Should I say something about my daughter’s parenting style?

Janice picks her granddaughter Chrissy up from kindy twice a week when her daughter is at her part time job.
Can grandparenting ever interfere with parenting?

Janice picks her granddaughter Chrissy up from kindy twice a week when her daughter is at her part time job. She thoroughly enjoys her time with her granddaughter as they do a lot of fun things together from games to storytelling to cuddling.

But as Janice spends more time with Chrissy, she starts to notice things that make her uncomfortable – Chrissy doesn’t finish her food most of the time and avoids all vegetables and uses coarse adult words.

“When I told Chrissy to finish her vegetables, she would tell me that her mother says it’s okay to not force yourself to eat,” said Janice.

“And one day as she was playing with my dog, I heard her say a “yucky” word.

“I asked her about that and she said that my daughter uses it around the house all the time and that’s why she thinks it’s okay to use such a word,” said Janice who is out of ideas.

“What do I do? If I say something, I might upset my daughter. If I let it be, what will become of my granddaughter?”

It is pretty common for grandparents and parents to disagree when it comes to how a grandchild should be disciplined. Grandparents might have their own style of disciplining a child and parents might have adopted newer school of thoughts.  But one thing for certain, everyone wants the best for the child. However, the golden rule is that grandparents should not interfere when it comes to parenting style and discipline matters.

Grandparents have a breadth of experience that can make us good sources of advice. But we must resist offering advice too often, if we want to be listened to when the subject is really serious.

But when is intervention okay?

According to experts, intervention is necessary if these things happen but the approach has to be tailored to each situation.

If grandparents know of an abusive situation, they are bound by the same rules as other people. Their information must be shared with the proper authorities. It’s important to know the official definition of child abuse and neglect, as well as how your state defines abuse.

In a less serious scenario, a grandparent may know of a situation in which the law is not being broken, but the circumstances are clearly unhealthy for the grandchild. In this case, the grandparent is obligated to intervene with the parent on behalf of the child, but the intervention need not involve the authorities.

An example would be a parent who belittles a child with a humiliating nickname or with constant negative statements. To intervene effectively, grandparents may need to improve their strategies for communicating with adult children.

The third type of situation involves a difference of opinion between the parent and the grandparent. This circumstance is the least distressing and the most common. In fact, most grandparents will be in this position sooner or later. In this situation, when do you give your opinion? Although some feel comfortable offering advice only when it is solicited, you may wait a very long time for this to happen.

Have you ever been in a similar situation?

  1. Lucy Dix  

    You tell your grand daughter that you don’t like it and you don’t want to in your house.What happens in your house is up to you.Dont tell her it’s bad or anything like that,just that you don’t like it in your house.Keep giving her veggies etc,she’ll eat them one day,decide they are nice and won’t question,just that’s what happens at grandmas house.If you say anything to your daughter she could get huffy over it and unless she has no choice you might end up with a grand daughter in day care that you don’t see very often

  2. Chris  

    I have my two grandsons , 4 and 6. here every weekend and once through week. They are told that this is Grandmas place and her rules and what she says goes. Seems to work for me. These two hardly eat anything, I just keep trying. I think we worry too much about what they eat or dont eat, never known a child who has starved to death or gotten sick from not eating properly yet so I give up and just make sure they eat something good each meal at least, and they hardly have any junk food. I raised 6 kids and they are all still alive and healthy.

    • Suzanne  

      I agree – I wish I had not harped on ‘clearing your plate’. Perhaps no dessert – but I have found it is all very different today – and it IS NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY!!! with the ‘yucky’ words – just say not at Nana’s. Had an old friend and when her son started using the words of the men on the farm she distracted him by saying he must never say ‘delphinium’ – he tried for a long time before he got it!!
      I just say in my head ‘not my circus not my monkeys!!!! Enjoy the little ones.

  3. Maria Schembri  

    First I would let the daughter know what her daughter is saying. Children will try to hoodwink you into getting their way by saying it’s what their parents do and don’t. It could be that those words are uttered by children at day care, so do not accuse the daughter of anything until you are sure of the facts. If what the granddaughter is saying is true then you should stipulate what your expectations are when at your house. In regards to not eating all her food maybe stop dessert or other edible things she likes if she does not finish her food. Make sure you are constant in your expectations. Best of luck.

  4. Leeanne  

    It depends what your relationship is with your daughter to what you can and can’t do or say. If you have a stilted relationship I would leave things as they are. I am very lucky to have a great relationship with my daughters and any worries we talk about.

  5. chris  

    careful if you want to see your grandchild, our kids today ( i mean ours) think we as their parents never had kids , didnt you know they are the ones who have the kids , we know nothing , i learnt that what you need to do is keep quiet , say nothing and you will see your grandchild , because i said something to one of mine i didn`t see my grandchild for two years , that was sad and even today my grandchild still says remember when , they don`t forget and niether do i

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