Should My Child Live With Their Grandparents?

Should my child live with their grandparents? If you raise your child in the same home with their grandparents, here's what you need to know.
Should My Child Live With Their Grandparents?

Last update: 11 March, 2022

The fact that three generations share the same roof seems crazy, as this coexistence can be a source of conflict. But today, many children are forced to live with their grandparents due to the unfavorable economic circumstances of their parents or the deteriorating health of their grandparents.

Although grandparents are wonderful for any child, they often get bad press: Instead of seeing them as their best companions, full of love to give, they’re considered the serial spoilers of their grandchildren. The truth is that being a grandfather is an intense job that’s only suitable for wise people with a lot of experience.

They raised you when you were a child, and today, they’re the heads of the family, considered in many societies to be a source of wisdom. The problem lies in the coexistence that results from sharing the house with them once you’ve started your own family, whether this means moving into their home, or your parents or in-laws moving into your own.

Although this situation is usually complicated, don’t despair, as many specialists have taken the trouble of analyzing what happens when our children have to live with their grandparents. Find out in this article what the advantages and disadvantages are.

When your child should live with their grandparents

There are many children who, for various reasons, must live with their grandparents. For example, there are grandparents who take care of their grandchild because their parents can’t do it. Despite the fact that these grandparents will do anything for the offspring they love so much, the reality is that these types of decisions can produce difficult situations.

This is because children who have to live with their grandparents often miss their parents and long to live with them. At the same time, for the grandparents, assuming this responsibility represents an obligation to maintain a rhythm that may be too much for them in order to care for the child and monitor their activities.

What if the grandparents move into your home?

If it’s the grandparents who must move into your house, everyone in the household will be forced to adapt to the considerable changes that will occur. For example, many times the child will be forced to change bedrooms or to argue with another relative over the TV.

Of course, moving into someone else’s house can also be hard on grandparents. But once the adjustment period is over, both your child and your parents will enjoy each other’s company and quality time together.

Living with their grandparents, a source of conflict

Living with others is never easy, even less so if at least five or six people have to share a small space. Therefore, friction is presented as an inexorable end not only at the family level but they translate into couple conflicts, as their intimacy and independence decrease.

Tolerance towards grandparents will also depend on the relationship you have with them, that is, if they’re parents or in-laws. Another factor that can turn the situation into a pressure cooker about to explode is the health condition of the grandparents.

Grandparents with their granddaughter.

However, the most powerful source of conflict is the one related to the upbringing of their grandchildren. Parents and grandparents often have different conceptions regarding the education of children. Because of this, misunderstandings, misgivings, and suspicions arise that create discomfort and can deteriorate relationships.

The benefits of children living with their grandparents

Despite everything that has been said so far, we can’t deny that there are some benefits of living with grandparents under the same roof:

  • Your child will be in the best hands while you carry out your activities and obligations. If you work or study, this help is great to take care of the child.
  • The help isn’t only infinite but also comes with an overdose of experience capable of overcoming any uncertainty that’s typical of a new or modern mother.
  • Motherhood is really exhausting work. If your child must live with their grandparents, it allows you to have respite, breaks, and moments of recreation.
  • The child receives double the love, attention, and special care. And a double portion of kisses and hugs also implies multiplying the motivation and self-esteem of your child. Is there any better way to grow?
  • You’ll ensure that your child receives more stimuli.
  • They can give useful and valid opinions, as long as they’re promptly consulted on certain facts or aspects concerning the child’s upbringing.
  • Both you and your child will be able to receive from their grandparents a smile and the support of a person with a lot of experience and love to spare.
  • Your little one can learn about their roots and family traditions through the experiences of their grandparents.
  • Coexistence with their grandparents facilitates the emotional development of children and educates them in the value of the elderly even when time makes them fragile.
A grandfather in the pool with his grandbaby.

Disadvantages

Unsolicited corrections, tips, and suggestions, while well-intended, aren’t always welcome… And we can also find other disadvantages:

  • There’s a lack of independence at the individual level as well as within the couple and the family.
  • It’s difficult to develop your own family customs if you’re bound to respect those of your family.
  • Couple problems can arise as long as you don’t have their own space and don’t have a lot of tolerance and patience.
  • Your child may be overindulged. The limits that we establish are blurred, as the authority often ends up in the hands of the grandparents.
  • Jealousy of grandparents may be experienced. Because the children spend many hours with them while you’re working or studying, you may feel that they also get to enjoy those special moments that you miss out on.
  • You may feel that your little darling has a better time with them than with you. Forget about it! This isn’t the case, as your little one knows who their mom and dad are and you’ll always be their favorite.
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  • Badenes, N., & López, M. T. (2011). Doble dependencia: abuelos que cuidan nietos en España. Zerbitzuan: Gizarte zerbitzuetarako aldizkaria= Revista de servicios sociales, (49), 107-125.
  • López, J. (2010). ¿Es saludable la relación abuelos-nietos para los niños?. Acta Pediátrica Española68(8), 389.