By Susan Hoffman
I always seem to be in hot water with my daughter-in-law. I can’t seem to do anything right. Nevermind that my husband and I are always buying them things and babysitting at the drop of the hat, heck I even drove her to the hospital when she was in labor.
We were estranged once before and I don’t ever want to go through that again, which is why my husband and I are super sensitive to everyone’s moods.
When I asked my son what was going on this time, he replied that we didn’t do enough. Huh?
The only thing that I can think of is that since we spend thirty days at a time at our mountain vacation home during the winter months, maybe they don’t like us being gone for such long stretches? When we’re here we’re here 100% for them, at least it seems like it. What more can we do?
Dear Perplexed Grandparents:
Here’s the problem in a nutshell: they feel entitled to have high expectations. This “Me” generation believes that everything revolves around them. And we are partly to blame because we indulged them from the start. Our intentions were good, but as adults they seem selfish and entitled.
They rarely express gratitude, or even acknowledgement. All we receive are higher expectations and constant requests for more.
And it’s never enough. Our wants and needs do not count, and, in many cases, neither do their children’s. It’s all about them.
Also, the “Me” generation parents are often jealous of the grandparent-grandchild relationship. They often feel as if the grandparents love their children more than they love them, and they also worry that their children will love the grandparents more than them.
So what can you do, when you already babysit and provide financial assistance? Keep in mind that adult children need a little atten tion, as well. Create a special day to spend time separately with your daughter-in-law, and/or your son, doing something adults like to do, like walking together or dining in a nice, adults-only restaurant.
Spread the love around, and you’ll likely see results.
Susan Hoffman is the author of the book A Precious Bond and the director of AFGGC, which produced A Precious Bond, the first documentary film about unreasonably denied grandparent visitation. Visit apreciousbond.com for more information or to order the film or book.