Dilemma: Is my granddaughter allowed to get away with too much or am I too grumpy?

Jo Brand / 18 December 2018

An older grandfather wonders if his views on children being seen and not heard are outdated - Jo Brand advises.

Dilemma: Am I too grumpy or is my daughter too lenient?

My daughter had her only child quite late in life, with the result that I’m not a particularly young grandfather. While I love my grandchild dearly, I do find that she interrupts my conversations with her mother, and pesters adults for attention.

My daughter barely seems to notice it and just wraps her arms around the child. But I was brought up in an era when children did not interrupt their elders.

Am I being curmudgeonly, or should my daughter make my grandchild behave herself in adult company?

Jo Brand's advice

Mr Squeers, in answer to the two questions in your final sentence, yes you are being a bit curmudgeonly, but also your daughter should find some strategies so that your granddaughter is not controlling the entire interaction between her and a roomful of adults. 

You say you love your granddaughter dearly, but if you want her to be seen and not heard, that is a little draconian of you. I think you need to have a conversation with your daughter (who possibly finds your attitude somewhat irritating) and agree on what the boundaries should be. If you want to have an adult conversation with your daughter, perhaps you need to see her separately or speak to her on the phone. A tad tongue-in-cheek from me, but it would be fantastic if you could be the one who bends and compromises rather than being the archetypal grumpy old bloke.

I understand that as we get older we all get a little less tolerant, but do try to imbibe some of the joy your daughter is experiencing from having a child relatively late in life. And don’t ruin your relationship for the sake of this sort-outable issue.

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