Between my husband and myself, we have 10 glorious grandchildren with ages ranging from 24 to 4. Needless to say, we’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t.
What works is to be ourselves and give the grandkids the kind of focused attention we didn’t always have the time or insight to give to their parents when they were growing up. This is such a precious family time for all of us. What doesn’t work is when we want, wish or hope that the parents would handle the parenting of their children differently than they do, and then (deep sigh) interfere by giving our advice. We’ve learned that when they ask advice, we can give it, but unsolicited advice is rarely appreciated.
We’ve also learned to ask about the parents’ preferences regarding everything that has to do with their children, and to honor their preferences as much as possible. Yes, we’re older and we’ve gone through pretty much everything that the parents are experiencing,…but the bottom line is, they are the parents of these precious grandchildren, and we are not.
We see the times we get to be with the grandkids as a priceless gift from our children–their parents–to us and we value this gift so much. We’ve learned to treat our time with the grandkids with gratitude by honoring our roles as grandparents and leaving the parenting to our children.
There are probably many of you who also have multi-generational families like me, so I thought you might be interested in this topic of how to avoid unnecessary disagreements between parents and grandparents. In addition to describing my personal experience, I’ve linked you to a really fine article on the subject.
Whether you’re the parent or the grandparent, I think you will appreciate the insightful perspective that this article provides. Click on the link below…