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Nearly half of parents clash with their child's grandparents

If grandparents contradict or interfere with parenting choices, it can have a serious strain on the relationship.

© A. Bost / PhotoAlto / Cover Images


Almost half of parents have disagreed with their child's grandparents over how to raise a family.

A range of issues lead to disputes within families, but discipline was the most common reason, with 57 per cent of those taking part in the survey saying that was to blame.

Mealtimes and eating habits were another sore spot, with 44 per cent of parents flagging that as a problem, while screen time was an issue for 36 per cent, according to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at Michigan Medicine.

"Grandparents play a special role in children's lives and can be an important resource for parents through support, advice and babysitting. But they may have different ideas about the best way to raise the child and that can cause tension," Mott Poll co-director Sarah Clark said.

"If grandparents contradict or interfere with parenting choices, it can have a serious strain on the relationship."

The survey results were gathered from the responses of 2,016 parents who had children aged 18 and under.

Other bones of contention included favouring one grandchild over another, bedtime, manners, sharing photos or information on social media, and safety and health issues.

Of those surveyed, 40 per cent of parents complained their child's grandparents were too soft when it came to discipline, while just 14 per cent felt grandparents were too strict with their kids.

"Parents may feel that their parental authority is undermined when grandparents are too lenient in allowing children to do things that are against family rules," Clark explained. "Or when grandparents are too strict in forbidding children to do things that parents have okayed.

"These findings indicate that grandparents should strive to understand and comply with parent requests to be more consistent with parenting choices - not only to support parents in the difficult job of raising children, but to avoid escalating the conflict to the point that they risk losing special time with grandchildren."

One in seven parents surveyed admitted they had limited the time their children spent with grandparents because of their differences.

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dearJulius.com United Kingdom: Nearly half of parents clash with their child's grandparents
Nearly half of parents clash with their child's grandparents
If grandparents contradict or interfere with parenting choices, it can have a serious strain on the relationship.
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