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Re: Hey Grandparents ... When should you butt in?
Jim Bow #1045024 Sat Jul 26 2014 03:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 2,911
Worker Bee
Wow, grandkids are great. We think they are especially great when their parents are not around!!!

We've been watching the kids as they've "arrived" for the last six years, which included after day-care pick up by John to bring them here, where I always had the baby (until 2).

In the beginning, I could not believe some of the things our daughter was having problems with the kids over. WE didn't have any problems with them at our house. Truth is: our daughter is a softie. Her husband is not. And to our surprise, the husband doesn't mind taking the kids out to the park (2, 4 and 6 now) or keep them when daughter works over time and they behave.

Since we live on a farm, we treat 'em like farm kids. Bare feet is the rule here. Those stupid clogs are gonna kill them. Eat - what we have; no menu. Sippy cup - nope -- saved some cool skinny bottles that are fun to drink out of. Just a bunch of corny stuff but they love it.

And the best: mud, dirt, sand, rocks, pond water! hahahahhaa! It's great. When our daughter is here with them, she's too distracted to enjoy her kids enjoying the farm.

BUT ... when baby #1 got here and my daughter was getting advice from everyone, from her goofy friends to on-line places (and me, but she didn't like my input much - at the time), my friend told me the best thing her Mom did for her when she had her kids was to "let her raise them." So, I backed off. Unless she asked specifically, I didn't suggest. If she was just venting, I just listened. She's no dummy; nor is her husband. And some of this stuff, you just have to learn by trial and error.

It's kind like the advise we got about growing Christmas trees. You can read about this and that; and doing this and not that. Our extension agent said, find out what's happening with your best trees and duplicate it.

We are fortunate to be surrounded by Mennonite families, with great, down-to-earth quiet mannerly kids. So ... we follow their example. BARE FEET for starters!!

Oh and one thing different about your experience with your child and their children ... there is an extra person (spouse) in the equation. That person brings a whole set of life experiences (good or bad) to the deal.

People should like their kids. If they don't ... fix it (starting with a hard look at themselves; and their expectations from a child). Don't think it's gonna go away on its own.


Re: Hey Grandparents ... When should you butt in?
Jim Bow #1045027 Sat Jul 26 2014 03:29 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,269
Shop Shark
Some great reading and advice from all here.

My thought is you raised your kid and did the best you could. Now it is their turn, help if asked, but otherwise butt out.

I'm lucky in that department, my grand kids are all better behaved than my kids. Or maybe I have mellowed with age.

Fried Green T'mater (Vern)
1953 Chevrolet 3600
In the Stovebolt Gallery
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Caution: Political Statement

Man who runs in front of car gets tired, man who runs behind car gets exhausted.
Re: Hey Grandparents ... When should you butt in?
Jim Bow #1045042 Sat Jul 26 2014 04:20 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 2,911
Worker Bee
Oh, that was something I thought about when I was raising mine: how my parents were with us (six of us). I stuck with the things I thought were good and didn't do the things I thought we crummy. As Vern said (sorta), let them do the same.

Re: Hey Grandparents ... When should you butt in?
Jim Bow #1045044 Sat Jul 26 2014 04:26 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 6,801
Master Gabster
I have a 8 year old granddaughter and for the most part she is well behaved but i was firm with my son. On one occasion i was having dinner with my son and his family and my granddaughter asked if i was a mean dad, i told her to ask her dad and his answer was firm but fair then i asked her if her dad was mean and she said yes wink. he is stricter than i was i some ways but he was a good kid, not the didn't have his moments. His mother said i was to easy but i made a pronouncement on his conduct and he knew i meant it and he stopped misbehaving. Only if the child is in danger but get aside with the parent and discuss your concerns.

Ron, The Computer Greek
I love therefore I am.

1960 MGA Roadster Sold 7/18/2017
1954 3100 Chevy truck in the Gallery
2017 Buick Encore
Pix on Photobucket
Re: Hey Grandparents ... When should you butt in?
Jim Bow #1045343 Mon Jul 28 2014 06:03 AM
Joined: Jan 1970
Posts: 374
Shop Shark
I have four grandsons, ages 10, 9, 8 and 1. The older three are pretty rambuctious, but if I raise my voice a little they straighten right up. They stay with us for a week while they attend vacation Bible school at our church so I get to really hang out with them at that time. One boy was starting to sass grandma a little (she is kind of easy on them) so I firmly corrected him and we have had no further problems. It works best for us if we tell them what the schedule is (we eat supper at six, you can play in the front yard until we call you just before six to wash up for supper) AND STICK TO THE SCHEDULE!!! We offer choices of activities (go to park, play with the dogs, ect) and when they chose an activity, that is what we do. If we have an activity pre-planned, they don't get a choice--that is what we do.

The last three days we have spent time with my sibling's families. My sister's kids (she is a teacher) are well behaved and respectful. They are ages 12 and 8. As far as structure goes, my sister far surpasses any semblance of structure I used with my kids.

My brothers kids are ages 7 and 4. My brother (a mechanical engineer) spends a lot of time explaining to his kids why they should or should not do something, when I feel all they need to hear is NO, or YES. After supper one evening, the kids wanted to go look for crawdads in the creek near our cabin. The banks of the creek were gently sloped where the rocks lay, and steeply sloped where the clay banks met the water. Before we got to the creek I got down on the young kids level and told them we were going to look for crawdads along the rocky sides of the creek only. We would not get onto the steep clay banks. We began looking for crawdads and found several in the rocky areas. The seven year old (boy) gets up and makes a bee-line for the clay banks. I command him to stop in a louder, firm voice. He slowed his pace and seemed to be waiting for a dissertation of why he was not allowed on the clay banks. I reminded him that we were looking in the rocky area only, and that was the area he was to remain in. He sulked back to the rest of the group and started whining about not being allowed to crawl on the steep, slippery clay banks. I like questions from kids, but I don't tolerate whining. Getting down on his eye level again, I told him we were working the rocky area, and he could help the other kids find crawdads in the rocks, or he could go back to the cabin. A short time later I watched him walking toward the cabin.

My nephew's dad (my brother) tore his ACL in the first hour of our reunion, so he was on crutches, in pain, and could not navigate the creekbed safely to watch his own kids, so I was placed in charge of the crawdad exploration. The rest of our party returned to the cabin 45 minutes after my nephew left earlier, and his dad was at the top of the landing. Oh boy, I thought. My brother was not angry, but he did want to know what happened. I explained the situation and he was OK with my response--I suspect the story he heard from his son was 'spun' differently.

I did not offer my brother my advice (NO and YES, with reasoning and logic expressed at later ages), as much as it pained me to restrain. In his house his rules are top, and if he is in charge of a group, his rules prevail. My house=my group=my rules. In later interractions with my nephew, he listened to me, complied with my rules, and we got along fine.

Remember 9-11-01--God Bless the USA
JUSTICE, not REVENGE, will prevail

1951 Chevy 1/2-ton Pickup truck
Re: Hey Grandparents ... When should you butt in?
Jim Bow #1045657 Tue Jul 29 2014 04:09 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 2,911
Worker Bee
This is all good input. 52Carl -- your's is a great post. Hopefully Grandparents will realize the important role they play ... and it's not the parent role.


Re: Hey Grandparents ... When should you butt in?
Peggy M #1045794 Wed Jul 30 2014 03:44 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 9,314
Master Gabster
Originally Posted by Peggy M
This is all good input. 52Carl -- your's is a great post. Hopefully Grandparents will realize the important role they play ... and it's not the parent role.


Peggy, I don't share that story (as well as many others) very often, but when a fellow bolter is at wit's end as to what to do, I will step up.
Sometime I will share my first 16 seconds of having my first drivers license as I was leaving the DMV. Or maybe the first time my 'Otis-the-town-drunk' dad had me drive for the first time when I was 14.

Re: Hey Grandparents ... When should you butt in?
Jim Bow #1046117 Thu Jul 31 2014 06:16 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 2,911
Worker Bee

That's good. I look forward to hearing your other stories. Maybe next Homecoming?

Our three G-kids were here for five hours after "school" yesterday and it was fun. All easy stuff. I have a bloop of ice cream on my tennis shoe, a few of their trucks still placed here and there, and a play-dough heart in the kitchen as a fond memories. I think the best was re-teaching the boys (2 and 4) "On top of spaghetti" as we were eating cold Spaghetti-O's, right out of the can. Hold on to your meatball!

Love 'em. Just love 'em.



Re: Hey Grandparents ... When should you butt in?
Jim Bow #1046309 Fri Aug 01 2014 05:52 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,552
Shop Shark
We've had our two granddaughters here all week. (Actually, they're my daughter in law's daughters from her previous marriage, but close enough. As far as they're concerned, we're Grandma and Grandpa).
My wife is still working, so for three of the five days it's just me! I'm not the best at entertaining little girls, but it's going OK. They're 7 and 10, so that's not real bad.

My wife and I sometimes contemplate on what they must have to go through--several days a week living with their dad, the rest of the week with their mom and my son. Two sets of rules, and one parent playing them against the other, etc. etc. etc. One can only hope and pray that they grow up to be somewhat normal after all of that!

When they're with us, we try and give them a little extra guidance along the way, but mostly show them a lot of love.

Last edited by Rich'sToys; Fri Aug 01 2014 05:52 AM.


'47 Loadmaster

Life is like a roll of toilet paper--the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!

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