It was interesting spending time with my friends this week, some of whom are parents of young kids and others who are Grandma’s. In fact, I spend a lot of time in my life with woman in those two categories.
When Grandma’s get together one of the topics that comes up is naturally the grand kids. How cute and smart they all are and how we wish we could spend more time with them. But eventually the topic always comes up about concerns. I have friends who’s son and daughters are divorced and they will talk about the strain of having to watch the effects on the children in those families – no matter the age. And yet they don’t say a word for fear of losing contact with their grandchildren. And then there are the food, discipline and other life style choices.
Most Grandparents agree that their kids are basically doing a great job but then when they see things that jump up as mistakes they made or things that just seem wrong they have to bite their tongues. The one thing we all agree on is that Grandparents struggle is that we all know that we need to keep quiet about our concerns. Our parents felt freer to speak up or at least it seems like they did. My Aunt and Uncle always gave me advice about some things I was doing and I found that most of the time they were spot on. The question I have is when do you speak up? Do you say something when what you see is hurting a child, but in whose opinion? Young parents today use the internet to get a lot of their advice and if they have a good doctor they also get some solid info from him/her.
To be honest I don’t think my mom said a lot but then she did not speak up about anything much. She was really quiet for the most part. If asked I am sure she gave suggestions but with five families all raising their children differently it could get confusing. If you looked at the five groups of adults (nieces, nephews and my own) today I think you would find they all had very different upbringings. But all in all you would also have to say they have done well, no one is a felon, they all work, some are more independent thinking than others but for the most part they all live their own lives well.
So, the grandmothers dilemma goes on. Wondering how other grandmothers feel about this or the young parents who have parents who tip toe around them or who speak up and tell them all the time what they are doing right or wrong? What does one do? I wish life was easier.