Gransnet forums


Worried for grandkids!

(47 Posts)
CathyG Sat 19-Mar-22 09:24:06

I’m a granny to two great wee girls age 5 and 3. But I’m worried about my daughters parenting and would appreciate any advice.

It all just seems very chaotic eg
• Lack of consistency
• Poor boundaries
• Shouting/yelling at kids when not doing what they’re told
• Bargaining eg you can’t get/do this till you do that.
• Too many sweeties/treats.
• Sweets before dinner, so dinners not eaten.
• Pizzas and other processed food with little nutritional value.

My daughter’s a stay at home mum during the week and works in a retail job at weekends when dad looks after the girls.
Me and my husband help out a fair bit and see them regularly.
My daughter loves her kids to bits, absolutely no doubt about that and she and her husband (who works long hours) have a good relationship.
But I just feel the kids deserve better. And I’m not sure what (if anything) I can do to help the situation.
I’ve tried to offer guidance or suggestions but have been quickly put in my place, so I’m afraid of saying anything now in case my daughter withdraws from me.
She’s doesn’t take kindly to suggestions about anything, not just the kids. I think she just sees it all as criticism and judgement.
Our relationship is good despite this but it’s crystal clear that there has to be no suggestion of any kind or else!
I feel bad writing this but I’ve no one I can honestly talk to about it. I’m also just sad and worried.
Should I just accept and say nothing as my daughter is closed to any advice or suggestions anyway. And just enjoy my grandkids when they’re with us.
Sad and worried!

Doodledog Sat 19-Mar-22 09:25:42

Should I just accept and say nothing as my daughter is closed to any advice or suggestions anyway. And just enjoy my grandkids when they’re with us.
That sounds like a good plan to me. smile

Grannybags Sat 19-Mar-22 09:28:31

I agree with Doodledog

Chewbacca Sat 19-Mar-22 09:41:37

Another one here agreeing with Doodledog. You've already identified that your daughter is closed to any advice or suggestions anyway so forcing the issue will make her close down further.

Lucca Sat 19-Mar-22 09:44:21

Surprised you need to ask !

Luckygirl3 Sat 19-Mar-22 09:51:35

Of course you say nowt - unless active cruelty is taking place.

I am surprised you got away with saying anything!

If you are asked advice ....... that is an entirely different matter. Otherwise zip the lip.

luluaugust Sat 19-Mar-22 09:53:36

I also agree, you will probably get nowhere and just find you see a lot less of them. They sound happy and well cared for and it seems to come down to your perception of what they eat. This is partly a generational thing, I was at home and cooked from scratch most days, vast numbers of people just don't do this now. Sweets were a treat where as now parents either seem to ban them completely or they are there in the tin for anytime of day. Many grans will tell you that they find the family life of the GC chaotic, I do wonder if we forget all the juggling and negotiation that went on as we age. Does the yelling and shouting work?

karmalady Sat 19-Mar-22 09:55:49

you had your turn when you became a new mum cathyg. Time now to sit back, look away and not be critical of your daughter and her husband.

JaneJudge Sat 19-Mar-22 09:58:14

A 5 & a 3 year old will be hard work if you looking after them all day and all the holidays alone and then working split shifts with your husband. I imagine the shouting and bargaining is because the Mum and Dad are both tired smile

I really wouldn't worry about it too much.

Zoejory Sat 19-Mar-22 09:59:35

Don't be sad. Don't worry.

Should I just accept and say nothing as my daughter is closed to any advice or suggestions anyway. And just enjoy my grandkids when they’re with us

Absolutely smile

Kate1949 Sat 19-Mar-22 10:02:29

Sounds pretty normal to me. I wouldn't dream of interfering.

Babyshark Sat 19-Mar-22 10:28:45

Mum is that you? grin
You get through the early years however you can. Mind your own business.

nanna8 Sat 19-Mar-22 10:34:56

The thing is you are not there 24/7 so it could be that things are different when you are not around. Hate to say it but they are her children, not yours. Enjoy being a grandparent and stand back.

ElaineI Sat 19-Mar-22 10:38:45

Sounds totally normal. Your DD is not a stay at home Mum - she is a working Mum if she works weekends. Stay at home mums don't work. So they are a busy active normal family.
Say nothing and keep helping out. They will appreciate that more.

BlueBelle Sat 19-Mar-22 10:45:19

No you can’t do anything her ways are different to yours
Many many mums see their children using different methods or not using any methods but as long as the children are happy clean and have loving parents and a roof over their heads and food in their bellies you need to accept her ways are not your ways
Enjoy them and stop suggesting

Erica23 Sat 19-Mar-22 10:56:25

No there’s nothing you can do but boy is it frustrating ! Our three year old dgs came to visit last week, they were staying for tea. As soon as he came through the door he asked for ice cream, I explained that their meal would be ready in 5 minutes, he immediately broke down in tears went running in the lounge to tell mum,my dil.
Dil came in the kitchen and asked if he could have one.I had to smile sweetly and say of course. Not a scrap of dinner was eaten.

JenniferEccles Sat 19-Mar-22 11:19:34

Some rather harsh comments on here I feel.
Although I agree that the only option is to keep quiet unless our opinion is sought, a bit of sympathy wouldn’t go amiss surely?

At our age we have experience of child rearing and it can be hard to watch and see where, in our opinion, the parents are going wrong, yet knowing that any suggestions wouldn’t go down well!

I think the points CathyG made about the childrens’ diet, lack of consistency with boundaries and continually being shouted at would alarm most grandparents wouldn’t it?

Having said that of course the important thing is to not annoy the parents with unwanted advice, hard though that is!

I expect the children are fed healthier, more nutritious food when they are with you, with fewer sweets, and less shouting, so you are doing your bit that way!

MawtheMerrier Sat 19-Mar-22 12:45:40

I have to smile because I think we were pretty strict with our three when they were growing up.
Now I have become an indulgent granny who would happily force-feed my GC ice cream or pizza if I felt like it and will happily adjust differing likes and dislikes in my meal planning whenever they visit.
My three daughters on the other hand are much stricter - no sweets or snacks before meals, finish what is on your plate if you want pudding, ask to get down from the table etc
Perhaps I did something right all those years ago - but ssssh! What happens at Granny’s , stays at Granny’s grin

Skydancer Sat 19-Mar-22 12:52:34

There isn't a lot you can do. But you can obviously ensure that the children have good food when they are with you. You could also make a little joke about the shouting. For instance, if someone on TV shouts, you could smile and say something like oh dear, more shouting - as if it was normal. It's very difficult and most of us grans can understand how you feel. Just do what you can when you can. I was brought up in a household where smacking and sarcasm were normal and it took me years to realise it wasn't like that everywhere. The children will grow up well-adjusted I'm sure as they know they are loved.

H1954 Sat 19-Mar-22 12:54:21

If, as to say, your daughter is against any suggestions you make when you visit her house then, to avoid rocking the boat in your relationship I agree with other comments.

However, remember, 'your house, your rules'. So, in the event that they visit you and throw a tantrum for sweets/ice cream before a meal, don't refuse it, ignore the demand for it and just create a diversion......." come along dinner is nearly ready, can you help me set the table?"

I would be worried though, n your situation, if the children were shouted at regularly and lack in nutrition, that's simply storing up problems for later years.

sodapop Sat 19-Mar-22 13:02:45

Different parenting styles CathyG it's always difficult if you have concerns but bite your tongue. Can you give the children fruit & veg etc when they visit you so they get a taste for it. Lead by example with the shouting etc. The main thing is that your grandchildren are loved by their parents and you, other things are secondary.

Pumpkin82 Sat 19-Mar-22 14:08:44

Unless you live with them, I think it’s impossible for you to judge. You see snapshots of their lives only, and parents often are more on edge around their own parents for fear their parenting is being judged. Maybe your DD panics about them playing up when you are there so shouts etc.

Unless you have genuine abuse/neglect/welfare concerns, leave it be.

VioletSky Sat 19-Mar-22 14:22:06

"she just sees it all as criticism and judgement"

I'm sorry but it is

This is a hard working family that love their children as you said yourself.

Let them parent their way, you grandparent your way (within their rules) and leave it there or you may put a strain on your relationship that breaks it

DillytheGardener Sat 19-Mar-22 14:34:14

Sounds like a normal, busy family to me. I worked and was exhausted getting home to two noisy fussy boys, and would feed them pizza/chicken nuggets on occasions where I was too tired to fight them eating food they would take against.
I also was guilty at shouting and bargaining.
My son has the luxury of being a part time stay at home dad as dill makes good money, and he even made home made organic baby food, but when gc starts nursery and son starts working full time freelancing again, I imagine there will be a quick descent into chaos, it can’t be helped when both parents work full time and children have so many outside activities.

Kate1949 Sat 19-Mar-22 15:18:54

Our daughter never considered it any of our business how she brought her child up. She occasionally asked for advice which we gladly gave but apart from that we kept out of it. She did an amazing job.