Do you have controlling grandparents in your kid’s life?
Grandparents are a very important part of the life of your children.
They are loving and caring and usually have a special bond with their grandkids. I mean, who doesn’t love their grandparents?
For a Parent on the other hand, grandparents can sometimes be overly involved in parenting questions.
Yes, they raised kids themselves and know what they are doing.
BUT that was a whole other era and I bet they didn’t like other people telling them how to parent either.
They most likely only have the best interest in mind but at the same point overstep their boundaries. That can cause some serious tension and problems.
Grandparents love to give advice and while there are times where advise is very much appreciated, there are also times it is not.
Unless grandparents are actively co-parenting there is no need to give opinions when they aren’t asked for.
So what can you do when your own parents or in-laws are overly involved in your parenting decisions and tell them to back off in a polite way?
This is probably the first and most important thing. Having clear rules.
If you already know the grandparents are pushy it might be a good idea to have a sit down even before the baby is born.
It should not be emotional, just clearly say what you want and what is not appreciated.
You should let them know that any serious decision, or basic rules regarding your child are up to you.
That could involve simple things like bedtime routine or what to give them for food.
If you want to be the one having the say in baby’s firsts like the first Christmas outfit or first hair cut you should let them know after all they are not mind-readers.
Maybe you can find some compromises too and let them have special moments especially when it is the first grandchild.
Communication is key.
If you ever feel like you might be a helicopter parent it is also a good idea to take a step back and reevaluate your own actions.
Alright, so you told them what you want to do and what is a no no for you. But then your mom or mother in-law does something you clearly said you don’t want. What now?
Try to stay calm. It surely is annoying to you but it could be a honest mistake.
Even if you are sure it was done on purpose because “i know better” don’t overreact. Kindly remind her that you are the parent and what you say goes. Simple as that.
It might help to bring up that if they are such great parents they should trust in your or your spouses ability to raise kids just as great.
After all they raised you or your spouse. Again, be friendly while doing so. Otherwise it could be a unnecessary fight.
Let them know they are very well appreciated but you are the parent.
Establish your rules
You clearly voiced your idea of being a parent involving your rules.
The rules weren’t followed and you talked to the grandparent in a friendly way but the issue is still there.
You reminded the grandparent that they are the grandparents and not parents and should not be overly involved. Your rules are still not being followed.
This can be very frustrating and you need to find a way to make sure your rules are being followed.
If you have doubts that your rules might be too strict your spouse should be the person to talk to first and maybe you can change them a bit.
But still if the situation doesn’t get better then limiting time with the child might be a harsh decision but could result in you being heard and respected.
Some grandparents may think they know better and have aright to be so overly involved.
Yes, they do have way more experience in parenting than you but they where at the point of being new parent too. A lot of parenting practices also changed over the years. Best example is the car seat safety.
Back in their days they might not have used any car seat at all or a very loose version of what we have now.
At some point seat belts weren’t even used in cars which is completely unsafe nowadays.
Make it your mission to educate them about newer practices so your baby is safe. Education grandparents about newer regulations and practices will only benefit your child.
Assert yourself and make sure you are being respected. As much as you have to.
When you are dealing with grandparents that just won’t accept your rules you might have to push harder.
They need to know when to back off – family or in-laws. It has to be accepted that you are the parent and in charge.
If your request has been ignored before or belittled it could work to have a talk with them.
Just to show them how serious you are about this topic. Family or not – you are not obligated to cater to them.
It is very sad if you have to go through a experience like that. Overstepping in this dimension is completely disrespectful and should never be tolerated.
I really hop you are never in this situation but if you are – you got this! I hope some of these tips may help you to deal with overly involved grandparents.
What if the grandparent is just toxic?
You tried all the nice approaches and you did stand your ground but there is still no understanding on the grandparents side? Still a lack of respect towards you – the parent?
If things are really bad do not feel bad to cut grandparents off.
You do not have to be surrounded by absolute toxic people and your kids don’t have to be exposed to toxic behavior either.
This should be your absolutely last resort though when everything else fails and you can’t take it anymore.
Do you need ways to keep your kid entertained while working from home? Get fun worksheets, coloring pages and more for free when you subscribe to my emails.
And find your tribe of like-minded parents in our Facebook group.