Raising the grandkids – to put up or shut up 41

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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.

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?

Guest Contributor

  1. My house , my rules , if i was challenged in my own home , im afraid my response would be exactly the same as Pamela ‘s , find yourself a new babysitter . How they raise their children in their own home is their business .

  2. I think I would have said something also, if she did not like it she could have gone somewhere else.

  3. I live with my daughter, who is divorced; she has 3 sons. I love them dearly, they are amazing children but my daughter can’t seem to see it. I have had to make conditions on when I will look after them as she just wants to go out and escape her responsibilities. It is so hard, she had problems with her dad as we were divorced. I also suffered with depression, she for some reason will not seek professional help. She has a mental health plan and won’t make an appointment. I fear for her as she has not worked and has no superannuation, but does my see there is a hurry to do anything about this situation. She has applied for jobs but has not been successful as she has no skills

    2 REPLY
    • I have, I am seeing a professional person, I am also studying to be a counsellor which is giving me ways to deal with this situation. People have said this is not fair to you, but I have 3 amazing boys who need me to be here. I have a deep faith in God who carries me every day

  4. I let things slide unless I perceive there might be harm to the child either physically or with verbal abuse. Then I breathe dragon fire! Then on the other hand I have had a big battle with trying to insist on certain manners and etiquette which they perceive to be outdated! I find it too hard to bite my tongue I’m afraid,and they know and accept that fortunately,

  5. In spite of his upbringing, with a mum who screamed and went berserk at the slightest thing, my grandson has become a great young man…..he told me once that having my daughter as his mum made him more tolerant. I tried to make sure he knew he could always rely on me. There was no way I could make suggestions, if I had, I’d have lost all contact.

    1 REPLY
  6. I agree with Maureen Emmins there are ways of giving advice and there are people who you wouldn’t even think about giving it to. If you have that wonderful relationship where it’s appreciated and needed then good otherwise bite your tongue.

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