One of my children has completely cut me off because I do not fit into her (and her siblings) definition of family - in that I am not part of their daily lives. She has even gone so far as to stop me meeting my new grandson. This caused me to give serious consideration of what "family" means these days but also to the concept of grand-parenting. Following discussions with my other two children, my own siblings and friends - I recognised that I did / do not fit into the traditional role of a grand-parent that my parents and a number of my friends fit into. While I love my children and grand-children dearly I cannot imagine fitting into the traditional on-call role of a grand-parent - I am not looking forward to retiring and spending as much time with them as I can; I am not looking forward to being an on-call babysitter / child minder; I am not looking forward to dropping around everyday for a cup of tea; and I really don't want to move back to England, having lived in the sunshine for so many years, to perform that role. Could I do it in order to become part of the "family" and spend time with my family? Yes I could but I would be utterly miserable! I have been travelling the world for 50 years and I cannot imagine stopping. Does this make me a bad person / grand-parent?
I want to spend more time with my children / grand-children than I have in recent years but I also want to live! Should I sacrifice my own happiness to fit into the traditional role? I should say at this time that I am single, a huge motor racing and sports fan (an F1 / motor racing marshal); love golf and travel; and had always imagined my retirement to include visiting all of the global F1 events; playing golf (getting my handicap down); visiting all of the major opera houses and wine regions of the world; and as many major sporting events as I can. Does that make me a selfish b*****d? What I would like to do - because my family do figure prominently in my retirement thoughts - is settle in the South of France, near an airport within short / cheap flying distance of the UK, and to create a base for my children and grand-children to spend their holidays with me. I can then drive to many of the places I have n't seen, playing golf en route, but also have a means of getting back to the UK quickly if my children need me to cover for them or to provide support.
There's my story but would love to know what this community thinks - are you traditional grand-parents or are you modern (selfish?) grand-parents? Oh - and do you spell grand-parents / grandparents with or without the hyphen???? In my defence, I am following the subject lead. :D
Hi all, does anyone find some young adult grandchildren seem to have no respect for their grandparents? A couple of years back,I had recently left my marriage of 38 yrs, not used to travelling alone, not a driver, decided one christmas to take the bit between my teeth an take the coach from Cornwall to Nottingham, 9hr journey, to visit family,my eldest grandaughter,( 20yrs old at the time) met me at Birmingham to get the train to Notts,I was 65 at the time,osteoarthritis in both knees,I had trolley case,plus large shoulder bag,plus handbag,she came up to me in coach station,ranting at me because coach hadn't stopped at the bay she was waiting at,proceeded to plough on ahead,through Birmingham town centre,which is all steps an hills,not once offered to help me with luggage, reached train station, she dipped into coffee shop, left me panting outside,came out with her coffee,none for me,I struggled down escalator,just in time, boarded train, had to ask her between clenched teeth, if she could help me put luggage in the rack.Ahh,your thinking,bit of a trail,there is more,Christmas day dawns at my daughters, her son, almost 18, arrives with his partner, we all do the exchanging of gifts, I had struggled to make sure I had gifts for everyone,my son,his two children,my daughter,her partner,her two children plus girlfriend I had not as yet met,my grandson stood in middle of the room in front of everyone,as he was pocketing money I had given him,he looked me in the eye and declared " I haven't got anything for you,I only buy for close family" My youngest grandaughter had to be restrained from jumping up an slapping him, I calmly replied "No problem Ben,I don,t give gifts to receive them but did notice you pocketed my gift to you pretty quickly", I was so hurt at the humiliation I felt that after a while went to my room, all I wanted was to come back home.
This has caused a little rift between him an I. He has since moved into a brand new house, he loves the good things in life, I am currently living in one bedroom at my youngest daughters house, trying to find somewhere to rent. My eldest daughter told me on my last visit, a month ago, that Ben would love me to go see his new house, I replied "Ben owes me an apology first" to which my daughter replied "You are the one who should apologise to him, you will never get one from him" !!!!! Don't get me wrong, when I go up North to visit, I stay at my daughters and apart from this one issue, everything is fine albeit a little strained when her son comes around, my daughter will not listen to reason with me, Ben has always had his own way ( a BMW) for his 18th. I am sorry but I do not think I should be apologising to him, for what ??
How do you answer an eight year old boy who asks "what is a nuclear bomb?" "will they send one to us?" "will we all die?". I'm so sad, no, heartbroken that a young child even has this all in his mind, that he might be going to bed trying to make sense of this evil world we live in. How would you reply if you'd have been in my shoes? I felt sick inside, but answered as best I could telling him that a lot of countries have the bomb but nobody would dare be the first to set it off. It looks like a feeble answer seeing it in print
What are grandparents gifting to an 18 year old grandson these days. Our grandson is in Australia and we would like to give him something other than money but have no idea what things are relevant these days.
There is a petition which has already been signed by over 36,000 people, asking the Children’s Minister, Edward Timpson, to set a minimum age requirement for the ear piercing of babies and toddlers.
The view is that ear piercing in babies and toddlers is a form of child cruelty and the severe pain inflicted upon infants is unnecessary. “It serves no purpose other than to satisfy the parent’s vanity. Other forms of physically harming children are illegal – this should be no different.”
Supporters have left comments calling childhood ear piercing abusive, vain and unnecessary.
What are your views? How would you feel if your baby grand-daughter had her ears pierced? Is it cute or cruel? Do you think there should be a minimum age? Should exceptions be made for different cultural beliefs?
Family wars often result in the grandparent-grandchild relationship being fractured. This can be enormously upsetting as well as disruptive for the children involved, it’s also worryingly common. What experience have you had of this?