Knowing how to walk the line between concerned parent and overbearing in-law is no easy task, especially when it comes to your children’s and grandkids’ welfare.
While most parents would balk at the idea of interfering in their child’s marriage, one grandmother has asked if it’s ever okay to stick your nose in after witnessing her daughter’s rollercoaster relationship with her husband.
Writing on online forum Gransnet, the woman explained that her son-in-law has a bad temper and can throw “a tantrum like a 3-year-old at times”.
After being privy to one of his meltdowns first-hand, the grandmother said she was left upset and worrying about the safety of her two grandsons, three and five, who often bare the brunt of his bad temper.
“I feel that if I witness this I can’t stand back and say nothing,” she wrote.
However, after raising the issue with both her daughter and son-in-law in the past, she was told to stay out it.
“He and my daughter say it is none of my business but I feel I have to protect these children.”
The complicated matter was met with plenty of responses from other grandparents, who were divided over whether or not it was appropriate to interfere.
“You can’t get in the middle of their marriage. EVER,” one woman wrote. “A parent should never get in the middle of an AC’s (adult child) relationship and an AC should never ask a parent to get in the middle.”
Another said: “I would have to say something, depending on what you mean by ‘taking it out’ on the children. I really couldn’t sit back and say nothing.”
The concerned grandmother conceded that her son-in-law adored his children, but his outbursts and shouting at them made it difficult for her to see past his temper.
She also worried that while her daughter was victim to many of the son-in-law’s tantrums, she may not realise how he treats the boys when she’s not around.
“She says she stands up to him when I’m not there but she’s not always there when I am to see how he behaves with the children,” she wrote.
“If my daughter is left in tears by his behaviour should I not support her?”
It’s a complicated situation many parents face when their child’s marriage doesn’t turn out to be the idyllic romance they’d hoped for. And while many would warn against interfering, there’s perhaps and time and a place for sticking your neck out and saying enough is enough.