It is quite possible that those who brought you up can have different viewpoints than you have while raising your own offspring.
Real problems or disturbances arise when grandparents interfere, nag, intrude unnecessarily or when parents forget to take grandparents’ feelings into consideration. These could turn into familial discords.
According to a new survey, nearly 50% of parents admit to being in disagreement with how their parents watched over their grandchildren. It was also seen that in almost all cases, this led to strife in the relationship and familial relations.
A survey conducted by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at Michigan Medicine found that half of the parents who participated in the survey reported discord and disagreement with one or more grandparents about parenting styles. The study also found that the repeated disagreements made 1 in 7 participants limit the time for which a child saw their grandparents.
For the same, 2016 responses from parents who had children aged 18 or under were analyzed.
Most parents recorded to feeling a disagreement on a number of factors, including discipline (57%), food and meal timings (44%), screentime allowance (36%). Apart from these, parents also said that they also had a difference of opinion when it came to matters like mannerisms, safety, health, grandparents giving into favouritism, oversharing pictures and information about the little ones on social media without parents’ consent.
Parents, when asked to reason as to why there were disagreements said that they felt grandparents were either too harsh (14%) or too soft (40%) on children, which made them worry. For most couples, discipline was the one ruling factor which created family trouble.
One of the lead authors involved in the study said that constant interference from grandparents made parents feel neglected.
“Parents may feel that their parental authority is undermined when grandparents are too lenient in allowing children to do things that are against family rules, or when grandparents are too strict in forbidding children to do things that parents have okayed,”
For most families, a lot of parental differences rose from intergenerational gaps.
Many in the survey also said that the disagreements often led to parents to have a discussion with grandparents over ‘household rules’ and parenting styles. Even with this, there was a clear disparity. While half of the grandparents obliged and took matters into consideration, nearly 17% outrightly objected. The findings did suggest that grandparents were less likely to cave, with bigger the issue and such disagreements often made parents enforce the rule of limiting their visits and meetings.
Grandparents not in agreement over parenting choices? Here’s what you should do
While having family support can ease stress off parents’ minds, clearing up roles and responsibilities can create a better family equation. Do remember that grandparents or any relative only means well so clearing up strife could work out for the better. Here are some tips to avoid frequent disagreements:
-Every parent wants to do what is best for their kid and so do the grandparents. Instead of totally keeping them away, make them feel included and valued. This will help foster a more equal and adjusting relationship.
-Speak up when you have a problem and make yourself known. This will help neutralize the problem in the long run and build a healthier relationship.
– Use a positive approach to deal with the crisis. If you feel your parents or in-laws are crossing a line or doing this differently than how you would have or giving unsolicited advice, adopt a gentler hand. Thank them for helping out and explain your reasoning. It could something be like, “I appreciate your gesture but we would like to do it a different way…”
– Disagreement or fight, ensure that you don’t let discord affect your kids. Be careful not to bad mouth either party in front of the children.
-When you can, try and work towards a compromise, if possible.
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