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Whisky Delta

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Do you believe it is OK for grandparents to "spoil" their grandkids?

I hear it all over me and can't help to question it. "Grandparents are supposed to spoil the grandkids". I question this because i never grew up with this kind of relationship with my grandparents. I'm just trying to figure out if this is just a local thing that is passing around me or is it world wide thing going on here about it's the grandparents job to spoil their grandkids. Do we believe it is logical or right for all grandparents to spoil their grandchildren as much as possible? Are there any disadvantages? I'm under the impression that there is noting wrong with this today, is this right?

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Closing Statement from Whisky Delta

Thank all for your thoughts, input, and understanding with pleasure.

I'd like to highlight two comments From Edward Long and Barry Palmer that sum up this conversation:

I think it is important for grandchildren to see and hear the discussions/arguments that their grandparents have with their parents, especially about issues that directly affect them. It is important for children to learn that people with authority disagree with each other, and that we can settle disagreements without having hard feelings later. They should also learn that some rules are more important than others, and that bending a rule is not necessary the same as breaking it. It is very important for everyone in the family to have fun together.

Grandma and Grandpa cannot rightly undermine the authority of the parents by allowing what parents forbid. Nor can they encourage kids to violate parental policy. And, of course, health and safety issues must be obeyed. But anything other than that it's Katy bar the door. Anything goes. . . staying up past bedtime; an extra empty-calorie snack; departures from the normal routine; safe, fun stuff kids love to do. One set of parents is sufficient. Grandma and Grandpa play a different role than Mom and Dad. The chemistry changes when the kids are left at Grandma's and the parents hit the road. It's party time. No harm, no foul.



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    Oct 4 2013: Should a grandparent believe to win the love of a grandchild is to buy them every toy on the shelf (a surprise as in the cartoon Mary posted)? Does gift=I love you? See, gift here is proof so when I pass away you will know I loved you.
    • Oct 4 2013: No, but I do not think it is as simple as gift=love.

      How do grandparents keep from being excluded in the lives of their grandchildren when separated by distance? dysfunctional family situations such as divorce (in parent or grandparents marriage)? or just the desire of one parent to exclude them from the lives of their grandchildren?

      How do grandparents divide their time equally among grandchildren? Is the gift some sort of misguided attempt at balancing things?

      Is it gift=love, or something like gift=time I wish I could spend with you, and I know I can't?

      Spoiling grandchildren is perhaps something that can add some disharmony to a family unit, so it is unfortunate. However, if the parents feel it is creating an issue, I would think most grandparents would be receptive to the wishes of the parents if they sense what they are trying to do is adding stress to a child's family.

      This is a bit of a tangent to your post, but I can't tell you how many times I have heard of grandparents raising grandchildren in the past few weeks. When did this become acceptable? Grandparents as a back-up plan as a result of some family tradgedy is understandable, but parents just sending kids to live with grandparents? Seems irresponsible. Even the expectation among adult children that grandparents exist to provide childcare, finacial aid, or primary care for grandchildren is flawed, yet somehow accepted. Grandparents often do these things out of love, concern for a child or grandchild's well being, or because they are willing to sacrifice time or resources to make these things happen. However, they deserve the right to manage the quality of thier own lives "guilt free" relative to neglected responsibilities of their adult children. Some do, but many just accept the burden and smile, thinking the situation is some sort of collateral damage related to their inability to provide a perfect childhood for thier children.

      I think it is often more complex than gift=love.
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        Oct 5 2013: Your post has some highlights. In a divorce/separation circumstance...Should a parent be allowed to communicate with the grandparent of the ex ("but I can't tell you how many times I have heard of grandparents raising grandchildren in the past few weeks)? I am referring to this parent setting up an alternative to calling the other parent in order not to have time spent with his/her child out of an act of hate/power. I am absolutely shocked and floored family courts support this. I never knew this was ever even possible especially without evidence, proof, or accusation of abuse, neglect, or drug/alcohol addiction by the other parent. Bottom line: Should grandparents be put in the middle of divorce/separation issues? My belief, ABSOLUTELY NOT! One parent is the alienated parent and the other is the alienating parent. Personally, this has gotten to the point for me that if I correct my children, share something with my children, or even fart in front of my kids I get scrutinized by my own parents. I am a moonlet of this system but I am making my cautious calculated collisions. Should the 4 day a month (which is standard) parent have a fear of correcting or educating his child for assuming the child may not want to visit next time? This is where most of the scrutiny from my parents comes in. However, their house is overstocked with toys for the weekends she needs a sitter. I spent a half day with my kids today which was the longest of the 4 times I have seen them in the past 2 months. I felt replenished inside but always alway scrutinized on the outside at the same time. Yes, my threshold with endurance has been crossed many times and I have turned into John McEroe towards my parents in front of my children. Again, I am then scrutinized for that as well. I have tried to solve this problem several times by kindly asking them in the very beginning not to communicate with my ex and to see the kids through me. Their response is, "we don't agree, you can't control us".
        • Oct 5 2013: Wow. Powerful post.

          Let me start off by saying I have no concept of the emotional turmoil that must be taking place in the lives of all family members involved in a divorce. I have witnessed parents alienating each other from the lives of their children as weapon, but have never experienced it. Anyone involved in such a situation has my sympathy. I hope that something like the Serenity prayer might offer a path towards bringing some peace into the lives of all parties involved.

          The situation leading to grandparents raising a grandchild in my post was an observed end condition, not a statement supporting increased involvement in the legal proceedings of a failed marriage.

          From what I have heard, the courts try and do what public law and the judge decide is best for the children in the case of a divorce. All I can imagine is that your parents are trying to somehow do what they believe is also best for the child. While their response to your request may be accurate, it seems a bit callous for them to not abide by your wishes in the proceedings.

          I wish I knew the answer to controlling parental scrutiny. My guess is that parents never stop trying to make their child "better", as it fits with their definition of optimal behavior. Few live lives that meet their own definition or standards. In the case of a compressed opportunity for you to spend time with your child, it is easy to see from the outside that this scrutiny must seem intensified and add to an already difficult emotional situation. Perhaps they will come to this realization as they try and balance their own feelings, emotions, and ideas about how to improve the situation.

          Best of luck to you.
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      Oct 4 2013: No Whisky, Gift != I love you ..

      We people just offer gift to one when we love. But Its true, the loved one may relate a gift as a outcome of the love. Kids do that (as Mary M. showed by cartoon) innocently. But surprisingly, not only kids, elder also do that... Wife Says - Honey! You do not love me anymore :( where is my gift? Haaaan !!
      Aging is not what makes us sensible :D LOL

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