Compliments, Connection, and Constructive Criticism: Balancing Your Values and Parents’ Decisions For the Children’s Benefit
Having your parents around to help with your babies can be such a blessing, but you may, at times, find a few differences in your caretaking styles. I’m giving you my tips and tricks on deciding whether you should let something flow or let it go!
Help is on the Way
Having your parents around to help with your babies can be such a blessing, but you may, at times, find a few differences in your caretaking styles. Of course, you adore them and your children, but sometimes questions arise regarding the decisions they make when your little ones are in their care. Wholeheartedly, your parents are an absolute gift in your children’s lives. They allow you to have alone time with your partner or take some time to work on your own personal goals #SelfCare.
In true grandparent-fashion, grandparents typically find massive amounts of joy in showering your children with love. Like you, your parents want what’s best for their little grandkids, and they may sometimes act in ways that they think will be beneficial for their growth. Thankfully for you, having your parents help with childcare gives you more time to focus on yourself — and your home — which shouldn’t be a problem, right?
Positive Intentions and Negative Consequences
Unfortunately, grandparents might sometimes do things to make you reconsider having them around your children as often as you’d like. Even if it’s something that seems small to them, like giving your children too many sweets, it still bothers you. And that’s ok! This may cause unnecessary stress on you and make you worry about your parents’ decisions and the impacts it has on your children. These are all normal worries, so don’t be discouraged.
Everyone has different belief systems, so you should be sure to have a conversation with your parents (or any other caretaker for that matter) to make sure your values are not being compromised — or if it’s something that you can let go, let it go. In order to keep all things in order, this is sometimes the most viable option. More on that later...
I recently spoke with Lindsay, a mother of two tiny little tikes, in an episode of my WCN: Web Series about this topic. Lindsay was worried about the overabundance of sweets her parents were giving her kids and how they let them play with balloons. She was concerned to be letting her worries pass because they seemed minor, but this ended up making her build up anger and snap at her parents, which then made her feel (understandably) guilty.
Of course, Lindsay’s intention in this was not to hurt their feelings. She wanted her concerns to come from a place of gratitude because her parents were gracefully taking care of her children after daycare, and it gave her husband time to work on their own personal goals.
Flow or Go Chart to the Rescue
When finding a concern in your grandparents’ and/or other caretakers’ care style, it’s always best to take a second and examine your feelings before bringing it up. Curl up on a comfy couch, sit with your thoughts, and ask yourself: “Is this discussion worth having or should I accept the little things?”
In my conversation with Lindsay, she and I reviewed the “Should I Let It Flow Or Let It Go?” chart step-by-step regarding her worries. It helped her evaluate each concern and decide if she should bring it up to her parents, or just let it go. As a rule of thumb, if you think it can cause harm to your baby, bring it up immediately!
If something’s happening that goes against your values, you always want to discuss it sooner rather than later. When Lindsay evaluated her concern about her parents giving cookies to her kids on multiple occasions, she realized it was a personal preference because she also gives her children cookies, just not as much as her parents do. Although, when Lindsay evaluated the issue with the balloons, she concluded that it is a potential health hazard, especially since her children were so young, so it needed to be discussed and ended right away to prevent any harm to her babies. If you give reasons and examples when talking to your parents about things you disagree on, they’ll be more likely to agree.
If you’ve found yourself in a situation like this, make sure to download my “Flow or Go” Chart here.
Peace of Mind, Starting a Dialogue, and Building Your Village
After thoughtful rumination, you should approach your parents from a place of love, not from a judgmental state of mind. They, of course, aren’t doing these things to cause harm to your children! Much like you, they truly believe that what they’re doing is for your kids’ benefit. However, they are YOUR children, and your rules should always be respected.
On the flip side, make sure to remind your parents and/or other caretakers that they are loved and respected. Check in at least once a week with your parents and connect with them! This, friends, is how to build your village. If you make your talks routine and regular, you won’t feel like a huge burden when you want to talk with them about an issue. You’ll find that it becomes natural to check in and have a space to talk about anything and everything regarding your children.
The most important thing in life is that you Let. Love. In! Surround yourself with people you want around your children so they can also have those gifts in their lives. Empower yourself to make the right decisions for your family, even if it might seem difficult at times to have those tough conversations with your parents. In the end my friends, it’s all about LOVE and doing what you know in your heart is right for your family.