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2 Bumps

The Grandparents debacle...

So my inlaws are really fun-loving, loud, big family people. They don't take much seriously (not in a bad way!) and love laughing, and find humor in alot. They are very open to my 2 year old DS and engage with him alot when we are over or when they are over our place. They run with him, are super active with him, and often buy him gifts when they see him (and they see him weekly).

My parents are more quiet and reserved. Don't like him touching things in their house, and often scold him when he is "acting up" (in their eyes). And acting up to them could be him trying to feed their cats more food in the food bowls that are left out. Also, when we are over, they seem to want to talk with me and my DH more than play or talk to my son. My 2 year old DS, is now started to be more verbal and when we say we're going to nana's house, he's now saying no no no. It breaks my heart because I love my parents, and want him to have a great relationship with them, but it seems like they don't do alot to get on his level. Any suggestions on how to get my parents and him to have a better relationship?


Asked by Sarahbeth7 at 7:27 PM on Dec. 3, 2012 in General Parenting

Level 15 (2,164 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • I think it's hard because it's your parents and if you had a great or even just a decent childhood you want your kids to experience that. Kind of "what the heck happened to those people I used to know?!" I wish I had wonderful advice, but I don't. We struggle with some similar issues. Maybe they'll lighten up when he's older.

    In our family it is the grandmothers on both sides who are about as much fun as dust. My FIL was the fun one. He would play with the kids and read to them. Our moms would read to the kids grudgingly. MIL has even said "does this kid ever shut up" about my 7 yr. old - in front of him!

    We have tried to foster better/more fun relationships with our mothers and even point blankly told them that they are missing out on some amazing kids. They just don't seem to care.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 8:14 PM on Dec. 3, 2012

  • How about having them to your house instead. He knows his boundaries there and your parents, hopefully, will be able to relax a little more.

    Also, maybe open up the lines of communication between your parents and you and your husband, letting them know how you're feeling a bit uncomfortable with how things currently stand. I don't know that this will work, but maybe?

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 7:29 PM on Dec. 3, 2012

  • LOL, I understand completely. My granddaughters tend to be wild and crazy when their mom is around. Every few seconds, I am moving something, telling them NO, etc. When mom isn't there, they are perfect and know my rules. The problem is the other grandparents do not discipline or set rules AT ALL. I began to see the issue last week when the oldest said, "Grandma, why do you like everything so neat and clean?". I've picked them up from their other grandmas and actually had to bathe them and clean their clothes.

    I think, IMO, it's supposed to be like that. That gives them balance and at least a little understanding.

    Don't get me wrong, I do spoil them rotten... but I like them to know that I expect certain behavior at my house, like taking your shoes off at the door.

    They do it here and my daughter is amazed....

    Answer by m-avi at 7:31 PM on Dec. 3, 2012

  • If they don't seem to care then why even subject your kids to them? Warn your parents that now is the time to bond with them and if they don't then don't be surprised when they're older and don't have a relationship with them. It's all up to them.

    Answer by onethentwins at 9:33 PM on Dec. 3, 2012

  • I agree with Miss Prissy, our house is an everything is materialistic and can be replaced but our children and grand children can not. I do have family who have the hands off, no dont do that lifestyle and we do not go there, I explained why and they are more at ease here :)

    Answer by luvmygrandbaby at 7:32 PM on Dec. 3, 2012

  • It may be that there isn't a lot to be done about this. Your son will at least be learning important social skills, in that not everyone will treat him the same way and different folks have different expectations.

    That said, I totally get where you're coming from. My mother doted on my girls. My mother in law did not. One year, she sent a single package of those plastic cheapo barrettes to split between all three of them. Lol, the look on my older daughter's face was priceless

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 7:40 PM on Dec. 3, 2012

  • I would talk with them about it. Especially if it's a change from how you were raised.

    Now, if it ISN'T... there's not going to be much you can do.

    Answer by gdiamante at 8:30 PM on Dec. 3, 2012

  • I should add that my DS lights up when he sees my inlaws and often asks about them when we are not with them.

    Comment by Sarahbeth7 (original poster) at 7:28 PM on Dec. 3, 2012

  • Oh we have them over's kinda the same thing. When he dumps out his toys they say "Why don't you take out the one you want?" Now you have a mess. Kinda stuff like that. IT's not BAD to say that, but just alot less fun. Just play with him!

    Comment by Sarahbeth7 (original poster) at 7:33 PM on Dec. 3, 2012

  • Oh we have rules and boundaries too...and he knows them. He's a well behaved kid and really sweet and great. It just seems like they have overall stiffend up lol.

    Comment by Sarahbeth7 (original poster) at 7:35 PM on Dec. 3, 2012