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Grandparents have more parenting experience than new parents, so they’re often inclined to offer their advice. Their children, however, may feel they know best. They bristle when their parents start telling them what to do. My advice to both sides is simple:

Grandparents – When you make suggestions, don’t criticize your child’s parenting style.

Young parents – Keep an open mind to learning from other parents, including your own.

Now, here is some of the best parenting advice I have heard from grandparents.

As the marriage goes, so goes the family

Providing your children with a happy home means paying attention to your marriage. Grandparents know from experience that it’s easy to neglect your life as a couple once you become parents. Do your children a favor by keeping the love that brought you together alive.

Keep your standards high

Crude behaviour and bad manners have become commonplace in society. While you can’t control society, you can control your home. Set a good example for your children by stressing manners, personal responsibility and living life by the golden rule.

“No” means “No”

Many young parents are overly concerned about upsetting their children by saying “No” and sticking to their guns. Giving in to children does not prepare them to run their own lives as adults.

Help each child reach his potential

Children within the same family can be dramatically different from one another. Parents need to recognize their differences and respond to each child’s uniqueness.

Don’t live a frantic life

Grandparents lived through simpler times and know the value of a simpler life. Take a cue from them: Don’t overschedule yourselves or your children.

Think hard before adding to your family

Grandparents know the tremendous commitment that comes with each child. Although they may not have asked themselves if they were emotionally and financially able to handle another child when they were young, they want their adult children to think carefully before having another baby.

Don’t favor one child over the other

Everyone knows the story of Cinderella. The problem is, most parents can’t recognize favoritism in their own family. They don’t see how they have come to favor one child over the other. Parents often feel more attracted to one child than another. It’s a parenting failure to actually favor one child, so don’t fall into that trap.

Raising a baby from infancy to adulthood is an incredible experience. No one knows what to expect. To help you succeed as parents you can rely on parenting books, parenting classes – and parents who have been there.

As parents, we need all the help we can get. As you raise your kids, don’t overlook the wisdom and experience of your own parents.
Kenneth N. Condrell Ph.D Child Psychologist