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Susan Adcox

Should Grandparents Have Their Own "House Rules"?

By June 27, 2011

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Dear Abby's column of June 25 contained a query from grandparents who don't like for the grandchildren to run and wrestle in their home. Signing themselves "Concerned in Texas," the grandparents asked, "Is it okay to set different rules in our home than they have in their home?"

Abby reassured the Texas grandparents: "Absolutely, and without question it is your place to establish the rules of conduct in your household!"

Most of my grandparent friends do have a few rules for their grandkids that may not be enforced in the grandkids' homes. Here are some of the most popular:

  • No eating or drinking except at the table
  • No electronic devices at the table
  • No TV during meals
  • No climbing on the furniture or jumping on the bed
  • No roughhousing in the house

What are your house rules for grandkids? Do you have difficulty with enforcement? Do the grandkids' parents support your rules? Leave a comment below.

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June 27, 2011 at 10:31 am
(1) John Lunn says:

Rules are essential for kids. G-parents should have no reservations and if they have none, make some up so that the kids understand the limits. It’s the only way they learn respect.

Because they live with us we have upstairs and downstairs rules. Big one for me is no constant chatter and singing/humming upstairs. You want to chant your raps – do it in your own livingroom. It’s been a real challenge to enforce.

June 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm
(2) Grandma Kc says:

I agree that rules and boundaries are essential for kids and for the sanity of the adults around them.

Grampy and I are probably less strict than Amara’s parents but all rules from her house must be obeyed at our house. She has tried many times to get me to see the logic that I am her Mommy’s Mommy so I should get to make my own rules. Keep in mind she only uses this argument when it is something she wants to do that Mommy won’t let her! I may not always agree with their rules but we do enforce them!

June 27, 2011 at 4:36 pm
(3) Kimberly says:

I have some different rules, though for the most part just rules that keep them safe. The one thing I can’t tolerate is banging or rocking your chair when you eat. That makes me nuts. I don’t find too much trouble in enforcing them, thankfully. Mine have never had any electronic games at their house or mine, so that’s not a worry either.

June 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm
(4) Leslie says:

I read some startling statistics the other day about how few families ever have a real sit-down meal together. Two jobs, multiple extra-curricular activities, and other societal changes are to blame. So even though I am not a grandparent, I can see the value in children experiencing things differently with their grandparents, like togetherness free of electronics and tv at mealtimes. It just adds another dimension to children’s experiences.
And of course grandparents should have their own rules for their own home. It probably works best not to have to many and to keep them simple, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time explaining and enforcing them. What grandparent wants to do that?

July 28, 2011 at 2:12 am
(5) Connie says:

I have rules. We treat each other with respect, be careful and don’t do or say things that hurt others, food and drink stays in the kitchen, we eat at the table and wait till everyone is finished before leaving, Gramma or Papa will be listened to and obeyed. Mom and dad’s rules will be followed at our house too. Have lots of fun while you are at our house!

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