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.

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'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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Comments on "10 Worst things to say to your grandchild"

@Anna December 04, 2013 | 7:44 PM

@Anna: I think they're saying you can comment on their appearance, but leave the gender out-ie simply You have the most lovely long eyelashes, no gender mentioned. (Unless it's just rude-as in calling them bigboned) Yay for not raising your grand/children in constrictive, limiting gender norms!

Dee May 13, 2013 | 6:10 AM

My grandad likes whining a lot about "his day" and how everything was so much better and this country is going to the dogs etc I find it really annoying because every conversation turns into that OTL

kellyn3 September 17, 2012 | 12:51 PM

My Gran used to be terrible in guilt-tripping me and my brother into staying longer at her house when we were younger and said stuff like "oh it must mean you don't love me anymore." Got really annoyed at her for it.

Anna November 05, 2009 | 9:29 PM

Maybe I'm missing the point here, but whats wrong with pointing out a boys long eyelashes? Please do not press gender norms on my children. That would make me pretty upset no matter who you are.

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