Parents to Grandparents: 'It's Not About You'

Step Carefully and You May Avoid Hearing This

It's a frequent comment in chat rooms, and some grandparents may hear it in person, too. Learn what situations may lead to the stinging remark, "It's not about you!" and how can you avoid being the target of this phrase.

  • 01 of 05

    When You Have a Grandmother Shower

    Barry Austin Photography / Digital Vision / Getty Images

    If you and your friends have handled this properly, you should be able to celebrate your impending grandparenthood with nary a whimper from the mother-to-be. But if you've handled it badly, you may very well hear, "It's not about you!" To keep this from happening, don't give your celebration the typical baby shower treatment. Instead, have a fun luncheon or private celebration with friends. And be sure that the expectant mother is having an honest-to-goodness baby shower.

    See...MORE also Should I Have a Grandmother Shower? and FAQs about grandmother showers.

  • 02 of 05

    When You Have a New Grandchild

    A grandfather is thrilled to help out with his baby granddaughter.
    Katrina Goodman

    New parents who are feeling their way through parenthood sometimes resent what they see as intrusion by grandparents. The parents are likely to welcome the grandparents' presence (and help) a little later on. But when grandparents are not invited to the birth, they must accept the decision of the parents. The same goes if they are expected to make themselves scarce for the first weeks of a grandchild's life because the new family is enjoying a babymoon. Grandparents will get their chance...MORE to bond with the new grandbaby. In the meantime, deep breaths are in order.

    See also Six Ways That Childbirth Has Changed.

  • 03 of 05

    When Names Are Being Chosen

    Grandparents may have to bite their tongues when it comes to naming a grandbaby.
    Thinkstock / Getty

    Much of the fun of preparing for a birth centers around the choosing of names, but grandparents must tread softly. Choosing names is an right that clearly does not belong to grandparents. Perhaps you would like for the new baby to bear your name or the name of your spouse. While naming children after grandparents is traditional in some cultures, most modern families prefer to choose other names. Pushing your preferences in the name department may cause you to hear, "It's not about...MORE you!" And the remark would be justified.

    See also Help! I Hate My Grandchild's Name.

  • 04 of 05

    When You Don't Agree With Other Choices

    B2M Productions / Getty

    The hard part about being a grandparent can be summed up thusly: You don't get to decide! Whether the issue is whether a grandchild should be weaned or whether he or she should play sports, it's not your decision. Perhaps that should feel freeing, but to many grandparents, it just feels wrong. Why shouldn't we be consulted about the little ones that we love so much, especially when we have so much life wisdom to contribute? But the bottom line is that we can offer an opinion only...MORE when it is solicited. And even then, chances are that our opinion won't carry much weight.

    See also Grandparents Who Have Problems With Boundaries.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    When It's Really Not About You

    Talking something over with a friend or family member may help. Romilly Lockyer / Image Bank | Getty

    There's a better context in which you may hear, "It's not about you." That's when someone feels strongly about an issue and your opinion isn't really a factor. For example, you want to buy your granddaughter lacy dresses and your daughter-in-law keeps rejecting them. Perhaps it's because frilly outfits were forced on her when she was a child, and she doesn't want to do the same to her daughter. In such cases, you're lucky if you have a friend or family member...MORE who will remind you in soothing tones, "It's not about you." Because truly it isn't.

     See also Pitfalls to Avoid When Gifting the Grands.