Raising the grandkids – to put up or shut up

Deciding whether to give advice to your son or daughter about raising your grandchildren can be one of the hardest things a grandparent ever has to do.

For me, it was probably even harder because I had a step-daughter, who was 15 when I started going out with her father, so while she and I became good friends I obviously did not have as close a relationship with her as she did with her real mother.

Initially when she had her baby son I adopted a policy of saying nothing and this worked well – until she came to live with us for a time when her son was three, that is.

The child was forever screaming and demanding this or that and my patience quickly started to run out.

I politely told my step-daughter how when I was a small child my mother used the words: “I want, doesn’t get” to me. Basically, if I asked for something nicely using the word “please” I had a chance of getting it, but if I squalled and/or said “I want” I automatically didn’t get it.

Ad. Article continues below.

I knew it was risk saying something, but I thought the possible outcome outweighed that.

My step-daughter did indeed give me an icy look, but agreed to try it and it largely solved the problem in just a few weeks.

However, years on, I still remember how my advice was not welcome initially and wish I had not said anything and just let her solve the problem by herself.

Let’s talk: Have you given advice and later wished you hadn’t? Or failed to do so and later been sorry you didn’t?