Parents Upset Grandparents Took 8-Month Old On 6-Hour Road Trip Without Warning

Grandparents see their grandkids as extensions of themselves.

worried mom and grandpa putting baby in car seat Fizkes/Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Where in the world would some of us parents be without our children’s grandparents? They step in and step up to create a village — a support system for your child or children the leaves them feeling secure and loved.

But there are times when grandparents make decisions about their grandkids without consulting their children and, for some, that’s a huge boundary to cross.

One man took to the r/Parenting subreddit to share his dismay over his parents’ actions. They apparently told him and his wife a lie about what they would be doing with their 8-month-old baby one day and set in motion actions that would fracture the relationship for the foreseeable future.


The grandparents took the 8-month-old on a road trip — without asking for permission first.

His parents had been watching the baby while he and his wife worked during the week. One day, they notified their son and his wife that they would be an hour late dropping their grandchild off.

The devoted dad was working from home, so he offered to pick his daughter up. His parents were just 10 miles away, so the change in plans would have been no big inconvenience. His parents agreed and all was well that day.

The next day, his wife got off work early and asked to stop by her in-laws’ home to pick her daughter up early. This time, they refused, saying they had already left home for an appointment. The worried mom said “okay” but was alarmed by the text message she got from her husband’s parents later.


grandparents take 8 month old on road trip without telling parentsPhoto: Reddit

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The grandparents had taken their grandchild on a six-hour road trip without asking. After receiving the text message, both parents were livid.

“They were going halfway across the state and back for the day just for this appointment,” he explained. The couple couldn’t believe that the grandparents had taken it upon themselves to travel for hours without asking permission to take the baby with them.


In what some might see as an overreaction, his wife took time off work and flew to where his parents had gone to retrieve the 8-month-old. “[She wanted] to give our child a better day than sitting in a car and stroller for five hours,” he justified.

But such a drastic action made his parents upset. They talked about how much money they had saved the couple by babysitting every day, and were likely offended and insulted due to their son and daughter-in-law’s perceived distrust.

The distraught dad now wonders if he overreacted to his parents’ lies.

People mostly empathized with the grandparents. “Did they even think about it? Or was their thought process: We're babysitting. We have an appointment. We don't want Mom and Dad to have to figure something out. We can just take her,” one person said.

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They prompted the man to see things from his mother and father’s perspectives and be more lenient, but to ask his parents politely to let him know next time.

While some called what the grandparents did “kidnapping,” others took a more balanced stance. One person wrote, “I definitely think your boundary is fair, but I also think you’re assigning to malice what is best explained by an attempt at kindness."

Most grandparents see their grandchildren as an extension of themselves.

There are parents who are overprotective, even when it comes to the people that raised them. Then, there are those who unequivocally trust our parents with our kids because we know how they raised us and are very much aware they wouldn’t do anything to harm them.

Grandparents may overstep from time to time because they see our children as their own. And both mindsets are okay within reason.


In this particular situation, it seems the parents went too far by booking a flight. On the other hand, it would have been simple for the grandparents to tell the truth about their intentions.

Everyone should take a step back, apologize, set healthy boundaries, and agree to keep the line of communication open in the future.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington. She covers lifestyle, relationship, and human-interest stories that readers can relate to and that bring social issues to the forefront for discussion.