In some cases, children have to be brought up in a joint family system. In such a system, grandparents also live with their children and then interfere with matters relating to their grandchildren. Parents often feel frustrated and very helpless because on one hand, they cannot say no to their own parents, and on the other hand, they want to control and discipline their children without having someone always coming to their rescue.
Grandparents bring some good things with them, however. They can tell stories of their early years, their marriage and how they brought up their children. These stories are full of advice and wisdom for the younger generation, and everyone enjoys them. However, if this advice is brought up at the wrong time, it may have a negative effect on a child’s mind.
Some grandparents recognize the enormous responsibility of parenting and choose not to interfere with such matters. However, some grandparents like to put their nose into every matter and as a result make things worse. They should wait for the right time to give a piece of advice regarding the role of parents and their responsibilities. At the same time, they should not always come to the rescue of their grandchildren when they are being disciplined by their parents for their bad behavior.
To develop a healthy atmosphere and family set up, parents should also try to forgive the grandparents’ interference in their children’s upbringing. Somebody has to be reasonable, and parents cannot expect the grandparents to be reasonable considering their age. Furthermore, grandparents also need love and care at that age and often they find this love in their grandchildren. Parents should not be too harsh on the grandparents.
At the same time, however, grandparents should try to avoid getting into arguments with the parents. This tense situation is ultimately not healthy for the children, and they start thinking that it is their fault. Grandparents should understand that rules for bedtime, dinner and play are imposed for the betterment of the children, and they have nothing to do with being extra strict or harsh. In the evenings, grandparents and children should be given a chance to spend time together.
Parenting demands patience and understanding not just the children but also the people who are living with them. Parents need to be more reasonable and try to avoid situations where there will be unnecessary arguments. Parents need to bring the children closer by confiding in them and trusting them even if they have to leave them alone with their grandparents.
In addition, and at the same time, parents need to tell the grandparents gently that they should not needlessly pamper the grandchildren. Instead, they should watch their activities closely and report instances of bad behavior. Grandparents can be much more mature and responsible baby-sitters than other people because they are familiar with the family set up and know what is good for their grandchildren.