‘Am I in the wrong?’: Grandmother told to scale down displays of affection towards grandchild

May 01, 2024
Is there a fine line to tread or should you dote on your grandchildren as much as possible? Source: Getty Images.

Becoming a grandparent should be one of life’s greatest joys and many people look forward to the day that their adult children choose to start a family of their own, dreaming up adventures that they can share with their grandkids and the treats and gifts they can buy or make for them.

Sadly though, it doesn’t always work out that way and families can grow distant meaning grandparents don’t see as much of their grandchildren as they’d perhaps like. That’s precisely what happened to one woman, from the UK, who revealed that her son has asked her not to be “too intense” with his daughter.

Writing on forum site Gransnetthe woman – identified only as ‘Aquamarine’ – opened up about her pain over the situation, revealing that while she used to care for her dear granddaughter one day every week, she now only gets to spend time with the youngster once every three weeks.

“My AC [adult child] says I’m too intense with GC [grandchild],” she wrote. “I only ever saw GC when I physically took care of GC once a week. Never more or in between… GC started school in September.

“I see GC about once every 3 weeks now, they live an hour or so away. It’s not particularly quality time. AC says I’m lucky to get this, and I shouldn’t adore my GC.”

She then asked: “So who out there thinks grandparents shouldn’t dote/adore or think the world of their grandchildren ??? Am I in wrong or abnormal ??? [sic]”

Her honest post attracted a flurry of responses from other grandparents, who shared their own opinions on the situation. And while the majority of people admitted that it was normal to want to spoil your grandchildren, many said that the poster should be careful when it comes to “adoring” and “doting” on her grandchild too strongly with some suggesting this may come across as “over the top”.

One user wrote: “I can’t see the problem with affection, OP, unless you are being totally over the top in your manner when you are with them. Also, giving sweets, treats or chocolate without the DPs’ permission is a bit of a no no as is hyping the kids up or allowing things not normally allowed.” Another said: “My AC are delighted that I dote, they love that their children are loved. I don’t understand why that would be a problem.”

While another commented: “I adore my DG and love their company. Just do things your way.”

However others suggested that she should ask her son what behaviour particularly bothers him, with one person writing: “‘Just do things your way’- No, don’t. This advice is tone deaf to the problem. Your AC has actually used their words and told you there is a problem! Isn’t that what we all want to see them do on estrangement threads? Now you know the problem, you can ask more questions to try to temper how intense they feel you are being.

“My mother could go quite overboard, lots of gifts every visit, all the sweets they wanted. I had to tell her to calm down about it all as the children would be very overwhelmed after a visit. Could it be something as simple as that?”

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