How Grandparents Get in the Way of your Parenting (And What to do About It)


We love grandparents in our house; they are the most amazing people in our kids’ lives (other than us, of course). And we’ve been very fortunate from the start that our parents have not overstepped their boundaries and gotten in the way of our parenting abilities. They are all very respectful of the fact that our kids are our own and we are in charge. That said, they don’t hesitate to take over when we are not around or if we miss something that happens while tending to the needs of another. And we appreciate that – nothing gets past us when the grandparents are over visiting. Not everyone, however, is as fortunate as my husband and I and they end up dealing with overbearing grandparents. These are the ones who cross the line and interfere with parenting, and that’s not acceptable. As parents and grandparents, we should work together as a team, not against one another. If your parents – your children’s grandparents – are out of line, we have a few suggestions to help make this stop right now.

Talk about It

Sometimes the lack of communication is the biggest issue. Some grandparents have no idea you don’t appreciate their interference, which they merely view as help. If you say something to them about it in a respectful manner, chances are good they will stop.

Be Firm

Some grandparents will argue their point, and you need to stand firm. Be kind but firm in saying that while you adore their relationship with your kids, there is a line and it cannot be crossed. Detail your wants and needs, your expectations and what you deem appropriate versus inappropriate and lay it on the table for all to hear.

Don’t Threaten

Whatever you do, however you handle this situation, do not threaten grandparents. The worst thing you can do for your kids and grandparents is say something along the lines of, “Well, if you don’t stop that and do what I say, you won’t get to see the kids anymore,” because that only hurts the kids. Find a different way to go about it, such as not allowing your kids unsupervised time with grandparents who don’t follow basic safety rules, etc.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


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