Grandparents – Are You Interfering Or Holding Your Tongue?


The older man was visiting his daughter and three grandchildren ages 11, 4, and 8 months. The 4 year old was sleeping in her bed and she was complaining about it. This problem was discussed previously, all solutions had failed, and sleep deprivation was in control. Sitting on the porch with his nicotine and caffeine, he pondered this problem and thought about being a grandparent.

Grandparents have two choices when watching their children raising their grandchildren – to interfere or hold their tongue; the only exception is when asked for advice or assistance. Most interfere; feeling the grandchild is going to be spoiled, are just trying to help, or their way is the better way. On the other hand, children think they are right; the world has changed, different stressors are affecting the family, and there is more danger.

The world was simpler when the grandparent’s children grew up – they played outside without adult supervision, neighbors watched them, strangers were immediately noticed, and the elders were respected as they possessed the wisdom and were the problems solvers. Today, children cannot be left alone as stranger danger lurks everywhere, elders are viewed as old people, and search engines retain wisdom and answers to all problems.

Grandparents continue to interfere as their parents did, which states – we have the right to tell our children how to raise our grandchildren. This leads to resentment driving a gap between parents and children regarding child rearing and exacerbates this wedge by undermining the parent’s authority by tell their children they are wrong in front of the grandchildren.

Holding their tongue is the hardest thing for grandparents to do but logically is the best way to keep the peace. Grandparents forget their child rearing days are over; their new function is to be supportive, and trust their child’s decisions while raising their grandchildren. The older man held his tongue many times, which was not easy, but it resulted in his children asking for advice and assistance.

His daughter came out on the porch, and asked if he had any solutions to the sleep deprivation problem.

With kindest regards, Judowolf

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