When older couples with grandkids come into Houston relationship counseling because problems with their kids are causing marriage issues, they often seem surprised to be there. It’s as if we think that any parenting strife we have will end once the kids leave the nest.
As a parent myself, I can tell you that this is not even close to the case. There are any number of ways that your children can still cause you stress as adults, and if parenting disagreements that caused marriage issues earlier weren’t resolved then, you can be sure that they’ll come back to haunt you. One of the issues that seems to cause the most friction between couples is related to how much parenting you should do as grandparents.
Houston Relationship Counseling: Good Grandparents or “Over-grandparenting”?
For example, one of you might believe that your grandchildren aren’t being properly disciplined and want to step in, while the other thinks it’s best to let the parents handle that. This can be an extension of disagreements you might have had on how to raise your own children, but there is also the added social element of not wanting to potentially offend your adult child – or your son- or daughter-in-law – by calling their parenting into question.
You might even find yourself having fights over whether or not to step in and how to handle the issue if you do. Obviously, if you just can’t find a way to talk about it and come to an agreement, this is going to cause you to have marriage issues.
Learn to Talk to Each Other in Houston Relationship Counseling
The first step in resolving this problem is to learn how to talk to each other about the issue. It’s no good if one of you is genuinely concerned about the welfare of your grandchildren and the other won’t even listen because it’s “not your business.” Maybe it isn’t your business, but you owe it to your spouse to listen to their argument and have a rational conversation – and it shouldn’t be one-sided; they need to hear and understand your reasons for not wanting to interfere as well.
Having this conversation before taking action and potentially “over-grandparenting” at least allows you to square away your issues with each other and make sure that you are on the same page before involving the kids and grandkids. The thing that you don’t want to do is parent your grandkids – or possibly even worse, parent your grown kids in front of the grandkids!
For more advice on getting on the same page before talking to your kids, check out Houston relationship counseling.