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How did they do with their own children? Did they farm them out? Have more energy and patience then? Gotten older and just can't cope anymore with the noise etc? Have they changed for the better with regards to children, or worse?

 

In my parents case, my Dad does great with kids in the past and now. My mom, has gotten super sensitive to any noise or upset with age. It makes it very hard for her to babysit the grandkids because she will snap over the smallest thing. This is sad to me because she was a great mom.

 

In my MILs case, they ignored their own kids to some extent. My MIL's sister gave up thought of marriage or career to raise MIL's 3 kids so that MIL could work and have a social life outside the home. (I'm not making this up, this is word-for-word what they themselves will tell you.) My FIL did not go to a single game or outside activity that dh was in. They love their grandkids and actually are better with them than they were with their own kids.

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I know my husbands parents had 11 kids, 1 died from prematurity and one died at age 2 from "water on the brain" per MIL. They farmed and all the boys helped outside, girls inside. My DH says my FIL was a harda$$ and was quite mean but he is a gentle giant now. I have never heard him raise his voice. He also had a stroke 3 years ago and mostly is wheel chair bound so I am sure that has had a calming effect. DH says he wishes his mom was more affectionate when he was little but I am sure she was busy taking care of a farm, husband and 9 kids!! (not that that is an excuse) Now she is very loving and patient. She even plays Barbies! They are old now though (81 and 76) so they don't take the grandkids for over nights or anything like that. I really love my FIL and MIL.

My mom...whoa... I need another post. Wasn't an active part of my life growing up. I was the oldest and was cooking dinner and putting my 4 younger siblings to bed in the 3rd grade while my mom worked late at a bar. I remember her coming to 1 Christmas concert and she was dressed like a common hooker and I was mortified!!!! She is an alchoholic and I choose not to let her be an active part of my girls life now. I do not want them to think that alchohol is a normal part of life.

 

I think it might seem like our parents (our as a general word) had more energy/patience etc because I remember playing outside and at friends houses a lot. In general, today's kids watch more TV, play more video/computer games etc. I am not saying every kid. I realize that many parents limit those activities (I am one of the limiter and my kids will NEVER own a video game!) Just a thought.

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My parents haven't changed much; they grandparent pretty much the same way they parent(ed). They were always very involved in our extracurriculars and in our schools; that hasn't changed any. They attend each grandkid's extracurricular events, school events, and even help me with homeschooling (mine are the only grandkids that are homeschooled). They get down on the floor with the toddlers, etc. same as they did with us.

 

My grandma is still the same as a great-grandma, too. She's still kickin' and as involved with the kids as her social schedule permits. She just turned 90, still drives the kids to the wat and babysits when we need her to. She never got used to the quiet -- has always lived with her kids, and then with grandkids, and now great-grandkids. She cooks with the kids, and loves playing board games with them.

 

When I was a kid, we lived in a multi-generational home. My parents both worked, and my grandparents helped to care for us. Now that I'm an adult, we still have a multi-generational home that includes my parents and (for part of the year), my grandmother. Everyone is pretty much the same now as I remember them being when I was younger. Maybe just a bit slower and older ;)

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My mother was the oldest girl and helped to raise, parent and keep a household for her 6 siblings (my grandmother worked, my grandfather was ill/drunk most of his adult life). She got married at 16, first baby at 17. Her husband's brother moved in around then, so she had a baby and a teen to raise at 17yo. 4 babies later and a divorce in her early 20s.

 

She had raised children pretty much from her birth. She met my father and they were married when she was 29 he was 46. He desperately wanted another child (his 1st wife w/2 dd lived 2,000 miles away) so my mom begrudgingly agreed to one last child. I was born that year.

 

I wrote all this to say. When my sisters and brothers were young, my parents took them camping, swimming, hunting, fishing, gold panning, sledding in the winter and pretty much anything outdoorsy all the time.

 

By the time I came along. They were tired, and were like grandparents to me, worn out by a lifetime of raising children and 4 older kids (6-12 years older than I) running around. My sister taught me to swim when I was 12yo, my uncle taught me to drive, my parents didn't attend school events or do much of anything other than basic parenting.

 

My father had a 2yo grandson when I was born. When I was 10 my father was 57yo. He died at 75yo in my mid twenties.

 

 

SO, my mother is very much like when I was young. But that is because she wasn't really like a mother to me.... more like a grandmother.

Edited by Tap, tap, tap
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My parents were hard workers, so they always seemed tired growing up. There were times, holidays, vacations, when they seemed happy and upbeat. Those were the good times. I know that they had to do what they had to do to support our family, but I do wish that it had not been so taxing, that I could have felt more like a child and less like the 3rd parent (I was the oldest and took care of the younger sibs while mom and dad worked) and that we could have had more fun as a family. They were also not huge on extras. They went to our functions as kids, but they often showed that it was grudgingly.

 

Now that they are grandparents, they are still similar to what they were like when I was a kid. They dont really have a retirement and are working to get by. They are still tired and so we dont see them much. They dont like to come for visits, but at holidays they are fun and my kids adore their grandparents. They are having the fun that I remember having when my parents let their hair down. I have noticed, my mom does have more issues with noise.

 

My ILs are not in the picture.

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How did they do with their own children? Did they farm them out? Have more energy and patience then? Gotten older and just can't cope anymore with the noise etc? Have they changed for the better with regards to children, or worse?

 

In my parents case, my Dad does great with kids in the past and now. My mom, has gotten super sensitive to any noise or upset with age. It makes it very hard for her to babysit the grandkids because she will snap over the smallest thing. This is sad to me because she was a great mom.

 

In my MILs case, they ignored their own kids to some extent. My MIL's sister gave up thought of marriage or career to raise MIL's 3 kids so that MIL could work and have a social life outside the home. (I'm not making this up, this is word-for-word what they themselves will tell you.) My FIL did not go to a single game or outside activity that dh was in. They love their grandkids and actually are better with them than they were with their own kids.

 

Both my parents and dh's parents seem to be mellower as grandparents than they were as parents. I think there are several major reasons. One, they're not "on" 24-7, so it's easier to enjoy the time that they do spend with the grandkids. Two, the burden/responsibility of raising the kids "right" isn't on their shoulders, so it's easier to let things slide sometimes, and again--it's easier to just enjoy the kids. Three, I think their experience raising their own kids has given them a better grasp of what's really important. Mostly that's a good thing, but there are times when it's difficult not to look at MIL like she has two heads when she lets my boys get away with or do something that I KNOW would never have flown when dh was a kid! That's not very often, though.

 

Both my parents and my in-laws are fairly young, grandparent-wise (early to mid-fifties), so I'm sure that makes a difference too. I wonder if the lower tolerance for noise/chaos is often a combination of age and having gotten used to a quiet, child-free house?

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Both my parents and my in-laws are fairly young, grandparent-wise (early to mid-fifties), so I'm sure that makes a difference too. I wonder if the lower tolerance for noise/chaos is often a combination of age and having gotten used to a quiet, child-free house?

 

Mine are also that young...my mom still has the noise problem! I wish it wasnt so!

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MIL is still looking after her dd50...intellectually disabled. So..no, she has not been available, physically or emotionally, although she lives 10 minutes away. She wasnt a good mother, supposedly (but then, her dh was out having affairs a lot and she had a nervous breakdown- 5 kids, one disabled).

FIL - well, he has early alzheimers now but was never around anyway. Absent father, absent grandfather.

 

My mum and dad are divorced. Mum is a good granma- I wish we lived closer while my kids were growing up but it wasn't to be. She spends a lot of time with my brother's kids (all 6 of them!) and is a very grounded, intelligent, practical and creative doting grandmother. She lives in a large house on a small river and just like when my brother and i were kids, her grandkids are allowed to run wild, go fishing and canoeing. Its always great to visit granma- she does "granma" well.

 

Dad is ....well, he's good with me. He finds kids hard. He always did. After my brother's first 2 kids he just shook his head as he heard about each of the next 4, and verbalised his astonishment that anyone would want more than 2 kids. He is not good with kids. Nor was he a very good dad, really...but, he did his best and he does try now. Again- we rarely see him but do stay in contact through the internet. He loves my kids- both my parents are very proud of how I have brought up my kids, which is lovely. He has very limited patience and has a tendency to be very judgemental, which he doesnt realise just alienates him.

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My mother was available and intelligent in her dealings with us. She didn't work outside the home, but at various times had writing jobs that she did at home. Now she's happy to have a child talk to her, or join in her activities, but she wouldn't offer to play, for example. My father was a loving but quite reserved father. I don't remember his doing much with us. He was roughly the same as a grandfather - he was happy to have the children nearby or to drive us to things that might interest the children, but he didn't join in.

 

My mother-in-law was very involved with her children and would have liked to be involved with the grandchildren, had age and distance not got in the way. My father-in-law was gentle but uninvolved, in a standard 1950s/1960s kind of way. He didn't change much with the grandchildren.

 

Laura

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My parents were always very wonderful with us when we were kids. My mom, especially, was and is the most even tempered, giving person I know. My dad was actually not around much because he worked long hours and had a very long commute. They definitely weren't as involved with us as I am with my kids since we had so much more freedom than my kids do today, but they always did family activities with us on the weekend.

 

My dad was always kind, but I never really had much of a relationship with him until my son was born. At that point, he wanted to be very involved with my son and would spend hours just holding him. He has a very special role in both of my children's lives. I think he's making up for the time he missed with us growing up. My mom is the sweet grandmother type, and loves the kids dearly, but my dad's turned out to be the real superstar as a grandparent.

 

My in-laws, on the other hand, have only really been interested in my sdd. They are not the type to try to do kid activities or to try to please the kids. They have more of an expectation that the kids should just endure whatever it is that they are doing. I really think their indifference to my children started largely because my sdd had a very close relationship with them before my husband and I married and would get upset when they paid any attention to my children. My MIL is hypercritical and I remember telling my husband when we were dating that she would never talk to my children the way she does with my sdd. She would basically rip her apart for the way she walked, talked, ate, etc., and for whatever reason, my husband allowed it (probably because that was what he was used to). I know she often left my husband and his sister with their grandmother when they were growing up and that she has always been hypercritical, according to my husband, so I'm not sure she's that much different a grandparent than she was a parent.

 

Lisa

Edited by LisaTheresa
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I think it might seem like our parents (our as a general word) had more energy/patience etc because I remember playing outside and at friends houses a lot. In general, today's kids watch more TV, play more video/computer games etc. I am not saying every kid. I realize that many parents limit those activities (I am one of the limiter and my kids will NEVER own a video game!) Just a thought.

 

Yes, I often wonder what kind of parent I would be if I were raising my children in the time my parents raised us. My parents gave me stability and love, but I pretty much had my own life by around 7 years old between school and having free reign of the neighborhood. If I wasn't trying to teach my kids and spending every minute of the day with them, I'm so sure I would have more patience and energy. Of course, I could always send the kids to school, but that just doesn't even seem like an option anymore.

 

Lisa

Edited by LisaTheresa
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My parents grandparent the same way they parented. Dad sits in his recliner and mutters uh-huh to whatever is said and reads and is basically a lump unless something requires him to step up and yell (which my sis says is not yelling but using his military voice but you know how childhood perceptions stick around). He will come to birthday parties (as long as another guy will be there) and is very appreciative of any weird gift the kids find for him. Mom is very hands on and active in their lives just as she was with us. She would have been a great homeschooler. She can't do as much now as she wants too, but she was the one out playing soccer Thanksgiving when they needed an extra player.

 

FIL I didn't know well and he died before our kids although the grandkids he did have before he died all missed them. MIL picks favorites, is too old and broken down to do anything with the kids, but tries hard to the best of her abilities. She lives far from us so favoritism doesn't bother us, esp. since the favorites are grownups compared to my kids. They kids are too busy running around with cousins to notice adults when we go up there anyway. MIL and FIL had 9 kids between them so the cousins range from 36-4 years old and there are a lot of cousins kids too. Total fun for the kids whose only close family is grandparents.

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