Grandparents do it differently

Parents and kid playing outside

My mother has tried repeatedly to kill my firstborn. Her most nefarious effort was the act of placing a newborn baby tummy-down on the cot mattress in order to prevent the back of her head growing flat. Apparently she also did the same to me as a baby. (FYI – It didn’t work)

My dad is not completely innocent. Not only did he condone the Great Head Unflattening Incident of 2006 but he also allowed my son to whiz around on a bike without a helmet (ironically increasing the probability of a flattened head). 

Murderous intent aside, my parents are actually very loving, kind and intelligent people who love my children as much as I do. Our clashes on where certain care behaviours sit on the love-neglect spectrum all boil down to the age-old parents vs grandparents debate.

Grandparents Day - Kisses

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There are two main reasons that grandparents tend to behave differently to parents when it comes to children: generational differences and time-of-life differences.

Generational differences reflect the fact that different generations are subject to different ideas and trends on parenting. For example, younger generations of parents may balk at memories of their own parents letting them roam the streets until dark, sit in the car without a seat belt and eat the same meat and three veg for dinner every night (where’s the kale?) Older generations may think that parents these days are coddling their children to become dependent whiny brats. 

Time-of-life differences can also cause a clash in care styles. If you’ve ever gawked at your parents letting your kids get away with things that you couldn’t as a child, you’re not alone. Grandparents are generally at a stage of life where they are no longer burdened with mortgages, full time jobs and having to actively look after dependents. Furthermore, no one holds grandparents accountable for how a kid turns out. So when little Bobby sets the neighbourhood mailboxes on fire, or little Sally grows up to be an exotic dancer with a bad-boyfriend addiction, no one ever asks “Where were the grandparents?” As a result, grandparents are able to stop and smell the roses a lot more. This means that they can take a more relaxed approach when it comes to their grandkids – later bedtimes, extra sweet treats, spoiling them rotten, being silly and laughing more. 

In honour of Grandparents Day coming up this Sunday, here are some fun images that sum up the joy of grandparenting.

Grandparents Day - Kids

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Grandparents Day - Chocolate

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Grandparent tech, Part 1 – The texta text

Grandparents Day - Texta text

Image via Pop Sugar

Grandparent tech, Part 2 – The slow selfie

Grandparents Day - Slow selfie

Image via Pop Sugar


Grandparents Day - Schooled

Image via Huffington Post

A sense of humour never shuts up shop… unlike Grandma

Grandparents Day - Bang Gran

Image via twitter

Nana’s clearly done her research on the latest boy bands. Well sort of…

Grandparents Day - One Dimention

Image via pleated jeans