I will confess.

In the years that this blog has been written I haven’t given grandparents much of a thought.  In over 500 posts, I don’t think there was one of them where the grandparents were in my sights.

A good friend of mine, Lloyd,  who has been a faithful reader of these posts, said to me recently, “What about the grandparents?  You need to comment about them.”

My response was something like, “Well, I’ve always thought that it was grandparents’ job to basically indulge and enjoy their grandchildren.  Let the rest fall to the parents.  In other words when it comes to the children, they should ‘zip it and clip it.’”

Countering that view, Lloyd said, “Well grandparents play a very different role than they used to.  First of al people are living longer than they did another generation or so ago and with both parents often working, grandparents are frequently called upon to be the “parents” for a day or two a week.  It can be very challenging.”

That is, indeed, very true and while not a grandparent myself (other than to my kids’ dogs), many people I know are often taking care of the grandchildren a couple of days a week or more.

Some of the challenging questions that come to mind:

  • What if the grandparents look at the parents’ way of parenting with a bit of a jaundiced eye?  (There are frequently generational differences that come into play.)
  • Certainly, the same could be asked in reverse, as the parents see how the grandparents oversee the children.
  • When everyone’s together and the grandparents step in, is that ok, or are they overstepping and effectively butting in?
  • Should the parents be giving the grandparents more latitude?
  • How do these issues get resolved without there being arguments and resentments coming quickly to light?

More thoughts next week.

As always we welcome comments and input.

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Questions or comments email Dr. Selznick:  rselznick615@gmail.com