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The 5 Biggest Mistakes That Grandparents Make

We tend to think of grandparenting as easy and filled with joy compared to the long slog of parenting your own children. And it’s true that being a grandparent may allow you to participate in fun and festive occasions without having to sacrifice your financial security or uninterrupted sleep.

But there are a number of ways that being a grandparent can cause stress as well as amplify any tension with your adult children. If you’re hoping to nourish strong relationships and minimize conflict with your grandchildren and their parents, here are a few missteps experts suggest you avoid, as well as what you can do to repair the damage when you do something you regret.

Giving gifts parents haven’t approved or giving money without communicating expectations.

It’s considered typical grandparent behavior to shower grandchildren with gifts, but gift giving can become a source of tension if you and the child’s parents don’t agree on what constitutes an appropriate gift.

“Sometimes grandparents can get into trouble because they buy things for their grandchildren that their parents may not approve of, are too expensive or too excessive in nature,” Christopher Hansen, a licensed counselor in San Antonio, told HuffPost.

A good way to avoid this is to clear any purchases, or a plan for purchases, with parents beforehand. For example, “Grandma is taking you to the zoo. You can look in the gift shop at the end of the visit and pick out one small stuffy for her to buy you.” This clarifies expectations for everyone and lets the parent know that you respect their authority, which helps cultivate trust.

Complications from gift giving frequently arise when it comes to financial gifts. With the cost of child care taking an average of 27% of

Read more on huffpost.com