Role of Grandparents in Family Dynamics
When grandparenting and parenting meets
Your typical family unit of mom, dad, and children is not the only mix that designates the family group, now there are many mixtures that makeup a family. It doesn't matter how unusual a family mix is, as long as there are loving, nurturing adults for the children in the house.
Being a parent is one of the greatest joys and feeling of fulfillment and grand-parenting goes one step further, loving both your own child and their children, doubling the feeling of a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Typically, the grandparent is the person who provides a wonderful place for the grandchildren to visit. The grandparents enjoy and interact with the child for the day, then mom or dad takes them home, restoring a relative peace within the grandparent's home.
When your Child moves back home
With the present economy, we are all struggling to make ends meet and frequently adult children find the need to move back home, many of them single parents with children. While the door is always open and those children are welcomed back, new issues and problems can arise while trying to mesh this new family unit of grandparents, parents, and children.
In the case of a single mother moving home, there are now 2 women used to running their own households. Issues arise stemming from each woman's personal style of running a house, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, and all the other chores it takes to run a house. It is comparable to too many CEOs running the company, there are always differences of opinion. Each of the women have has her own ideas and styles and at times they can clash with each other. For instance, where to put the canned soup, one puts it in a cabinet of choice, the other comes along and move it to the pantry; now when the soup is needed, where is it?
Meshing parenting styles
The most important difference of opinion comes from parenting styles. Decisions have to be made on how and who reprimands the children. What the mom wants for her child or how her child should behave often differs from the grandmother's ideas. There is a very fine line drawn on when the grandparent should stop and the parent should take over. It is very difficult when the grandchild misbehaves and the grandparent needs to step back and let mom take over. Often the child will look to the grandparent to be "saved" and it is difficult to just stand there. At times the grandparent may disapprove of mom's choice of meals or activities but it has to be remembered that this is not always the grandparent's choice to make. Advice for the young parent can be given, but do so after asking if they would like some advice or help.
Compromise is the key! To mesh the two families together for the amount of time that is needed, compromising on the small things, letting go of what really isn't important to argue about is necessary.
In the end you will have a young parent that gets the help needed and a grandchild who experiences all the love and caring a grandparent can give on a daily basis.