Why are grandparents more attached to grandchildren?

Grandparents: This is how it works with grandma and grandpa

There is a lot of truth in the statement "You can only really enjoy your grandchildren". Parents have a lot of responsibility for their own children, and many a wake-up night is a pain in the ass. It's good that there are grandma and grandpa who step in and look after the offspring with a lot of commitment, read picture books for hours and don't see a lot of things as closely as mom and dad.
However, the contact does not always go the way you as parents would like. Because the more often grandma and grandpa step in, the more potential for conflict there is. Because children benefit a lot from their grandparents, it is definitely worth discussing issues and compromising so that relaxed coexistence is possible.

This is how your child benefits from grandma and grandpa

  • Because grandparents usually have fewer obligations than parents, they can fully concentrate in the time that they are there for their grandchildren engage intensively with the little ones. While mom often has to be quick at lunchtime, z. B. Cooking together with grandma and grandchildren in peace - it doesn't matter whether the soup is ready half an hour later.
  • Grandparents are more relaxed. With their own children they have already experienced everything that parents struggle with today. Does your child have a high fever? Grandma and Grandpa don't get upset - their children often had that in the past, and she knew how to help herself with home remedies. Are you worried about a certain quirk of your child? Ask your parents and you might hear: "You did that at that age and it went away when you started kindergarten."
  • With grandma and grandpa there is more freedom. The little ones may be allowed to stay up late, snack on more sweets or do things that are forbidden at home. Because grandparents don't have to worry about everyday things, they can be more generous and tolerant - after all, the parents are responsible for bringing up children. A little vacation from everyday life and special attention are good for children - especially when mom and dad have less time, e.g. B. a sibling has just been born.
  • Grandparents can Communicate things that would otherwise be forgotten. Nobody can make such delicious baked apples or jam like Grandma - and your child is allowed to help. The special attraction are also the stories from the past, when grandma and grandpa were little and what it was like with them when there were baked apples. All children are fascinated by stories from the past. What was it like when dad was a kid? Back when he fell off the sled and broke his leg? How did dad's family celebrate Christmas? Old family customs can come back to life and give your child a feeling of security.
  • Children learn Considerate grandma and grandpa to take and accept other views. Grandpa is taking a nap. It goes without saying that the grandson is a little quieter for so long and has to be patient with activities until Grandpa is awake again. If the grandparents' health is impaired, children learn to be considerate. They may voluntarily crawl around on the floor picking up toys because grandma and grandpa find it difficult to bend down, although there is always debate when tidying up at home.

Dealing properly with grandparents and their different views on upbringing

As nice as it is when grandma and grandpa take care of the grandchildren: Even in the happiest families there are always conflicts over questions of upbringing that can cloud the relationship between parents and grandparents.
Of course one has grannywho usually raised not just one, but often several children, a lot of experience in baby care and child rearing. But firstly, these often no longer correspond to the methods commonly used today, and secondly, parents want to gain their own experiences, so that well-intentioned advice from grandparents quickly arrives as undesirable interference. In the end The responsibility for upbringing lies with you, the parents, and not with the grandparents.
However, this does not mean that you, as parents, grandma and grandpa, should dictate the right way to deal with the offspring down to the smallest detail. Because even two-year-olds can easily tell that Different rules apply to mom and dad than to grandparents. Children learn very quickly what is allowed and what is not allowed with whom. It broadens their social horizons when they learn different ways of dealing with life. But you should always experience that Parents and grandparents speak to each other with affection and respect.

My advice:
If you feel that grandma and grandpa are getting too involved in your upbringing, keep in mind that what you find "annoying interference" may just be an expression of the importance of you and your child to your grandparents. However, the older generation often finds it difficult to see their own children as parents themselves and therefore to take back a little bit of themselves.

Look for that Talk to your parents or in-laws whenever a conflict arises. If you swallow anger at first, you often get to a point where you explode over a small thing and then smash more china than necessary. Or the fronts are soon so hardened that a quiet conversation is no longer possible. Don't avoid an argument yourself. That's still better than complete radio silence. Please note the following points:

  • As difficult as it may be for the grandparents, they have to learn that With the birth of your child, the weights within the family have shifted and As parents, you are responsible for your child. Nevertheless, do not question the parenting skills of your grandparents. After all, they raised one or more children themselves. However, make it clear to them that there are several different ways to raise a child and that you have chosen one that the grandparents will have to accept.
  • Explain to the grandparents what is important to you in the upbringing of your child and what they should also adhere to. Feel free to be generous in areas that are not that important to you. After all, your child will not be harmed if they eat at Grandma and Grandpa once a week and each time they serve spaghetti with tomato sauce, because that is your child's favorite dish.
  • Do not use your child as leverageby canceling visits. In this situation there would only be losers: Your child would suffer because contact with grandma and grandpa would be broken. Grandparents would be deprived of the joy of seeing their grandchildren grow up, and you would have to go without dedicated babysitters yourself

You shouldn't make any compromises when it comes to important parenting issues

Of course, you should be more relaxed about the fact that the clocks run differently for your child with grandma and grandpa. But there are issues on which you can make it clear to the grandparents that there are no compromises for you. Consider with your partner what is important to you in education and what you therefore insist on in any case. Be generous in doing this and focus primarily on things that are harmful to your child.

Discuss it with the grandparents and insist that the conversation be friendly but firm certain Agreements are kept, e.g. B .:

  • You don't want the grandparents to make your baby cry, even though it used to be the norm.
  • Your child should not be showered with sweets. One candy a day is enough, after which the teeth are brushed. Sweet "bed treats" after brushing your teeth in the evening are absolutely taboo.
  • Even with grandma and grandpa there is a certain bedtime, because otherwise your child will get confused with the sleep rhythm. At the weekend it can be a little later than during the week.
  • No matter how much your child begs, they cannot sit in front of the television for longer than a certain amount of time. Only programs suitable for children are allowed.
  • They insist that under no circumstances should your child travel without a child seat in the car, even if it is just around the corner to the supermarket.

Help, grandma and grandpa spoil my child immeasurably!

Of course, grandparents only want the best for their grandchildren. But that is sometimes too much of a good thing. B. with each visit a small toy and can not resist when the little ones want a piece of chocolate.

If the little ones are showered with gifts, they quickly lose their relationship. However, your child should still be able to enjoy little things in their later years. Plus, they should really look forward to seeing their grandparents as a person, not just the gifts that come with every visit. You should make this clear to grandma and grandpa in a conversation.

Offer compromisesin order to channel the grandparents' wish to do something good for their grandchildren in a sensible way:

  • Arrange it Toys only for special occasions such as Christmas and birthday there, but not every time you visit. Name the grandparents things that you can accept as souvenirs when you visit, such as a pair of funny socks, a small bathing animal or soap in the shape of an animal (the Tinti bath water colors, available in drugstores and health food stores), soap bubbles or hair clips are also very popular.
  • You'd better ask the grandparents once something to wear or bring a nice pair of children's bedding. Your child needs clothes again and again, because they quickly outgrow the respective wardrobe. In this way you save your wallet and can use the saved money e.g. B. use for a family vacation.
  • Open one saving account for your child, to which grandma and grandpa can pay in instead of bringing a toy with them again. With the money saved, your child can later fulfill a larger wish, such as a (new) bicycle or a computer.

When grandma and grandpa live “around the corner”: 5 tips on how to work together

Spatial proximity and frequent contact naturally promote the relationship between grandchildren and grandparents, but you can certainly improve the contact with the following points:

  1. Timing. The grandparents' “missions” should be planned in a targeted manner. Grandma and Grandpa can, but don't have to, look after their grandchildren. They are not always available, but also need time to pursue their own interests. This is what children should learn from preschool age. In return, however, the grandparents shouldn't come in at your discretion without prior consultation.
  2. Well-dosed care. Because children under the age of six can be very stressful, you shouldn't expect too much from grandma and grandpa, especially if there are not just one but several grandchildren.
  3. Clarify responsibilities. If the grandparents like to help regularly, you can agree on which “departments” grandma and grandpa take on, such as visits to the hairdresser or accompanying them to kindergarten on certain days.
  4. Create rituals. If there are fixed dates when grandma and grandpa are visited or come to visit, this strengthens the family feeling of having lunch together about once a month.
  5. Don't forget the highlights. Make sure that the grandparents not only take care of the day-to-day childcare for you, but also do something special with the grandchildren, for example a trip to the zoo or a visit to the cinema.

This is how you can keep in touch if the grandparents live further away

If grandma and grandpa live far away, it is more difficult to maintain good contact. The following 5 tips will help you:

  1. Maintain contacts in everyday life. Let your child talk to grandma and grandpa on the phone frequently so that they can share their experiences and find out how their grandparents are doing. Your child can paint pictures for grandma and grandpa or send them small handicrafts.
  2. Regularly visits. So that grandchildren and grandparents don't become too strangers to each other, your children should see grandma and grandpa at least twice a year. At least one weekend visit should be planned for this, because rare and also short contacts are not enough to build a relationship.
  3. Time together. When visiting, plan for times when grandparents and grandchildren are really among themselves and you as parents withdraw, if your child tolerates this. Let grandma and grandpa take a walk with their grandchildren, a visit to the puppet theater or - depending on the fitness of the grandparents - an afternoon in the pool.
  4. Healthy variety. When grandma and grandpa come to visit, the day should neither be filled with lots of highlights, nor should it be an everyday occurrence. Make sure you have a healthy alternation between everyday experiences and special attractions, such as a visit to the amusement park.
  5. Have trust. If your child dares to spend the night alone with grandma and grandpa at preschool age (or even earlier), you should definitely support this. That promotes the relationship immensely.