids will be! Stop! Never get your grandkids a living, breathing creature without their parents’ complete agreement! Adopting a pet requires a lot of planning and thought. Depending on the animal, this could be a twenty-year commitment!
2. Anything that goes against the parents’ rules
What comes to mind are devices such as cell phones and tablets. Most parents have rules about what ages they will allow their child to have a cell phone or any other device. Respect those rules. Don’t put your grandchildren’s parents in the undesirable position of being the bad guys.
3. Anything that requires a parent to have an engineering degree
Don’t buy your young grandchildren a present that requires hours of reading an instruction manual, an engineering degree, and purchasing a tool kit. If it’s something you think they need or want, make the purchase but keep it at your house and take on the project yourself. Parents of young kids have enough to do. More work is not desirable, especially on Christmas day.
4. Anything that steals the parents’ glory
If you know the parents are saving for a big present like a bike or a trampoline, don’t step in and be the hero. By the time we’re grandparents, many of us have the financial security to buy a big present, but it’s essential to allow the parents to be the “big dogs” in their children’s eyes. If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, talk to the parents about setting up a college fund or ask them what you can do to help them. Maybe they need help paying for daycare or extracurricular activities.
5. Anything too noisy
Unless you’re angry at the parents, don’t buy a drum kit, megaphone, or loud electronic games. My two-year-old granddaughter is loving drums right now, but I will resist that purchase. With two dogs, a cat, and a brother in the house, more noise is not a good idea. If you insist on one of these noisy gifts, you might have the offending present take up residence at your house!
The advice above can be summed up in one thought: Respect the parents. Communicate with them and listen to what they say. We love our grandkids and want to spoil them rotten, but the parents are in charge. If we don’t respect that hierarchy, everyone loses. The parents of our grandkids should always have the final say in what gifts are given to their children. As grandparents, we love to spoil our grandchildren, but perhaps the best present we can give them is family harmony.