The Solemn Oath Every Grandparent Should Take


By Deborah Drezon Carroll

Some of our most revered jobs require taking an oath. Doctors, lawyers, civil servants, political office holders, and others swear to uphold the honor of their profession, to be loyal, to be conscientious, and to do a good job. Parents and grandparents don’t have to swear an oath but I think maybe it would be cool if we did. It would be a way of acknowledging the importance of the job we are about to take on. And, now that the average age at which one becomes a grandparent is 50, we are going to live many years in that role so it would be helpful to find a way to make it better for everyone.

For grandparents an oath might go something like this, based in part on the Hippocratic Oath:

To honor myself as a child, a parent, and now a grandparent, I commit to this covenant:

I will remember being a family member is an art and a science.

I will recall what it was like to be a child and a parent and use those memories to guide my actions.

I will have the courage to advocate when I believe I’m right and admit when I am wrong.

I will respect the privacy and authority of my children and grandchildren.

I will enjoy life beyond the realm of being a grandparent.

For Mother’s Day and Father’s Day this year I’m going to give the parents of my grandchild (AKA my daughter and son-in-law) my signed oath to show them my plan to love and respect them, their child, myself, and our bond. Most importantly, I’m giving them my written pledge to support them without over functioning or interfering in the way they raise their children. I’m going to tell them they have my permission to show me the oath if I overstep, which I’m pretty sure I will from time to time. It’ll be a gentle way to remind me of my promise to support them without actually running their lives.

grandparentsWith that said, here’s the list of five things grandparents should also swear … to keep to themselves.

  • I swear never to invoke the phrase, “You remember I raised you, right?”
  • I swear not to roll my eyes when I see you arguing with your child over something we all know you shouldn’t be battling about.
  • I swear not to tell my grandchild not to mention the extra dessert to Mommy and Daddy.
  • I swear not to joyfully and graciously let my grandchild get away with the things I never let his or her parent get away with too many times.
  • I swear never to willfully ignore an instruction my grandchild’s parents gave me, even when I know it’s ludicrous.

grandparentAbout the Author -Deborah Drezon Carroll

If you can relate to this post, you might enjoy my blog. You can also download a copy of the grandparent oath there, suitable for signing. Visit at

And, if you are a grandparent or know a grandparent, you might love my book, Real Grands: From A to Z, Everything A Grandparent Can Be.

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