NANA’S HOUSE by Teresa Kindred

During the 16-plus years I’ve been “Nana,” I’ve learned a few things about this role.

I have also done some research and interacted with hundreds of other grandparents for books I’ve written or other projects. So of course I have some thoughts to share with the parents of all our grandkids.

A while back, I ran across a similar list by another blogger, but I disagreed with some of what she wrote and I found some of her words inappropriate. So I came up with my own list. I’m not sure these will fit every grandparent, but I think you’ll understand what I have in mind. And even though I’m having fun with some of these ideas, I do affirm how important it is to get along and cooperate with our grandkids’ parents. They are usually gatekeepers to our time with them, and everyone wins when we all get along.

(Maybe you’ll even want to come up with your own list.)

Without further adieu …

  1. Being a grandparent totally rocks. It’s so much more fun than being a parent. You get kisses and hugs and don’t have to be a drill sergeant. It’s fun!
  2. We respect our children’s choices and will obey (most) of their rules. Come on, a little bit of chocolate before bed won’t send them to juvenile detention.
  3. Yes we insisted on you eating your vegetables, but as grandparents we reserve our right to feed them mac and cheese three times a day if that’s what they want to eat. They can eat veggies when they go home.
  4. You can trust us. I never lost any of you. Well … I did leave one of you at school until 5:00 because I thought your father was getting you. But we will watch your babies like a hawk!
  5. Don’t be surprised if your children come home doing “the pony,” “the jerk” or “the twist.” There are worse dance moves and we can only teach what we know.
  6. Also, nursery rhyme songs are cool, but so is “Wild Thing” and “Born to Be Wild.” Every grandchild should be taught these by their grandparents. It’s our Boomer duty.
  7. Grandparents have the right to tell their grandchildren embarrassing stories about when their parents were little. If this upsets you, just make sure you write down every crazy thing your child does and you can tell their children those stories one day.
  8. If you want grandparents to feed your children a specific food, send it with them. If there is no mac and cheese in the house, we are probably going to McDonald’s for Happy Meals.
  9. Unless they are allergic to disposable diapers, do NOT expect us to put cloth diapers on them. Those nasty things went out with baby dinosaurs.
  10. Never think that we don’t love our children as much as we love our grandchildren. Yes, when you walk into our house, we might run to our grandchildren, scoop them up into our arms and forget to say “hello” to you … but we don’t mean anything by it. We get all goofy-eyed with amazement and love when we see our grands, but we love you too! Honest, we do!

What would you add to Teresa’s list? What’s one thing your grandkids’ parents need to understand about you as a grandparent? Share ideas and connect with other grandparents on our Facebook Page. Also be sure to follow her on her Facebook page here.

Read more from Teresa here.

Teresa Kindred is a freelance writer, former teacher, and author of several books, including The Faith-Filled Grandmother. She’s the mom of five grown children and “Nana” to seven precious grandchildren. She and her husband live in Kentucky. Her blog for grandparents is at