Grandparents Are "Too Soft" or Too Lenient to Kids, According to a Study

study shows that almost half of the parents think their children's grandparents too soft or lenient. That is, even if grandparents are the ones often perceived to have traditional, old fashioned, and stricter parenting styles.

The study consists of interviews with parents of children who are 18 years old and below. The meetings were for the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at Michigan Medicine.

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The results of the study

In the interviews with the parents, it was evident that there are major or minor conflicts among parents and grandparents because of discipline.

Most of the disputes, specifically, 57 percent of the conflicts, were because of discipline issues. Around 44 percent were meal-related arguments. Also, 36 percent of the disagreements are because of TV/screen time.

Other reasons for the argument include:

  • health and safety
  • manners
  • bedtime
  • sharing of information or photos on the Internet

Surprisingly, around forty percent of the parents felt that their children's grandparents were too lenient to the kids.

Only 14 percent said that the grandparents were too strict.

The study also showed that the arguments were about parenting styles. One in seven of the parents interviewed even chose to limit the time of interaction between the children and grandparents.

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The implication of grandparents being "too soft" 

According to the co-director of the study, Dr. Sarah Clark, parents feel that when grandparents are "too soft" with the kids, parents' parental power is threatened. The same applies when the grandparents grow too strict with things that parents have initially approved.

Since parents have this dilemma with their grandparents, the study has found that parents convinced them to respect their parenting style.

There were mixed results from the action made by the parents. Some of the grandparents chose to change their ways and agree with the parenting style of the parents. However, one out of six grandparents complained.

Grandparents Are
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Grandparents Are "Too Soft" or Too Lenient to Kids, According to a Study

Aside from the discord between the parents and the grandparents, researchers also found that being "too soft" or lenient can cause severe strain in the kids' relationship.

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What causes tension between parents and grandparents?

Dr. Clark says that grandparents play a vital role in every child's life. Also, they are helpful in terms of lending a hand through babysitting or in providing support and advice.

However, because the grandparents feel that they know the best wat to raise a child, it causes tension.

The implication of the findings

Researches of the study said that the findings indicate that grandparents should learn how to agree with parent calls. Dr. Clark noted that this is "to avoid escalating the conflict to the point that they risk losing special time with grandchildren."

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