One of the great joys of childhood is to have a loving relationship with grandparents. Children need and deserve that relationship. It is up to parents to encourage and nourish it. Most grandparents love their grandchildren and enjoy them immensely. A grandma’s role is to spoil her grandchildren; let her do it.
Sometimes, grandparents seem to interfere in areas that belong to the parents. They tell them they are doing it wrong and to do it a different way. It is natural to feel that this is a criticism of your child-raising abilities. They might tell you that you should be more lenient with your child and give them what they want more often.
There are a few things to remember. Your parents have already been there. They raised you or your spouse and you all lived to tell the story. They mean well and you need to assume the best.
They learned to raise children in different ways and might think you are not doing right. They might even take a child’s side against you. Children learn quickly when they can appeal to grandma to get their way.
It is normal to feel defensive when you disagree with your parents, but you don’t want to live in an armed camp with your kids on one side, grandparents on another and you caught in the middle.
Don’t criticize. If you do, it may damage your children’s esteem of the grandparents. Stay calm because you do not want this to turn into a power struggle. It is better to talk it out and come to an agreement you can both live with.
Defend your boundaries. Some things are not negotiable. Stand firm on the few things you are not willing to let go.
There is an old saying that you should pick the hill you want to die on. Pick your battles wisely. Some things are not worth arguing over. Let them happen unless they are harmful or dangerous.
We all have emotional baggage from childhood but we need to let it stay in the past. Resist the temptation to use your kids to resolve issues from childhood with your parents.
Every person has good points and amazing strengths, and your parents can use their strengths and talents to teach new things to the children. They are not always wrong and can have amazing insights. Play to their strengths and resist the temptation to disregard what they say.
Remember that it will not last forever. There are often only a few precious years with children and their Grandmas and Grandpas. You want your kids to have warm, loving memories of that time together and you want to remember it as a wonderful period of your life.