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10 Worst things to say to your grandchild

Things You Should Never Say

Make sure you memorize this list, so you don't get caught saying these things grandparents should never say to their grandchildren.

'Your essay sounds brilliant to me. Obviously your teacher is an idiot.'

One of the sadder phenomena of recent years is the assumption that when a teacher says anything critical of a student, it is assumed the teacher is wrong. This, along with really lousy pay, makes me marvel at why anyone wants to be a teacher. Don't try to make points with your little genius by undermining the lesson his teacher is trying to impart. That is, unless you want the reincarnation of James Dean for a grandchild.

'If I ever find out you have a tattoo I'll kill myself.'

Talk about guilt! This is right up there with our parents' version of 'Finish your broccoli. Don't you know the children in Europe/Bangladesh/Ethiopia are starving!'

'That lovely little girl, the one I met at your house last week, is she your girlfriend?'

Without question, you are on very thin ice here. Absolutely nothing is more embarrassing to a 7- to-14-year-old boy or girl than the outing of his or her social life.

'Of course you should have a curfew for your prom, dear. I remember your mother stayed out very late at her senior prom. I ended up having to take her to visit that so-called doctor on Railroad Street.'

Agreeing with the parents that the child needs a curfew is a smart move for a grandparent. But don't let your support turn into the launching pad for a story best forgotten.

'You hardly ever call me, and you know, Granny's not getting any younger. As a matter of fact, if you ever come over to see me, I'd like you to choose a few things you'd particularly like to have, so when I'm gone, you can take them.'

Oh, boy! Passive/aggressive in the extreme. It's the stuff of nightmares, not to mention years of intense psychoanalysis. Are you happy now?

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