as my eldest dd approaches her teens I'm realising that I don't have a model on which to base my own parenting. my parents split when I was 13 and it really did alter my relationship with my mum. the whole "normal" kids/adult differentiation changed. we were friends in a way that I thing we wouldn't have been had dad stayed around. we were allies. I've never felt it until now - but suddenly I feel as if I'm in a family the structure of which I don;t quite recognise - and I'm unsure of my role, of how it's all supposed to work. I'm sure it will work, and I'm sure we'll muddle through - and, as dh says, everyone else will be muddling through too - it's not like everyone has a perfect model to follow and knows what to do. but I just wondered if anyone else feels a bit like this?
My own grandparents were useless in the main and my paternal grandmother was/is worse than useless. I won't go into details here, suffice to say wilful neglect and emotional abuse were her bag.
I find that now I have my own DS that the idea of a "grandparent" is one I struggle with. Sometimes I catch myself on doubting my own parents and PIL and almost projecting my fears from my own childhood onto our current situation.
My parents and ILs are great grandparents and love DS, so I have no real reason to fear.
I suppose, like you, I was used to the particular way I was raised, even if it was dysfunctional, so I struggle to understand or know how to react now.