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Husband and I have very different style as grandparents

(37 Posts)
Philippa60 Thu 27-Sep-18 15:11:58

We see a lot of our 3 GCs who live close by (aged 4.5-9.5).
I am generally patient, very warm and loving with them. H on the other hand is so grumpy and tries to be the disciplinarian with them despite the fact that it's clearly not our role.
It's got to the point now where it's become one of the main sources of tension between H and me.
Also the GCs often say they don't want to be with him because of this.
I try and talk to him about it but he becomes so defensive and angry that it just ends in a huge fight.
I simply don't know what to do.
I often find it easier to be with the kids alone, without him, that way there is no tension.
It's so sad that this lovely time of our lives gets spoiled by his moods and lack of patience.
I am just venting really but if anyone has any advice I'd love to hear it!

JudyJudy12 Thu 27-Sep-18 15:20:19

Tell him that as it causes rows he will have to be out when the grandchildren are there. He may be unhappy about it but the four of you will not, better one unhappy person than four.

wildswan16 Thu 27-Sep-18 15:22:42

On your other thread you describe how you disagree with your daughter as to how to discipline the children. You now appear to also disagree with your husband about how to interact with the children.

I'm sure you only want the best for them, but perhaps need to find a middle ground somewhere.

Philippa60 Thu 27-Sep-18 15:55:59

I basically disagree but manage to keep it to myself. H disagrees but cannot behave nicely and kindly with them. It's more about HOW he interacts with them, he shouts and on occasions can even grab them roughly to pull them apart when the kids are fighting. He's not actually violent, but aggressive for sure.
I find that I have to play "good cop" to his "bad cop" all the time.
It's so hard

ninathenana Thu 27-Sep-18 16:02:06

"pull them appart when they are fighting" shock

FlexibleFriend Thu 27-Sep-18 16:23:01

Are they fighting in your home or their own? Your husband is entitled to tell them to behave in your own home. Why should he be expected to put up with their rowdy behaviour if he doesn't like it. I hate kids screaming and hollering and fighting is a complete no no. It's doesn't sound like a lovely time in your lives to me, either the kids are fighting or you and your husband are. Tell the kids their behaviour upsets grandad and makes him mad, that they need to stop fighting and arguing when he's around. If you put up with it that's up to you. Maybe he'd have no reason to shout if they were better behaved and he might enjoy their company more if they were more pleasant to be around.

gmelon Thu 27-Sep-18 17:27:35

Completely agree with you,

Situpstraight1 Thu 27-Sep-18 17:31:43

I think that discipline in your house should be set by you.

In the children’s house it is set by their Parents.

If they are fighting then I’m not surprised he’s cross about it, if you aren’t allowed to discipline them whilst they are at yours then maybe they should be with you less often?

Diana54 Thu 27-Sep-18 18:07:56

I think quite a lot of older men are like that, grumpy and impatient with children, as the kids get older he will probably find them easier to do things with. If they are fighting I guess they are boys, one of my neices has 3 in that age range they are terrors, no way would I have them.
To keep the peace it is best if grandad has another pastime to occupy him, gardening, fishing, golf, DIY, anything.

bama2U Fri 28-Sep-18 02:17:49

My husband is the same. Bad tempered, shouts if he considers they are misbehaving and even hit our eldest who has quite challenging behaviour. I was horrified at his outburst and now try to see them on my own or they visit with parents. I have probably over analysed H behaviour but think he is jealous of the GCs. just after our eldest GS was born my H withdrew from all intimacy with me. My DS and DIL excuse H's behaviour as artistic temperament. I am not so forgiving. We moved house to be nearer to and involved with the GCs and I want to enjoy being with them and for them to feel safe and happy when they are with us.
My advice to you Philippa 60 is to try hard to find a common ground between OH and GCs - animals, nature, model building, painting, writing a storybook, gardening, cooking, maybe he could take the eldest GC shopping, both mine love to have a shopping list and go round supermarket with basket and their own list. Try and keep the children occupied some large A2 sheets of paper and pens will fire their imagination. Our GCs love playing shop, a shop each of course, they spend hours doing signs, setting out their wares, counting money ( real money is fun). They always help with lunch or dinner especially the serving . Try and take the GCs out for exercise and leave H to rest for a couple of hours. Another suggestion is to have the children separately at times, one child and the lack of boisterous behaviour might help H bond with each in turn.
My H's relationship with the boys has improved but like you I am always on edge. will never trust him alone with the GCs. Unfortunately his attitude has caused a big rift between us but having thought long and hard about our relationship think the rift has always been there.
My next bit of advice is try hard to sort the problem between H and GCs , concentrate on the qualities you love about your H or like me you might find yourself contemplating divorce. Drastic step after many years of marriage but I see my H as a man who has cultivated lots of time consuming hobbies so he can use his artistic talents to withdraw from normal life and excuse his eccentricities and temper tantrums.

Starlady Fri 28-Sep-18 08:39:45

Phillippa, Iv read both your threads, and I'm still not sure what you're calling "lack of discipline." If it's just long hours on electronics, imo, that's up to the parents. If the kids are being rude to you and h, etc., you have every right to object. Also, I think if they're doing something in your home that you don't like, such as jumping on your furniture, you can certainly take the "grandma's (or grandpa's) house..." approach.

I don't blame h for wanting to step in when the kids are fighting, especially if they're getting physical. But if it's in their home or the parents are present, it's the parents' job to discipline them, not h's. If you're babysitting, imo, then he can say/do something. Imo, when one is watching someone else' kids, discipline becomes part of one's role, at least a little. He may need to find a better way though.

Also, if he tries to discipline your gc when the parents are there, THEY need to speak up. You've tried, but to no avail, and it is really their call.

sodapop Fri 28-Sep-18 09:00:24

I think the children need to abide by your rules when they are at your house Phillipa
Fighting and unruly behaviour is not acceptable. I really don't understand this idea of it being the parents role to discipline the children if you are caring for them. Children need boundaries for several reasons including safety.
The way they are disciplined needs to be agreed by parents and grandparents to ensure continuity.
The idea if not having all the grandchildren at once or you taking them out for a while is a good one. It will reduce the stress levels for your husband.

Philippa60 Fri 28-Sep-18 09:36:04

Starlady: it's many things, not just the electronics. Let me give you an example. We are all together, just getting lunch ready, and the kids start whining that they want a chocolate bar, 10 minutes before the meal. We'd all say "you can have some chocolate after lunch", right? Well my daughter and SIL just give in immediately and then of course the kids don't want to eat, so they are bored at the table, and cause us to have an unpleasant meal....
See the kind of thing I mean?
So I just smile and try to ignore it but H goes mad and the tension begins.
I should add that H suffers from mild to moderate depression and is on medication for it. I've just found out that he hasn't been taking his pills (says he forgot) for the last week or so!
Thanks for letting me vent and for all the great advice.
This site is wonderful, so glad I found it

Philippa60 Fri 28-Sep-18 09:37:50

bama2U, it sounds like we are in similar situations, thanks for sharing with me. I wish you well and hope things improve. Thanks also for some really good suggestions.

muffinthemoo Fri 28-Sep-18 10:39:00

As a long term user of SSRIs, no way he forgot to take his pills for a week. The discontinuation effects make you feel somewhere between really bad and deathly. You don’t forget to take them once the comedown kicks in.

If he is attempting a cessation of his treatment without medical advice, this is extremely unwise.

Philippa60 Fri 28-Sep-18 11:46:17

He's on Wellbutrin, it's not an SSRI. I think he forgets quite often and I should have realized and asked him. The extra grumpiness should have been a giveaway....

muffinthemoo Fri 28-Sep-18 12:13:02

I have friends on Wellbutrin and they definitely report feeling really rough if they forget a dose. I think that might be part of the problem sad

sarahellenwhitney Fri 28-Sep-18 12:26:51

My MIL adored her GC They could do no wrong not so with FIl. He told me I was an irresponsible mother as it was clear MIL ruled the roost so he had to put the blame on someone. To keep the peace and as my MIL was always there for me when needed I knew when to keep quiet. It did not seem to bother my kids that granddad could frequently be 'grumpy' so that was the main thing.

Philippa60 Fri 28-Sep-18 12:29:11

Thanks muffinthemoo - I am kicking myself that I didn't check. I am sure he doesn't miss a dose intentionally, he's always very forgetful anyway.
He normally takes the pill in the morning after breakfast and I guess I need to remind him... although then I get accused of nagging. Can't win really.
Anyway today is already a better day.
There have been some brilliant suggestions on this thread and I really appreciate the support.
Just having the group here to share concerns with has made me feel less lonely - thank you all very much

oldbatty Fri 28-Sep-18 17:14:05

Maybe get one of those pill boxes with days of the week? He is not forgetting to take them, he is choosing not to.

BlueBelle Fri 28-Sep-18 17:21:53

Just put the pill out with his toast and coffee or whatever he has then you aren’t nagging him

Caro57 Sat 29-Sep-18 09:55:42

Can he see that if they are 'fighting' and he pulls them apart roughly he might appear to be condoning rough / aggressive behaviour......?

chelseababy Sat 29-Sep-18 09:57:52

Phillipa if you have an Alexa get her to remind him! I've set ours to remind OH...."Mr Chelseababy have you taken your tablet" - she pipes up every evening at 7!

quizqueen Sat 29-Sep-18 11:56:59

There seems to be a lot of inconsistency in discipline all round resulting in badly behaved children and that is what is really causing the problem. Ground rules should have been set and adhered to from the early days so you only have yourselves to blame for that failure!

How to proceed now....remove as much of the things as possible which are causing the problems when they are at yours so switch off the internet if you don't want them to be on devices all the time, have two of everything so there are fewer things to argue about, hide the snacks and only give them for good behaviour, provide lots of interesting and exhausting activities for rowdy boys (and girls) with lots of adult interaction, insist on good manners at the table or they can leave and be hungry until the next meal etc. It is your husband's home as much as yours so he should have equal say in what goes on when grandchildren are there.

JanaNana Sat 29-Sep-18 12:05:21

Your husband obviously sees something in their behaviour that warrants being the disciplinarian. Yes they are your grandchildren but this is your house. What they might be allowed to do/ get away with in their own homes is another matter.
You should be allowed to have your own ground rules within your own home.
We have seen similar threads to this in the past were the grandchildrens" behaviour becomes a bone of contention either between the grandparents themselves or between the grandparents and the children's parents.
Unless your husband is especially strict then he should be allowed to have an equal say in what happens ...after all this is his home too.