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Grandparenting

What was your relationship like with your grandparents?

(97 Posts)
Artyfarty Wed 17-Jan-18 11:02:58

Mine was nothing like the relationship I have with my grandson. When we went to visit we were given a glass of milk and a biscuit and expected to keep quiet whilst the grownups chatted. There were no toys or books at either of their houses and I can’t remember much effort to engage with us at all!

MissAdventure Wed 17-Jan-18 11:22:24

I loved my Nan, and spent a lot of time with her when I was young. She only lived 6 doors away, so I would be told not to pester her, but I did anyway. She was much more lenient than my mum, and would make up songs with words like 'bum' in, which I thought was really daring and rude! smile

jusnoneed Wed 17-Jan-18 11:24:06

I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with my grandparents. My maternal grandmother looked after us when Mum and Dad were both at work and I also used to walk from school to her house for lunchtime. She (and my youngest aunt who is same age as myself) often came with us on days out and sometimes holidays.

My Dads parents were my go to's during all school holidays, if we broke up on Friday I was there on the Saturday and stayed until the day before we went back. They lived in a small village only 5 miles from where we lived but it was like being in a different world, loved it. They led a very simple life, never holidayed or went anywhere other then visiting local family. They had their house with a huge garden and even bigger orchard which was great for us as kids. No neighbours to worry lol.

Funnily there was another family who lived in the same town as us who's grandparents lived just across the road from mine. One of them did the same as me, while another sister often stayed for a week or so. With about a dozen village children we used to entertain ourselves all day.

MissAdventure Wed 17-Jan-18 11:34:29

My other Nan was quite different. She would sit with her coat on, saying "I'm not stopping". I don't remember interacting with her very much, really. I think she was of the 'children should be seen and not heard' school of thought.

paddyann Wed 17-Jan-18 12:15:12

we only had one grandparent ,my mothers mother .She lived with us and we would all fight to sleep in her room..and often all four of us would .The ghost stories were brilliant and mum would come charging upstairs when we started squealing and warn us ...including granny about getting to sleep.Granny was a suffragette so she had great stories to tell about that too and she was always my inspiration.She was widowed young so half her life was spent volunteering in politics ,doing "church stuff" and being with all her family...oh and she loved to dance so any dance in the Labour club or church hall she was there ,right up until she died she enjoyed her nights out with her sons and daughters .I always say if my GC have even a fraction of the happy memories of me that I have of Granny I'll be delighted .She was raised in Ireland and I heard so many stories about it that when I finally visited her home town in my fifties I felt like I'd gone home too

123flump Wed 17-Jan-18 12:29:46

I was very close to my granny, my mothers mother. She taught me to bake, took me to the cinema and days out. She was great fun and I stayed with her most weekends. She was great at telling stories.

hildajenniJ Wed 17-Jan-18 12:44:55

I loved my grandparents. We all lived in the same small market town, my maternal grandparents live in a house with a front room that used to be my Grandad's tailor's shop. In the back yard was a wash house with a boiler and poss tub with poss stick! Unfortunately my Nana developed dementia and died when I was 16, so I didn't really know the real Nana.
My paternal grandparents lived in a retirement village run by a charity on the edge of the town. We visited them every Saturday for afternoon tea. Granny had a biscuit box containing farm animals and a few books we could amuse ourselves with. She didn't buy sweets, so as a treat, we were given an egg cup with some brown sugar, and a mustard spoon to eat it with. We occasionally stayed with them during the holidays, a sleepover at Granny and Grandad's house was really special.

littleflo Wed 17-Jan-18 12:48:37

My Nan lived with us. She was 70 when I was born. She had already raised 11 kids of her own, so really did not want to be raising us as well. My mum worked and we were expected to play in the street or sit quietly. She had a real intolerance for book reading. She would tell us we were being lazy and to get on and do something. I don’t think she or my mum ever read a book.

My dad was the only one who played with us or took any interest.

goldengirl Wed 17-Jan-18 13:02:47

My mother and I visited her parents every day - or so it seemed! I was their only grandchild. My grandfather played games with me but my grandmother was a landlady and so was very busy. She did take me out occasionally when my parents were unavailable and was kind in her own way and I did enjoy helping with washing the bedlinen in a dolly tub and putting it through the mangle! She was also very caring [scared to death probably] when I was staying with her when my parents were away and I contracted polio - luckily no real damage at the time. As I grew older we had a love / hate relationship to the extent that she called me the 'rudest little girl she'd ever come across' when I took over the Christmas dinner one year in my early teens because she forgot to put the oven on. I did love playing with her workbox - she was an excellent seamstress and I know loved me in her own way.
My relationship with my own GC is somewhat similar I'm sorry to say. I love them dearly but they wear me out and I'm quite sharp with them on occasion. But we do have a lot of toys for them to play with which my grandparents never had and we do have long chats about all sorts of things so the situation is a little more relaxed.
Sadly I never knew my father's parents

Cherrytree59 Wed 17-Jan-18 13:16:11

Loved and adored my grandparents.
Although both sets lived quite a distance from us.
I spent wonderful holidays with them and they would also spend a few weeks at a time with us .

They were also dearly loved as
great grandparents.

Even today My Maternal grandmother is the voice of reason in my head.

When we became engaged my DH said that if we had fraction of what my grandparents had (he didn't mean money) we would be very happy.

I could wax lyrical about them all day longsmile

Nonnie Wed 17-Jan-18 13:27:18

My grandad lived with us and was a quiet, kind gentleman, quite the opposite of my bully of a father. I wonder how they managed to live in the same house as my father never bullied him like he did us.

GrandmaMoira Wed 17-Jan-18 13:37:40

My grandparents lived a long distance away and we saw both sets once a year. Mostly they stayed with us then though sometimes we stayed there. The motto "children should be seen and not heard" was strongly emphasised when the grandparents were coming and I was quite scared of them. I don't remember any play or interaction with them.

mollie Wed 17-Jan-18 13:38:21

Non-existent. They were alive and well but family discord meant that we had almost nothing to do with either set (and both sides were divorced). I realise now what an odd family I come from.

gillybob Wed 17-Jan-18 13:55:13

My relationship with my maternal grandparents was amazing. I loved them so much and still miss them terribly, especially my grandma who I looked after until she died in 2015 aged 99. In my eyes they were perfect and represented sheer love, warmth and security.

My grandparents didn't have a lot of money. My grandad was ill most of his/my life after contracting a tropical disease in the war. He was unable to work much so grandma did several jobs to make ends meet. I remember "babysitting" him when grandma was at work and how much fun we had together doing concerts, making things from wood, gardening, reading and making cakes and "his special recipe" toffee. My grandma used to shriek at the mess in the kitchen but grandad used to say "Oh never mind the mess mother, the bairns are enjoying themselves" ( I bet she could have thumped him) . Happy days. smile

Fennel Wed 17-Jan-18 14:00:25

We lived with my mother's parents during the war, and Dad's parents were just down the road, so I often saw them too.
Saturday tea was with PGPs (the whole family) and Sunday tea at MGPs.
There was a lot of music in both sides of the family, always lots of people around - aunts uncles cousins etc. So not much individual attention.

tanith Wed 17-Jan-18 15:05:09

I have hardly any memory of my paternal grandparents they died when I was young and my maternal grandmother died when I was 9 but I do remember spending time in her tiny garden, I didn't see much of my grandad after she died so all in all not much of a relationship with any of them.

Floradora9 Wed 17-Jan-18 15:11:28

I only had one grandparent who had been deserted by her husband and left to raise 7 children by herself . The result was she had no interest in me I only remember her complaining about the noise I made . My DC loved their only grandmother and I think I could say the same of our DGC one of them tells me that anyway .

Greyduster Wed 17-Jan-18 16:05:16

I don’t remember my paternal grandparents, and there was an element of mystery about whether the person I knew as my grandmother was my mother’s birth mother or her step mother. I suspect the latter. My mother and I would make “duty” visits (my father never went near her for some reason never intimated to me) when she would grumble about the fact that I never wore a dress, and then proceed to ignore me or shoo me out into the yard. You pick up strange vibes as a child, and I always got the impression that she and my mother did not have the best of relationships. I didn’t have the curiosity at that age, or when I was older, to pursue these matters through my older siblings. I wish I had asked more questions.

M0nica Wed 17-Jan-18 16:11:06

I adored my maternal Grandmother. I had several longish spells in hospital as a child and after the first spell, I spent a week staying with her, and I remember it as one of the happiest weeks of my childhood. So much so that a few years later after another long hospital stay I demanded that I spend a week with her as part of my convalescence. Sadly she died when I was 14. I am not sure what it was, but I think just the two of us were on the same wave length.

My paternal GM didn't really like my mother and that coloured her view of me as, in some ways, I am like her. My sister and I spent some of our school holidays living with her and other family members, and, with retrospect, I can see that I dwelt under a cloud as far as she was concerned. My GF we saw at meal times and, when we were occasional visitors, he would emerge from his study just before we left to go to his sweet jar and give us sweets (this was late 1940s, when sweets were on ration).

My DC loved all their DGPs, although DH's father was ill with Parkinsons and died when they were quite young. They often talk of them with love and remember happy times they spent with them.

Our 2 DGC love being with us and we talk and confide and do things together.

TwiceAsNice Wed 17-Jan-18 16:20:27

My paternal grandmother died when I was 14 and my grandfather before I was born. My father was the second youngest of 9 so she already had a lot of grandchildren when I was born and I never remember her makin much fuss of me. My father took me to visit her once a week but she just sat in a chair and hardly spoke to me. I never had any show of affection from her. However maternal grandparents lived nearer and I saw them often some weeks every day. My mother went back to work full time when I was in junior school and my nana would come down to be in the house when she went to work and look after my younger brother. They were both very loving and gave us lots of attention. She bought me a beautiful dolls pram when my brother was born so I had my own "baby" and taught me to knit when I was older. I remember they always drank their tea sweetened with condensed milk instead of cows milk and I always had some ( horrendous for teeth now I look back) I had a wonderful relationship with them as my brother and I were their only grandchildren, my mother was an only child. I have lots of happy memories and also some memory of my great grandmother, a WW1 widow with lots of cats I was allowed to cuddle.

TwiceAsNice Wed 17-Jan-18 16:21:36

I am trying really hard to have the same close relationship with my own grandchildren and hope they remember me with the same affection when I'm no longer here

BlueBelle Wed 17-Jan-18 16:46:26

I saw my paternal grandparents every Sunday afternoon I played with my grans button box while the adults talked they had a lot of grandkids so I can’t profess to have had a close relationship my grandma didn’t do anything but sit in her chair and my granddad was usually down the garden with his pipe in his mouth
My maternal grandparents were like a mum and dad I adored them I was their only grandchild and did everything with them my mum and dad both worked full time and now when I talk to old school friends they all remember my Nan . My grandad died when I was 15 and I went to live with Nan to keep her company until I left home When she got old I took her to live with us it wasn’t easy as she had dementia

BlueBelle Wed 17-Jan-18 16:48:00

Sounds like very similar stories twiceasnice

Fennel Wed 17-Jan-18 17:04:02

"I could wax lyrical about them all day long smile"
Me too about mine, Cherrytree

lizzypopbottle Wed 17-Jan-18 17:33:08

When we visited my maternal grandparents we spent most of our time sitting on the crossbars underneath the big table in the kitchen. This was a different room from the back kitchen, by the way. The big mantle clock would tick and the adults would chat for a while then, one by one, they'd all fall asleep 😵 It was so boring! My nanna always removed her false teeth and put them in her apron pocket before dropping off but my grandad never bothered so his top set always dropped down as he snored, which we found fascinating and hilarious.

I loved my grandad but my nanna was a bigoted woman. She was always holding forth about people of different race or religion and her words stick in my mind even now. I won't deny that when my grandad confirmed to me (quite spontaneously one day) that I wasn't pretty, like my two sisters, but I was 'attractive' (which, he reassured me, would last longer) I was naturally devastated. I think I grew up a bit that day. I didn't develop a chip on the shoulder about it, fortunately, and the fact is, he was right! 😀😀😀 Eek! Hope neither sister is on here reading this!