Becoming a parent is weird in many ways. One of the weirdest, in my opinion, has to be the dynamic with the older generation – i.e. our own parents. Some grandparents seem to take it all in stride and hand over the parenting reigns, while others seemingly don’t know how to step out of the role of caregiver, and they may even try to expand it.
I have noticed these growing pains emerging during big events. Either when a new baby is born into the family, or when the stress of holidays rolls around. Perhaps it has nothing to do with events at all, and it’s really about a difference of opinion or practice that becomes more pronounced during these events.
What do you think, readers? What makes some grandparents bow out of the parenting game gracefully, while others get more aggressive? Anyone have insight? I am particularly curious as to what makes a person step in with the attitude of “I know better than you what is best for your kid.” For instance, perhaps you have a “no plastic” rule and the grandparent buys a plastic toy for the child even knowing the rule is in place. What is the thought process that goes on? Also, is there a way to counteract this behavior?
I am frustrated by this type of behavior. Suggestions I can handle, and questions are great. I never mind explaining the reasoning behind our decisions. I do find it difficult responding to blatant disregard for our wishes, though. I don’t want to cause rifts – I would rather solve the problem. So I am bowing down right now to those who have weathered this transition before me, and I ask for your help in making the transition in my own life (and in the lives of other new parents) less painful!