MOM-enomics with Booth Parker, CPA

How do you handle your own parents when the relationships are difficult and they want a relationship with your kids? Speaking from both personal experience and reflection with many other families, Booth walks you through factors to consider when determining what boundaries you need to set with your own folks and your children if they're needed.

MOM-enomics is releasing biweekly for a while.

Find more educational material and lifestyle tips:
Get Booth's financial newsletter by signing up here:
Find Booth on Instagram:
Find Booth on Facebook:
Email Booth:

  • (00:00) - Introduction
  • (02:30) - Navigating the Grandparent Relationship
  • (04:22) - Disclaimer regarding the word "toxic"
  • (04:58) - Attempts to Repair Relationships
  • (08:08) - Markers of Toxic Behavior
  • (16:31) - Reflecting: Do These Things Affect You?
  • (17:07) - Healthy Relationships
  • (19:26) - Outro

This podcast is produced by Rooster High Productions.

Creators & Guests

Booth Parker, CPA
Financial guru by day; domestic diva by night and sharing it all in between.

What is MOM-enomics with Booth Parker, CPA?

Real moms. Real mom financial issues. Real moms in business. Real stories. I am Booth Parker. A CPA, wife, and mom that loves all things home and family. In this podcast, I talk all things money for moms, families, and small business. From tips to ideas to info you just need to know, I break it down so moms can apply it to their own families and businesses!

Navigating Boundaries with Grandparents


booth_1_05-01-2024_112635: ​ [00:00:00] Today on the podcast, I am going to talk about a subject that may be a little touchy to some, and I'm not trying to rile everyone up about it, but I'm just trying to talk about some of the issues that people are experiencing with this topic. And it is the topic of, do grandparents have the right to a relationship with their grandchildren?

Are they entitled to a guaranteed relationship regardless of the way they maybe treat the parents, or don't respect boundaries, and things of that nature?

So, I have seen parents posting how they are trying to keep their child away from the grandparent because [00:01:00] the relationship is not healthy, and the grandparent doesn't respect their boundaries, and their wishes, and their parenting style, and things of that nature. And then on the flip side, I've seen grandparents posting that they absolutely deserve and have the right to have a relationship with their grandchild, regardless of what the parents think.

And things kind of happen on social media, the opinions don't actually kind of look at the issues sometimes, and while the issues are different for every family and relationship, What I have experienced personally and what I have seen with other friends and their personal situations, the issues always stem to kind of be along the same topics.

Likewise, the friends I have that are parents that have a very healthy grandparent parent grandchild relationship situation in their family, they [00:02:00] lack these issues being a problem in their relationships. So I am just going to kind of go through some of these issues that I've some experienced and some witnessed, a little blend there as well, and just kind of run through things to think about when you're looking at whether or not It's the best idea to kind of alienate your child or protect them, at least for a certain amount of time, from a situation with a grandparent.

Navigating the Grandparent Relationship

booth_1_05-01-2024_112635: A lot of parents struggle with guilt about keeping a child from a grandparent. They don't want to do that, but at the same time, they're trying to keep that healthy environment and the environment they desire to raise their child in. So there's a struggle there of what is the right thing for them to do.

And it's not always the grandparent. That's the problem. So grandparents don't start trashing me where I'm saying that that's the case, but there are a lot of grandparents out there, I've seen them, [00:03:00] where they refuse to budge on their thought process that they've already raised children and they know what's best and they are going to grandparent however they want to regardless of what the parent wants.

And these are the situations where the parent is not wanting to allow the access.

But I also think there are some grandparents out there that are doing things that they maybe don't realize and the parent isn't completely communicating what the issue is and these grandparents maybe are willing to self reflect if they kind of know what the issues are. Maybe you need to send this episode to a grandparent today and they can kind of listen to it and they might realize that they're doing some of these things and jeopardizing that relationship and it wasn't even intentional and they're willing to kind of change their actions and their approach.

There's plenty that aren't going to be willing to do that, but hearing some of these issues may make a parent realize that some, maybe they're [00:04:00] just dealing with one of these issues in a minor capacity and maybe they think they're overreacting, or maybe they're experiencing a lot of them and it's worse than they thought, and they really need to set even firmer boundaries.

So there's a lot of different avenues that can play out with this situation and it's not a fun one, but it's one a lot of people are dealing with.

Disclaimer regarding the word "toxic"

booth_1_05-01-2024_112635: First off, I am going to say that I think the word toxic is oversaturated these days. However, I don't know of a different word to use for this situation. So the world we live in today is very toxic, but your family relationships should not be toxic and that's where a lot of parents are kind of drawing that line is if they feel that the grandparent is making the whole relationship into a toxic environment where they're constantly walking on eggshells so to speak, that is where the limiting access starts to come into play.

Attempts to Repair Relationships

booth_1_05-01-2024_112635: So let's dive [00:05:00] into some of these issues that I've experienced, seen, and then have seen a lack of in the healthy relationships. Some of these issues are much larger than the others but some of them when they add up, they really create an extreme situation as well.

And the parents aren't always just trying to protect the grandchild, so to speak. They're also trying to protect their own self from the toxicity that would create stress in their lives in addition to what it's doing to their child.

So first, you have to evaluate: what was the relationship between the grandparents and the now parents, the adult child, the adult child's spouse, what was that relationship with the grandparents before a grandchild even came into the mix? This is a very important piece. If the now grandparents were never accepting of [00:06:00] their adult child's choice in spouse, they were never welcoming, never let that spouse feel like they were part of the family.

Maybe it went so far as they were very much so against the marriage and made an actual wedding a difficult thing to happen. Maybe the now grandparents And the adult child had a very strained relationship growing up and never had a good relationship anywhere along the line. So if, if this all was the situation before a grandchild came into the mix, you're already starting out with a huge problem that hasn't been addressed, much less fixed.

But oftentimes, the grandparents show back up when the grandchild is born. They want to be a part of the grandchild's life. And it may be that the adult child and their spouse; maybe they want to be the bigger person, so to speak, or maybe they see it as a chance to [00:07:00] resolve all of the past hurt and relationship issues and all that kind of stuff, and so they let the grandparent in, but they never address the elephant in the room.

The elephant in the room being what was the problem beforehand. So, forgiveness is a great thing, but forgiveness also has to come with some kind of accountability and communication, so just ignoring the past relationship and thinking that the grandparent grandchild relationship is going to fix a lot of those prior relationship issues and make them all go away... it's not.

So it may temporarily put them aside, especially when the grandchild is a baby and a toddler and they're small and things like that, but it doesn't work long term. So if that is the situation where the adult child and their spouse, the relationship is bad with the grandparents before the grandchild is ever born, [00:08:00] that has got to be addressed before the whole grandparent grandchild relationship can evolve and be a long lasting one.

Markers of Toxic Behavior

booth_1_05-01-2024_112635: So the second issue I'm going to address, I'm going to use the word toxic again, is that toxic behavior. And this can surface in a multitude of ways. So I'm going to give a few examples and I'm sure when I give these examples you can start thinking of some that you've maybe experienced or seen for yourself.

So maybe growing up your home was full of yelling and screaming all the time. Maybe the grandparent still acts that way. Maybe you're trying to break that generational cycle, so to speak. and not have your home be that type of environment. So, if the grandparent is unwilling to change their yelling and screaming all the time, then you may want to keep your child removed from them.

This can also go along the lines of the grandparent intentionally [00:09:00] undermining, not respecting the parent's wishes. So maybe you have a child who is drastically affected by sugar, so to speak, and the grandparent insists on giving them unlimited sweets, even though the parent has said, they don't need to eat them.

This is one of those situations where the parent is trying to do what's right for the child and the grandparent wants to spoil the child or do things their way. And this creates a huge amount of tension between the parent and the grandparent as to what they're going to do as far as.

Another example that falls into this category, and this one may resonate with the most people, but it is in regard to social media. So, a lot of grandparents, they've gotten on social media, and they want to share information. All the things about their grandchildren on their social media. But a lot of parents [00:10:00] these days are very guarded in what and how much about their children's lives they share on social media.

So if the grandparent disregards this social media exposure request. It's really going to be a big deal to the parent because it's a serious situation. What they're trying to do is to keep their children safe. They are not trying to keep, you know, grandparents, childhood, best friend from seeing a picture of their grandchild.

There are a lot of predators online. The older demographic is less likely to be technologically savvy in regards to keeping their privacy. And a lot of them have public social media pages, especially on Facebook. A lot of them have been hacked because they don't do two factor authentication and things like that.

I know there are plenty of grandparents out there that are tech savvy, but the majority of them kind of fall into this realm and the parents request they [00:11:00] don't share all these pictures because of the safety issue. So when that boundary is disregarded, it can create a lot of tension between the parents and the grandparents.

And the third issue I'm going to talk about is things the grandparent does that affects the child's mindset. This one actually may bother me the most personally but it might not be something you've ever experienced or seen because it's kind of not as at the forefront so to speak. It's not as common as maybe the social media one or something like that.

So I'll give you kind of some different examples. So maybe the child is eight and the grandparent wants to take them out to lunch and the parent says fine, you know, come pick them up, take them to lunch, you know, go bowling, do something like that, and the grandparent utilizes the time to speak negatively about the parents to the grandchild the entire time.

And then the child comes home confused [00:12:00] because of everything the grandparent has said. This is a very intentional action by the grandparents to do this and make the child question their perception of the parents.

So another example would be maybe an older grandchild, maybe a teen, one that has a phone now, and the grandparent's texting them things that are, that are negative. So maybe the child has a disappointing performance in something, maybe they're in a play or music or sports or something like that, and The child's already down enough and instead of being the encourager, the grandparent sends, you know, a text message that says how the child embarrassed them by their performance or something like that.

So things like that really can affect a child's mindset. Society these days is hard and children do not need to be discouraged by their grandparents.

You know, another type situation would be the grandparent, you know, pouring salt into the child's wound, so to [00:13:00] speak, and, and saying, "You know, well, maybe you should just give that up because you're not any good at it." And just really deflating the child, their confidence, their self esteem, which so many children these days are lacking because of societal pressures.

They need grandparents that are encouragers, uplifters, and supporters.

The fourth issue is religion. And I'm not doing a deep dive into this one because everyone has their own opinions on religion. But this can be a big one that drives issues between grandparents and parents. So when the parents choose to raise their child following a different religion, or maybe even just a different denomination within a religion, it can create a very, very tense and stressful situation.

And the grandparent will oftentimes, be very forceful as to why it needs to be done the way they did it, and then it can take one further step of stress and tension [00:14:00] if, say, the two grandparents are kind of competing for control over which way the parents raise the child as far as religion goes. So maybe one spouse converts to the other spouse's religion, and so the Grandparents are competing and it causes a lot, a lot of drama and friction.

And the last one is one of those things that doesn't seem like that big of a deal on the surface, but it really can become a big deal, especially when it happens repeatedly. And it is the issue of gift giving and not respecting boundaries within gift giving. So, grandparents generally love to spoil their grandchildren, and many of them feel entitled and that they have the right to do so, and many of them are now in a financial means situation where they can do those things.

On the flip [00:15:00] side, a lot of parents these days are choosing to raise their children in a more simplistic type, minimalistic home environment. They're wanting to teach their child that even in this, you know, everything's fast, fast, fast, get it right now culture we live in, that they can't have and get everything they want or desire.

And so when parents ask a grandparent, you know, for Christmas or a birthday and they say, please just give them one gift, pick one thing. And then you show up at their house, you know, on Christmas day and they've bought out the toy store and they've completely overdone Christmas more so than what the parents and Santa Claus did and things like that.

It really creates friction where the parent does not want to expose their child to that because they're having to do damage control. And that's the whole thing with a lot of these issues is the parent is having to do [00:16:00] damage control for what the grandparent has done for the grandparent not respecting the boundaries or the requests or even approaching the relationship well with the grandchild and the parents.

I am by no means saying that all the grandparents are bad and all the parents are in the right here. But what I am focusing on here is reasons why parents feel they need to withdraw their child from a relationship with their grandparents.

Reflecting: Do These Things Affect You?

booth_1_05-01-2024_112635: Maybe some or even all of these issues resonated with you. Maybe yours is small and you realize it could be a lot worse. And so it could be easier for you to fix your situation. And that's great. And maybe you're a grandparent listening and you've done some of these things and you didn't really think it was a big deal that you bought so many gifts at Christmas and hearing kind of that perspective of why it's an issue to the parents. Maybe it will create an incentive in you to [00:17:00] have that conversation or, you know, be active in changing your behavior and your actions with those issues.

Healthy Relationships

booth_1_05-01-2024_112635: Children need all the love and support they can get, and children need to learn what healthy relationships are. And healthy relationships are formed on respect, and the boundaries fall within that respect. And so when neither of those are happening, the parent feels the need to withdraw the child from the relationship because it's not establishing a healthy dialogue amongst the family.

Most parents are trying their absolute best. They don't want to have to kind of sever these ties or pull their children away. But they are trying to do what they feel is best for their child in their, you know, season of life at that point. Especially when children are very impressionable, don't understand why a lot of things happen.

They don't understand manipulation and things like that. That [00:18:00] is when the parent wants to withdraw the child from the relationship and not expose them to that.

And while I know this is a very sensitive topic for many, especially if you've experienced it and the other thing is that a lot of the people who have that healthy relationship, like I mentioned at the beginning, And they've never experienced these issues. They, they don't always understand where someone's coming from either because they haven't experienced this and maybe you have experienced some of these things and you've found a way to resolve them.

And if so, like I would encourage you to reach out to friends or people, you know, that are experiencing this and try to help them because resolving relationships is not an easy task. And I am not a psychologist or a psychiatrist or anything like that, but I've been through a lot with family and relationships.

And I know that my priority is my son and his wellbeing and what is best for him. So I feel like I think. Like [00:19:00] a lot of these parents in regards to protecting their child and helping them grow, you know, in a healthy environment. Our children are so impressionable these days with all of the social media and everything in the world. And they really need to feel grounded within their family. And a toxic relationship within the family does not create that sense of grounding.

It doesn't give the support network that children really thrive off of.


booth_1_05-01-2024_112635: So if you are experiencing any of these, whether you're a parent or a grandparent, I hope kind of hearing about how these issues resonate within the relationship can make you approach your issues and maybe get some resolve to them. I feel like a lot of people try to keep these issues behind closed doors.

They don't really want it. In the public, they cover it up in public, they may still do, you know, certain things to keep face in public, and that's not healthy either. So, just trying to create some healthy dialogue and create those [00:20:00] relationships that are best for children to grow up and learn to thrive in.