Grandmother’s tip for spending more time with grandchildren leaves the internet divided, as some parents view it as ‘manipulation’

Her good intentions have caused a lot of discussion

Grandparents in the garden with two grandchildren
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A grandmother sharing her tip for spending more time with grandchildren, has left the internet divided. While some parents love her idea, others brand it 'manipulation.' 

It's well documented that grandparents have a positive impact on their grandchildren. It's thought children who have a good relationship with grandparents have fewer emotional and behavioural problems, while elders set grandkids up with positive habits to last a lifetime. Of course, this won't always be the case, with distance or family breakdown just some factors involved in grandparents not spending the time they'd like with grandchildren - if it's possible in this instance, visiting just once a month can help them live longer.

A grandmother sharing a tip online for spending more time with grandchildren, has received a mixed reaction. Speaking on the More Than Grand Instagram account, dedicated to bridging the gap between parent and grandparent, the grandmother offered her controversial tip. She began "If you feel like your grandchildren's parents are making it hard for you to spend the time you want with your grandchild, here's what you can do."

She continued "Instead of focussing on spending time with your grandchild, focus on supporting parents. Very little that you do with your grandchild in these early years is going to affect your long-term relationship with them."

The post continued "But how you show up for parents, is going to determine your relationship with them. And, your relationship with your grandchild's parents, is what determines how much time you get to spend with your grandchild."

The post concluded "So, if you really want to be a part of your grandchild's life, focus on the long game. I promise you, if you spend these early months and years focussing on your adult child and their partner, you'll get to spend much more time with your grandchild."

However, the grandmother's words didn't sit well with everyone in the comments. While one commenter simply wrote "Sounds like manipulation to me," another expanded on this concept adding "If your relationship is strained, offering support out of the blue is not going to go well. You must recognise pain you may have caused, then work toward restoration. Support just to see your grandchildren is manipulative and likely will backfire. You must repair first."

Another was against the concept of interaction with grandchildren when they're young, having little impact on the long-term grandparent-grandchild relationship. They responded to this with "I disagree that the early years don't really affect your relationship with your grandchild. I was lucky to spend the Covid years with my now 4-year-old grandson and our bond is very strong and I believe I have made a strong impact on his development. Of course I also support my adult daughter , but to say our impact on the early years is not that important is not true."

Of the few comments agreeing with this approach, one person wrote "PREACH! Postpartum parents need someone to help take care of them and the house. Parents need to take care of the baby. I promise if you come over and support and love your children you will be first in line to love that baby." 

Grandparents say they learn more from their grandchildren than their own children, while caring for grandkids has been found to be better for the brain than soduku. Five types of grandparents have been identified by researchers - can you see your on the list?

Lucy Wigley
Parenting writer - contributing

Lucy is a mum-of-two, multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ of experience writing about parenting, family life, and TV. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and sharing why you - and your kids - should watch them.