Most grandparents cherish the time they get to spend with their grandkids, volunteering to babysit or popping round to see them any chance they get – but what happens when your grandchildren don’t want to spend time with you?
One worried grandmother has found herself in that precise situation, revealing that her three young grandchildren, aged between four and nine, no longer want to spend time with their grandfather (her husband) because of his grumpy demeanour.
The worried woman, identified only as Philippa, took to online forum Gransnet to seek out advice on what to do, admitting she was upset that the lovely time she could be spending with her grandkids is being ruined by her husband’s attitude.
“H [husband] is so grumpy and tries to be the disciplinarian with them despite the fact that it’s clearly not our role,” she wrote.
“It’s got to the point now where it’s become one of the main sources of tension between H and me. Also the grandchildren often say they don’t want to be with him because of this.”
She went on to say that his grumpiness is causing a rift between them as they keep arguing about it, adding that she finds it easier to care for the children alone as it relieves the tension.
“I try and talk to him about it but he becomes so defensive and angry that it just ends in a huge fight,” she said. “I simply don’t know what to do. I often find it easier to be with the kids alone, without him, that way there is no tension.
“It’s so sad that this lovely time of our lives gets spoiled by his moods and lack of patience.”
Responses flooded in to the woman’s post, with many people offering advice on how to handle the tricky situation. Some suggested that she should try speaking to her husband about the upset he is causing.
One forum user said: “Tell him that as it causes rows he will have to be out when the grandchildren are there. He may be unhappy about it but the four of you will not, better one unhappy person than four.”
While another suggested finding her husband a pastime to keep him busy when the children are around: “I think quite a lot of older men are like that, grumpy and impatient with children, as the kids get older he will probably find them easier to do things with. If they are fighting I guess they are boys, one of my nieces has 3 in that age range they are terrors, no way would I have them. To keep the peace it is best if grandad has another pastime to occupy him, gardening, fishing, golf, DIY, anything.”
However others suggested that her husband has every right to be unhappy if the children are misbehaving in his home and ignoring his requests. One wrote: “Your husband is entitled to tell them to behave in your own home. Why should he be expected to put up with their rowdy behaviour if he doesn’t like it.
“I hate kids screaming and hollering and fighting is a complete no no. It’s doesn’t sound like a lovely time in your lives to me, either the kids are fighting or you and your husband are. Tell the kids their behaviour upsets grandad and makes him mad, that they need to stop fighting and arguing when he’s around. Maybe he’d have no reason to shout if they were better behaved and he might enjoy their company more if they were more pleasant to be around.”