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Roughly what age do you assume someone is a child’s grandparent?

(119 Posts)
NQismyhome Tue 23-Jan-18 12:30:05

The third person, in approx three months, has assumed the children I’m looking after are my grandchildren.
I’m 38.
I know I’m being overly sensitive and I’m working at not being bothered by it - especially as there is a definite pattern forming so I’m likely to hear it more in the future!!
Whilst it’s biologically possible, in my head I’m still 24 so the idea of someone thinking I’m a grandma is ridiculous!!
I’m useless at guessing people’s ages so would never assume anyone was the child’s parent/grandparent but wondering what other’s think.

Iruka Tue 23-Jan-18 12:35:15

My job involves establishing the relationship between adults and children. I always start by asking the adults if they are the parents even if it is pretty obvious they are grandparents and I new train new staff to do the same. People are rarely offended that way and not the other way.

NataliaOsipova Tue 23-Jan-18 12:39:34

Depends on context. Maternal age seems to bifurcate - in some communities, you're more likely to be 20, in others (think professional women in London), you're more likely to be 40. So there are huge variations.....

bluechameleon Tue 23-Jan-18 12:39:56

I try not to make any assumptions but I suppose my gut feeling wpuld be someone who looked older than mid 40s with a baby? People have babies at such different ages it is hard to tell. My mum once got into conversation with a woman at an appointment for my son. They were approx the same age but the other woman was the great grandma of the baby.

Johnnycomelately1 Tue 23-Jan-18 12:40:49

For a child aged 2 or under, I’d assume GP if over 45. However, I’d probably err on the side of caution until I was sure they were 50+, a bit like when someone asks you to guess their age and you always knock at least 5 years off what you really think.

MrsHathaway Tue 23-Jan-18 12:41:29

At our primary school there are a lot of "older" parents - that is, people who had their first child at 35-40 - so there are parents in their late forties, and grandparents tend to be 60+. I would only assume grandparent if they looked 50+, probably?

In schools and other environments where there are a lot of early-twenty-something parents a late-thirty-something would stick out as older than average and therefore possibly a generation older.

Perhaps you look far too chilled out to be their actual parents and they assume you look great for what they think your age is grin I'd struggle to take it as anything but an insult, though, I'll be honest (mid-thirties).

I wonder why they don't assume you're the childminder or nanny, if they don't think you look the right age to be the parent.

MikeUniformMike Tue 23-Jan-18 12:43:16

Maybe you look calm and not a stereotype 'harassed mum', or maybe you seem to be kind and twinkly towards your DC. Maybe your DC are well-behaved. Could be lots of reasons.

CuppaTeaTime2 Tue 23-Jan-18 12:44:10

Do you look older than your age? I would definitely not assume someone who is 38 was a child's grandparent. 50s and older, I think then I would assume grandparent.

inlectorecumbit Tue 23-Jan-18 12:44:16

Last week l was genuinely asked if i was DGD's mum.Okay so l look young for my age (always have) and l was wearing a hat but l am mid 50's. He was taken aback when l said l was not her DM but l certainly danced on air out of the surgery. grin
I used to get mistaken for DD1's big sister....

Notasperfectasallothermners Tue 23-Jan-18 12:44:36

When I am out with ds 3 and dgs 2 people are confused. I am 46. I never assume anything!!

CuppaTeaTime2 Tue 23-Jan-18 12:44:48

As Mike said too- are you very relaxed with your children? That may give a grandparent vibe.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Tue 23-Jan-18 12:45:48

Do these people know your age? Or are they guessing? If I knew someone was 38 I'd assume parent, but if I had to guess their age... iyswim.

GiveMyHeadPeaceffs Tue 23-Jan-18 12:48:31

I was 42 when I had my ds so I would never automatically assume someone in 40's or 50's is a grandparent.

I reckon, OP, that some people just aren't particularly observant and they say the first thing that pops into their head. smile

CaraBosse1 Tue 23-Jan-18 12:50:14

Last week l was genuinely asked if i was DGD's mum

I knew there'd be at least one ...

EsmeeMerlin Tue 23-Jan-18 12:50:27

I would not make assumptions either way. There are young grandmothers out there, my own nan was 37 when I was born, and my mum only 40 when I had my son. I would not take it to heart, maybe you look really relaxed they think you have been there done that before.

whattoweartomorrow Tue 23-Jan-18 12:52:20

I assume grandparents are in their 60s or 70s, but I once had an embarrassing near-miss with a colleague who was in his early 60s and brought what I thought was his granddaughter to work for an afternoon during midterm break. She was about 8, and sat quietly in a corner colouring, and I was seconds away from saying 'oh are you X's granddaughter?' when for some reason I caught myself and yes, turns out she was his daughter from his second marriage (he also had a son from his first who I had heard him mention and knew to be late twenties)

So- never assume. But in the circles I move, I know lots of first time mothers in their early 40s so I definitely would assume mother/auntie until at least close to 60.

MikeUniformMike Tue 23-Jan-18 12:53:58

If I was out and about and didn't know them and needed to refer to the accompanying adult, I would say Mum or Dad, even if I thought it was a grandparent. This is out of politeness. I know people who had a child at 17 and people well into their 40s when they had a child, so best to hedge your bets.

Beaniebeemer Tue 23-Jan-18 12:57:35

My Dad was 49 when my daughter was born. He was always being asked about his “daughter” when out and about.

HazelBite Tue 23-Jan-18 12:58:12

My youngest nephew is 6 years old as is my oldest grandchild.
Ds4's girlfriend is a great-aunt, I would never assume when it comes to whether people are parents or grandparents.

Magicismagic Tue 23-Jan-18 12:58:36

It's tricky, I worked with a lady who was 37 when she became a grandma, she then had a surprise baby herself.
She looked after her daughter's child while she went to University so she had a double buggy with two babies in it who were quite close in age but to one she was mum and to the other she was grandma.
We lost touch after she had been left work for a while but I imagine her situation caused a lot of confusion.

CaraBosse1 Tue 23-Jan-18 13:00:13

OP - don't assume this will be the norm. I was 41 when DD was born and I remember, when she was a toddler, having about 3 or 4 people in a short space of time assume I was grandma. I won't lie, it did sting, however, I don't recall it happening since. She's 13 now and looks nothing like me so, when needs be, I announce that she's my daughter/ I'm mum before anyone can voice any assumptions.

Grumpbum Tue 23-Jan-18 13:00:49

I kept correcting our post woman that I’m not my 3 yr olds GM, I’ve given up now. I’m 38

gandalfspants Tue 23-Jan-18 13:03:11

MIL is young looking late 50s and people think DD is hers all the time.

(Step-)FIL is 50, DH is 38, FIL normally comes to swim class, that gets some funny looks when I turn up with DH occasionally.

Both my parents are 70, no confusion there.

My DM had me at 36 and everyone thought she was the GM. Different decade/area though.

I'd assume GP if someone looked over mid-40s for a baby, but I'd probably say 'mum' in the first instance unless they were obviously over 60.

NeilPetark Tue 23-Jan-18 13:04:00

I work with children so never assume! I remember once a father of a baby being very annoyed that everyone assumed he was the grandfather. He was 70.

whiskyowl Tue 23-Jan-18 13:07:11

I don't.

I am 40. I have two schoolfriends who are grandparents of 9 and 10 year olds. They are both great mothers. I have many schoolfriends who are parents of children the same age, too. I'm always really careful to comment on the cuteness of the child, never on their relationship to the accompanying adult.

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