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What Do You Do When Grandparents Over Identify with Parenting Issues?

When I Ask For Help Grandma Tries to Rehash Her Parenting Experience

This post was submitted by an anonymous member in our A Place to Vent group.

I love and adore my mother and she is my greatest ally as a mom, but whenever I share my experiences about parenting she over personalizes and identifies with them. She is a fantastic mother and a serious contender for the world's greatest grandma award, but she can't listen to my conundrums without reminding me (in exhausting and antiquated detail) what it was like when she was a mother to two little children. I'll call her scared about my son's fever and she'll go on about the time my brother had pneumonia and was hospitalized, or I'll tell her how I feel when my husband crosses my rules with the kids and she'll launch into stories about my dad. There's no doubt I require and appreciate her stories, knowledge and support, but I've told her numerous times I need her advice in the moment for my current situation. I need guidance for my life and yes, I want to learn from her experience, but I can't help but get frustrated when she over-identifies with my concerns instead of helping me with the problem at hand. How do I help her take off the mommy cap and put on the grandma cap where she can live in the moment with me and my family (and not seem completely insensitive)?

Overwhelmed by a crying baby, difficult parenting quandary, overbearing in-laws and competitive parents? Join our A Place to Vent group over in our LilSugar Community and share your stress with fellow moms who understand your plight. You can even post sensitive questions anonymously!

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MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
No... This is a legitimate question. You dont have to feel bad about it. Everyone jumps on the gun and flames the person seeking advice. I dont see anywhere where she seems ungrateful, or is angry at her mother. She's simply asking how to shift the focus to the answers she needs. I think the only way you can really approach this is to be very gentle and kind, but direct. You can't skirt around on this, becuase it is EVERYONE'S first inclination to share their experience. It's just how people are. It isn't wrong, or bad or in most cases meant to show you up. It's just how we are. Just explain to her, in as simple ways as you can that when you call you're really worried. You're upset/worried about said situation, and it really helps you calm down if you get the answer before you guys start hashing experiences.
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