You liked it, you really liked it…the inaugural ASK OMT!, that is!
Onward to the second in the series.
Here’s what I promise:
* I’ll answer as honestly as I can.
* I won’t sugarcoat or bs my way through the answers.
* I’ll offer this caveat: Once some things are seen, they can’t be unseen. Are y’all sure you want to know some thangs? Yeah? Ok…
* You’d trust this face, right?
Thanks to Amanda for posing the next question: Suppose your grown son/daughter is practicing a parenting habit with your grandchild that you strongly disagree with. Should you say something, or should you butt out?
As a grandmama, I understand this type of concern because #1 you gots none of the control, but #2 you still want the very best for dat baby or child.
Parenting today is a different beast than when I did it or when Amanda did it. When we had our kiddos, grandparents and parents were the source of trusted info when questions arose about baby care; the mommy groups of today were non-existent.
Today, moms and dads are connected to groups and each other and an information highway of mammoth proportions. If they have a question, more often than not, their first response is to head to the Internet, or group boards, bypassing the hard-won wisdom of parents and grandparents.
This is has an upside and a downside.
UPSIDE: Holy Smokes, how the Internet could have calmed more than one of my mommy panic moments without having to ask my mom. Oh look, this is completely normal! Or…Oh look, time to check with a doc! The Internet and all that available info is an amazing gift for new parents.
DOWNSIDE: All. That. Inaccurate. Info. I’m not talking just for new parents here. How many of us have checked Dr. Google and walked away convinced we were dying of some tragic weirdo disease? ~holding my hand up~ Now, add unsure, inexperienced and anxious parents to that mix and you see the downside. Some people take what they read as gospel, refusing to take into account the agenda of whoever wrote the piece, and others apply reason and understand that anyone with a keyboard can offer expert advise.
Just like me!
Now that we have food for thought, let’s get back to Amanda’s question: Suppose your grown son/daughter is practicing a parenting habit with your grandchild that you strongly disagree with. Should you say something, or should you butt out?
Here’s what Garry and I talked about frequently and decided prior to becoming grandparents: Even if we disagree with a practice that our children employ with the grandkiddos, we’re gonna butt-out, with a caveat. The caveat being: as long as no one is being harmed.
Now, what happens when we disagree or what happens when a method or practice arises that makes us anxious? We discuss it with our children.
So far this has worked perfectly.
Communication is key. Isn’t that the truth of all relationships and disagreements? Without communication, problems become bigger problems. OMT no likey.
My philosophy in this life has been: Can we talk about it? I’m not a fan of difficult discussions or being on the opposite spectrum of anything with my kids. Life would be easier if we never made each other uncomfortable, right? Yet, that’s rarely the case.
So, should you say something? Absolutely. Caveat: you must remember that while you have a concern, you are simply the support team, not the head coach, and that even after discussion, you may walk away unconvinced. Don’t operate out of fear or anger or accusation. Approach the conversation in love. Be open and listen.
You may not change their mind, you may annoy them, they may annoy you and you may not understand their decision afterwards, but, that’s okay. Just like you raised your kids in the best way you could, for me, I trust that my kids are doing the same.
If the parents have implemented a habit or practice that puts the child in danger, you then have a moral responsibility to speak up or to take action that requires a third party intervention (I’m talking extremes here, like babies/toddlers/small children being left alone, or not being fed and cared for properly, or physical/mental abuse.)
Sweet E is still a toddler, but between the four adults, we have discussed (and Garry and I have learned) many things. Do we always agree? Nah. But, it’s seriously okay.
I take comfort in the fact that we raised Boy in a way that was completely different than either set of his grandparents had raised us, and while they had their concerns and OMGOSH moments with us, we discussed everything along the way and assured them that we had it under control, that we loved Boy and would never offer him less than everything we could.
Being a grandparent is a balancing act. You love your grandkiddos in a way you never knew existed until they entered your life, you love their parents, but your roll is more hands off, baby. It’s tough to do, especially since we are so familiar and comfortable with our decision-making rolls as parents; we’re used to taking charge and getting thangs done.
The season of grandparenting allows us to offer our support, our love and understanding without the responsibility of raising dem babies. If asked for your wisdom, give it. If not, they’re not interested.
It’s a glorious place to stand.
* If you’re concerned, ask to talk about it.
* If asked for your wisdom, give it.
* Remember your primary responsibility is love and support.
I hope that helps in some small way, Amanda.
If you guys have a question for me, please leave it in the comments, email me, or head to my facebook page and leave it there.
Do you guys have anything to add? Tell us!