The Edmond Sun

Features

August 2, 2013

Boundaries set for grandparenting

EDMOND — Q: Our daughter and son-in-law have consented to be the guardians of our first grandchild, due in a few months. In preparation for this momentous event, we want to understand what our boundaries are. They will be living fairly close and we anticipate seeing them fairly often. When should we give advice and when should we not give advice? If we see them handling something wrongly, should we mention it to them? If they disagree with something we do, should we change our ways? Thanks for helping us out with this.

A: Your first sentence summed up exactly how my wife and I saw the role of our children in our grandchildren’s lives. The young ones were our grandchildren first, their children second. In effect, they acted “in loco grandparentis.” But in all seriousness, you obviously have a good sense of humor, which you will sometimes need, let me assure you.

As you are well aware, parenting is to a great degree a trial-and-error process, and some parents make more errors along the way, and some children make for more parental error. It is difficult, therefore, for those of us who’ve gone through the struggle and emerged relatively unscathed to keep our mouths shut when we see young parents making mistakes we learned not to make (after making them). We so much want to help them not have to travel along that hard road. The problem is, they have to travel the same road in order to learn the same lessons.

The further problem is that the world of parenting has turned 180 degrees since you and I were young, first-time parents. For example, today’s parents believe paying children lots of attention is a right and proper thing. I need not remind you that there was a day when children were supposed to pay far more attention to their parents than their parents paid them. My point is that most of us Baby Boomers have a different parent-view than do our children. We understand the pitfalls of trying to be liked by one's kids. We know that explanations lead to arguments.

And so on.

Today’s parents discover all of this the hard way, if they discover it at all. And they discover it in their own time, in their own way. Until then, any attempt to teach them is going to go in one ear and out the other. Worse, when grandparents try to sow these seeds of wisdom on ground that isn’t properly prepared, the resulting harvest is likely to be bitter. Many parents and grandparents out there are barely on speaking terms as a result of conflicts over how grandchildren are being raised. You don’t want to go there.

So my recommendation to grandparents is to take whatever opportunities present themselves to help parents become the best parents they can be and raise the best kids they can raise. Be gentle and know when to back off. My personal policy has been to only give advice when it's asked for, albeit there have been times when I’ve said “I have some experience here, so if you want some advice, I’ll be glad to share it.” I have only given unsolicited advice when I truly felt that the health, broadly defined, of the child in question was at issue.

In short, try your best to lead the horse to the water, but stop well short of trying to make it drink.

FAMILY PSYCHOLOGIST John Rosemond answers parents’

questions about children and grandchildren on his website at www.rosemond.com. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

1
Text Only
Features
  • 1,000th baby group.jpg INTEGRIS welcomes 1,000th birth since opening in October 2011

    Being the father of a new baby boy is pretty exciting, but being the father of INTEGRIS Health Edmond’s 1,000th baby made it even more special.
    “When we got to the hospital, the night-shift nurse told us we were in a race with another couple who had gotten there at 7 a.m.,” said Bryan Lane, the new baby’s father.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • okco fair 100.jpg Oklahoma County Free Fair offers competition, free fun

    Oklahoma County residents are invited to compete in the 100th annual Oklahoma County Free Fair as they take part in many activities scheduled just for them.
    The county fair will get underway Aug. 21-23 at the Oklahoma State Fair Park and will be highlighted by its open adult and youth along with 4-H and Oklahoma Home and Community Education categories, as well as its special contest and activities.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Grieving children find support at Calm Waters

    Calm Waters Center for Children and Families offers free support groups for children, ages 3–18 and their families whose lives have been affected by death or divorce.
    Oklahoma continues to rank among the top states in the nation for unintentional and premature deaths, leaving single parents raising children. Additionally, Oklahoma continues to have one of the highest divorce rates per capita in the nation. These tragedies leave children feeling isolated, sad, and uncertain.

    July 31, 2014

  • Church hosts adult Vacation BIble School

    “Jesus is the Source” will be the theme of Edmond First Church of the Nazarene’s second annual adult Vacation BIble School.
    The progam will be from 6-8:30 p.m. Aug. 4-7 at the church, located at 3001 S. Boulevard. It will include a light supper at 6 p.m. and songs, games, storytelling and crafts beginning at 6:30 p.m.
    Presenters will include members of the congregation acting as Bible characters and a special performer will be in from Texas.

    July 31, 2014

  • UCO, local Y create community garden

    A new community garden is providing a transformative learning opportunity for students and helping stock UCO’s Central Pantry.
    The University of Central Oklahoma’s Volunteer and Service Learning Center and the Edmond Rankin YMCA are sponsoring the garden, providing a transformative learning opportunity for students, and organic fruits, vegetables and herbs for the food bank.

    July 31, 2014

  • NAMI classes begin in September

    NAMI Edmond North-OKC, the local organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer its Family-to-Family Education Program beginning Sept. 2. It will contine Sept. 4 and 8-9. Classes will be at Crossings Community Church, Quail Springs United Methodist Church, Francis Tuttle Technology Center (Portland campus), Tinker AFB Chapel and the Thunderbird Club House in Norman.
    NAMI Family-to-Family is a free 12-session education program for family caregivers of adults living with mental illness. The sessions are offered once a week for a few hours each.

    July 30, 2014

  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

  • jc_ITS map.jpg City to improve traffic flow

    The Edmond City Council this week approved a services agreement with Electronic Technology, Inc. For the  installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems’ video wall system at a cost of $314,620. The vote was 3-0.
    ITS is a fiber optic, wireless or hybrid communication system of monitoring road events and equipment in the field, data archiving and predicting traffic volume, said Kent Kacir, an engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • jc_Earp Marlin 2 - photo credit Noel Winters.jpg Shootout of a sale

    An original article of the Wild West will be made available at auction Thursday. The rifle of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp will be part of the J. Levine Auction & Appraisal’s Summer Quarterly Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
    Earp was an Arizona deputy sheriff and deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Ariz. He is legendary for playing a key role in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. He died in 1929 at age 80.
    Wyatt Earp collector Barry Tapp of Edmond will be selling his 1895 Wyatt Earp Marlin rifle at the auction. The rifle has an estimated value between $50,000 and $75,000. It includes authentication documentation from Tombstone Heritage Museum, according to the auction house

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos