We’d like more time with our grandchild

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: We have one grandchild. He is almost 2 years old (next month) and my wife and I have never been allowed to keep him overnight. Our contact with him is limited to visits to my son’s home, family get-togethers involving the entire family, and a few short day-time baby sitting opportunities.

We do not want to monopolize him, but we would like to enjoy some more time with him. What can we do, if anything?

A: Someone once said that grandparenting is our reward for having made it through the difficult job of being parents. I can tell that you are delighted to have this little boy in your life. What you don’t mention is what the boy’s parents say when you ask if he can stay with you. If this is their first child, they are learning how to be parents and they may not be comfortable letting him out of their sight for long. It may be that they have different ideas of how old a child should be to be away from parents for the night. Or they may have some differences of opinion about routines, treats, disicipline, TV, etc. that they haven’t aired with you. My best suggestion to you is to have a calm and respectful talk with the boy’s parents. This isn’t a time to argue about what is and is not “right”. There are many “right” ways to parent. It’s a time to express your delight, to make a request, to listen carefully to their concerns, and see if you can find a way to gradually spend more time with your grandson that is comfortable for everyone. He’s only two. You have plenty of time to work on it.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Feb 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). We’d like more time with our grandchild. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/02/06/wed-like-more-time-with-our-grandchild/