Recently, I got to have an amazing conversation with a dear friend, granddad to a 1 1/2-year-old girl. Today's episode is a recounting of that conversation, because we can learn so much from it! Here are the three big ideas that my friend and I (who remains nameless, to protect the privacy of he and his family) spoke about:
1) The mother-in-law/daughter-in-law dynamic is very different – and can be far more antagonizing – then the mother/daughter dynamic.
2) What happens when we, this generation sandwiched in the middle who are raising young children while simultaneously engaging with our parents, want something different for our children than our parents want for them? I advise my friend, the caring and worried grandfather, to do all he can to help his son and daughter-in-law feel supported and competent… In a nutshell, this means backing off and waiting for his son and daughter-in-law to ask for help or advice.
3) The paradox of stuff: we all want stuff, we spend way too much money on it, and yet the having of so much stuff can paralyze us. This is noticeable in adults, but especially noticeable in children. With too many toys to choose from at a time, with too much background noise or overstimulating screen time, with too many food choices – kids literally can't choose. They can't make a choice! My friend the Grandpa and I put this in the context of giving gifts to grandchildren, talking especially about what gifts to give in a world where we all have too much stuff.
What is your relationship, dear listener, with your parents and your in-laws? I hope it's a good one, and if it needs some help, I hope that today's podcast starts you along the path to improving these relationships. Please drop me a line and let me know how it's going by commenting here or going to weturnedoutokay.com/contact!