How to be a Good Step Grandparent

No child really cares whether or not their grandparents are blood relatives. A child might understand that they have more than one grandma on one of their parents side of the family without giving much thought to how it happened or what it means.

When a child gets a step-grandparent will effect how accepting they are toward them. A child that meets their step-grandparent as an infant will easily accept them as part of their family. An older child may not be willing to give a step-grandparent the same respect and love they feel for the other grandparents.

While ideally the step-grandparent easily finds their place in the family in reality it can take effort. Being a good grandparent isn’t something that happens over night. The same is true for step grandparents.

*Quality time

Kids love people that love them. It’s important that they feel loved. Spending time with them doing things they enjoy. There are almost limitless ideas on ways to spend time with your grandchildren. A few ideas to consider include taking them to the park, playing ball, taking them fishing, teaching them to build a bird house, or letting them help in the garden. Taking the time to find out what your grand kids like to do goes a long way toward showing them that you care about them and want to be an active part of their lives.


Parents have rules they set for their children. While many times grandma and grandpa will disagree with those rules it is not their place to undermine the parents authority. Any time you are watching your grandchildren respect the rules that the parents have set.

This is the biggest problem most parents have with any grandparent. Grandparents too often give into the urge to spoil their grand kids, often letting them stay up past their bed time or too much candy, or any number of small things that “won’t hurt this once”. A grandparent that shows the parents the respect they deserve will get to see more of the grand kids than one that thinks that because they are the parent’s parent they get to decide which rules the kids should follow.

*Be fair

In many families there will be both biological grandchildren and step-grandchildren. Treating the step-grandchild differently will cause hurt feelings and more arguments.

A good step grandparent will stand out in the child’s mind not because they were a step grandparent but because they were a good grandparent. Children tend to be more accepting of grandparents than they are toward their own parents. As long as the child receives love, attention, and feels that their grandparent loves them they won’t notice a difference between their biological grandparents and their step grandparent.