What Not to Say to Your Grandkids – 5 “Oops” Comments

African American Grandparents With Grandchildren Relaxing In Park

The bond between grandparents and their grandkids is very special. Keep that bond strong by avoiding these five “oops” comments and try saying something else instead.

Don’t Say: “Your brother is better at [fill in the blank] than you.”

This comment can be made completely innocently. You may just be trying to motivate your grandkid to do better or try harder. However, pointing out that one grandchild may be better at [sports] isn’t going to make the other an all-star athlete.

Instead, encourage your grandkids and remind them of the things they are good at. If your grandkid asks if their brother is a better athlete than them, respond by emphasizing their strengths. Grandparents are the best cheerleaders.

Do Say: “Your brother is an amazing athlete, just like you’re an amazing student.”

Don’t Say: “You’re my favorite.”

This comment is a BIG no-no. While you may not have said these words exactly, be careful of things you say that may sound like this – even if it is meant as a playful joke. Your grandkids will talk to one another and you want them to be able to trust everything you say.

Do Say: “All of my grandkids are number one to me!”

Don’t Say: “Have you ever heard about the time your dad…”

Be careful when sharing stories about your children’s youthful mishaps with grandkids. Maybe you have used one of these stories to bond with your grandkids or teach them an invaluable lesson. However, telling these stories can have the unintended effect of undermining your children’s authority with their kids.

Instead, tell a story from your childhood. You will be able to give your perspective while your grandkids get the chance to learn more about you.

Do Say: “Have I ever told you about the time I…”

Don’t Say: “Why haven’t you worn the shirt I gave you?”

Chances are you’ve raised your kids to accept gifts with enthusiasm and to give thanks politely…and chances are your kids have passed those same traits onto your grandkids. If you haven’t seen your granddaughter wear the shirt you gave her last Christmas, it may not have been her style. She’s just being polite and it won’t do your relationship any good to ask about it.

Instead, spend time with your grandkids to discover their style and what they like, so next Christmas you can give them the perfect gift. *Gift cards are a good idea if you’re unsure.

Do say: Nothing.

Don’t Say: “You’ll grow out of this stage.”

No doubt your grandkids will go through tough situations – the awkward middle school years, heartbreaks and embarrassing moments. Make sure that you are there to listen and be there for them. Don’t say things that may fall flat and seem as though you are making light of situation that seems like the “end of the world” to them.

Do Say: “I’m always here to talk about anything.”