Of Parenting, Dealing With Grandparents and Other Dilemmas

July 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Parenting

There are many times when parenting can feel like you’re in middle management! You have to deal with a lot of matters concerning your kids, and your parents can simple add another set to them! Grandparents present another sphere of outside influence with your kids, which is all the more complicated because of their relationship with you as well as the kids.

So how can you, as a parent, maximize all the great issues that grandparents bring into the parenting mix while minimizing the possible difficulties?

Grandparents have one big advantage over you: They’ve been parents a lot longer than you have, and have a lot of experience in the art of parenting. Their advice is invaluable, but only when it’s given at the right time in the right manner.

Sometimes, grandparents need to be reminded of this. As a parent, you can tactfully ask them to hold on to their advice until you’re more receptive to it. If you’re disciplining your child, you don’t want any criticism of what you’re doing, because it tends to undermine your authority as a parent as well as brings about a negative and defensive reaction.

Most parents tend to ignore the advice of the grandparents if it’s given in a manner that is completely unsuitable to the situation. After cooling down, however, try to analyze the advice given objectively. You’ll realize that the advice given does have value. Try not to concentrate too much on the circumstances that prompted it.

Grandparents always dote a lot on their grandkids and want the best for them. This fondness should go hand in hand with objectivity. They must realize that the actual responsibility of disciplining and setting the rules falls on the parents. This helps to avoid any sort of conflicts.

Parents can help in this matter by understanding that grandparents will have different views, according to the way things were done in those years. Expressing these views could lead to conflicts, especially when they are diametrically opposed to the parents’ views.

However, there is no cause for conflict if a few basic rules governing the household are followed. Those such as diet and bedtime need to be respected, because they have an effect on good health. On the other hand, grandparents want to lavish their attention and love on their grandkids by offering them more materially and independence-wise than parents are comfortable with.

In this case, a bit of creativity on both sides can lead to a good compromise. For example, buying a $500 chemistry set for a grandchild’s birthday may strike most parents as an extravagant gesture. But you can easily sort the difference by alternating trips to the zoo and aquarium!

Most negotiators will tell you to look for common ground rather than arguing all the time. When it comes to the child, the interests of the child are always put first by both parties! This forms the common ground, and both parents and grandparents share.

It’s easier to end disputes amicably if both the parents and grandparents effectively talk about their views taking into account the facts of the situation. So when you amalgamate this objective attitude with respect of individual values, you’ll definitely come up with a winner!