It’s true. Being a grandma is hard sometimes. I love both of my grandsons with all my heart, and I love being with them. But sometimes it’s hard to keep from turning back into a mom and disciplining them like I did with my own children.
My youngest grandson is a conniver. As soon as his parents leave the room, he is out of control. I watched him lunge across the dinner table to get the last few Cheetos from his brother’s plate. When I told him no (it came out louder than I intended), he gave me a look that could kill. He threw his empty plate across the table and broke into a loud wail that had no tears associated with it. To me, that’s the sign of a temper tantrum. His parents came in to comfort the little hoodlum which made me mad. He needed a spanking.
Spanking. That’s not done any more. I got lots of them and never turned violent like they say kids will do when spanked. They made me understand who was in charge. When my parents told me no, I knew they meant no, and the consequences of arguing with them was painful to my backside. But these days, if anyone sees a child being spanked, even on the butt, it’s considered abuse so I understand why that’s not an option any more. Still, discipline is very important to instill in children.
Later, I said things to my son about how his youngest son acted at the table and how he needed more discipline. My son took it well. Rather than telling me to mind my own business, he listened and let me vent. I love him for that. Now I’m thinking I should have bit my tongue and kept quiet. He does a fantastic job with his boys as a stay-at-home dad, and I had no right to criticize. I should have encouraged him rather than criticize. He does a good job disciplining his sons and teaching them the right way to behave. Just because my youngest grandson has a mischievous streak in him doesn’t mean he’s a bad kid. I let my frustration at my grandson’s tantrum cloud what I said to my son and I shouldn’t have. I apologized to him later for sticking my nose into something that wasn’t my call to make.
It’s hard to be the outsider in my son’s life and his dealings with his sons. I’ve had to bite my tongue many times, but it’s better than eating my words when I turn out to be wrong.
Being a grandma is hard, but being a parent is much harder. Grandparents should encourage and backup the young folks raising children in these turbulent times. Our job is to love and guide. Let’s let the parents do their job and let’s do ours.