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Grandparents spoiling grandchild

Tanya wrote:

Please help me. I have constantly asked my parents to please respect my wishes as a parent when they visit my home or when my child visists their home.

They bring bags full of candy when they visit, and as soon as they walk through the door they give our two year old as much as he
can put into his mouth.

They then berate me in front of my child for putting the bags away.

Sometimes this happens before he has had lunch.

They do not set any guidelines of disipline for him when he visits, and they ignore mine.

When I picked him up last, I found him jumping on the furniture. This has led to problems at home.

As I have said, my child is only two and does not yet understand why he is allowed to act one way at our house and another way at his grandparents.

He has also started yelling at us saying he doesn't have to do as we say. He has starting hitting as well. When I brought this up to my parents they said he did that to them and then they laughed about it.

Recently, I told them that our son would no longer be able to visit if this
sort of behavior keeps up. My father then said I am no longer welcome in his house and called me a monster for keeping his grandson away from him.

My son misses my parents, but I cannot allow this to continue. A year ago my nephew broke his arm while visiting my parents because he wanted to jump from chair to chair.

Can you help me? I feel like I am punsihing my child for my parents' actions. By the way my father yelled at me I know he will never tell my child no if he is allowed to see him again.

Dear Tanya,

No-one can change what has happened, but it will be useful to understand what has happened; the future is often brighter once we've learned the lessons of the past.

Did your conflicts start with their child care, or is there an element of power struggle happening here?

To what extent did you dictate your terms, without fully explaining your reasons? Be honest here, and remeber that things have changed since they brought you up; your ideas - however right - might be confusing for them.

Then examine the conflict. What is at stake? Your child's personality, that's what. I suspect your ideas are right, but even if I didn't, you'd still have much of my support, because what growing kids need, above all else, is consistency. If the grandparents cannot see that, I'm afraid that's their problem.

Having said all that, don't close the door. Do let the folks know that you'd love to visit, with the child, if only they'll be reasonable. Let them give a sweet or two (or some other treat), but supervise at first.

Remember that Old Folks can be quite lonely, and see kids as a way of doing what they can no longer do!

Good Luck!

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30 November 2016  |     |  Contact