Child Caring

Grandparents worry about "over-stepping" the mark

I have five grandchildren. We have issues with one and a great relationship with the other four. The five-year old boy is bullying children and is rude to adults, including his grandparents. When he is with children his own age or younger, he is often confrontational. He continually interrupts adult conversation and his parents accommodate this behaviour. As a grandparent, I find it difficult to approach Mum and Dad with my concerns as I don't want to overstep the mark. Should I be brave and in a diplomatic manner, without children being present, express my concerns to Mum and Dad?

From: Mick, Macquarie fields, NSW, Australia
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Dear Mick,
Our relationships with our adult children require new ways of interacting once there are grandchildren on the scene. Author Ruth Nemzoff, in her book, "Don't Bite Your Tongue, How to Foster rewarding relationships with your adult children," writes that a skillful grandparent moves in and out of various roles, from being a caregiver, to a cheerleader, as well as a source of wisdom. My advice is to find a place on that continuum where you can voice your thoughts without being judgmental and, once you do, then to back off.