Concerned Grandparents?

Successful parenting is founded on successful relationships between spouses and relatives. We must not neglect our spouse while we focus our attention on grooming our children to become the best they can be. Discuss relationship issues here.

Concerned Grandparents?

Postby Happy Parents » Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:54 pm

Hi all,

This is our first time in a forum so please bear with us.

We have a problem that I want to share and hope maybe you can also share your experiences and perhaps advise on what we can do.

We have 3 daughters (12, 10 and 3). They also have grandparents who care and dote on them. Unfortunately, they have a bad habit of comparing the grandkids with one another (and with other kids) and imposing their ideas on us.

For example; the grandparents have been hounding us to give them tuition simply because other kids are doing it. Their explanation was "The whole of Singapore are doing it!". Every time when we meet up for dinner, we will always be the subject of discussion, i.e. they will keep telling us to send our kids for tuition. We have already explained to them that the school where our daughters are in is already conducting supplementary classes to help the students cope. That in itself is tuition. However, they only replied that the schools are merely putting up a show.

In the recent PSLE in 2012, our daughter obtained a score lower than her cousins. For a month, the grandparents dwelled in anger and gave us the silent treatment (even with the grandkids). Their complaint was that we did not send her to tuition classes, thus the lower PSLE score. Now that they have thawed, but the we are still the subject of discussion in every dinner meet ups. It makes us feel very small both as parents and as grandkids.

Please share if you have encountered such problems and perhaps advise us, what we can do to improve the situation. We love our daughters and we want them to develop their best, their talents, their preferred dreams. We do not want to conform to the ways of the world and give tuition just because others are doing it.

Thanks!

Happy Parents
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Re: Concerned Grandparents?

Postby jedamum » Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:00 pm

You should just politely ignore the grandparents and support your kids in whichever way needed. My late dad used to questioned and pressured me as to why I did not send my ds1 for piano classes. Maybe to him, it was the norm among other kids that he knew but my ds1 was totally not interested. My dad sounded harsh whenever this subject was broached, but ironically,non of us in the family was musically trained as affordability was an issue. I nearly talked back to him once wrt this and am glad I just let it slide as no way am I forcing my boy to pick it up when he was not interested.

Ironically again, now my boy told me that I should have forced him to at leastgive it a try as he now sees his brother learning and is envious. :roll:

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Re: Concerned Grandparents?

Postby Coolkidsrock2 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 9:29 pm

Hi Happy Parents, you are not alone. Am guessing that the old folks find it difficult to let go and like to provide unsolicited advice to validate their importance in our lives. They may not realise that there is a line and grandparents do not have a responsibility to teach and discipline the grandchildren.

I normally ignore unsolicited advice and have cut down on family gatherings due to timing conflicts on weekend. In so far as I am fine with the kids' development, progress, behaviour, other people's comments, remarks are not important to me. I really do not care about it. Where I need to push back, I will do it tactfully. If the message is not received, I can be blunt about it. Of course it is not pleasant when it happens, but at 4x years old, my priorities are things that means and matters to me.

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Re: Concerned Grandparents?

Postby slmkhoo » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:27 pm

Coolkidsrock2 wrote:Hi Happy Parents, you are not alone. Am guessing that the old folks find it difficult to let go and like to provide unsolicited advice to validate their importance in our lives. They may not realise that there is a line and grandparents do not have a responsibility to teach and discipline the grandchildren.

I normally ignore unsolicited advice and have cut down on family gatherings due to timing conflicts on weekend. In so far as I am fine with the kids' development, progress, behaviour, other people's comments, remarks are not important to me. I really do not care about it. Where I need to push back, I will do it tactfully. If the message is not received, I can be blunt about it. Of course it is not pleasant when it happens, but at 4x years old, my priorities are things that means and matters to me.

I totally understand where the original poster is coming from, and I agree with what Coolkidsrock2 says here. My kids also have pushy grandparents - from telling us that our kids were 'behind' because we didn't allow them to use the computer when 'other kids' could press the 'ON' button at 2yo, to tuition, to music lessons, etc etc. We have escaped some of that because we have lived overseas for the past 12yrs, but we still talk on the phone weekly, so we have learned the 'one ear in, one ear out' method. We don't contradict them directly (unless really pushed), but just don't follow advice we don't want to. We also explain to our kids (now teens) why we make certain decisions and that we have their best interests at heart, and ask them for their opinions too. What we feel is most important is that we set an example of listening to elders' opinions whether we agree or not, and not be rude. We are returning to Singapore next year, so I think we will be in for much more pressure to conform, and are bracing ourselves!

slmkhoo
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Re: Concerned Grandparents?

Postby 3Boys » Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:27 pm

Ultimately, you are the responsible party for your child's upbringing. The grandparents do need to let go, it isn't really their business. However, it does not mean that one should close one's ears to advice and alternate points of view. Perhaps you could consider having a good thorough (and unemotional) discussion on their desire for tuition? Be open minded, you might surprise yourself, and if it's had a good airing perhaps it will draw the sting from their criticism at the very least?

But tell them to keep away from the discussion at dinner time in front of the kids, it can only harden positions.

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Re: Concerned Grandparents?

Postby Nebbermind » Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:58 pm

3Boys wrote:Ultimately, you are the responsible party for your child's upbringing. The grandparents do need to let go, it isn't really their business. However, it does not mean that one should close one's ears to advice and alternate points of view. Perhaps you could consider having a good thorough (and unemotional) discussion on their desire for tuition? Be open minded, you might surprise yourself, and if it's had a good airing perhaps it will draw the sting from their criticism at the very least?

But tell them to keep away from the discussion at dinner time in front of the kids, it can only harden positions.


Agree to the highlighted part. Perhaps granny felt that the child have some unearthed potential and is currently underperforming, or they didn't want you to leave it till too late if they sense that intervention is required.
Not sure how are your kids performing but, like 3boys said...keep an open mind about it. :smile:

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Re: Concerned Grandparents?

Postby Imami » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:01 pm

Ha, mine is a total opposite. My fil insisted that enrichment classes would be a total waste of time. He felt that since HIS kids did not go for any, HIS grandkids need not too. In order to have more time with my son, he actually told me to drop my son's classes. :slapshead:

I feel like telling my fil sometimes, that my son is not a toy that I shd make available for him (fil) as and when he wants. He (my son) is a person in his own right and he should be given the chance to pursue his interest (ie enrichment classes) where possible.

We sometimes find the grandparents steping across the line and we don't like it. Do bear in mind that they have the best-est intention at heart, even though what they say sometimes don't make sense. For this reason, I haven't told my fil that my son is not a toy :rotflmao:

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Re: Concerned Grandparents?

Postby Nebbermind » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:11 pm

Imami wrote:Ha, mine is a total opposite. My fil insisted that enrichment classes would be a total waste of time. He felt that since HIS kids did not go for any, HIS grandkids need not too. In order to have more time with my son, he actually told me to drop my son's classes. :slapshead:

I feel like telling my fil sometimes, that my son is not a toy that I shd make available for him (fil) as and when he wants. He (my son) is a person in his own right and he should be given the chance to pursue his interest (ie enrichment classes) where possible.

We sometimes find the grandparents steping across the line and we don't like it. Do bear in mind that they have the best-est intention at heart, even though what they say sometimes don't make sense. For this reason, I haven't told my fil that my son is not a toy :rotflmao:

yours not even in kindy yet, right?

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Re: Concerned Grandparents?

Postby Imami » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:55 pm

Nebbermind wrote:
Imami wrote:Ha, mine is a total opposite. My fil insisted that enrichment classes would be a total waste of time. He felt that since HIS kids did not go for any, HIS grandkids need not too. In order to have more time with my son, he actually told me to drop my son's classes. :slapshead:

I feel like telling my fil sometimes, that my son is not a toy that I shd make available for him (fil) as and when he wants. He (my son) is a person in his own right and he should be given the chance to pursue his interest (ie enrichment classes) where possible.

We sometimes find the grandparents steping across the line and we don't like it. Do bear in mind that they have the best-est intention at heart, even though what they say sometimes don't make sense. For this reason, I haven't told my fil that my son is not a toy :rotflmao:

yours not even in kindy yet, right?


Right. But er... So? :?

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Re: Concerned Grandparents?

Postby Happy Parents » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:22 pm

Thank you all very much for your sharing. My wife and I are glad that we are not alone.

In fact, we have considered very carefully what our parents have "suggested" but if we decided in other ways, we did explain why we are doing what we are doing for our kids, but they just do not want to listen and insist their ways are correct.

In fact, during dinner gatherings, we would just smile and "one ear in one ear out". The only painful part is that our children are always talked about on the dinner table, even when the other cousins are around. It made us family looked like being clueless while others are all well ahead.

I guess at the end of the day, there are pros and cons in each method. However, it is us parents who will make the final call and not others, even grandparents.

So share and advise.

Thanks!

Happy Parents
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