We all love grandparents.
They come visit. They help out when we need a break. They share their wisdom and guidance.
That being said, I have also heard from clients about the not-so-good of grandparents being around. For instance, when grandparents “take over” and shift the rules and expectations. Or give advice in such a way that it feels like we’re doing it wrong.
In this season of growth and change, and as grandparents stretch us as parents – and stretch our kids with new expectations, might I encourage you with this message:
Your parents are not YOUR kid’s parents. And…guess who knows that?? YOUR kid.
That’s right. No manner of grandparenting or over-grandparenting will convince your child that you stopped being their mom or dad. They know the difference. They KNOW you are their parent. They love you for it. AND they love their grandparents, too. There is enough love for everyone from your kids. They have love overflowing from them!
If you are in a season of struggling with the growth from your child’s grandparents, I want to encourage you to let your kids love them and love you. Allow grandparents to OVERlove your child. Who couldn’t use more love??
NOTE: if you are in a struggle about overindulgence…that’s okay, too. You can definitely have a conversation about needs/wants/excess with your kids without needing to block grandparents. Just sit down with them to talk about your family values. This may include teaching about gratitude and humility. That we want to accept gifts from grandma and grandpa, but those gifts aren’t always things they will receive from us.
Allowing our kids to be loved by (and have deep, meaningful connections with) Grandparents is hugely important. If you don’t live nearby to your parents – visit. If you don’t have a great relationship with your parents, find a surrogate family who you build relationship with. You kids need relationships with elders who teach them from a different generation. Your parents represent your childhood. Your heritage. Your kids learn about you as they see you with their grandparents. Give them this gift. Often and joyfully.
P.S. – Love you Mom and Dad, Grandma Billie, Grandma Sonia and Papa! You are GREAT grandparents to my babies!