It’s inevitable there will be times when you don’t agree with the way your children are bringing up their kids, but deciding on whether or not to say something about it can be tricky.
That’s the situation one woman has found herself in after watching her daughter spoil her grandchildren rotten. Posting in online forum Gransnet, the woman said she was annoyed at her daughter’s parenting style and quickly ignited debate among fellow grandparents.
The grandmother explained that her two granddaughters, aged 12 and nine, were both gifted £500 (AU$890, US$650) mobile phones — a gift she believes is far too extravagant given their ages.
“I love my family so much, and I’m blessed with two beautiful DGDs [darling granddaughters], but there is one thing I need to rant about, ” she wrote. “My DD [darling daughter] spoils the girls so much. Everything they want they get! Why [would] a nine-year-old need a [mobile phone] I don’t know.”
The grandmother said her daughter rarely says no to the girls’ requests and she worries they won’t learn that money is the result of hard work, not whinging.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love treating them myself, but I just think this is too much,” she wrote. “AIBU [am I being unreasonable] to be annoyed at my daughter for this? I can’t help but worry that the girls won’t learn the value of money.”
Readers were quick to reply, advising the woman she wasn’t being unreasonable, but warned “it’s one of those issues where you have to bite your tongue”.
“I agree, it’s far too much, but times are indeed different and it’s your daughter’s choice, so best to say nothing about it,” one commentator wrote. Another added, “Life isn’t as simple as it once was, I’m sure their mother understands that and acts accordingly.”
However, other readers slammed the woman for complaining. “Not your business! Not your children. How would you have felt if your mom or MIL [mother-in-law] had criticised you?”
According to Ruth Nemzoff, the author of Don’t Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships with Your Adult Children, parents are in charge when it comes to their children, so in most cases, grandparents should defer to them, even if their parenting approach is different.
On the other hand, some grandparents believe that children nowadays need more discipline. A recent study has found that three in five grandparents believe that today’s parenting styles are worse than when they were raising their own children. In fact, The Australian Seniors Series: Raising Modern Australia survey details some very interesting results. More than half of the 1,000 grandparents surveyed believe their grandkids are going to be less capable, self-sufficient, and resilient adults than their parents.