Can there be toxic grandparents? Yes they can … When the relationship with the grandchildren is not taken care of enough. Grandparents can be toxic when they don’t realize that their attitude is damaging their relationship with their family or their grandchildren.
There are profiles of grandparents that can be somewhat toxic because the relationship between the parents does not work, not because the parents do not do their part, but because of the inflexibility that certain grandparents may present. It is necessary to recognize these profiles, especially to know how to treat them. If you are a grandparent and you recognize yourself in one of these profiles, then it will be a good idea to assess how you could improve your way of being to improve the emotional bond with your grandchildren. They need to get along with you.
GRANDPARENTS WHO DO NOT WANT TO SHARE
Some grandparents do not want to share moments with their grandchildren or they may want to share too many. They may want to be included in every family celebration or vacation, invading the intimate moment of the family nucleus, parents and children. Parents sometimes appreciate doing things with their children without many other family members. Sometimes they may not want to share their circle of close friends with their parents. In part, this depends on the personality of each one.
People who are relaxed and sociable can host whoever shows up at home. Those who are planners and a bit introverted will not be comfortable if grandparents always show up at home, unannounced or want to be present at all celebrations.
Also, the best grandparents always remember that there is usually another pair of grandparents nearby. It is fair to share grandchildren with the other grandparents, especially during the holidays. It is not a good idea to be a jealous grandparent or one who wants to hoard all your time with your grandchildren.
It’s natural to want to vacation with your grandchildren, but there are ways to do it without being selfish. Sometimes the two sides of the family can merge into a single celebration, but this may not work with large families, for logistical reasons or perhaps because the personalities clash too much. You need to find a way to share moments in a balanced way.
GRANDPARENTS WHO IGNORE THE PARENTS OF THEIR GRANDCHILDREN
Parenting has changed enormously from when grandparents were parents. Currently there are other parenting thoughts and parents follow models different from the traditional or authoritarian one. With newborn babies, for example, they no longer put their stomachs to sleep because the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) increases. They no longer put talcum powder on their genitals during diaper changes, etc.
Grandparents must recognize that changes in parenting are generally based on what is best for the health and safety of the children. Grandparents who want to catch up quickly often take parenting classes before their first grandchild arrives. That’s a great way to show parents that they want to do the best for their grandchildren from the moment they enter the world.
With older children, grandparents should respect dietary restrictions, bedtime, and general parental rules. However, bedtime can be difficult to adhere to, especially on weekends or holidays … Here parents can show some flexibility in this regard.
GRANDPARENTS WHO DO NOT RESPECT DIFFERENCES
When generations conflict, the older generation can sometimes be heard telling the younger generation, ‘I didn’t raise you for this.’ You need to remember that adults make their own decisions, and sometimes they change their mind about something they were taught as children. This applies to both our adult children and our grandchildren. Sometimes children or grandchildren choose a different religion, choose another political party to vote, or have a different perspective on life than you do.
Most parents want their children to learn to think for themselves. Grandparents must respect the results when exactly that happens … It is not easy to accept contrary opinions but it is necessary to do so.