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RoseRed135

Do maternal grandparents have an edge?

19 posts in this topic

Found an article in "The Spruce" called. "Maternal Vs. Paternal Grandparents" (you can google it) asserting that MGPs generally have a closer relationship w/ their GC than PGPs. For example, the article states that the MGM is more likely to be asked to help out w/ a new GB and more likely to be asked to babysit later on. It cites various reasons for this, including the idea that moms still are usually the ones who arrange for childcare and that there is "some tension built into" the relationship between the PGM/MIL and mom/DIL.

Yet the article admits that there are "exceptions," and I know an increasing number of PGPs/PGMs who are the go-to babysitter/frequent caregiver for their GC. Perhaps the overall pattern is changing...

Thoughts?

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Posted (edited)

I think it would depend on location and personality.

I was always 500 miles from the MGP and 5 miles from the PGP.  So what do you think?

I have babysat my DSs children more than their MGM, but again it is location.

My DDs child was babysat by her PGF for a couple of years (by his insistence) and we were a 30 minute drive away.

I don't know that there are exceptions as much as circumstances.

 

Edited by SueSTx

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Sounds like SueSTx has a healthy relationship with the DIL. My study leads me to believe that a lot of the functionality of the extended family and particularly PGP's place in the family starts at the birth of the first GC. If there is a foundation of respect and authentic helpfulness from the start then things will go more smoothly later on. It seems the time when the rub comes is if there is trouble in the marriage and then the PGP are definitely in a precarious position. I, for one, manage my ex-DIL  as well as my future DIL relationship with great care. So far so good and I Thanks God for that every day.

 

 

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xILs were wonderful people who I could trust implicitly with my kids from day one....but they lived a 10 hour drive away. One of my mom's greatest gifts was her ability to care for young children. My kids were safe with her...she lived 3 hours away. We found a wonderful woman for in home day care when I went back to work and used neighborhood teenagers for random babysitters. DD's favorite was "Michael" who lived a couple of doors down. He was remarkably patient and happy to play games with her for a couple of hours. She could speak in complete sentences before she was two, so could also report on her time with him.

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I think there are many factors that play into which GP has a closer relationship with the GK.  Proximity of the GP; the relationship between the DD and her parents and the IL's.  The relationship between the DS and his parents and the IL's.  The availability of the GP's to the GK's.  The compatibility between the GP's and the GK's.  The status of the marriage between mom and dad.  I also think the closeness between GP and GK can change over time such that a GK may be closer to one GP when he or she is young but becomes closer to another GP as the GK gets older.  For example, my IL's were definitely better at being GP's when my kids were little, as they enjoyed being at home with my kids and doing young kid activities like reading books with them, coloring or watching a show on PBS with them.  My parents are better with older GK's as they do not like the caretaking involved with babies - young children and much prefer the company of teens/adult GK's.   My kids were closer with my IL's when they were young but now appear to have developed a closer relationship with my parents due to compatibility reasons as well as lack of availability on my IL's side due to my MIL's illness. 

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Both my GM lived within a 20 minute drive of us. I did prefer one over the other as a child. PGM, a retired Southern farm woman, took no crap from anyone...and I felt so safe & loved when I was with her. MGM was an elegant business woman who possessed practical good sense. I enjoyed my time with her as well, but the differences between the two women stagger the imagination. PGM wasn't concerned with whether or not I had the right outfit as long as I was clean, mended and presentable. Both insisted on manners. Both possessed unflappable inner dignity.

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Taking away factors like distrance, convience, and schedule. In my observations of myself and my friends, its is the "Mom" who lets face it, does bond with the munchkin the most in those early years... and that means that mom has known MGP for a significant portion of her live.  This can be an advantage or a disadvantage... For example, I have no problem leaving my DS with my Mom, she would guard him with her life and be attentive & loving.  My father on the other hand... no... he is more likely to fall asleep watching him.. or get grouchy because DS doesn't pick up he toys fast enough...my father has no idea he does this, but he does - and I only know as I have had years of observation from myself and my brother. 

 

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This would depend on distance and relationship more than just an automatic MGP will be closer I do believe.

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I didn't think of this in relation to my dad...he passed before I had kids. That said, if he were still here when the kids arrived there would be no contest. The kids, post infant stage (he didn't do diapers or potty training), would insist on being with him. My nephew was just about to turn 4 when Daddy died. You couldn't pass a sheet of tissue paper between them. He was always his nieces/nephews favorite uncle and in return each kid felt like the favorite.

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Hmmm... Good points, IMO, people! I'm thinking it also depends on availability. Some GPs, for example, can't watch their GC on weekdays, while the parents work, etc., b/c they are still working, themselves. That could be true on the mom's side or the dad's. For another example, some GPs choose not to babysit or only to do so rarely/in emergencies.  A PGM friend of mine is the weekly babysitter for her DS' and DIL's kids, not b/c of whose mom she is but b/c the MGM just isn't into doing childcare.

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Nope. *Everything* is contingent on the relationship btwn the adults, imo, not which parent they raised.

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Posted (edited)

Pulling this up again b/c there's a GP.com article where columnist Adair Lara makes some tongue-in-cheek comments about the PGM v. MGM relationship - and, apparently, hits a nerve (see her PS)!:

http://www.grandparents.com/family-and-relationships/family-matters/how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying

I don't see the "responses (plural)" she seems to be referring to (perhaps they were private ones?). Maybe it's "no joking matter"/ too sensitive a topic to kid around about?

Edited by RoseRed135

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Posted (edited)

Hummm...Just like most other things in life...it depends a lot on the personalities of both the MIL,DIL and the mother.

Edited by SueSTx

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I'm both an MGM & a PGM...as a PGM, the 3 kids live with their mother, xDIL...and I see the kids thru her about as often as I see them thru DS....she & her new hubby are expecting a baby somewhere around Christmas...and, as with the births of the younger 2, I will be watching the olders (along with MGM) while she's in hospital to keeping their routine stable,. 

As for my MGM baby, who just turned 13, they live closer so I see him more and we remain mutually adoring.

While I am horribly opinionated, I manage to keep such things to myself yet find ways to connect with the kids on their level....

I'm also a step MGM/PGM....not that DsD's kids realize that they actually live with their MGM, yet I (as the SMGM) are an integral part of their lives...DS' step kids are 4 & 6, just lost their only remaining GP when DIL's mother passed, so I'm the go to GM....and I'm good with it...they have one aunt & one uncle, no bio cousins....so my DDs, my sister & I have all agreed that we'll be circling our wagons for these kids to make sure they feel included and loved. 

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15 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

Pulling this up again b/c there's a GP.com article where columnist Adair Lara makes some tongue-in-cheek comments about the PGM v. MGM relationship - and, apparently, hits a nerve (see her PS)!:

http://www.grandparents.com/family-and-relationships/family-matters/how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying

I don't see the "responses (plural)" she seems to be referring to (perhaps they were private ones?). Maybe it's "no joking matter"/ too sensitive a topic to kid around about?

I didn't read anything sensitive in the article. People's personalities, availability, and distances involved account for any differences between PGM and MGM that the author comments about. Anything else is an unfounded wives tale, in my opinion.

Anonymous poster hash: ea945...f93

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No, I don't think maternal GP's have an edge over paternal GP's as a rule- But I do think that sometimes they do, and that sometimes the paternal do- When I think of the word edge, I think of the word preference -- as in who do the parents prefer, the MG's or the PG's- And I think that the parents personalities determine which they prefer since their personalities define their marriage dynamic/s- Finances are second, I think, since money can provide -- quite frequently what the parents cannot provide- So it only stands to reason why parents would gravitate towards the set of GP with the finances- Distance also plays a significant role -- distant emotionally or geographically- 

The author was being funny .. I think- She provides a photo of herself smiling mischievously .. :)

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For us, I wish the PGP's were as my as the MGP's. They weren't as interested in their son's kids as their daughter's. They didn't make themselves as available as my parents did. So I stopped trying. Now they only see them about once or twice a year. May I also mention that we lived within 20 miles of each other.

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As a child I had fairly equal access to both GMs...I adored them both, yet they were very very different. I preferred PGM, however. It was just a matter of personalities. 

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PGP lived less than 5 miles away...MGP over 500. but they were at more of the kids activities.  Well to be honest, the PGP didn't bother to go to any. 

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