Interference of Grandparents in Upbringing

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Question:

Assalaamu ‘alaikum

Respected ‘Ulama

What rights do the paternal grandparents have over my children? They become exceptionally opinionated in my parenting and also try to dictate the time they spend with my child.

Due to not wanting to be disrespectful, I don’t say anything, but I would like to enquire the ruling on this matter.

Please advise.

Jazakallah

Answer:

Bismihi Ta‘ala

Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barkaatuh

Respected Sister in Islam

Unfortunately, many grandparents, paternal and maternal, interfere in the upbringing of their grandchildren, mostly siding with them and not allowing the parents to discipline them when needed. This has a very negative impact on the character and values of the children, hence they become spoilt.

However, there are two aspects to consider. The first is that as a parent, it is your responsibility to give your children the correct upbringing. The second is that you need to be respectful at all times and not adopt such a manner that gives the impression that you are cutting off your children from their grandparents.

In order to accomplish both aspects, without causing a problem, you should do the following:

1. Do not compromise on any Deeni or moral principles when it comes to the upbringing of your children. Thus, if the grandparents want to take them to a place where vice and sin is predominant, you must be firm and not allow the children to go along. However, this should not be done in a rude manner, rather with respect.  Similarly, if the grandparents are teaching the children any wrong values and morals, like being disrespectful or vulgar, you need to be firm and explain to them respectfully that you do not approve of this. You should also explain to your children the wrong in that, together with maintaining their respect for their grandparents.

2. Do not be too hard in secondary issues that have no negative implications on the Deen or character of the children. For instance, if the grandparents request that the children come to their home once a week, and there is no wrong taking place there, then you should give permission if it is easily manageable.

3. Do not be biased in affording the maternal grandparents more privileges over the children as compared to the paternal grandparents. Maintain justice in this regard. In fact, give little more preference to the paternal grandparents, so you are not accused of being biased.

May Allah Ta‘ala make your children the coolness of your eyes and bless you with understanding and happiness.

Answered by:

Uswatul Muslimah Panel of ‘Ulama