Why are grandparents so involved with their grandkids now?

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
Post # 16
Member
1099 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

abl13 :  every family dynamic is different. I come from a Hispanic household. When my grandparents retired, they moved in with my family (I was 8 at the time). So having a multigenerational upbringing is standard for me. My grandparents were part of every big moment. I continue to have a great relationship with them and my parents. I see my parents about once a week. We are currently TTC and my mom, who is a Stay-At-Home Mom, has offered to watch my future children during the day so I can go back to work and not worry about daycare expenses. 

Part of my family dynamic is cultural and part of it is that we really enjoy each other’s company. Being this close to your family may not be your cup of tea. But I can promise you, an involved family that cares is better for you and your future children. Especially when you have kids, you are going to need a support system.

Post # 17
Member
554 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I think this is entirely dependent on the grandparents and the parents and is not necessarily a new thing. When I was growing up in the 90s my paternal grandparents lived 10 minutes away. My dad worked a LOT and my mom was starting up her own business, so I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. I went to to their house for dinner after school most nights until we moved before I started middle school. But to my knowledge my grandparents never really “overstepped” and my parents loved having the additional help. I also loved spending time with them and I’m still really close to my grandmother…wouldn’t trade that time for the world.

But my grandparents weren’t in the delivery room, didn’t expect to be at doctor appointments, and understood boundaries.

I think as a parent you set the ground rules. They can expect or ask for all they want but they can only take as much as you give them.

Post # 18
Member
9672 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

I’m not sure this is necessarily the norm, I think it’s just very dependent on individual family dynamics. Rather than looking at other’s experience I think it would be more beneficial to just consider your parents and your in-laws behavior. Do they over step bounds now? Are you comfortable setting limits with them? Do they respect your wishes? As the parent you have a lot of control of this type of thing.

Post # 19
Member
815 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I think social media is blowing this out of proportion and there is sadly a case of selfishness on the mother side who by being the “perfect mom” doesn’t want ANYONE to POTENTIALLY usurp her perfect motherhood memories.  To some active grandparent involvement is actually the norm, especially is certain cultures; in some it’s not.  This is completely irrelevant of the age and moreso of the family with this age being able to criticize previous familial traditions (which before was a big no no).  I had very little grandparent involvement in my life and I wish I always had more.  My child doesn’t get much exposure due to distance but I would have no qualms with allowing the grandparents to see my child as much as they want to (as long as it doesn’t affect our own family life and the child wants the interaction).  Remember one day grandparents pass away and you will be the one comforting your child who will desperately want more of those interactions (if they are sane normal grandparents).  Why be so possessive of that?

Also I honk the internet drums up a lot of of the delivery warrior hype (as well as movies).  So unless you have to deal with this I would worry about it. (As a side note not a single friend of mine had to deal with delivery warriors or grandparents wanting to be at the ultrasound, most didn’t even ask to see the ultrasound but were all very excited about the pregnancies!)

In life you can see things in the positive light or negative.  You can see that grandparents wanting to gift give (btw read up on love sign language and you might gain more insight on it) or wanting to spend their last remaining year having a positive relationship with your child, or you can see it negatively and say they want to be a second parent.  But step aside and as a MOM ask yourself: what does your child want and need and what will he cherish and is it acceptable to limit those over your potential feelings.

Post # 20
Member
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

abl13 :  Anthropologically speaking grandparents used to be MORE involved with grandchildren. In the early days most people reproduced in their early to mid teenage years. These young parents were still able-bodied and would hunt and gather while older generations cared for the children. Grandparents are actually a healthy part of child development. The same could be said for nannys even. The idea being they are able to focus on fun and play with developing young minds and it also relieves the parents and helps to keep them from becoming overwhelmed which was also very beneficial for the children. 

Post # 21
Member
815 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

herrera2016 :  also forgot to add that there’s studies showing that grandparents who help with the caregiving of their grandchildren are less prone to dementia which is why we may be seeing higher incidence of dementia in the elderly these days.  So as long as they are not toxic people, and compromise and mutual respect is given, more time with the grandparents are good for both sides.

Post # 23
Member
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Little_Nut88 :  Same! I actually LOVED having tons of grandparents and I had 3 living great-grandmothers for most of my life. I loved it. 

As a small child I never went to daycare. Either my great grandma watched me and we played all day and watched Murder She Wrote, As the World Turns, and Walker Texas Ranger. She was the bomb and she talked a lot about how life was when she was a child (Born in 1918) and it was fascinating. Or my dad’s mom watched me and we had just as much fun. 

I did go to day care for a short stint after school in second grade and I HATED IT!!!!! lol I cried every day and it was awful. 

DH’s mom is about to retire and I am hoping she will watch our kids and his sisters. She’s offered it to us and I think it’s fantastic. I love and trust my Mother-In-Law and I am hoping she will teach our kids Spanish. lol 

Post # 24
Member
1192 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

My son’s grandparents (my inlaws) are super involved with him and my parents and my grandmas aren’t nearly as involved but see him a couple times a month (sometimes more than others) and I am SUPER THANKFUL FOR ALL OF THEIR HELP. 

I grew up with my grandparents an hour away most of my life and saw them maybe 6 times a year.  Same or less with my extended family.  It was fine.  My husband has a super close family and now that I’ve been a part of it for the last 12 years, I’m kind of jealous.  They all live within 30 minutes and it is amazing to have all the love and support.  Do they drive me crazy at times? Yes, but it is worth all the benefits we get.  We have babysitters whenever we need.  We have people to hang out with that love our son regardless of how he is acting on any given day.  We have help because my husband and I work full time and have crazy schedules.  

I think my son (and my husband and I) are so lucky and I wouldn’t want to live any other way.  My inlaws second grandbaby is on the way and I’m admittedly a little worried about him not getting as much attention anymore even though I’m sure that won’t be the case.  I think its probably the same as a parent feels when they are having another baby… will they have enough love, time, etc?  

Post # 25
Member
356 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Every family is different, I feel very fortunate and blessed to have grown up close to all my grandparents. One set lived in the same area, and the other on the opposite coast and I am/was close with both! (so I dont think its a new thing either)

I think what you’re saying regarding them coming to ultrasounds and being in the delivery room is over stepping boundries. That just needs to be firmly discussed with in laws and your parents. I’m currently pregnant and love how involved everyone is, and I’m glad our baby will have grandparents that love and want to be in their life. 

Post # 26
Member
47 posts
Newbee

I too think this is just your perspective, and I don’t know how anecdotes will help as you will just get stories of bad experiences from people who don’t have a good relationship with their parents.

You feel the way you do because your relationship with your parents isn’t that close. But to most people, they are glad of any help given, grateful for presents, and fully avail themselves of babysitting offers. In fact, you get lots of threads on here venting about grandparent’s lack of enthusiasm, and the OP wishing there were more interested and involved.

I am extremely close with my parents and love seeing them almost every day so I can’t relate to your position. But I can see it is a worry for you so sending you hugs and best wishes.

Post # 28
Member
9429 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

That’s not true of every family. Have boundaries. Enforce them.

I’m pretty sure my Mother-In-Law expected to be in the delivery room and to be full time child care. She got neither. She comes over once a week for an hour or two, which is still a hell of a lot more than we saw her before I was pregnant.

“That doesn’t work for us.” “Thanks but we’ve got it covered.” “I prefer to do it my way.”

I also learned quickly not to complain about aaaaanything child related, because then I had to hear all her “advice.”

There’s an answer for pretty much every baby related issue on youtube lol.

Post # 29
Member
1034 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

You have to set the tone for how you want things to be. My mom only attended one prenatal appointment with me, and it was because I asked her to since Darling Husband couldn’t come due to a business meeting and I didn’t want to be alone for my ultrasound, having had a previous loss. Only my husband was in the delivery room. My parents watch my son 3 days a week while I work, because we asked them if they wanted to since my dad retired and we weren’t crazy about the daycare he was attending. They have a key to my house for that reason, but never use it unless they are over to watch my son. Other than that, there is no intrusion. My IL’s live several hours away by plane, and I kind of wish they’d be more interested in their grandson, they expect us to do all of the communicating. They have set up a college fund for him, for which I’m very grateful. But no lavish gifts, no butting in, no attending doctor’s appointments, just no. If you don’t want to spend your weekends visiting the grandparents, let each set visit you for a couple of hours every other weekend, or whatever arrangement is comfortable for you. My Mother-In-Law is typically overbearing and it was kind of a blessing that she relocated for her job; otherwise I think she’d be butting in 24/7. She’s using the distance to test us on how well we can stay in touch… good luck.

Post # 30
Member
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Ettalie :  Yep! That too! My Great grandmas made it into their very late 80’s and one of them into her 90’s and was sharp as a tack. 

Well with one exception. My great grandma who loved Walker Texas Ranger hahaha I told her one day “Hey grandma, would you like it if we could get Chuck Noriss’ autograph for you?” and she was so confused. I told her Chuck Norris is the actor who plays Walker, and wouldn’t it be neat to have his autograph. And she was incensed. lmao She was like “DON’T SAY THAT ABOUT HIM!!! WALKER DOES NICE THINGS FOR PEOPLE!!” haha she just was not having it that he wasn’t a real guy. lol But that had way more to do with her stubbornness than anything and I still find it hilarious. <3 

Have you seen where they have combined some nursing homes with day cares? Really sweet stuff. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlrlSvZrsQE 

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