When Parents and Grandparents Don't Agree
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Shona, a single mother, and Jody, her daughter, are living with Grandma; Grandma does not agree with Shona’s parenting style. One night, Shona told Jody that it was time for her to brush her teeth and get ready for bed. Then she said, "I'll be waiting in your room to read your bedtime story."
 
Grandma jumped in with, "Oh, now, now, Shona—it’s still early. I think she can stay up a little longer. Jody, come sit with me and we'll play one more video game." Without actually saying it, Grandma had sent a strong message to Jody that she does not have to listen to her mother.
 
Solution
 
A solution to this comes after the adults agree that Jody should learn to respect both adults. This will only happen when Shona and Grandma agree that they will not interfere with any limit set by the other. If the adults have disagreements, they should discuss them privately.
 
It’s likely that Jody will continue to test limits by complaining to whomever will let her have her way. If she complains to Grandma, Grandma needs to say, "Jody, what did your mom say about that?" If she complains to Shona, Shona needs to say, "Jody, what did your grandma say about that?" Many parents discover that much of the tension in this situation can be reduced by asking the question, “What did your mom (or dad) say?”
 
You can find more helpful tips in the book, Grandparenting with Love and Logic.
 
Jim Fay - BioThanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
 
Jim Fay
 
 


 

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