My son has three sets of grandparents. That is three sets of people in his life that he can learn from and grow special bonds with. He's a lucky kid.
And I'm a lucky adult, because none of the parental sets is overly intrusive into our lives. I am sure there have been lots of moments in which I've been judged, or I've cringed over something that they have said or done, but on the whole - everyone seems to enjoy their special role.
I get that this is not always the case. Some grandparent interaction is fantastic for everyone; until it becomes too much.
(By the way, I find it particularly fascinating that most of the instances cited for when it goes badly involve food or drink of some sort...)
Parenting for the first time felt very adult. Knowing that I was fully responsible for a helpless individual was a scary/wonderful event, and I was determined not to mess it up. I read books, I listened to other parents, I learned that I was going to mess some things up no matter what I did.
One rule I eventually learned to adopt was around house rules. If my son is at someone else's home, he has to adopt those rules. That includes his time at his grandparents' homes. Sometimes I forget this rule, but generally, I try to turn a blind eye to when he gets spoiled. (I often remind myself that he is supposed to get spoiled by his grandparents, and he doesn't get to see them that often...I would probably feel very different if this were a more frequent occurrence.)
Navigating the particulars of your adult relationship with your own parents is tough. Toss a baby into the mix and it just got tougher. But I don't think it has to be if everyone remembers that all parents have different styles and that most kids turn out just fine. If there is a big issue, then yes, talk about it as adults, but with the understanding is that your child is well loved.
What is special about your child's time with their grandparents? Share with me in the comments.