One TikTok mom sparked debate after giving grandparents a little “PSA” when it comes to how to interact with their in-laws and grandchildren. It’s no secret that things can get... tense between parents and grandparents, especially when grandparents aren’t exactly acting like the “village” that we were all promised.
This self-proclaimed “off the cuff” stay-at-home mom and cupcake artist gave a thought-out and real public service announcement for grandparents who actually want to have a good relationship with their kids and grandkids. While her points are spot-on, some are taking issue with her perspective.
After a less-than-perfect visit with her in-laws, she wanted to let all the grandparents of the world know the number one phrase to never say.
“This is what you don't want to say,” she began, “‘Well, we wait all year for this.’”
“Well, I call bullshit. When you say things like, ‘We wait all year for this’ because that statement is so manipulative on so many different level. You, as the adult, are now making yourself the center of attention, and if that doesn't make sense, play that back and kind of sit with it for a minute.”
She goes on to explain that grandparents should see the point of a visit with their grandchild to be about — you guessed it — the grandchildren. The minute that adults try to manipulate and control the visit to their liking is the minute they lose respect. And tof course, then comes the nagging feeling that so many of today’s parents have to include grandparents in plans and events.
“If you're sitting there trying to get 900 pictures so you can feel good about your absence and not listening to the parents and trying to dictate plans and you don't care if a child is tired or overstimulated or anything because you the adult want all of these things from a tiny human, you have a really big problem,” she said.
We want the village. We want the help and the advice and the unconditional love that comes with having grandparents around. We don’t want to do this all on our own. But as soon as our authority is undermined or the respect for our child goes out the window — we’re out.
The OP expanded on this: “Our generation — we love the idea of amazing, doting, loving, want to be present, want to be a part of a community village. We are so here for that, but we're not here for the outdated rules that put us under this thumb of insane expectations that put mother-in-laws, grandmas, and grandparents at the center of a universe that truly needs to focus on our babies.”
After her post went viral, most TikTok users agreed with her mindset, noting that a lot of grandparents like the idea of being a grandparent rather than actually doing the work to be one. But several users commented on the video with perspectives from the other side of the coin.
“Such an interesting perspective this younger generation has. Never had any expectations of what my parents/in laws should or shouldn’t do,” one user commented.
The OP replied with a follow-up video.
“I really, really, really like this comment,” she said.
“The biggest difference between my generation of parenting, elder millennial, and older generations, and I would say like boomer and older, there's a big difference between respect and obedience.”
She explains that, with millennial parents, respect is a two-way street. We give it to get it when it comes to our kids. Typically, though, with older generations of parents, respect from parents was earned.
“In some of the comments where people seem upset about what I'm saying ... I think there is a part of those people that feel entitled to this sense of centeredness in other people's lives because they've been waiting for it. They weren't allowed to have opinions. They weren't allowed to speak out against their parents or anybody else who was older,” she theorizes.
Setting realistic and easy-to-honor boundaries is not a sign of disrespect, it’s a healthy way to maintain a relationship with people of differing opinions. Sometimes people, especially grandparents, need to have those kinds of boundaries set in order to keep the peace.