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Why are grandparents so soft?

(15 Posts)
toptramp Sat 20-Oct-12 21:46:05

Just out of interest. My dad is lovely with my dd but will often openly disagree with how I parent saying I am too harsh on her. Being harsh includes telling her off etc. She basically has him wraped around her little finger which I don't mind but I do get annoyed when he lets her run rings around him and expects me to do the same.
When mum was alive she tried to feed dd coca cola hmm. She was a lovely nanny. I juts think that grandparents have forgotten how tiring and stressful being a parent is and don't get it when we tell their adorable grandchildren off.

Stellarella123 Sat 20-Oct-12 21:50:05

Yes my parents are the same! Drives me mad, even after me saying no way to coca cola they still give my dd it, saying its just a wee treat! Then I have to deal with dd expecting to get her Own way
With me!

CailinDana Sat 20-Oct-12 22:55:01

They have all the love that you have for your children, without the drudgery, so their view of things is totally different. Where you see a potentially long-term problem that needs to be nipped in the bud, they see a cute one-off behaviour that is hardly worth mentioning. You know that you'll have to put up with it forever while they'll only have to see it once or twice. On top of that, I think sometimes they have a perspective that we don't have as parents, being that bit more removed from the situation and having less responsibility. I know my own mother thinks she was too strict with us as children (she was a fucking awful parent if I'm honest) and so is very indulgent with my DS because she just doesn't see the point any more in discipline. When you're a parent you feel such responsibility and everything seems important, once you're a grandparent I think you see the bigger picture and realise the child colouring on the wall at age 4 will be a big lad going to university in the blink of an eye, so why stress? You see infuriating bad behaviour, they see something that reminds them of their own children, something endearing that they know you will actually treasure and miss one day.

Open disagreement with how you parent is not on, it's very undermining and disrespectful. That said, it might be worth asking them why they think you're so harsh - they might have some insights for you that are actually worth knowing.

moajab Sun 21-Oct-12 00:16:56

It's worth remembering that one day your DD will have children and then you can get your revenge! grin as i regularly tell my children after a visit from/with softie grandparents!

PervyMuskrat Sun 21-Oct-12 00:27:52

Cailin, good post!

TheSilverPussycat Sun 21-Oct-12 00:47:20

Surely it's in the GP Code of Practice to be a bit soft? And to gang up on the middle generation? I am only an honorary nana so far so haven't got my official copy yet wink

Yes, they are remembering their children - you and your siblings when you were your own children's age smile And, as the GC grow old enough, the GP's will be remembering a third set of childhoods, their own smile

CathynotClaire Sun 21-Oct-12 00:50:52

What Cailin said. I indulge my friends small children because I now realise that some stuff just doesn't matter. I also wish I'd been more relaxed lenient when my DC was young as that time goes so quickly.

toptramp Sun 21-Oct-12 10:18:36

I agree because drawing on the wall and pulling all the stuff out of the cupboards dosn't matter if you are the one who dosn't have to clean up after them! For me it's not the child that infuriates me ; it's the mess that she creates and the drudgery accompanioed to clear up that mess. Untidyness isn't a big deal but spillages, crumbs and stains have to be dealt with and there's a lot of them!

Startailoforangeandgold Sun 21-Oct-12 10:38:18

And I have the opposite problem. My DDad will be just a short and snappy with my DDs as he is was with me.

Modern children are cheekier than we were with adults, it causes grief.

Mainly with DH, who, however strict and shouty himself, is very protective of the girls.

The DDs themselves actually manage perfectly well and really don't mind.

greenbananas Sun 21-Oct-12 12:29:36

I love the way that MIL deals with my 4 year old DS. She lets him get away with all sorts of treats, and is not 'authoritarian' at all, but she still draws the line in what I consider to be a sensible place (e.g. you must do your teeth, we don't jump on the new sofa etc.)

Experience tells, I think. She doesn't pick pointless battles about behaciour that doesn't matter. However, DS does absolutely everything she says without arguing, because she reasons/manipulates him into thinking it was his idea in the first place. I have learned a lot by watching her with him!

FIL, on the other hand, picks utterly pointless battles, then tells DS he is a "naughty boy and Grandpa doesn't like naughty boys". Nobody could accuse him of being soft!!! - yet DS is much more obedient and well-behaved with MIL.

Alameda Sun 21-Oct-12 12:33:33

I think, as greenbananas says, because you have learned the hard way which battles are worth fighting. It's the benefit of all those years of being a parent, decades of discovering that you only need to worry about the stuff that actually matters?

WaitingForMe Sun 21-Oct-12 12:46:54

What amuses me is the way they can hold contradictory views. So DH and I are a bit too strict (the boys are well behaved). Lots of children are too disrespectful/badly behaved (that is the fault of lenient parents).

I think we're meant to have magically well behaved kids that we aren't strict with. Anyone who has managed that PLEASE let the rest of us know!

toptramp Sun 21-Oct-12 20:31:23

I feel a bit sad because my friend's mum was speaking to me about how happy she was that her son's baby stayed over night at 4 months old without mum and dad.
Mum and dad never did that for me as I was breastfeeding. I did stay at their house for a few months when dd was tiny and that was lovely of them but they would never offer to babysit so I could have a break. They just had the excuse that they never went out when we were little.
My dad is lovely in so many ways but I do feel kind of sad that he is soft with dd etc but hardly ever has her over for a sleepover or never offers to babysit and if he does he won't do it past 10.
I guess it isn't his job to be a sitter but it sometimes feels like he can afford to offer parenting 'advice' but dosn't really want to sit dd.
He does pay for piano lessons which is more than generous so musn't grumble.

LaCiccolina Sun 21-Oct-12 20:37:48

Isn't the whole point that they are grandparents?! If they were parenting, they'd be the parents. But they are parents of you, not the grandchild.

Your still their dd. hence why they correct/tell u wot to do but indulge the grandchild because really what else are they for?

Odd thread....

ILoveSparklers Sun 21-Oct-12 20:45:35

My parents are the same. Drives me up the wall...

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