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Staying with family

(99 Posts)
keepingquiet Sat 09-Dec-17 23:12:20

My daughter and her two children live a distance away so I have to stay a few nights when I come to make the journey worth while. I find it hard reconciling their way of parenting with mine and just wondered if other grandparents find this a challenge too? I'm never sure if I should speak my mind or not, but if I do it often ends in bad feeling, so generally I keep quiet- but it can cause tensions. Anyone out there can give me any tips on how they deal with this?

Grandma70s Sun 10-Dec-17 16:41:24

I’m happy with the way my grandchildren are brought up, in most ways. I did discuss schools, but I don’t think I interfered - though I might have done if I hadn’t been happy with their decisions! There’s a fine line between expressing an opinion, discussion and interfering. I couldn’t have done anything about it anyway.

Artyfarty Sun 10-Dec-17 17:39:39

Just bite your lip and raise above it. You raised your children your way and now it’s their turn. That’s the best thing about being a grandparent, go along with the rules set by the parents it’s not your responsibility.

travelsafar Mon 11-Dec-17 10:06:46

I know from experience that you must keep any opinions or concerns to yourself. I expressed a concern for my son and DIL and have now been banned from seeing the grandchildren or going to their house.My heart is broken by this, i am currently making very very tiny steps towards a reconsiliation but in my heart of hearts i know things will never be the same again. Please take heed from as everyone who has posted and KEEPQUIET.

Jaycee5 Mon 11-Dec-17 10:07:17

Follow the Golden Rule. How would you feel in their shoes if your mother in law had pointed out what she saw as the faults in your parenting (which is the way they will see it). What is to be gained? - you know what is to be lost.
Maybe, despite the journey, you could make your visit a little shorter as people often get on each others nerves after a few days however close they are.

radicalnan Mon 11-Dec-17 10:08:46

You know the answer, I hope you aren't seeking any back up for saying something because I am pretty sure you won't find it here. Parenting styles change all the time, I had 2 children 15 years apart, the advice I was given for the first lot (by professionals) would have killed the second lot apparently, all are alive and well.

Our children live in the times they live in. Give advice, when asked, otherwise enjoy your family.

MinniesMum Mon 11-Dec-17 10:09:30

untyFlo - I hve bitten my bottom lip so often that I now have two of them!

glammyP Mon 11-Dec-17 10:10:08

OOh, Never criticise your children’s parenting skills! We aren’t experts and all children are unique. So what if they they’re parenting isn’t how we would do it! I understand your frustration though, as I get quietly cross at the way my grandson gets away with eating exactly what he wants. I bite my tongue and sit on my hands, as its just not worth the upset it might cause if I say anything. Just love the grandchildren and enjoy your time with them.

Saggi Mon 11-Dec-17 10:11:27

My daughter and SIL are absolutely aceing child rearing...more patience than I had... more tolerance... more kindness even. I have learnt so much from them it’s incredible! They worry about the real stuff and don’t sweat stuff that doesn’t matter. When I turn up at their home the kids both shout “ hide the hairbrushes nanas here”. It bothers me that their hair is always untidy...but what the hell does it matter. They are clean , happy, well adjusted kids with untidy what.??! My 19 year old grandson is a ‘ millionaire reader’ the only one in his school of six hundred pupils... he devours books ( no restrictions) and my granddaughter 5 is just started doing year 3 work. The small stuff doesn’t matter. Have you ever thought for one moment that their way COULD be better.

MinniesMum Mon 11-Dec-17 10:11:48

Better still, tell them what a cracking job they are doing as parents and give them praise. If they do encounter a problem they will then be probably be more likely to involve you in the solution.

Saggi Mon 11-Dec-17 10:12:43

Sorry folks that’s 9 year old grandson. Would be odd if I was chasing a 19 year old with a hairbrush???

wildswan16 Mon 11-Dec-17 10:15:21

Absolutely saggi. Thinking back, there are so many things I wish I had done differently, or better, or not at all. My children still grew up healthy and (although I say it myself), very nice people. Unless I saw my GC being physically or emotionally mistreated I would keep my mouth firmly shut.

SussexGirl60 Mon 11-Dec-17 10:16:52

I do give a little bit of very gentle and constructive advice occasionally but only if they’re obviously asking. Otherwise, I say nothing! It is hard especially when the other grandmother is the complete opposite. I do think it can potentially cause problems though and I know I didn’t want that when I was younger. Sometimes it’s just a feeling of not being able to vent our own views that is as much of a problem I think..when I feel like that I try to distract myself!?

David1968 Mon 11-Dec-17 10:17:25

DH & I often have to keep quiet, but I remind myself that DGC are well, loved, healthy, cared-for, bright, sociable, articulate, thoughtful, kind, well-mannered (mostly!) and happy. And that's what matters.

Saggi Mon 11-Dec-17 10:17:36

Here, here Minniesmum. Let them do it their way unless of course you see your Gkids in danger! I wait til I’m asked before offering advice , just help them to ....DO IT THEIR WAY.

annifrance Mon 11-Dec-17 10:17:50

Your house your rules. Their house their rules. Live up to you name.

Barmeyoldbat Mon 11-Dec-17 10:20:50

Had the same problem with mine, hated the lax, laid back way the gc were raised but I just kep my mouth shut, their house, their rules. But when they came to stay at weekends etc it was understood my house rules and the gc bless them just accepted it, they even use to tell any friends they brought along, nanny has rules especially at the table.

Kathcan1 Mon 11-Dec-17 10:21:08

I like you have to visit my family and stay over because of the distance involved. They're not your children, you do not have responsibility for their discipline or behaviour their parents do. Unless they are in danger I wouldn't interfere, this way I can enjoy my time with my family diminished of all responsibility and thanking the lord above I don't have to deal with it rightly or wrongly, they do.

luluaugust Mon 11-Dec-17 10:21:21

I thought right from the start that I mustn't interfere as I had seen the terrible problems it caused with older members of the family all trying to tell each other how to live. Keep quiet and enjoy them, if you can do that successfully you might find you are actually asked about some problem or other. Of course if they are in your house I think you can mention if you don't want every cushion on the floor or all the cupboards emptied as an afternoon's entertainment!

GoldenAge Mon 11-Dec-17 10:24:42

In their house you have to accept that their way of life and bringing up children is their affair. If on the other hand, the children are behaving badly as a result and cause you difficulties when they are in your house you have a perfect right to say what standards (if it's standards you're talking about) you expect. If it's just a question of spoiling them forget it, but if it's a matter of letting them run riot and they do that in your home you should say. That said you don't say they visit you so while you're in their home "mum's the word"!

henetha Mon 11-Dec-17 10:29:12

Just remember that every generation is different,- and things certainly are very different theses days. And remember how we felt when our children were young, - I hated it if my parents or in-laws interfered.
Try to let it all flow over you; not always easy but vital if you want to keep a good relationship.

lesley4357 Mon 11-Dec-17 10:34:04

Same here SAGGI - my 6yo gd has ginger blonde curls down to her waist, only brushed after washing it. My hands itch to get the brush out! My dd says she has 'rock star hair which doesn't need brushing ?

Albangirl14 Mon 11-Dec-17 10:41:48

sometimes it is possible to help by suggesting a story or colouring or drawing or a walk to avert a problem time. For example before a meal when parents are cooking and the children are hungry or when they are just back from school and tired. If you look at what is causing the problem that helps to intervene before the lost tempers .

IngeJones Mon 11-Dec-17 10:46:38

I always get told off by the respective parents if I offer unasked advice. tbh I can't be bothered with the strife. If their way was right, then it's good I didn't say anything, if their way turns out to be wrong, the results are their problem not mine. I realise that for a grandparent who actually shares the care of a grandchild this may be harder, but in my case it's visits only, so I am just an onlooker and entertainer for a few days a month.

Teddy123 Mon 11-Dec-17 10:46:57

Say nothing. However you dress it up I'm afraid it will come over as criticism. Their children - their rules and methods. Just sit back and enjoy seeing them. It's not easy being a parent trying so hard to get it right .... but everyone's view of right is different!

Bibbity Mon 11-Dec-17 10:49:29

What are the parenting differences?

Can you give examples? Because of course while the default is to keep quiet if you believe her parenting could be harmful then maybe there is a way to offer safe and helpful suggestions kindly.