A New Scientific Study Shows How We Grandparents Cause Ill Will Between Us and the Parents of Our Grandchildren Over Parenting and Tips and Ideas to Preserve Access to Our Grandchildren

“Half of Parents Report Butting Heads with Child’s Grandparent Over Parenting,” is a new study   from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at Michigan Medicine – University of Michigan, August 17, 2020,  in Science Daily.

The summary and the conclusion contain grandparents’ greatest fear:

“Nearly half of parents describe disagreements with one or more grandparent about their parenting, with one in seven going so far as to limit the amount of time their child sees certain grandparents.”

Some of the disputes that were reported are expected:

discipline (57 %).  40% of parents of our grandchildren said grandparents are too soft on the grandchildren, and 14% say grandparents are too tough on them.

meals (44 %)

TV/screen time (36 %.)

Other issues: “manners, safety and health, bedtime, treating some grandchildren differently than others and sharing photos or information on social media.”

The health and safety issues are where grandparents and parents disagree on what used to be to what is, such as whether a baby should sleep on the stomach or back.  Interestingly, when the grandparents acceded to the parents’ control, the issues were described as minor, but when the grandparents stood firm as to their position that they were correct the issues were described as major.  That is when time was restricted between grandparents and grandchildren.

The conclusion is also expected but ultimately not helpful:

“These findings indicate that grandparents should strive to understand and comply with parent requests to be more consistent with parenting choices — not only to support parents in the difficult job of raising children, but to avoid escalating the conflict to the point that they risk losing special time with grandchildren.”

What is helpful are concrete examples of how to avoid conflict and especially avoid escalating conflict, themes repeated in some many blog posts I have written over the years.  This Grandma believes it is up to the grandparents to respect, change and adapt to the parents’ will and desires if we want a good relationship with them and open access to the grandchildren. It is a recognition that parents of our grandchildren are the gatekeepers to our grandchildren and we must respect the gatekeepers.

From my more than half century of experience as an elementary and middle school teacher, a family lawyer, a family court judge, and a grandmother, I learned that we grandparents can easily get into trouble dealing with the parents of our grandchildren.  Studies identify problems.  This Grandma wants to help fix them. Since the beginning of this blog, I have written numerous blog posts about how to address and hopefully fix the problems to maintain what we grandparents want most– access to our grandchildren. Granted, right now during COVID-19, our access is socially distanced and mostly electronic, but the need for us to maintain a good relationship with the parents of our grandchildren is forever.

This Grandma has written several blogs about parents as gatekeepers, and how, if we want access to our grandchildren, we have to respect the gatekeepers.  Here are some of the previous posts during the years that can help with the issues raised in the study:

REALITY TRAINING WITH TIPS FOR GRANDPARENT

We Grandmas Must Not Forget Our Golden Rule: We Must Do As the Parents of Our Grandchildren Direct

We Grandmas Must Not Forget Our Golden Rule: We Must Do As the Parents of Our Grandchildren Direct

 

This blog post gives three reasons what and why grandparents should do as the parents of our grandchildren direct.

This Grandma’s Top Ten Grandma Tips in Honor of Grandparents’ Day

This Grandma’s Top Ten Grandma Tips in Honor of Grandparents’ Day

 

This blog post addresses many of the issues that cause conflict between parents of our grandchildren and the tips on how to avoid some of these issues.

Our Grandchildren Will Grow Up Just Fine Even Though We Are Not Raising Them, Even In Today’s Society When the Parents May Or May Not Be Married.

This blog post gives tips and ideas to grandparents on how to give suggestions to the parents of our grandchildren, and how to navigate when parents of our grandchildren live in separate households.

Grandparents’ Favoritism Is Real In Many Families and Its Consequences May Last Generations

Grandparents’ Favoritism Is Real In Many Families and Its Consequences May Last Generations

 

This blog post gives ideas on how to correct actions by omission with the parents of our grandchildren.

Appreciating What You Have May Include Making Lemonade Out of Lemons Handed To You By the Parents of Your Grandchildren

Appreciating What You Have May Include Making Lemonade Out of Lemons Handed To You By the Parents of Your Grandchildren

 

This blog post contradicts advice given by Dear Abby to an active and involved grandparent who is disappointed about how she was treated by the parents of her grandchildren.  The post gives long term solutions to feeling unappreciated and to open the eyes of the parents of the grandchildren, while appreciating how much joy one gets from the privilege of being active and involved in grandchildren’s lives.

GRANDPARENT DISCIPLINE TIPS

Grandma’s bag of “D” Tricks to Avoid Discipline

This blog post gives tips on how to avoid discipline and allow the parents to do what they want in disciplining their children, avoiding the number one problem between grandparents and parents.

Top Four Tips For Grandparents To Conquer Sibling Rivalry

Top Four Tips For Grandparents To Conquer Sibling Rivalry

 

This blog post addresses grandparents dealing with siblings who are fighting.  Yes, more discipline avoidance tips for grandparents, and to get parents to do the disciplining.

Grandma’s Six Tips on Getting Grandchildren to Clean Up

Grandma’s Six Tips on Getting Grandchildren to Clean Up

 

This blog post is under the category of parents’ concern that grandparents are too soft on their grandchildren, and how to address getting children to clean up after play with grandparents.  We don’t want the parents returning to a messy home!

“Be Careful What You Wish For” Hits this Boomer Grandma

“Be Careful What You Wish For” Hits this Boomer Grandma

 

This blog post gives us grandparents reality training about discipline and our grandchildren.  A humorous look at the parents of our grandchildren and their offspring.

Never Say No Number 2 

This blog post is another about discipline.

GRANDPARENT FOOD AND MEAL TIPS

Protecting Our Granddaughters From the Ills of Sugary Drinks

Protecting Our Granddaughters From the Ills of Sugary Drinks

 

This blog post addresses the second most common issue in the study above, meals and food.

Pizza for Breakfast and Dessert First

One of my first blog posts about my own grandma lessons that work and the parent of our grandchildren wanted to steal.

Pizza for Breakfast Forever Even If It Not Supposed to Be So Good For You

Pizza for Breakfast Forever Even If It Not Supposed to Be So Good For You

 

A blog post about a study on the nutritional value of pizza.

This Grandma’s Case For a Breakfast Feast Grandchildren Would Want For Breakfast, Part I

This Grandma’s Case For a Breakfast Feast Grandchildren Would Want For Breakfast, Part I

 

Pizza For Breakfast Is Finally Getting the Respect It Deserves and This Grandma’s Case For a Breakfast Feast Grandchildren Would Want For Breakfast, Part II

Pizza For Breakfast Is Finally Getting the Respect It Deserves and This Grandma’s Case For a Breakfast Feast Grandchildren Would Want For Breakfast, Part II

 

Yes, two more blog posts about pizza, which after all, is a food staple in childhood. . . .and grandparenthood.  After all, since pizza for breakfast was one of the first lessons this Grandma received, I must find studies to justify it, and the second post includes a link to the 20 best foods to eat for breakfast.

 

Fast Food Stable and Staple in Our Grandchildren’s Diet

Fast Food Stable and Staple in Our Grandchildren’s Diet

 

A blog post from this mother of a daughter who did not taste a tomato until she was 25, another mantra is that children or grandchildren will grow up fine, and they will not be limited in food or activity by the time they walk down the aisle.

Feeding Grandchildren Dessert First Is Good Science For Grandma and Now A Scientific Study Confirms it is Good for All of Us

This post directs us to science and to recipes posts.  Yes, when this Grandma serves dessert first the grandchildren eat all their food, the parents have noticed and want to steal the idea, but it is nice to have science to back us up.

Despite the Science Behind “The Five Second Rule” As To Whether or Not To Eat Food Dropped Five Seconds Or Less, This Grandma Finds It Depends on Whether It is the First Child Or Not

Despite the Science Behind “The Five Second Rule” As To Whether or Not To Eat Food Dropped Five Seconds Or Less, This Grandma Finds It Depends on Whether It is the First Child Or Not

 

This blog post is not as much about science, which it does include, as the difference between parents of our first grandchild and subsequent grandchildren, thank goodness.

GRANDPARENT ELECTRONICS TIPS

American Academy of Pediatrics Comes Into the Twenty First Century Regarding Electronics and Children Just in Time to Stop Parental Guilt Over Parents’ Reality

American Academy of Pediatrics Comes Into the Twenty First Century Regarding Electronics and Children Just in Time to Stop Parental Guilt Over Parents’ Reality

 

The blog post includes the newest scientific studies and the title is self-explanatory.

The 2014 Top Five Box Office Movie Winners For Grandchildren and Whether Grandchildren Should Actually See Them

The 2014 Top Five Box Office Movie Winners For Grandchildren and Whether Grandchildren Should Actually See Them

 

This blog post introduces the website, www.commonsensemedia.com.  It is far from the last post using this wonderful resource for movies, videos, books and more.  Later posts address how conservative this website is and how some of the parents of our grandchildren may actually be more liberal than the recommendations.

Best Ways of Taking Back Control from Children With Smartphones and Computers in This Electronic Age is Something We Should Share With the Parents of Our Grandchildren

Best Ways of Taking Back Control from Children With Smartphones and Computers in This Electronic Age is Something We Should Share With the Parents of Our Grandchildren

 

This blog post includes tips for us to share with parents.

Parents Should Embrace Electronics for their Children — with Rules

Parents Should Embrace Electronics for their Children — with Rules

 

This post tells us not worry so much, and hopefully the parents of our grandchildren will not worry so much either, one of this Grandma’s mantras.

GRANDPARENT TIPS ON COMMUNICATION AND RESPECT

Mother-in Law Day is for Mother in law to be Deserving of the Honor of Having a Day Named After Her

This blog post gives the four best tips on being the in law parent when talking with, and becoming important to, the parents of our grandchildren.  The tips work for all grandparents to be welcomed, and more so, invited to participate in our grandchildren’s lives.

Mother-in-law and Mother Relationship is the Same for Grandma

Mother-in-law and Mother Relationship is the Same for Grandma

 

This blog post explains the ways being the mother or mother in law of the parent of our grandchildren requires similar practice to honor the gatekeepers.

Grandma Gives Positive Solutions to Mother’s Day Disappointment and Family Discord

Grandma Gives Positive Solutions to Mother’s Day Disappointment and Family Discord

 

This blog post’s title says it all and recognizes that in many families there is discord and what to do about it.

This Grandma Says Always Go To The Parent of Your Grandchildren Who Is Your Child First About Any Issue To Have the Most Access To and The Best Relationship With Your Grandchildren

This Grandma Says Always Go To The Parent of Your Grandchildren Who Is Your Child First About Any Issue To Have the Most Access To and The Best Relationship With Your Grandchildren

 

This blog post gives tips on how to approach issues with the parents of your grandchildren in a positive manner.

How to be the Best Grandma in the World with the Most Joy and Least Responsibility

How to be the Best Grandma in the World with the Most Joy and Least Responsibility

 

This, my first blog post, addresses grandparents to be and how to start off on the right foot with the parents of our grandchildren.

Never Say No–Number 1

This blog post also addresses grandparents to be as to the first step in creating a great grandparent relationship with the parents to be.

When Grandma Does Not Exercise Good Judgment While Watching Grandchildren Look for the Win-Win Rather than Consequence

When Grandma Does Not Exercise Good Judgment While Watching Grandchildren Look for the Win-Win Rather than Consequences

 

Yes, we grandparents are not perfect and we mess up.  This blog post gives concrete tips on how to make things better with the parents of our grandchildren.

 

Grandpa needs Grandma Lessons

Grandpa needs Grandma Lessons

 

Yes, even if we grandparents mess up badly, we can still repair the relationship with the parents of our grandchildren.  This blog post gives tips on how, as well as when, to do so.

 

My Mother-in-law, the Star

My Mother-in-law, the Star

 

I wrote this blog post about my role model, my mother-in-law.  If every grandparent was like GG (great grandmother), I do not think the study that was the inspiration for this post would have the same results.  GG was 88 years old when I wrote this post and she is 96 years young now, living alone, and as active as ever.  GG has asked that I read this blog post at her funeral.  I hope that is at least a decade away.

 

AND WHAT WE WANT MOST FOR OUR GRANDCHILDREN

 

Grandma’s View on Promoting Intimacy and Love

Grandma’s View on Promoting Intimacy and Love

 

This blog post addresses how we can help our grandchildren live in a home with love.  Yes, promoting intimacy means giving the parents of our grandchildren a break, whether for a dinner alone, or more.

 

There are so many blog posts that give tips and ideas to promote a healthy and wholesome relationship with the parents of our grandchildren.  I found many, but please explore for more on your own in the archives.

The blog posts above and on this Grandma’s blog show my belief that it is up to the grandparents to respect, change and adapt to the parents’ will and desires if we want a good relationship with them and open access to the grandchildren.

CNN presents an alternative view and tips for the parents of our grandchildren in “Butting Heads With Your Child’s Grandparents? Here’s How to Make Peace,” by Kristen Rogers, CNN, August 17, 2020.

Joy,

 

Mema

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