What is the modern role a grandparent should play in their grandchild's life?

Kayla - posted on 02/09/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I am curious as to what the standard modern day role of grandparents should be in their grandchild's life, assuming that the grandchild is not being raised by their grandparents and has both mother and father present?



The reason I am asking is because I am bumping heads with grandma as to who should fulfil which role. For example, who should take baby to see santa, and who should buy her Easter dress?



I was raised by a single dad, so my grandma was my mom and grandma to me. We had a lot of traditions that I want to have with my daughter, but my grandma seems to want to have those traditions with my daughter too which is one of the reasons we are bumping heads.



Also, I know that grandparents are known for spoiling grandchildren with cookies and treats, but my daughter has anaphylactic allergies to peanuts and tree nuts, so these types of foods are risky, but she still gets them. She tries to read the label but that doesn't always mean it's safe, and so I asked her not to and bring fruit or veggies instead. Now she's upset with me and feels like she can't do anything grandparents do, so I'm not sure if I was completely in the right? I feel a little guilty. I have the utmost respect for my grandma and don't want to hurt her feelings, but mine are constantly being hurt and I don't know if I'm just being too sensitive or if I am in the right. Basically I am trying to find out what the typical traditions should be for grandma and what they should be for me because I didn't really have the normal experience growing up to learn these things.

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Sherri - posted on 02/09/2012

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There is no right or wrong here. Some grandparents are really involved and do a ton and others aren't. You guys just have to sit down and work together as you both obviously have the best interest in your daughter at heart. Why can't you both take her to see Santa or both pick out an Easter dress and let grandma pay if she wants? Why do these things have to be exclusively one or the other?



If grandma wants to spoil her with treats maybe give her some safe recipes that she could make for your daughter so she can still be able to spoil her.

Sherri - posted on 02/10/2012

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Oh wow Shauna we definitely have different views on this one. I would never not have my mom and dad around because they opt to spoil my kids. Aunties, Uncles and grandparents in our family are there most definitely to spoil the kids.



Family is the MOST important thing ever to us and I could never live without all my siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. around often

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Medic - posted on 02/12/2012

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So then don't. My kids do spend 6 weeks strait every summer with their grandparents, even when we lived out of state my then 2 year old went for 6 weeks. They end up spending about 3 weeks with my dad and step mom and 3 weeks with my mom and step dad and they alternate weekends with them. For us this is fine, but if it is not something you want then just do not do it.

Kayla - posted on 02/12/2012

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Things went over well with my grandma when talking to her. I told her that some events I want to be a part of and I am okay if she's there too. I want her to have a great relationship with my daughter. I told her I would create a list of foods that are safe and acceptable that are still within my guidelines but also considered a "treat." It seemed like things are good there but my grandfather was still pretty upset with me. He said that my grandma grew up where she went to grandma's for the summer, and that they don't see her nearly enough. We live about 45 minutes away and I try to drive over there at least once a week on Sundays, and spend most of the day there. Then occasionally my grandma will come over to help out, which I felt was trying pretty hard to keep them in her life. I feel that spending the summers is almost like joint custody and she's my daughter, not theirs. Never was. My grandma grew up with 6 siblings and a mother who had really bad cancer, so she was frequently sick. That's pretty understandable for spending the summers and again, I want her to have a good relationship with my daughter, but I feel that's a bit much? My daughter is my only baby and I don't think I can give her up like that.

Kimberly - posted on 02/09/2012

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By all means you are not in the wrong to feel hurt thats understandable especially if it came across as a demand. Your grandma is probally used to taking control of things and might not realize that she is stepping on your toes just thinking that it would be special to see santa etc. You can always create your own traditions with her by yourself too. My daughter and I when my husband is away at work go to the movie shop and get dvd's then have an early tea and curl up on my bed and have a girls night in( she's only 2 so it early!) and have popcorn while watching a movie. This is something that we both enjoy. My husband has special little things they do on the days he's home too. You will be a great mom to her because you want to be there for her and share in the special things

Kayla - posted on 02/09/2012

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Thanks, it did help. I do think it is a good idea to offer to go do it together, so I will see how she responds. I think what upset me is that she just went out and did it and didn't involve me or ask me. When asking to take Ily to see Santa it didn't involve me coming. She wanted to go do it on her own and it came across as a demand. I don't think she did it intentionally or realized how important it was to me to be involved. I understand she probably wants to carry some of the traditions she had with me on, and I know it may sound selfish, but I want some special moments/traditions of my own to have. I want to provide my daughter everything I didn't have growing up, so I think the mom role is that much more important to me.

Kimberly - posted on 02/09/2012

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Is there a reason why you cant both take her to see santa and pick out a dress you both like or take turns buying the dresses so easter is grandma and xmas is you? I think grandparents play a very important roll in childrens lives and they do have a special bond. Your grandma was both your mom and grandma so never really got the chance to be just grandma so she would probally want to have special things she shared with you to share with your daughter too. The cookie thing I totally understand as that pretty serious but maybe let a few things go her way as even though it is important to you your grandma wont be around forever. My daughter is very close her nan and pop and I think it is a blessing. When it comes to santa photos and stuff we all head up together to get them done. At easter I know that she will always buy her a special out fit but that doesnt mean I can get her a special pair of pjs to wear the night before and have the easter hunt in. I think your daughter will be greatful for having to great women in her life and sharing the special moments together. Maybe you can talk to her and ask which things she would really like to do for daughter then work it out from there.

Some things our does is, get a gold broche for christianing, getting the girls signent ring, easter outfit, bought going home outfit from hospital, making xmas baking at her house, and just being there for special moments like dance concert, sports, school concerts etc. We still have our own things with our daughter and can still share in the one with her. Hope this wasnt to all over the shop and helped some

Medic - posted on 02/09/2012

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They can be whatever you want them to be. My mom and step dad, keep both kids about once a month and my mom does the whole play in the backyard with them. My dad and step mom are way more involved on the other hand. They always get the kids clothes, or if I am looking for something specific my step mom will find it for me. They keep the kids A LOT but we lived with them for a short time so the kids, especially my son, are very attached. They take them to do things we cannot afford to do, and out to eat. They help me give my kids the life we had as kids. My grandparents were strictly grandparents, never took us for long stays, always got crappy gifts, and never in the loop with things. It does not bother me because generally they ask before doing things. They do follow how I feed my kids and what they can and cannot eat, they do give them all of their daily meds. My step mom has clothes for the kids over there because she likes to dress them differently than I do. It really is a matter of what works for you and what doesn't. Like the holiday dress thing, it means a lot more to my step mom to get her those than it matters to me. All of the special mom things that I wanted to do were mine to do. And yes there are a lot of things that she will do with both of us.

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