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Active Questions

How often should grandparents see their grandkids, if they live close by?
Family & Relationships / 1:49 PM - Monday June 25, 2012

how often should grandparents see their grandkids, if they live close by?

i was thinking once every 2-3 weeks would be my preference, as that is about as much as im comfortable with since being around them drives me crazy. Husband is all upset, because his parents are near to our house ALL the time (grocery store, doctors visits, their church, some of their friends, etc) and he said they are going to want to come by ALOT more than what Im trying to plan out. He anticipates them calling alot and saying hey we are up the street can we stop in? I know their 'stopping in' however wouldnt be a brief visit, it would last for HOURS as once they are here they never leave. Husband also cannot ever tell them no, or get them out the door once things start dragging out too long. He thinks im being insensitive and rude, and its causing a major issue between us. Honestly my preference would be more like once a month or longer, but I felt I was compromising by saying 2-3 weeks, and husnabd is definately not happy with that even. thoughts?

- Asked by Female, 29-35

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Here's my opinion.....My parents are elderly (in their 80s and have medical issues). They live about 5 minutes from us. I often visit them without my kids because they are not up for seeing them. I wish my children would have had the opportunity to know them in their younger years. They are not perfect people but I missed out on grandparents and always wish I had them. My hubbys parents are much younger and very involved with their grandchildren and I am blessed to have them. Anytime they want to see/visit/take my children I am always more than willing. Their home is almost as special to my children as our home. I absolutely love that my children have somewhere else that they are as comfortable in as their own home.
Sure inlaws can be annoying but the impact grandparents have on your children will last long after the grandparents are deceased

- Response by youngfuddyduddy, Female, 46-55, New York, Who Cares?

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We have all the kids and grandkids to our house every Sunday for Sunday Family Dinner. They arrive at 5 and leave by 7.

Maybe if you plan a specific date and time to see the grandkids, they won't be stopping by any other time.

Ours don't. We usually aren't home. We are out enjoying our lives doing things.

- Response by utahmom, Female, 56-65, Managerial

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Do the two of you even have kids yet? If not, then I think that you are making an issue out of nothing right now. There is no telling how often they will want to see the grandkids or if they will stop by often. How I see things there is no reason to get in an argument over something that hasn't even happened yet.

Now to answer the rest of your question. My mother use to live less then two miles from me and when my son was younger she would see him at least once a week and sometimes more. Now my son is a teenager and he has a great relationship with his grandmother. I grew up with grandparents that lived 1,000s of miles away and rarely saw them. I would of loved to have that kind of relationship with them that my son has with my mother. When you have kids grandparents are part of the deal! I think you can set healthy boundaries but visiting only once or twice a month seems odd to me and unreasonable seeing as they live close.

- Response by kdtxchic30, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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You have to be sensitive to the fact that this is about your husband's relationship with his parents, which is not completely healthy. He wants to please them by handing them his family and his home on a platter.

He has to understand that if you were the type of person to want that, you would be living next door to your own parents and they would be the ones popping in all the time.

You have a right to want your marriage, your family and your home to be private, while at the same time maintaining a healthy relationship with the grandparents. You don't need a concrete plan to last a lifetime but you need a starting point. In your case, it sounds like less is better.

Assure your husband that you will support him in finding ways to nurture the grandparent relationship and help him please his parents but tell him at the present time, you are handling as much as you can and you will never be a person who is comfortable with unexpected guests.

- Response by maryea, Female, 56-65, Retired

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I think you should just see how things go instead of getting your feathers all ruffled assuming. It might not turn to be so bad as you think. As the kids grow your lives will get busier and you won't be as available all the time. Also this seems to be more about your feelings when it is important that your children have relations with these people. It does appear insensitive to your husband because it is his family and his children too. Expecting at your preference once a month or less seems very seldom to me all for your benefit and no one elses. Make it clear to them you would appreciate them calling first before stopping in. Then you have the choice of determining whether it is okay or not. Need to find a compromise you both can live with and his parents won't be around forever.

- Response by Female, 29-35

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I think it all depends on the people involved. Some people thrive on having family around as much as possible. And .. as far as kids go .. having as many loving people regularly in their lives is nothing but a plus!

Now if the grandparents are "buttinskies" .. that's a different story. Or .. if they impose their presence when it's just not convenient .. that's not good either.

But generally ... you really need to consider what's best for the grandkids .. NOT for you and your husband.

If your kids are excited to see grandma and grandpa ... then you might need to suck it up and encourage that closeness. Grandparents aren't around forever and they are an important part of a child's life.

You're really overthinking all of this ...

I think it would be pretty rude if they live close by and can only see their grandkids once every 2-3 weeks or once a month.

Think back to your childhood .. did you like to see your grandparents?? Just try to think about what's best for the children .. that's the most important thing here.

- Response by mrscleaver16, Female, 66 or older

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I'm good with once a month and hopefully doing something together that is NOT at my house. These two little ones think all rooms and all cupboards are open season and they make a hugh mess. Neither the mothre nor my son control them. I love them to pieces but it's really not all that fun when they are here at the condo, this is why I like them better when we are at the beach or somewhere else...

- Response by englishrose4945, Female, 66 or older, Miami, Alternative Medicine

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Once a week.....

- Response by flwoodpecker, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 36-45, Other Profession

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You could suggest moving further away.

Otherwise I don't know how you would SUGGEST they not visit more than X number of times per week or month, without sounding rude or harsh.

I hear your frustration. I do not like unexpected DROP BY visits. I do not like visit from folks that do not know when to leave.

Grandparents are an entirely different animal. The only excuse I can think of is, not being geographically convenient.

It will add to this... grandparents can be a true blessing in the life of children. And, so many adults out there never had grandparents that lived long enough to be in their life.

Just thinking out loud here but, maybe one poster had the right idea when they suggested you actually plan a designated day they be there. Even if it were every week, at least you would KNOW when to expect them.

However, I have the impression you believe they would STILL show up unannounced during the week.

Would it help if YOU took the kids to THEIR house on a regular basis? Maybe then, they would not feel the need to catch up so often.

- Response by randyl, Female, Who Cares?, Technical

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I have a really strong bias towards grandparents being a daily part of a child's life if possible. My paternal grandparents lived next door. We had a half acre garden in between our homes. I used to get off the bus and go straight to grandmom's for tea, cookies and to do my homework or just talk. She was my primary adult confident and without her I probably would have been gone by suicide in my late teens. She WAS my salvation. The fact that they lived next door meant that I saw all my aunts, uncles and cousins all the time. I also had some short term contact with two greatgreatgrandmothers who lived with the grandparents for a short periods of time. I can't tell you how much I learned from them and how much knowledge I have about farming, canning, handcrafts, etc...all that I got from them. I never think twice about survival. They were the roots of my survival training.
I think it's selfish when people move away from elder family members or block them from being integral parts of the descendents life. Something is lost in doing that...something significant.
I'm sorry but I am totally with your husband on this. There is some lack of intimacy or rift in your own upbringing that makes it so you don't value your husbands closeness to family and makes it so you can't honor his desire to continue nurturing this level of intimacy with them.

- Response by joybird, Female, Who Cares?, Therapist

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