Are you one of those competitive grandparents? Think about it. Do you feel a twinge everytime you hear about something the other grandparents are doing, or have done for your grandchild?
When our first grandson was born, it was truly amazing. Although he was my son’s son, I felt as much love as if he were my very own.
Then, as I sat back and watched the family interact with her parents. It was clear that they felt the same way.
Having a grandchild is like having your own child, only you have to share him completely with another family.
It’s easy to see where some grandparents can get competitive. Some say it’s only natural for grandparents to feel jealous at times. I’ve been there.
Our family is torn between three different states. It’s easy to envy the relationship that has developed, with my grandchildren that live far away, with their paternal grandparents. However, that doesn’t mean I try to compete. Not so much because I’m above all that, but in reality, I don’t think its a winning strategy.
Competitive grandparents puts the parents in the middle and in the long run makes everyone unhappy.
“One set of grandparents is bound to live closer to the grandchildren than the others. If it’s a matter of a few miles — no big deal. However, it’s a bigger deal if one set of grandparents has easy access to their grandchildren while the other set has to spend many hours (and many dollars) for the privilege. Let’s face it: Facetime and Skype are wonderful for long-distance grandparents, but they can hardly live up to the real thing.
What to do: Sometimes grandparents will consider moving closer to their grandchildren. That’s not a bad idea if they want to relocate. It may be a bad idea if getting closer is the sole purpose of the move. A frank discussion with the children is in order before any decisions are made.
If moving is out of the question, which it will be for most, long-distance grandparents must strive to remember that the quality of contact with the grandchildren is more important than the frequency. Also, if they get extended visits in the grandchildren’s home, they are getting a unique experience which the nearby grandparents probably don’t have. Mostly, though, grandparents in this situation just have to accept it and make the best of it, because being eaten up with jealousy is productive for no one.”
The thing to remember is that while you may not have constant access to your grandchildren, you are still loved. No only that, but no one can replace the love and support you bring. Because you are uniquely you–and your grandchild has their very own part of you.