49 Answers

My father was older when we were born and has always been of the opinion that children should be seen and not heard. He believes in spanking, and in general has always had an aggressive attitude, and his way is the only way things should be done. To be honest I think the only reason we continue a relationship with him is out of guilt. His health is failing, as it has been for many years.
Today he informs me he won’t be coming for his weekly visits as he can’t stand my disrespectful, rude, and disgustingly behaved children. We think our children are typical boys! We don’t spank, and other than a little insolence or backchat, they’re great kids.
However he finds them loud, they interrupt, speak back to him when he tells them off for something trivial (ie running in our house etc) and he can’t stand to be around them.
One of our children is on long term steroids for a medical issue and has meltdowns due to the recurrent withdrawals. My father feels my son should be able to control his behaviour and that we should beat him for it.
I’m torn between feeling sad for the grandparent my children have never had, and mad as hell that my own father could be so despicable. He still expects me to go and visit when the children are at school, however I feel like telling him to go jump!!
What would you do?

Posted anonymously, 31st March 2014

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  • Thia sounds very very sinilar to my mum and her father. and to mbe honest i probably saw him twice as a child. when i was an adult my mum ‘introduced’ me to him. because he had no idea who i was nor did he care. he actually had 21 grandkids and couldnt give a shit. we were better ff pretening he wasnt there.

  • That’s a hard one ! I would first have a cool down time so you don’t feel so angry anymore. Have you thought about meeting somewhere else instead of your house. You could for example catch up in a park at sit with your dad at a picnic bench whilst the kids run around. By the sound of it your dad is rather opinionated and not willing to things in a different way. So I wouldn’t set my expectations to high that this will change and waste much energy for conversations about this. I would explain to him that his attitude makes you sad and when he thinks in this way about your children, you need to protect them against the negative impact this potentially has on them and yourself. Some temporary distance may be good

  • I would tell him to go jump. You don’t need that in your life.

  • As parents get older their patience wears thin. I can understand the boisterousness and loud noises irritating him however he probably could tone down the way he feels about it. A lot of old school parents are the same regarding discipline. Try and have a chat with him one on one. Remember though he is your dad and for whatever faults he has he is probably doing the best he can.

  • My dad was similar, except he didn’t suggest physical punishment. He did expect quiet perfectly behaved children every time though. We clashed many times over his opinions. Sadly, his attitude resulted in me, and later my kids, not wanting to visit him much. So he missed out on most of their growing up. He’s gone now, the only grandfather my kids had, and they never really knew him :,(

  • I hope you were able to find a solution with your dad.

  • Sounds weird! Jeepers, I don’t know what to say!!!

  • As someone who also doesn’t like being around disrespectful children, I can relate to your father. I don’t agree with beating them but there is no excuse for back chat or being rude. Teach your children to respect their elders or they will have issues in later life with authority etc. Children should learn manners such as not interrupting when others are speaking etc and it is up to us as parents to teach them this. If you want people to like your children, teach them proper manners and respect

  • That is a hard one and I think you will know in yourself what you want to do. Your sad is no doubt a very important person in your life and that of your children’s but you and your family need to be content. Perhaps if he doesn’t see them As regularly he will work out what he is missing out on

  • This is a tough question to answer.. Just be firm with your Dad and sat you are bringing your kids up your way . I am sure he loves hem. Perhaps he is acting like that toward them as he is feeling a bit guilty about the way he used his parenting skills. At the same time try and get your boys just to be a little quieter and not run around like wild banshees when your dad is visiting. I know hubby and I are older now [ he turns 70 today and I am 68] and no doubt my boys ran around and were noisy when they were younger, but that is typical of boys and girls too. As you get older like us your tolerance level gets a little less towards kids running riot so to speak, and we love our grandchildren to death but feel absolutely bushed when they go home. lol!! But that is the pattern of getting older. We are a trendy young ?? older couple though and have never tried to interfere with the way our grandies are brought up or disciplined. Hubby and I have our opinions but we keep them to ourselves and often have a chuckle over it.

  • Hmmmm, hard one. My dad was the same, thought the same if my children, but he never snacked them nor did he suggest I should. He loved them to death when they were babies, then they got older and the tantrums and defiance began, he started to list interest. Luckily, my partners mum was the complete opposite. What my kids missed out on with my dad, they got hundred fold from my mum in law. Also luckily, we didn’t live in the same state as my dad, so our visits were limited, and still difficult.

  • Wow im not sure how I would feel I had a baby to a man that my mother hates with a passion but she loves the baby and baby sits him takes him to the park look after him if he is sick. Im not sure how any grand parent couldn’t love there grand child I would be so peed off I probably wouldn’t visit him your a package like it or not for your grumpy father.

  • this is a really tough situation that you have been put into. I do honestly believe that only you can be the best parent for your own children. Your Dad has had his go at being a parent and now it’s your turn. yes, you will make mistakes, but hey that’s life. Having said that, I understand personally how you feel, as I struggle with my father in law trying to butt in. I think you need to be firm with your Dad and let him know that he is always welcome and you love him very much, but it’s you that is the parent, and you are trying your best and it would mean so much to you if he supported you and your decisions. Good luck.

  • It’s a tough call, some people lived in a different time but the best you can do is to make your feelings clear.

  • I would ban him from your house first.health problems or not.

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