Grandparents' Influences on Children

[deleted account] ( 10 moms have responded )

My family is full of hard-nosed, stubborn women. Four generations, including myself, and five if you count my daughter who will be here in January. I have lived with these women my entire life and know how they are when it comes to other people's rules and regulations. They do things their way or not at all, and it tends to get very out of hand very quickly if I'm not careful. I can't stand it, though, and it scares me that these are the people who will be helping my husband and I care for our child when we have to work. Actually, I will be more likely to let the in-laws babysit, since one, they are in town and two, they are less likely to ignore our boundaries when raising our daughter. They don't even listen to me about my own cat, which is now living with them, and because they tend not to listen to what anyone says, they have ended up killing a few pets. My family will probably try their best to spoil our daughter and over-feed her and turn her into one of them, and I won't have it! They will not get visits if that happens to be the case.

What influences do your parents have on your children? Do you agree or disagree with their parenting, and why? If you have set boundaries for your children and your parents overstep them, how do you react?

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Kimberly - posted on 10/17/2010

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Well, a little Whiskey on the gums in exchange for a car seat and crib could be worth it. ha totally kidding

Maybe you could sweetly explain how excited you are to get to be a parent. "I know how excited you must have been to raise your own children, now it's my turn to experience it."

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Tah - posted on 10/19/2010

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My parents have a huge and positive influence on my children,and every child that she has come across..lol..really..family or not, and my daddy is a good example of what a real man is, i agree with my parents,they are not perfect but they raised and helped to raise, intelligent, respectful, hard-working, determined, God-fearing children and i still go to my mommy and daddy when i need to talk, if a baby is sick and the medicine isn't workingi can count on a home remedy,if the kids are taking us to the brink and we need a moment, they call, talk to the kids and new children emerge. I haven't had to deal with any boundary issues so i can't answer that, all i can say is that we turned out well so they must have done something right..

Bonnie - posted on 10/19/2010

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Kimberly, I have pretty gone through the same thing you have when it comes to my parents, especially my mother. She thinks she knows it all, but most of the info she gives is outdated or just doesn't fully make sense to me. My my mother and I have definately gotten into fights over this numerous times because more often than not i'm wrong and she is right, when really often it is the other way around. I don't mind advice and getting opinions, but don't outright tell me this is the way it should be. One thing that truly bothers me is when my mother tells me all the things she had me doing before I started kindgergarten and she feels I should have my children know the same things before they start school. I have to constantly remind her that back then there was no junior kindergarten and I didn't start school til I was 5. My son is 3, almost 4 and has started junior kindergarten. My in-laws are actually way easier to deal with. They can give advice, but no pressure. It's nice.
Jaime, I feel for you because I go through the same thing. My parents rarely babysit, it's usually my mother in-law. I agree with Dana, it's not good to have to feel this way. It puts too much stress on you especially with the fact your daughter is not even here yet. Just do what you can and what you feel is right. You are your child's mother and know what is best for her.

Gabrielle - posted on 10/19/2010

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Me and my mum arent speaking at the moment. However my partners mam is not a good influence on my step son (joshua). I have a daughter but she is too young to understand anything at the moment. However joshua understands perfectly well. She used to give joshua lots of chocolate and when he said he didnt want to eat food she let him be. I immediately told my partner to get his mam told that it is not ok for joshua to eat lots of chocolate and sweety things and not eat dinner. She also tries to control us using time out when he is not listening etc. We had had alot of arguments as i would never allow my little girl to do these things so why let my stepson do it? they are both getting treat the same. It has got to the point where joshua looks at his grandma as if to say get me off time out, but i never back down. I definately disagree with her parenting as her 2 youngest are racist (when my daughter, stepson and myself are coloured), they swear and talk to her like rubbish and i do not wish my daughter or stepson to grow up like that. I have told my partner if she tries to overrule anything else we can just cut all ties and if she wants to see them, then she can come to our home and see them.

[deleted account]

I really hope you can find a way to make it work, Jaime. No one should have to feel the way you do. It's so sad that you're already worrying about these things and your child hasn't even been born. You need to stop stressing and find positive supportive people to surround yourself with. No need to put undue stress on your pregnancy!

Best of luck!

[deleted account]

You all seem lucky to me, to have parents who listen to you and won't completely ostracize you from the family just because you disagree with them. See, that's how my parents are, and they've done it on many occasions since high school. If I'm not entirely accepting of what they want to do, I'm out completely. But they have horrible double standards, and I can't have an opinion, even though I better damn well listen to theirs.

It sucks. I really hope they change in time for the baby.

[deleted account]

I'm extremely lucky because both my family and my in-laws are wonderful. They're grandparents, not parents to our daughter. They don't offer unsolicited advice and they're extremely helpful when I need them to be.

I wish you the best of luck!

Jodi - posted on 10/17/2010

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Thankfully, my parents are very respectful of my, and my sisters', parenting styles. I think I'm a pretty good person who turned out pretty well, so I can't say their parenting was horrible, but I have just found a way that works better for me and my family and they respect that and follow our wishes. My parents don't really "overstep" boundaries, like Kimberly said, it's more outdated parenting advice that they offer up and I tell them this is who we do it and why.
I wouldn't tolerate someone undermining my authority with my children, be it a stranger, friend or my own mother. I think it's a good idea to sit down before the baby comes and discuss these things and, if it were me, let them know that if they can't abide by your parental wishes for your child then access to your child will be limited...crib be damned. Then, there's no added stress once baby comes and no surprises from you or your family...hopefully.

[deleted account]

Thanks Kimberly :) My parents are too stubborn to listen to what a doctor says. They didn't listen to what I said the veterinarian said about my cat, either, and they refuse to believe anything I've read on the internet or in magazines. But sometime before Julie gets here, hubby and I will have to sit down with them and talk about what is and isn't okay, and see where that gets us.

Maybe, if we're lucky, we'll upset them so much they won't want to babysit, but then we probably won't be getting a crib or car seat like they said they'd get us xD

Kimberly - posted on 10/17/2010

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My mother drives me bonkers with her outdated parenting advice. Things like giving water before 6 months old to trying to force an unwanted pacifier on my daughter. Without fighting with her or hurting her feelings, I try to reeducate her by sending her articles or telling her what my daughter's pediatrician suggests, ect. It doesn't always sink in the first time so it is still an ongoing battle. I would suggest outlining your boundaries and rules so that they can't say they didn't know. If they are as rebellious as you say they are, then after you state your expectations, you will have a pretty good idea of whether they intend to respect your instructions or not. Best of luck.

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