Mott Poll: Parents Often Butt Heads With Grandparents Over Raising Kids
Whether it's about what methods of punishment are appropriate or how much screen time kids should have, about half of parents disagree with their own parents when it comes to raising kids.
According to a C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at Michigan Medicine, 43% of parents report having a disagreement with one or more their children's grandparents over their parenting. One in seven reports limiting the amount of time grandparents are allowed to spend with their children.
The biggest dispute is over discipline.
A full 40% of parents say dustups occur because grandparents are too soft on the child, while 14% say grandparents are too tough; 46% say disagreements arise from both. What constitutes an appropriate meal or snack accounts for 44% of disagreements, and TV/screen time is a problem 36% of the time. Other disagreements pertain to manners (27%), health/safety (25%), treating some grandchildren differently than others (22%), bedtime (21%), and 10% of parents say they disagree with their children's grandparents over posting and sharing on social media.
As for change, about 43% of parents say they have asked their parents to change their behavior but less than half have complied. Another 36% say the grandparents agreed to alter their behavior but failed to do so.
The poll concludes that disagreements between parents and grandparents can have lasting implications on family relationships.
"Grandparents play a special role in children's lives and can be an important resource for parents through support, advice and babysitting. But they may have different ideas about the best way to raise the child and that can cause tension," says Mott Poll co-director Sarah Clark. "If grandparents contradict or interfere with parenting choices, it can have a serious strain on the relationship."
Click here for the full results of the poll.