Getting Along with the “Other Grandparents”

Most likely your beautiful grandchildren have other grandparents besides you. And if there have been deaths and divorces in the older generations there may be six or eight adults who call themselves grandparents in your grandchildren’s lives.

Having lots of grandparents or other adults who lavish time and presents on children is a plus for them, but there is a good chance that you may have some differences with the other grandparents. You may even dislike them and feel a bit jealous of the time they have with the grandkids.

In addition the other side of the family may have different values, personalities and lifestyles. You may not approve. What can you do about this unhappy situation? The answer is….

Nothing.

In fact, you can’t do just nothing, you have to do some positive things even if it’s hard. The reason is that your grandchildren are more important than the differences you may feel or the resentments you hold.

I’m sure you could tell war stories about the things the “others” have done that you disapprove. Maybe they spend too much money on the grandkids, or allow unruly behavior that you feel is unhealthy. Maybe they feed the grandkids junk food and let them stay up too late. Maybe they are stick in the muds with too many rules and regulations. There are any number of ways they may fall short.

In spite of all that, here are some tips that will keep the adults acting like adults and avoid some of the hurtful things that can happen in extended families.

Save competition for sporting events

Don’t try to compete with the other grandparents. Don’t try to match their spending or outdo them in any way. Competition amongst adults generally speaks of insecurities. And if the other grandparents are getting more of the coveted time with the grandkids, we can fall back on the knowledge that life isn’t always fair. Make the most of the time you do have with them. Allow the other grandparents to be themselves with their unique personalities and temperaments. Allow them to make decisions about the ways they interact with the grandchildren as long as the situations are safe.

Speak Favorably

Take the high road and speak positively about the other grandparents, especially in front of your children and grandchildren. The more you verbalize the problems as you see them to others you will reinforce negative feelings and thoughts. It’s better for all to let resentments and jealousies go. Speak of the other adults in your grandchildren’s life as you would hope they speak of you.

Keep your relationship with all family members positive.

What’s Best for the Kids and Grandkids?

Think of the stress that can be caused by conflicts in any family. Your children and the grandchildren will be the ones who feel any negativity between the two sides. Holiday gatherings, birthdays, weddings and other family events can be ruined by rifts between adults. Choosing to get along with everyone is another gift you can give to your children and grandchildren. Decide that different is okay and enjoy your family times every single time.

For more discussion related to this topic see:

Foundation for Grandparenting

Tips for Getting Along

Be a Better Grandparent

juliet

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