Why Grandparents should not Interfere with Parenting their Grandchildren

In today’s world; conflict within families in regards to raising the children has become a big issue in many households. With so many single parent homes many are relying on the grandparents for help with the grandchildren. It is a very hard to know the difference on what is actually helping and what is interfering.

There are those situations where abuse or neglect has warranted the grandparents to step in as most would agree on that case scenario. However, here is a case that could have possibly had a better outcome if the grandparents would have let the parenting up to the parents. No matter what the parents did or said, Grandma would always do as she saw fit with no regards to the parents decisions. She always managed to manipulate things to her own satisfaction. Here is the result of a Grandmother stepping in when she really should have just stepped aside.

Johnny, a 17 year old boy has a nice pickup truck but due to his own irresponsible behavior has been beaten to the ground. His grandparents come to the rescue and pays for the repairs, again and again. In the mean time, Tara, his mother is against this and tries to voice her feelings but is ignored. She had been fighting a losing battle for years as she continually tried to teach him responsibility and working for things in hopes he’ll learn to take care of his things.

Johnny had always been a pretty good kid, but did have a problem with falling into the wrong crowd at times. Well, a year goes by and he gets into a bit of trouble that really needed the action of tough love. It’s the parent’s responsibility to do the disciplining as they see fit and by all rights the grandparents should stay out of it.

It was February of Johnny’s senior year of high school. He had a decent job for over two years and he really messed up by taking the dare of giving gas away to some friends along with a few instant lottery tickets. Of course his employer files charges and Johnny is made to pay back for the gas and lottery tickets on top of fines and court cost. He also was put on 3 months probation. Johnny’s mom Tara wants him to follow through with whatever punishment is given to him in hopes that he will realize he has to take responsibility for his own actions. The Grandparents come to town for the spring concert at school and behind Mom’s back, pays off Johnny’s debt that is owed.

The Grandparents come back for graduation. They decide to take it upon themselves to go talk to the probation officer to get permission to take Johnny out of state to come live with them. They pleaded with the probation officer stating that they felt getting Johnny away from bad influences was going to make a world of difference. The parole officer did speak to Tara about this and agreed that he was not going to learn anything by being bailed out all the time. After several attempts by the grandmother she did agree but only under the condition that he attends school and his probation would be extended from 3 months to 18 months. She needed proof that he was enrolled in a college or technical school and was to report via U.S. mail once a month. Tara was so angry as Johnny was already planning on attending school where they lived.

Tara sat her Mother and Step father down and tried to explain to them that Johnny has issues and he is never going to learn by them bailing him out all the time. By him being allowed to leave the state it was just teaching him that no matter what he does he can run away. Tara was so against this whole thing knowing it was going to fall apart. In the meantime they began arguing and it turned into a very heated conversation. They ended up not speaking for nearly a year. Johnny did start college but only after a few months he began running with the wrong crowd and ended up back in his home state and is now at present sitting in jail due to more bad choices. His grandmother is in denial over the entire situation.

This incident happened in another county. Therefore, the county in which his probation was had him detained because he still had two months left of his 18 months probation.
Tara became so angry because of the fact that this was exactly what she was afraid of. Now the grandparents are stressed out from worry.

All the while Johnny sits behind bars and reflects on the past and he worries about his future. Tara is the only family near by so now she is left holding the cards and having to deal with all the legal technicalities and visits to the jail. Johnny claims that he has finally realized that he can’t always get want he wants and that Grandma and Grandpa can’t always bail him out and also that he can not run because it always catches up to you. Tara is praying each and everyday that it’s not too late for him and that he will definitely learn from this. The sad thing is that the Grandma is still in denial and believes that Johnny is an angel and innocent of everything.

Let this be a lesson; Grandparents should be grandparents and Parents should be Parents. As long as the parents are alive and healthy there is no reason why they should not be the main disciplinarian in the children’s lives. It just causes animosity and disrespect within the family and that is not a good thing for all.

Grandma and Grandpa, Do not try to make up for any errors you may have made in your parenting years, they’re over. This should be a fun chapter in your life. Learn to bite your tongue and let your children raise their children as they see fit. Sit back and enjoy the ride of being a grandparent. It really can be such a joy.