Grandparents serve as an amazing addition to the village that helps you raise your children. It can be a blessing when they step in to help you navigate parenthood, take the kids off your hands while you go out for a date night, or simply spoil their grandchildren with love. But most times, setting boundaries with grandparents is necessary to your well-being as a parent and to your family values overall—and it is also OK.

Many of us have dealt with our parents or in-laws after having kids, and those experiences can range from having hands-off grandparents to having hyper-involved ones. A lot of times, grandparents may have a tendency to weigh in on how you’re raising your children—and sometimes, they defy your wishes for your family to do it the way that they think is best: their way.

But as you have left your parent’s nest and started your own family, it’s important to trust your decisions—and to get others to respect those decisions as well. After all, it is your home and your children.

Related: How to respond when other adults break your parenting rules

Sure, your parents raised you and you (hopefully) turned out fine, but that doesn’t mean you have to raise your kids the exact same way. You have free will (and every right) to create your own family values and traditions, taking what you want from how you were raised and leaving the rest behind.

When parents deal with grandparents overstepping boundaries because they believe that they know best, it stunts parents' growth to learn through their own experiences. And it can negatively affect their parenting journey.

And let's face it: Now is not the time for grandparents to live vicariously through their children. Now is the time for them to trust that they have raised us well, and allow us to do the rest.

Related: These viral photos capture the magic of grandparents

This is not saying that we won’t ever need or want the advice or help of our own parents or in-laws, but it is saying to respect our judgment and not trespass it just because you think that your experience trumps our decisions. Because a lot has changed since you’ve raised us—guidelines, recommendations, the state of the world—and a lot will continue to change.

Setting boundaries with grandparents goes a long way. And knowing how to advocate for yourself if those boundaries are overstepped is important.

These five ways have helped me begin the work of setting boundaries with grandparents, and hopefully, they help other parents as well:

1. Know what you want for your family

Having your family values in mind makes it easier for you to communicate what you want and need from others. Your values may look a lot like the values that you were raised on—or they may be completely different. Knowing how you want to raise your children, what you want them to be exposed to or not be exposed to, and how you want their childhood to be shaped is a good start to pinpointing those values. This can make setting boundaries with grandparents a lot easier.

Some questions you can ask yourself are: What is important to me? What do I want to instill in my children? What values did I grow up on? What values did my partner grow up on? How do we want our family to spend time together? How do we want our family to feel at home? How do we want our children to act when they are out in the world, around others?

2. Get on the same page with your partner

You and your partner always need to be a team in the forefront. Discuss the boundaries that you want to put down and make sure that you both agree on them. You and your partner may have differing views—especially assuming that you were both raised in unrelated households. But having a conversation about how you want to raise your children and what is expected from those who will be in your kids' lives is critical to having concordant understandings.

You may want to ask questions like: What things are adjustable? What things are non-negotiable? How can we meet in the middle?

Related: My husband parents totally different from me

When my husband and I first had our son, I didn’t want anyone kissing him. On the other hand, my husband didn’t mind the grandparents kissing him. We met in the middle and decided that it was only OK for the grandparents to kiss him on the top of his hair or on his foot. We worked as a team to establish something that both of us were comfortable with, and we spoke up if we saw that boundary being crossed.

3. Know how to advocate for yourself—and your partner

Sometimes it’s easier to be firm in boundaries with your own parents, but when it comes to your in-laws, you may not have established that line of communication just yet. If your partner has a better way of getting through to their parents, make sure that they speak up when their parents overstep a boundary. And you do the same with your parents. And although it may take some time, both you and your partner should work towards building healthy communication with your in-laws so that you both know how to advocate for yourselves as well.

4. Have open communication with the grandparents 

Having conversations with your kids' grandparents about the boundaries you want to set in place is important. It gives them an opportunity to get to understand why you have those boundaries and (hopefully) makes them more likely to not overstep. Sometimes you may need to re-establish boundaries. And sometimes, as your children grow older, certain boundaries may change or be adjustable. Consistent communication is key. And so is learning how to stand firm in your boundaries.

Your parents or in-laws may not understand. They may not agree. They may try to combat you or go behind your back and do it their way (anyways), but you know what you want for your family and you have every right to stick to your decisions and ask that others abide by them, too.

5. Still let them know they are appreciated

When you get in the zone of setting boundaries, sometimes you may forget to let your parents or in-laws know that you truly appreciate their presence in your kids’ lives. The support that they can provide and the relationships that they build with their grandchildren can be priceless. Even though you have a certain way of raising your family, your kids' grandparents most often still hold a special place in your heart. Let them know this as often as you can.

Related: To all the grandparents—we couldn’t do this without you. Thank you

Setting boundaries with grandparents is something that every parent should do. Some of your decisions may disappoint them because it's not how they raised you, or maybe they don't have the same boundaries with their other grandkids.

But you and your partner know what is best for your family. And it starts with you to build those grandparent boundaries. Establishing rules for your children and your household will go a long way for your family, your relationships and your peace of mind. Trust me.