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Why I Can’t Parent Like a Grandparent

Posted on Posted in Blog, Parenting's Not Easy

Why I Can’t Parent Like a Grandparent

Does your mama offer advice or suggestions? Mine does, all the time.  I get it. It’s a mama thing.  What mama can’t help but offer a “You know what you should do….’ when they see their child running up against a brick wall – over and over again.  And my mama does give good advice, so I do take it – most of the time.
Like when I tell her when I bake cakes they fall out of the pan in crumbles and she tells me to make sure I grease the pan really well before I put in the cake batter, I listen.  Or if I call her and complain I am always running behind in the morning and she tells me how she used to do me and my sisters’ hair and iron our clothes at night to have more morning time, I listen.  But, when she gives me advice about how to parent the kiddos, aka grandkids to her, hard-headed behavior…sometimes I don’t listen.
Grandparents are just that, Grand-parents.  They parent with an eye that is all understanding, an eye that has the patience of Job.  My parents have somehow have lost the ability they had when I was little to say ‘no, you can’t have that’.  Or, ‘no, you don’t need that’. All those no’s must lead to one big yes decades later because that’s all my kiddos hear.  It doesn't help that the kiddo’s grandparents are unlike mine.  My grandmother’s had no cars, no license.  Our kiddos? They have grandparents who travel out of town a few times a year and they include the kiddos in at least one of those trips.  With paid off houses and cars and thirty years of retirement money coming in every month, they have the ability to buy the kiddos the gadgets and toys they beg for as they make their way to the checkout counter. When I used to ask for that stuff growing up I got lessons on how hard it was to make a dollar. 
  • So when I make the mistake of complaining to the grandparents, ahem… my mama in particular, about the kiddos hard-headed behavior and I hear the following:
  • They didn't mean to do it I am sure.
  • They probably didn't understand the consequences of their actions.
  • Well, when they called me they explained _____________ (insert any lame excuse/lie/exaggerated truth a child would make).
  • I saw this child psychologist on ________________ (insert any major network news program) and they said when you have that problem you should just….
  • Well, you know she is her mama’s child? (I hate this one the most)
When I hear stuff I like this I slowly start uttering enough ‘uh-huhs’ until they lead me like a trail of bread crumbs to the end of the conversation.  It’s not that I don’t have any patience or that I don’t understand that the kiddos will and do have their own growing pains.  I do. But, I've also learned that it’s not wise  to take advice from someone under the trance of grandparent manipulation. Grandparents are completely oblivious to the manipulative magnetic force that draws them in first with wide pleading eyes on a face that resembles the sweet face of their now grown up child. I on the other hand am not as quick to be manipulated.  My memory of the same sweet face crying loud enough for the neighbors to hear because they didn't want to wear the shirt I picked out is all too fresh.



How do you do with grandparent’s child rearing advice?




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