If you are a grandparent, this article can help you show greater love for your grandchildren and avoid conflict with your children.
Grandparents are an essential part of our family circle. During childhood they become the most loving, fun, pampering and endearing people. Their conversations, teachings, gifts, games and recommendations leave us sentimental stamps that transcend the rest of our lives.
One day I heard someone comment that “when he thought he already knew how to be a father, he realized that he was already a grandfather.” During this stage the roles are very different: while, as parents, the responsibility is greater and consists of educating, instructing and correcting, grandparents no longer feel that “weight” and are only dedicated to pampering, caring for and entertaining every moment with their grandchildren.
There is, however, a fine line between tolerance and disrespect, freedom and meanness. To what extent is the permissiveness of grandparents acceptable and do they even begin to transfer parental authority? Children are intelligent, and when they realize that there is an adult behind them, whether they act correctly or incorrectly, they will begin to form an alliance, in which parents come to be seen as “enemies”.
Therefore, I share four suggestions to avoid conflicts due to the parent-parenting-grandparent relationship:
- Address any disagreements when your grandchildren are not around. A few days ago my mother asked me to be more patient with my older son, because from her point of view I am too energetic. He wasn’t listening, so we chatted about our different approaches and I took the comment as wise advice. Sometimes our parents want to correct us in front of our children as if we were six years old. This situation can create accusatory and threatening behavior, because if we try to get their attention they will say: “I’m going to accuse you with your dad.” The consequences: parental authority is minimized and ego and disrespect are enlarged.
- Trust the ability of the children you raised. It is normal to fear being parents and for the paternity of your children, so just support them without interfering in a negative way; trust that they are sensible and competent to teach your grandchildren well. Grandfather, you already educated children, now dedicate yourself to enjoying them; cuddle them, tell them stories, give them treats and let their parents take care of the toughest task.
- Avoid questioning the authority of your children. Far from expressing your rejection and disagreement through anger, talk with your son, daughter, daughter-in-law or son-in-law, in a cordial way, about what you observe in their fatherly performance. Phrases like: “You don’t know how to educate him”, “Let him do whatever he wants”; they are harmful. And in the case of grandchildren, avoid saying: “Don’t listen to your mother because she’s crazy”, “When your father was a child, he behaved worse than you”, “If your parents bother you, let me know.” This only detracts from the seriousness of the parents’ indications and, instead of supporting him, you are harming him, because the child, adolescent or young person, will assume an uncontrollable behavior.
- Don’t reward their bad behaviors. Most grandparents find the action of punishing grandchildren distasteful and, in fact, that is not their role; But if he misbehaves, don’t ignore him or celebrate his rudeness. As I mentioned at the beginning, the advice of the grandparents becomes words that we treasure, and if at any time rebellion causes the boys not to listen to their parents, it is your opportunity to support with your wisdom and experience so that the beings that so much mamas take the right direction.
Most of us parents find it annoying when someone, far from a suggestion, wishes to impose a training method or ideology; However, considering the advice of our parents will never hurt, because they have vast experience and have a tremendous advantage over us.
Parents: listen to grandparents and avoid getting angry, their views are valid. Grandparents: don’t let excessive love blind you and trust the way your children carry out their parenting. And for both: develop your roles with love and respect, because it is the basis for offering our children harmonious and comfortable homes.