How much input should grandparents give their kids about raising their own kids?
Should grandparents give input on how their grandkids are raised? Should they reinforce to the grandchild to listen to their parents or repeat what the parent has told the child, making sure they do it?
This can be tricky but I was so glad to have the support of my parents when my daughter was younger. They tended to reinforce what I had said and were careful not to contradict me in front of her. If they felt I had made some sort of parenting blunder, they talked to me about it privately and suggested ways I could fix things without appearing to be backing down. They knew when to keep out of things too and that's important. My husband's parents were somewhat patronising and their input tended to contradict what I said. Thankfully they lived over four hours' drive away so contact was not as regular.
Balance is the key. Input should be encouraging and supportive and we as parents should remember that our parents have much to offer if we are prepared to accept a little advice now and then.
Depends on whether the advice is asked for or not. I think some grandparents have lots of helpful things to share and some undermine the new parents with critical and unhelpful advice that is not needed. I experienced both - my mum and dad were helpful and gave me answers when I asked my, however in-laws were a nightmare and opinions "r us" was their mantra:-)
I think it's great for anyone to offer advice, as long as there's no expectation that someone will take it.
Parents need to learn what is right for their kids, and they will learn this by responding to the child. Anyone who has had more than one child knows, different approaches work with different kids. Advice is nice, sometimes it helps, but at the end of the day, parenting is a work in progress, we change as our children change...
Unless the children are being actively harmed (physically abused) or actually neglected (not fed, not given medical treatment, not taken to school), you can gently advise your children on what to do with the grandchildren, but the parenting job belongs to the parents.
If they give up custody to you (drug abuse, in jail, alcoholic, teenagers giving kids to parents while going to school), then you can parent the grandchildren. Otherwise, you need to be careful not to interfere with the parent-child relationship.
If the grandkids see you saying that what the parents are doing is wrong, they learn that they cannot trust their parents and thus lose respect for the authority responsible in raising them.
It is never ‘good advice’ if it wasn’t sought out, no matter where it’s coming from. If you feel the absolute need to say something then just be sure to word it properly,… so it doesn’t sound like advice.
And yes, grandparents should always re-enforce whatever the parents have said to the child. If they don’t agree with the parents then they should stay out of it, and discuss it later when the children are not within earshot.
Unless, of course, there is harm to the child involved. Then speak up!
I am a single Mum so I am incredibly grateful for my parents input. My parents do both reinforce what I am saying plus repeat if they have to. I also like that they are not afraid of talking to me and helping me through the days when I struggle. I think as parents we need all the help we can get!!
Unless the child is being mistreated in some way, or the parent of the child asks for help - I think we grandparents need to stay quiet. My daughter will ask me things and rarely I might make a suggestion but very carefully, and privately.
Mostly I just watch and wonder - gee my daughter had a great childhood, why does she insist on doing things differently with her kids- LOL
Grandparents should reinforce what the parents are saying, offer advice when asked and offer to babysit when parents are getting frazzled. They are the parents this time, not you. They have seen how you raise your children and if they want to do it differently, let them. Be glad that you raised them well enough to feel confident in doing it themselves.
Grandparents are there to enjoy the special, well deserved time with grandchildren, they should support their children, now parents themselves in their parenting skills, but they are not there to criticize, maybe they do it differently and maybe you don't agree with everything they do...but just remember you have done it differently from your parents...it is their chance and their time...give advice only when asked for a just enjoy your special time...just enjoyment no responsibility:)
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