Parents try to educate themselves on how to rear their kids based on childhood developmental stages. However, though husband and wife may be on the same team, things seem to go awry when a grandparent interferes with the way their grandchildren are being reared and disciplined.
“Could you please tell your mother that she should not be too permissive? Look at what’s happening! Our effort to learn more about child rearing is to no avail,” a husband can blurt out. This interference can indeed be a source of disagreement between a couple.
Parents should not just accept it, though, especially if they believe that they are right in the middle of a “grandparents spoiling grandchildren” situation.
Here are some ideas on how to deal with concerned grandparents.
1. Talk to your parents.
Sometimes, simply talking to your parents can do the trick in conveying how you want them to treat your kids. Parents may have restrictive but effective means on how to discipline their kid, say during tantrums, but grandparents usually give in to their grandchildren’s demands.
The difference in style is often a source of confusion for children. They put two and two together and realize that their parents are strict but their grandparents are permissive, and then seek to take advantage of the situation.
Thus, there is a need to sit down with the grandparents and try to talk to them to at least try to respect your parenting style and follow your rules when it comes to disciplining children.
2. Gently set limits.
Grandparents believe that they all have the experience and the expertise in the area of rearing children in the right manner and in the right perspective.
However, they must sometimes be reminded that they are not the parents of the kids they are spoiling, but are the grandparents of children who have parents of their own.
Setting limitations does not mean disallowing any interference, but grandparents’ actions must be coordinated along the lines of the parents’ wishes.
3. Accept grandparents’ role.
On the other hand, parents should accept that grandparents have a special role in their grandchildren’s lives.
Grandparents are role models that kids can look up to and consider as authority figures; they can pass on their wisdom gained from well-lived lives. Thus, their presence and involvement can truly make a difference in the lives of their grandchildren.
Grandparents should not be disregarded and excluded from family life. If there is some tension over how you feel they are interfering with your child rearing, understanding must then be sought. All it takes is communication and respect.
How do you handle grandparents-spoiling-children scenarios in your own family? Do share in the comments!
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