2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 03:30
This year, Sunday, September 7 is Grandparents Day. This day, which has existed since 1985, celebrates the importance of these elders in the lives of our children!
The very day we become parents, our father and mother become grandparents. Function, because beyond the simple blood tie, being grandparents these days represents an adaptation that not everyone succeeds in the same way.
Paradoxically, even if at the beginning of the last century the grandparents often lived together with the rest of the family, the grandchildren had very little time to know them – about 10 years according to He alth Canada.
It's that life expectancy was much lower 100 years ago than it is today. The roles of grandparents have therefore changed at the rate at which life expectancy has increased, so much so that today some people will spend nearly half their lives as grandparents, and will know their grandparents. children not only as children and adolescents, but also as young adults and parents.
Over a third of Canadians aged 15 and over see their grandparents once a month or more.
- He alth Canada
This reality brings many upheavals in everyone's life… Because if many new parents are relieved to have a grandpa or a grandma to support them in this adventure, several others feel overwhelmed and no longer know how to react to their parents' intrusion into their privacy. “My mother adores our son, but enough is enough! She always wants to rock Jacob, give him his bath and even the bottle, when she knows very well that Manon is breastfeeding! Didier was well aware that the relationship between his mother and his partner became explosive with each visit. He took advantage of one of these visits to go out with his son and leave the two women alone. “I ended up telling my mother-in-law to mind her own business! It is sure that at the time, it did not suit her and she even sulked for a few weeks. But she finally understood and today she pays more attention to what she tells me. Manon admits that she was really afraid of her mother-in-law's reaction, but since she was more afraid of being subjected to her repeated intrusions, she preferred to talk to her.
13% of Canadians communicate weekly by phone or letter with their grandparents, and 22% do so monthly.
- He alth Canada
At the heart of the litigation?
Baby care, from breastfeeding and diapers, to sleep and discipline, are the topics most at risk of litigation. "Me, thesentences that begin with In my time, I am no longer capable! explains Nathalie, a young mother of two children. “Of course our mothers and grandmothers have things and I want to know them! But, don't have them imposed on me! When my mother-in-law tells me that her children were potty trained at one year old, she makes me feel incompetent because Julien is not yet potty trained at 32 months. »
So, before you dare to ask granny for help for fear of conflict, here are some suggestions:
- Ask other family members what kind of grandparents to expect. A well-informed mother is forearmed!
- Make a list of your expectations: do you want grandparents to develop a strong attachment relationship with your child? Do you want to entrust them with occasional babysitting? Do you want help with child rearing or would you prefer to have only household or culinary support? By determining your needs, you will be able to make them known… and hopefully have them respected!
- Take the time during your pregnancy to let future grandparents know what you expect of them. If you feel uncomfortable, use the example of a fictional friend to bring up the issue and get your point across. "My friend can't take her mom always telling her what to do…"
- If grandma is not used to letting you talk at ease, write her a letter. Not only will you be able to choose themost diplomatic words, but she won't interrupt you!
- Recount the good memories you have of your grandparents or what you would have liked to live with them. Your experience could inspire new grandparents.
- If, despite your conciliation efforts, grandma is too intrusive, space out or shorten telephone calls and visits. Maybe time will succeed where you failed!
If, on the contrary, grandparents are not present enough in your children's lives, it is possible to create opportunities for rapprochement by inviting them more often, by making them more frequent visits, entrusting them with childcare for a few hours, etc. You can also ask them to fill out a notebook with anecdotes from their childhood, the family tree, advice they would like to pass on to your children, for when they will be adults… There are these notebooks in bookstores - on the same principle than pregnancy notebooks - with questions to answer and space for photos. You can also create this memory book by decorating it and writing questions about events specific to your family.
What the law says
The Act provides that parents cannot, without a serious reason, prevent grandparents from developing ties with their grandchildren. If the parents deny you access to your grandchildren, you can presenta motion to the Superior Court of Quebec to obtain access rights.
You can ask the Court to grant you visits at the same frequency as before the conflict. However, you should be aware that grandparents are not granted access rights as frequently as those granted to a separated parent, for example.
To learn more about grandparents' rights, visit Educaloi.
When parents divorce, grandparent involvement tends to increase if they are on the mother's side and decrease if on the father's side.
- He alth Canada