Meddling grandma (MIL), arrgghh (with more update in the end)

Lorrom - posted on 06/10/2010 ( 199 moms have responded )

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Hi, newbie here and desperate. My 3-yr-old beautiful girl is getting mixed signals from a very loving but a bit meddling grandma. Long story short: We adopted her at 6 months old, grandma moved next door (I know! what was I thinking), retired, and she is fighting cancer. Now I don't want to sound like the bad guy here, because we don't know how long we are going to have her with us...but I feel this shouldn't give her the right to disregard our rules and decide that my child's love should be bought with candy and junk food and some rules applied when we are around. I have no clue what happens when I'm not around. My girl is very good at home and at daycare, because we have same rules and she knows that. But the second she goes next door, I cannot reason with her anymore. She transforms into a complete brat, and only when she is there. Grandma lets her open kitchen cabinets, closets, taking out whatever she finds there (safety issue, hello!) - and she is not allowed to do that at home or school. I told her "tell ner NO". She even hit her in the face on purpose and she did nto say anything! And last weekend, we had lunch at grandma 's and at some point I found my girl with a water bottle in her hands with the cap in her mouth! (just had on the news a year ago a child that died because of that!). Of course, grandma admitted that she gave her the bottle. Arrgghh...My child is so agitated each time we are with grandma, and I hate this. I feel that sometimes she thinks she knows it all and because I am an adoptive mom, I know nothing. The other issue is hubby. He is on his mom's side, of course, even if we talked before grandma moved next door and he was decided to always remind her that she needs not to meddle and respect our rules. I feel very unsafe now every time my child is visiting her. I don't know how to approach this without offending hubby or grandma. My child's health and safety is number one before anything else. How to start the talk with hubby and her? I feel none of them is caring about my feelings and they think I am a control freak (which I am not). Please help...Thank you.

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Rachelle - posted on 06/10/2010

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I am a grandma that has a tendency to spoil my grandson because I don't get to see him that often and I know his dad and stepmom are very strict and my daughter started being really strict too. I kept telling her to lighten up as he was only 2 and needed to explore. We had a long talk and I told her I was sorry for not following thru with what she wanted me to do. Now, when we disagree, we sit and try to reason out both sides. Much more peaceful.
Ask if you could talk to the Grandma without your child there of course. Explain your heart and let her know that you want your daughter to have time with her, but there is some very basic rules that you will not compromise on. Give Grandma some leniency on the rules that you can, but be specific on rules that you insist on. I agree with Sandy Smith-Abbott about taking your daughter home if she doesn't follow the rules. 3 is old enough to know when you mean business. Good luck!

JuLeah - posted on 06/11/2010

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Kids pick up on our feelings. If we are agitated, they are often agitated too.
Kids can learn different sets of rules - we act this way here and we act this way when there .... the different rules will not mess your daughter up - her whole life she will have different rules in different places ....

I am sure GM doesn't see you are less (adopted mom or not)

I am sure she is looking at her life - her end, and desperatly wanting this child to remember her in love - wanting to make a lasting impression -

Safety issues are important of course and if you feel your child is unsafe there, make sure the visits happen at your house

She doesn't meddle to bug you or make your life hell - she meddles out of a need to belong, a need to be important, a need to feel connected ....

I have rules at my house about no jumping on the sofa, but at GM's house, my kid is allowed to do that, so I let her. If GM doesn't mind, I don't.

My daughter was also allowed to open all doors and take out whatever she found .... again, if GM didn't mind, I didn't care - her house and her rules.

At GM house there were things my daughter was not allowed to do that I did allow at my house and my daughter learned to adapt her behavior around that too.

The relationship is what is important, in my opinion - people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel - loved, safe, wanted .....

Sandy - posted on 06/10/2010

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U r not in a good place right now....sorry....a husband should back his wife in this situation. I wish I could help you more, but i am really a strong hold kinda person. I would just pick up my child each and every time, no matter what, walk out and tell them that is going to happen every single time the child or grandma acts out ..also grandma disrespecting you! It is going to be hardest on the child i'm afraid...but you as the mom need to pick the right battle, and keeping your daughter on the right track and understanding rules, no matter where you are, is important...good luck

MaryLou - posted on 06/13/2010

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I have been there, done that. My daughter's grandparents did that too, along with the aunts, and uncles. They even said the same thing to me. At first I was nice, asked them not to do that. I spoke the father, who like your hubby sided with his mom, dad and family. Then I started to get upset. I then talked to all of them, expressing my concerns, telling them how I felt. They in turn ignored them. I in turned, picked my daughter, left the home, but told them since they refused to respect my concerns, feelings or rules that they would have to visit her at my home, where I did reinforce the rules. They did come to see her, and after the first week tried to get me to change my mind but I held out. They eventually caved in. One of the reason is when the other children went to the doctor's the doctor told the parents that their children were way over weight. One of them was 11 and weighed more than I did. At the time I was 113 pounds. Two of the older ones weren't far behind. To this day I am glad I held my ground. My daughter was always healthy, and not overweight. My neice to this day is still overweight-unhealthy. Your job as a mother is to do what is best for the child, not best for the grandma. If it ticks off her and your hubby-too bad. Your hubby should be ashamed of himself for not putting his daughter's health and welfare ahead of his mom's hurt feelings.

Megan - posted on 06/13/2010

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Wow i went through the same thing with my hubby and his mom...well i'm still going through it with his mom....i had to put my foot down with the man even though i'm not that kind of person. i told him it was me and the family we had started or his mother....and he made his mind up and sided with us. I don't think his mom will ever stop though. see we own 2 houses and 200 acars 4 horses and 4 dogs we let her stay at the ranch house and when we go down to work with the horses she send out my 5 3 and 2 year old to help sorry NO. and she showed my kids how to open bottles in thier mouths OMG it kills me so now i'm to the point i don't let them out of the car and when she asks why we don't stay i let her know because you don't respect our rules for them and are always putting them in dangers way. So i understand were your coming from on this to me its like she knows better to because she has years on me but years don't always mean your a smarter better mom then me. Sad to say you will have to put them both in thier place girl and don't feel bad because she is sick....your baby comes first adopted or not she is your little girl and nobody hurts or puts her in danger....and if they try you fight for her ♥

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Brenda - posted on 06/19/2010

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I am a Nana with 4 boys and 1girl. I have same problem in reverse. But for u talk seriously with hubby and ask for his support in setting rules that must stick all places. Bottom line u must show u are serious about rules. If gnome cannot follow the only time daughter can visit is when u are with her. I had to dothat with my mother in law. Hope this helps. U are responsible for your daughters safety.

Susan - posted on 06/19/2010

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Be totaly honest. Explain the problems u r having and why u think u r having them. Ask her to work with u to find a solution. The terrible two's r over and now it is habits we r forming. What would Gramma do if it were her Mom? No finger pointing, just honest help is what u need.

Jennifer - posted on 06/19/2010

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I know what you're going through sister!!! My mother lives away from me, so I just suck it up and let them have it. First, you and your husband must be on the same page with this or it's not going to work!!!!! Once you and your husband are together, you must sit down and discuss your concerns with your mother-in-law. Don't be afraid to bring this up with your husband or his mother. When rising your child, you and your husband should always be on the same page whether you or he agree or not! Your mother, his mother, your child will divide and conquer if you're not!

Deborah - posted on 06/19/2010

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You need to get the information available from juvinile(sp) diabetes association on childhood obesity and show that to granny so she knows your not being over reactive that your trying to save your child from a lifelong illness that requires painful shots, limits her activities and could even kill her. You might want to make sure dad reads it too.
As for the rest of it, you need to decide which rules are mandatory for granma to follow. Playing in the kitchen cabinets? Tell grandma you want to compromise, you help go thru the cabinets and drawers, choose 1 of each that has safe cooking items such as pots, pans, lids, plastic spatula's etc that baby can play with. Leave those cabinets available and put safety latch's on the rest. So that baby is not confused do the same at home.
Get a copy of the rules for size of objects that baby is safely allowed to have, and print out some stories of childrens deaths from choking on objects common in all households.
As for hurting hubby and grandma's feelings and upsetting them think about it, and I'm not trying to be mean or upsetting here, just factual, how are the three of you going to feel if the baby dies because you gave in to emotional blackmail? The woman has cancer, she needs love, support and understanding, but she doesn't need to use it to manipulate the situation. I know that from experiance since my dad pulled many of these tricks with my kids after he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. One day I simply said "OK here's how its gonnna be, you can spend your last years enjoying your grandkids, or I can make sure they stay healthy and alive by refusing to let you see them. Make a choice." He whined a bit, but decided he loved his grandkids more than he wanted his own way. Did I feel guilty? Hell yes, but sometimes being a grown up means sucking it up and doing what needs to be done.

Amanda - posted on 06/19/2010

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I have this problem with my own parents....talk about frustrating! They think because they live far away, it's ok to completely spoil my children! No, we still have rules! My girls talk to my mom on the phone, but I always have it on speaker, so I can hear what she's saying to them....like "sometimes you have to listen to your mom & dad" Sometimes???? No, always, I said!! My mom is a big guilt tripper, so I have to censor other things she says as well (come on, they are 3 and 5!!) When we visit them, I am constantly reiterating our rules (if I say no to the hot tub, I mean NO!) but they don't seem to listen, but luckily we're only there a short time and I don't envy you living next door....but I'd definitely walk your child out the door if your MIL doesn't follow the rules! Not sure why Grandmas think they don't have to have any rules anymore (you should have seen the rules I grew up with!)

Trina - posted on 06/19/2010

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I think, number one, you can't let your husband be in the middle of it. It's not fair to him to have to choose sides, even though of course you think he should be on yours. Let it be between you and grandma. I bet a lot of relationships get ruined this way. (At one point in our marriage, I put my husband in that position, and looking back I see how unfair it was of me.) If it's a matter of your child's safety, it is your responsibility to tell grandma that if your daughter visits her, you need to know that she's safe. Also, your daughter is not stupid and has figured out what she can get away with while with grandma, but not with you. I think you might have to just say to yourself that grandparents spoil their grandchildren, period, and let it go. I've had to do that too. But I am much happier just letting it go instead of worrying. Obviously if my child were in danger it would be a different story. Tell grandma that in order for her to have visits with her granddaughter, she needs to respect some of your rules. I doubt that grandma is purposely trying to be insensitive toward you. She just sees things differently. If she thinks she knows better than you how to parent, just listen respectfully and at least pretend that you agree and are learning from her. You ultimately can choose how to be a parent, and I bet you're a good one! Just please don't bring hubby into it, because obviously he's not the one with the problem with grandma! I strongly believe that too many wives blame their husbands for not doing something, and it's not because the hubby doesn't care about you. How would you feel if you were put in the same position? Would you want to offend your mom? Give him a break on this one...

Misty - posted on 06/19/2010

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One small thought is that grandma could be too tired to do the "parenting" part of watching her. What if you bought child safety locks for the cabinets and stuff. That way grandma doesn't worry about having to tell her what to do. And maybe buy a choke tube and tell her if it passing trough the tube then don't let your daughter have it. These types of things might make it easier for her to do the types of rules you want.

Pam - posted on 06/19/2010

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I have SOOOO walked in your shoes. I know the manipulation that you are talking about and I have felt the frustration that you feel that your husband isn't backing you up. It caused a serious rift between my mother-in-law and me for several years. She finally initiated a conversation about it which didn't necessarily change anything but I got to say what was on my mind. Especially for first time moms, we want to be in control and set the boundaries for our kids. We expect that our husbands will be on board with these decisions. That is not always how it goes. From someone who has been there, some of it, you just need to let her be grandma. Allow your mother-in-law some of the fun things that only grandmas get to do with their grandchildren. On some issues like safety, maybe you should go to her house and babyproof her cabinets so that there are some cabinets that are "okay" to get into and others that can't be opened. Maybe you can find suitable alternatives to goodies that your child gets. Explain to grandma that the child is too young for these treats because the baby might develop allergies to certain foods because at that age, their immune system is underdeveloped. Things like that. Your mother in law probably feels that she has to get all of this spoiling in because she feels that she won't be around very long. I hope this helps.

Rebecca - posted on 06/19/2010

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Unfortunately, your husband is going to have to talk to her otherwise you will be villified as the mean daughter-in-law. It is going to be uncomfortable for him, but if he doesn't do it nothing will change.

I am going through a situation myself where I have had to talk to MY mom. It was really hard because I didn't want to hurt her feelings, but I am tired of her not accepting responsibility for her actions and always being the victim.

Good luck and I hope it gets better,.

Kerrie - posted on 06/19/2010

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I just want to encourage all of you new & young moms out there not to stress too much about the grandparent relationship with your children. Although, yes, they should be somewhat respectful of your rules and concerns, we need to be reminded that they have raised children before - either you or your spouse - and you turned out alright! Your child is not going to be characterized by what they learn or do at Grandma's house - unless Grandma is the primary care-giver, which in this case she isn't. Your child will not learn bad eating habits from eating chocolate at grandma's house nor will they be characterized as disobedient because grandma is not a strict disciplinarian. What they are characterized by is what you reinforce in YOUR home. Yes, your child may need a "readjustment" after coming home from grandma's, but that's o.k. Consider the blessing your child experiences from having a relationship with thier grandparent(s). Not everyone has that privelege. Grandma has already raised her kids, so I encourage you to sit back, relax, and let them just enjoy their time together. She doesn't need to be put into a position of having to worry about yes and no and don't do this and you can't paly with that. Just let her be grandma. I am confident that your child is safer than you realize becuase grandma loves your child. She won't do anything that is going to put her in harm's way - yes, that includes playing with a water bottle. :-) We can all find annoying things to nitpick, but at the end of the day, you have to learn to walk away & let it be. Your child will be fine. As for your husband, there is no question that he needs to understand your concerns, but if he's anything like my husband, he's putting your fears into perspective and not choosing to fight a battle that isn't necessary to fight. I was always the one to get hyper-sensative about things, but he always brought me off the ledge and gave me perspective. Use each other as a sounding and decide together how you best want to handle this situation, but make certain hubby knows that YOU are the priority, not his mom. Hope that helps.

Jimmey - posted on 06/19/2010

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It really sounds like you need to have a heart to heart with your husband and possibly a counselor. You may be content now, but this can get out of hand really fast. One issue can destroy a marriage. As for your mother in law, she just wants to create memories with your daughter. You can create memories with a child without letting them play with things that could hurt them. If the cabinets don't have chemicals and the grandmother doesn't mind letting her play with the pots and pans, I would let it go. I would child proof any cabinets with chemicals myself telling grandma that this is a condition of your child coming over. Pick your battles. Be the bad guy when you have to.

Barbara - posted on 06/19/2010

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From a grandmother point of view, when I am with my daughter's four kids, I try to go by the rules of the house. When my kids were little I had the same problem to a degree that you have.

Stress to your mother-in-law that you are happy that she is close to be part of your daughter's life. It is fine at times to spoil her, but your rules need to be obey. Have you talked to her about your concerns? If not talk with hubby first and then both of you talk with grandma. My adult children lets me know when they think I am stepping on toes. I love all my grandchildren and want only the best for them and that means listening to their parents rules and stick to them the best that I can and at times, bend the rules a tad as long as it does not harm any child.

Good luck.

Leslie - posted on 06/19/2010

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I'm coming late to this discussion and it looks like you've gotten many good pieces of advice but here's my opinion. First, you cannot make your husband or your MIL behave the way you want them to, even if your requests are reasonable and you are right about all of these issues so you're going to have to work around them. If it were my daughter, I'm afraid I would limit time spent alone with grandma as much as possible. I would take her to visit and stay to supervise. I wouldn't get too upset over dietary issues and things like that. Kids are resilient and you are still the strongest influence. I don't mean to be insensitive but it sounds like Grandma may not be around for too long so I would choose not to fight too much over issues that don't directly endanger the child. Let Grandma baby her and fuss over her. It will give her positive memories of her grandmother and give your MIL some comfort too. DO correct your daughter in front of your MIL. "No, sweetie, this cabinet is for grown-ups," or "It's not good manners to open other people's cabinet doors," or whatever your angle there is. Also, give your daughter and MIL positive reinforcement any time you can. (Ex: "Oh, she just loves for her Grandma to rock her, that's so sweet!") If you allow Grandma to indulge her need to spoil her grandchild in some ways, maybe she will be more willing to enforce safety rules. You probably won't get full cooperation on this issue so do damage control where you can and try not to stress over it. Your daughter is obviously learning appropriate behavior if she is good everywhere else and your consistence in enforcing the rules will win out long term over grandma's overindulgence. Just remember, even if you're right about all of this, and it sounds like you are, you can't force your husband or MIL to see that! It will mean more work for you but I would stand my ground and go with your daughter to visit Grandma until you see Grandma starting to enforce some safety standards. I hope your situations improves.

Debbie - posted on 06/19/2010

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Lorrom-
I feel your pain. I have a MIL that acts the same way. We have talked about it before, but her behavior has not changed in respect to sweets. However, my daughter was diagnosed with a milk allergy recently, and so I am having to be more firm.
When it comes to sweets, talk to your MIL- and make sure your husband supports you!- but it most likely won't completely change the situation. After letting myself be upset about it for a while, I finally told my MIL that a few sweets won't hurt her, but no soda. Well, now I see them giving her soda(she's two! What are they thinking?) and so I will tell them that her visits are being limited to supervised visits with me there. Just like with a kid, make sure there is a consequence for not following the rules. Be respectful, but firm. Be ready for some nasty comments, but don't let them bother you too much. And be careful how much you complain about your MIL to your husband. It doesn't help the situation unless it's constructive, as in -I am worried that mom(not YOUR MOTHER) is letting the kids do something dangerous. Suggest ways he can help. Men just feel really torn when their mom and wife fight. After stopping complaining so much to my husband, he has started to stand up to his mom, because he sees it is not just me bickering, I really do have concerns that are relevant.
About the safety-you have to be tough on that! Go to her house and babyproof, don't even ask if you can. Give her an article about a child choking on a bottle cap-and try to be nice, she is ill and maybe she can't watch the baby as well as you think. Be constructive. My hubby and I went through a year of marital counseling, mostly because of his mom, and I learned some great tips. But be firm where you have to. Case in point-our daughter has been potty training, and she was doing pretty good, but then she would be soo upset when she had an accident. She would use the toilet at home, but not at all at her grandparents house after a while. My husband reported to me that MIL would make fun of my daughter when she had an accident. He had stood up to her, but knowing how she treats his opinion I knew it wouldn't stop that easily. I was LIVID. I let myself calm down, happened to have a doctor's appt the next day, and told the doc, she said to tell her the doctor said not to do it, also she was becoming constipated because of her actions. So I went to MIL, made sure my daughter was not in the room, and told her(without confrontation) that doc says this, and by the way we are limiting how much time she spends at your house until this is resolved. 'But I don't make fun of her! I am always positive!' A long silence followed. But sure enough, after a few weeks of short, supervised visits to show we were serious, we had no more probs with potty training. And my MIL felt bad about her actions without a huge fight.
Good luck!

Holly - posted on 06/19/2010

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Hubby really should take your side. My hubby and I fought over this for awhile... I gave him a choice.. live with me and the kids or move back in with MOMMY... he chose me and the kids and that means we choose what we are going to do and what our rules are and Nana follows them or we leave. (Most of the time)... Hubby missed her getting her belt out and threatening not only MY two year old but the three year old I babysit with it. She said "I wouldn't use it on them"... but to me that doesn't matter. #1 they were kids playing.. too bad that isn't allowed at Nana's house.. they are going to play.. no stopping it and #2 we do not use nor threaten physical violence on our children.. especially two and three year olds #3 she couldn't have followed through on the child I babysit for anyway.. you can't hit a babysat child! I am not afraid the babysat child will be "messed up" from the threat because his parents do use belts and wooden spoons on him (along with various other "weapons") but MY child does not experience those things and when she threatened him I packed up my kids and left... hubby missed what happened and argued with me over leaving... so he wound up getting a ride home from MOMMY when I left his ass with her! We don't do this! Stand behind me (at least in public... we can fight all you want at home but in the streets.. YOU ARE WITH ME.. PERIOD)... he didn't back me up so he got stranded!:) Next time he will know to back me as I do him or there will be consequences! Your mother threatened my child and another child, she knows we don't spank much less use weapons on our children therefore she should have realized that threatening my child was grounds for him LEAVING! FLAT OUT! B*tch?? Maybe.... safe, happy, relaxed NON THREATENED CHILDREN... DEFINITELY! :)

Pooja - posted on 06/18/2010

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I fully empathize with you. I have a meddling grandma for my son too. And in this case, it happens to be MY mom! And no hubby on the scene... me a single parent! So you can imagine the tension i am going to thru. I have told my mom in no simple words not to meddle in me and my child's affairs, but she simply doesn't listen. She does not let me scold him or correct him or sometimes even shout at him if he is doing wrong. She treats ME as a kid in front of him and says that I used to do the same when i was one!!! So how the heck do i correct my son???

Francesca - posted on 06/18/2010

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I just came back to check in on this thread, and I think people have lost perspective.



In the grand scheme of things, it takes a village to raise a baby. Not just a mom. Dividing that support system is just silly. And teaches the child to disrespect others when the mother says that only their word is law.



And don't forget, MILs were once mother's too. So they get it. :)



Talk to your MIL about how you feel. Try to find rules everyone can live with. But I already said that.



I understand, I really do. My father was even worse. But if you can't beat em, join them, but join them in a way you can tolerate. :)

Anne - posted on 06/18/2010

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I wouldn't worry too much about the junk food and the sweets as long as it remains only with Grandma. When my brother and I were young, our neighbour (who used to have the best birthday parties, treasure hunts and loads of food, sweets and drinks) said to my mother that all the other kids used to scoff all the sweets like there was no tomorrow, except for my brother and I. My mother believed it was because we always had access to to sweets so they were nothing new. The forbidden fruit always tastes better. Concentrate on the safety issues. Sit down with your mother in law and gently address your concerns. If you concede on the junk food issue, you may have a better chance on the safety issues. If your child misbehaves while at grandma's, take her straight home. Your child will soon learn. Your child is also probably picking up your emotions while visiting Grandma. Try and relax a bit more and see if that helps.

Debbie - posted on 06/18/2010

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Yes parents had their turn being the disciplinarians, as grandparents it's their time to spoil.

Derika - posted on 06/18/2010

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Yes I believe in moderation, and no the family shouldnt be busted up over just chocolate. I am saying that sometimes these little things build up and that you have a right to raise your child a certain way, in our house we steer clear of certain food because of what is in them. I know very well that when my son gets older either he will do whatever he chooses, treats dont have to be junk food. We as parents try our best to set an example for our kids and instill in them what we think they should know and sometimes the teachings dont stick, I will always love my child even if he doesnt learn the things I tried to instill in him. I know he will sneak bad foods when he gets around that age and starts to rebel, I am not naive....just like I know he will be having sex almost all teenagers do, I will teach him to be responsible and in the end it will be up to him if he chooses to eat the foods or have sex unprotected but I did my job as a parent and taught him what I thought was right and lead by example. We can only hope for the best with our kids. I just wish more parents could be understanding of each other and remember how much others actions/words hurt or angered. I know everyone wants to feel justified in what they believe is right but you cant be pushing your beliefs on someone just because it worked for you doesnt mean it works for them. And you cant just ignore a parents wishes/rules either. I think there needs to be respect and you are right the grandparents got their turn and they are done, so it is now our turn.

Debbie - posted on 06/18/2010

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If you will read the previous posts, no one is denying that safety issues should be discussed - respectfully on both sides. However again, if you deny them treats - do you think they will turn them down at friends' houses or gorge as much as they can because they are never taught moderation? Use it as a lesson to teach moderation - not totally denied, but its a treat and treats mean "on occasion". It's not worth busting up a family over. The child WILL eat what they want when you aren't around as they get older - they will not understand moderation because they were never taught it.

Derika - posted on 06/18/2010

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In only certain states does that law apply. We have different views, and I believe in boundaries. The judge would not laugh at Lorram's case of letting the child lock herself in the bathroom or sit with a bottle cap in her mouth. As for me, I came from an abusive home, I dont want my family to touch one hair on my child's head without me there. My husband had a broken home as well, we set boundaries, tried to talk it out to hear both sides and they got up and said "well we just wont bother you any more." That was their choice, we were adults about our boundaries, they the GRANDPARENTS were immature about it and LEFT our lives because they didnt want to talk or be heard. Read the law, there are guidelines to take someone to court over the grandparent issue and whether visitation would be granted- you cant scare me with that one cause I HAVE READ THE LAW. Chocolate has HFCS in it, so lets just give the kids mercury? I guess that is what everyone thinks is spoiling now, lets let them eat whatever they want, do whatever they want, and act however they want......what happened to quality time? Going to the zoo, park, special trips, etc. Dont buy their love, there are many ways to spoil them. I wouldnt want my child to associate love from family as the amount of crap they got to eat, things they got to do, and etc. Parents have to handle disciplining but that doesnt mean that the grandparents should undermine their rules at every turn.

Debbie - posted on 06/18/2010

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Actually I would teach the child that there are rules with grandma but different ones at home (same as in life - not every rule is always the same). Harmless spoiling is just that - HARMLESS. Denying them junk food and sweets is not worth upsetting the entire household over - especially a loving grandmother who has cancer. In fact, if you do deny them - they WILL learn to sneak and they WILL gorge when they visit friends. I am not for blackmailing (strong arming) grandparents into "towing the line". Let them spoil the child - YOU parent. That is how it is supposed to be. Choose your battles. Grandparents have feelings and should have some say as well when in their home. I can't wait to have grandchildren to spoil rotten - let the parents handle the disciplining. So what if the child gets to run around and have fun at gran's? So what if the child gets a chocolate bar at gran's? You cannot keep them from it for a lifetime - use it to teach the child MODERATION.
Are you aware that if you do forbid the grandparents from seeing their grandchildren, they CAN take you to court for denying them their rights? Then what? A resentment that can never be corrected. (Not to mention the judge laughing his butt off over denying grandparents the right to see their grandchildren over junk food....lmao good grief)

Derika - posted on 06/18/2010

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Debbie, maybe you came from a "perfect normal" house where grandparents looked out for the safety of the child and spoiled them with love, affection, and adventures.....sorry that not everyone is the same. Boundaries are healthy in any situation, everyone needs to set boundaries for safety and sanity. If that person refuses to respect your boundaries-then do what makes you sane.....even if it is to not see them anymore. If I kept annoying the hell out of you, teaching your kids to not respect your rules, getting them all hopped up on junk food, let them play with any thing they want, and of course the child is unruly after each visit.......after telling me to stop and I still continued, would you still allow your child to see someone like that? I think not.....what the grandmother is doing is disrespectful to say the least. BOUNDARIES are healthy.....if you see boundaries as blackmail then take another look.

GLENDA - posted on 06/18/2010

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Oh my, I had the same with my m.i.l you are this childs mother your rules need to be heeded by your m.i.l she needs to be sat down with your husband so you can explain your feelings and your husband should back you 100%. It doesn't mean she can't do a bit of spoiling but to let a child run riot is not giving good grounding for the future, they need boundries and rules to set them on a good path. We only have to look at what is happening with kids today that think they are owed a living. So mum step up and good luck. Let your voice be heard.

Debbie - posted on 06/18/2010

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Laughs at the huge over reactions here. Of course the grandparents should be reminded to child-proof their homes etc. Of course if it's something they can hurt themselves over it should be discussed in a RESPECTFUL manner. However, you do not blackmail the grandparents - "either don't let my kids be loud....either don't allow my kids candy...or you won't be allowed to see them again (or you won't be permitted to see them unsupervised)...say WHAT? Good grief.

Derika - posted on 06/18/2010

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Me personally, for the safety of my child, I would rather have conflict then a tragedy. I hear you on same rules everywhere, makes sense and I feel when grandparents do that stuff they undermine you as a parent. Since becoming a parent I see things differently and for my own grandchildren would want the best and sometimes kids need boundaries, boundaries are healthy and I would respect my son's wishes as I know how it feels to be undermined by my inlaws and own family. As for my husband, took a while for him to get on board but can understand, if you need to step up and cause an argument then so be it, maybe ask your doctors nurse to explain to your husband what could happen if......then he would be getting a medical professional opinion. I am sorry just cause one is older does not mean wiser and does not give them entitlement to disregard/disrespect your parenting.

Lisa - posted on 06/18/2010

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Talk to your husband about how you feel. when he takes his mothers side and also why you want his mom to obey the rules you two have set up. Some times hubbys feel the need to obey their moms because they always have and don't relize it is hurting their wife. after you talk to him figure out the things that really bother you that your mother in law lets your daughter do and the things that are alright. The rules at my house and the rules at my moms house are a little different but the big rules like hitting, biting, playing with unsafe things are all the same. My mom lets my daughter get away with a few things I would never let her get away with but you have to look at it like will my child be hurt, will she hurt someone else or is this just something i don't really want her doing. If anyone can be hurt its a NO but if it is a personal I don't want her doing that its a only at Grandmas house thing. my mom lets Sara bang on pots and pans till you can hardly talk, Sara yells every thing at moms and is really loud I don't let her be that loud at home but at Grandmas it's ok. no one is hurt, grandma gets her way on that but Sara gets in trouble for hitting at grandmas and home. I have sat my mom down and told her if she can't obey most of my rules then Sara won't be able to come over as often. She was mad at first but soon her desire to see Sara was stronger than her want to not obey the rules. now things are better between my mom, my husband and myself. talk it helps.

Kandace - posted on 06/18/2010

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Can YOU take grandma out for coffee or lunch just you and her and tell her that you have something very important to talk to her about (once you are there) and that is why you wanted it just you and her so you had her full attention. Express how you feel about her and love her and love having her around you and your daughter BUT that is the main point...she is YOUR daughter biological or not! (As I expressed to a niece I found after 31 yrs that my brother and his girlfriend had put up for adoption was this, the parents were called "A" parents for Adoptive and "B" parents for birth or biological, since everyone wants the "A" grade I feel it should be given to Adoptive parents as they have to go through so very very much to ever become a parent and pretty much the majority did not CHOOSE to become an adoptive parent first and would have wanted a biological child but it was just not in the cards for whatever reason, I have so much respect for adoptive parents as you can see, you deserve an huge "A"!!!) Anyhow, grandma should respect your wishes or she should realize that she could lose those rights, but your husband should also stand by your side as well. My daughter and son in law have some really stupid RULES that we hate and are quite STUPID, but if we want to spend that time we so cherish with our grandkids than we must follow the wishes of the parents. IF you can just make her understand that you are NOT against her, you just want your wishes and rules followed so that your daughter is not confused by these different actions.

I wish you the best of luck!

A Nana

Marie - posted on 06/18/2010

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your child. your childs safety. therefore your rules. if she's not happy then thats too bad. you need to put both feet down! what if something did happen and you never said anything. even take it to the extreme if you have to. that little girl has her mom in her corner. fight for her! Good luck.

Debbie - posted on 06/18/2010

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Totally denying children sweets, though may make YOU feel better but it only encourages them to sneak later on. Best to teach them moderation. Rules of course are different at gran's than at home - gran's is for fun. Child hits gran - thats when the parent should step in to correct. (It's called parenting)
Gran's already raised YOU and they did rather well - to behave as if you know it all is unfair to the grandparent, especially if a first time parent. Use the parenting books as doorstops and learn your own child - what works and what doesn't.
I guess I was raised to respect older people more for their experience and give them credit for doing their time raising kids already (did you turn out that badly?). Things to consider before hurting a grandparent's feelings. Explain to the child she gran's house - different rules...also teach her to be RESPONSIBLE for the extras given. "If you act like a brat then I can't allow you to have sweets anymore, are you going to act right?" You can't control what they eat once they begin going to friends' houses either, and again - to be forbidden just means the will over-indulduge and sneak it when they get the opportunity.

Amanda - posted on 06/18/2010

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Hi i have similar problems with my inlaws and my 2 1/2 year old i hate takin her to see them cause they let her run riot and never tell her off when she's naughty, my parents follow my rules and she behaves with them, after a couple of hours with the inlaws she is a nightmare and im left to deal with her also my hubby is on their side and if i say anythin im in the wrong, Her temper tantrums have become worse because they pander to her when she can't get her own way and also fill her full of choc and fizzy drinks which she hardly ever gets with me, your not a control freak you are just tryin to bring up your daughter to respect rules and to follw them!!!

Alicia - posted on 06/18/2010

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I definitely feel for you! Bending a few rules and being a little spoiled by grandma is certainly expected, but anything that puts your child at risk or results in bad behavior by your child is just not acceptable. Unfortunately, the bigger issue is with your husband. If he is not willing to present a united front with you, then you will be fighting this battle indefinitely. He needs to decide if is going to raise his child with you and reap all the benefits that go with a two-parent household, or if he is going to move in with mom and raise a child with her. It is unfortunate that she is currently battling cancer and that complicates the situation, but your child's needs and your marriage must come first. Work to resolve this issue with your husband. Approach the situation by presenting your child's needs. Don't say anything that can be interpreted as attacking mom because he'll immediately shut down and you'll probably never win that battle. In the mean time, stay with your daughter when she visits grandma and leave immediately if any NON-NEGOTIABLE rules are broken. Don't stress over some of the little rules grandma will break. That's a grandma's perogative and if it won't make a difference a few months from now, it's not worth arguing over. You have enough stress without adding to it. Best of luck to you and your family.

Michelle - posted on 06/18/2010

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hi what i do with my in laws is say for example my girls are in the kitchen cupboards. i will go to them and say now you know your not allowed in the cupboards in anyones house, its the same rules as at home. then say, granny doesnt want you to go in the cupboard either incase you find something that could hurt you, isnt that right granny. Now mummy is the big boss & granny is the big bosses helper so you need to do what we say. & keep looking to the gran to back up your rules while making it clear what the rules are. Even try talking to your daughter about what she can & cant do at grannys before a visit like when we visit granny today we can have one biscuit but not two because were having our dinner in a little while. so that when granny offers a treat you can step in & say remember what we spoke about were just having one biscuit arent we. granny doesnt want to spoil your dinner does she & again look to granny to back you up. Also your mils health must be a great stress for your husband hes facing loosing his mother so will be remembering all the good times he had growing up so asking him to be non judgemental at the moment probably wont work. if you got on well with your mil before you became a mum then why not try doing a few nice things for her to let her no shes appreciated & do things so that she knows that she is special in your family & will be remembered. why not get some good family pictures taken & get special gran & grandaughter frames to put them in or drop in paintings to put on the fridge for a we love you granny day etc some one said in another post that your mil mite just be looking to feel needed & useful so maybe play up to that a bit by asking for her advice (not that you need it) say im really struggling to get my little one to eat her meals as all she wants is sweeties i was thinking of limiting sweeties to one type of special treat or once a day what did you do/ what can you suggest.

DeeAnna - posted on 06/18/2010

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I didn't read all the posts and I don't know your situation growing up, but as a grandparent I would like to interject on behalf of the grandparent's. If you had grandparents growing up, what are your treasured memories of them? Is this really a pertinent issue at this young of an age? I'm sure you acted different when you went to your g-parent's home for visits too. Are you totally messed up now for it? Doesn't sound like it. You are now a loving, caring mother. I am sure all she does is out of love. Please view it from this angle also. Best wishes!

Evelyn - posted on 06/18/2010

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This is a really hard situation. I had a similar experience with both my own mum and mother in law when I was a young mum and it drove me crazy but I dug my heels in as I wanted to raise my children my way, taking the best bits of their experience and ditching the things I didn't like. Now, as the doting granny of two teenage girls by my daughter and one toddler girl by my son and his wife, I see the other side. Yes I have lots of experience now (I had 6 children) but as I carefully explained to both my daughter and daughter in law, half the fun of being a parent is finding your own way. I'm on hand when required but I always play by their rules. This way, my granddaughters have consistency of care as granny cooks the food mummy does, follows the routine things as set by each mum and dad, doesn't let the little one watch TV but the older girls are allowed some programmes etc etc. In this way, the time I spend with them is easy, laid back and thoroughly enjoyable. I don't get into rows with either set of parents. Yes there are some things they do/don't do that I wouldn't have done/would have done but they are my grandchildren, not my children so I keep quiet about those, and play by their rules. This means I am free from responsibility and the time with the girls is free from conflict, drama and we always have such a great time! I think you do have to make a stand, first with your husband to explain how his mother sticking to your preferences will make everyone happier-especially your daughter as she won't be confused by the differences. As she is happier, you will be happier and he will and granny, despite initial resistance will be too. Good luck!

Jacqui - posted on 06/18/2010

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What about having Grandma round to your home a bit more often (maybe a formal tea party for the three of you) so that both Grandma and your DD can see your safely rules in operation. Or maybe even doing some baking between the three of you. Also you could gently talk to your hubby about buying and fitting safety cupboard hooks to Grandma's kitchen cupboard etc as this is probably the most dangerous areas. I am a Nanni to 4 delightful kids and I confess that I am always falling foul of my DD's as "a softie". But I would never, ever do things that were safety hazards. Sadly it's a long gap between bringing up our own kids and having grandchildren and I think she has just not thought it out as she should have. Perhaps your hubby was allowed to do slightly dangerous things and therefore thinks little of it. Maybe if your hubby see's the effort that you are both making for your daughter he might get behind you. I hope so anyway.

WILLIE - posted on 06/18/2010

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I AM A GRT GRAMMA...MY DAUGHTER AND I ARE ROOMMATES,,,WE ARE RAISING THE CHILD(8) YEARS OF AGE THE MOTHER(MY DAUGHTER'S CHILD WAS KILLED)SO WE ARE RAISING HER TOGETHER,,SOMETIMES I GET OUT OF MY BOUNDERIES WITH MY INPUT,,,MY DAUGHTER WILL TELL ME LETS DO A TEST....I.E. PAY ATTENTION TO HOW THE CHILD WILL PLAY TWO ENDS AGAINST THE MIDDLE,,DO SOMETHING LIKE NOT MOVE WHEN MOM TELLS HER TO MOVE TO ACTION TO GET ROOM CLEANED , TAKE CLOTHING TO WASHING MACHINE, ETC,,,WILL LOOK AT ME TO DEFEND HER,,,WHEN MOM GETS ANGRY,,,I CAN SEE THIS ACTION...IT LETS ME KNOW THAT I AM "JUST GRAMS" AND THAT MY DAUGHTER IS THE DRIVING FORCE WILL BE HERE TO CONTINUE TO RAISE THE CHILD WHEN I AM GONE...THIS IS THE WAY THAT MY DAUGHTER LETS ME KNOW THAT SHE IS THE LAST WORD...SO AS NOT TO USURP HER TEACHINGS,,,I WILL BACK DOWN BY IGNORING MY GRANS IMPLORING GLANCES,,,SHE GETS THE PIC THAT I WILL OT GO AGAINST HER MOM SO TRY TO EXPLAIN TO GRAMS THAT "MOTHER KNOWS BEST" YOU DONOT WANT TO BRUISE THE RELATIONSHIP, BUT ASSURE HER AND THE DAD THAT AFTER SHE {GRAMS) IS GONE U WILL STILL BE IN CHARGE....GOOD LUCK...SOMETIMES WE GRANDMOMS CAN GET OVERBARING

Virginia - posted on 06/18/2010

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Actually I think the main problem is with the husband. If he is not backing her, there is not much she can do.
First he would have to agree to a plan to support what she wants...and that may have to be negotiated.
As his mother is dying of cancer it's perfectly natural for him to take her side. Best not to come off like a heartless fiend now or it could hurt the marriage later. Better to remain pleasant and cool about the whole thing. Maybe you can get what you want that way without burning bridges.

Debbie - posted on 06/18/2010

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Disagrees with curbing grandma's time. She has cancer and she wants what time she has to be good ones where the child will remember her. My husband also has cancer and every moment is precious. Otherwise, I consider that just mean.

Angela - posted on 06/18/2010

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I've had issues VERY similar to yours...Grandma has to realize that it's okay to spoil a little but a lot is not good for your child. Make sure that everyone understands first that the issue is not the effect this is having on you but your daughter. You are trying to be the best mom you can be. Sit down with Grandma and your husband and kindly but firmly let them know that this is a problem. Grandparents should be able to spoil their grand children but not let them run wild. If this doesn't work then curb the time Grandma is getting to spend.

Debbie - posted on 06/18/2010

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I'm sorry, but it's a fact that grandparents are for spoiling and parents are for discipline. It's been that way since the dawn of time. Gran's also have much MORE experience that we do - they have been there/done that and have witnessed the outcome. Give her a break - let her be a grandmother. Your daughter could be sensing the tension and resentment you feel and that could be adding to her behavior. Rules do not apply when at gran's (never have - never will for the most part). If it's something dangerous - of course GENTLY remind her that your little girl is still at the age where everything goes in her mouth and buy a cool sippy cup for use ONLY at gran's. Issue solved - no hurt feelings this way.

Virginia - posted on 06/18/2010

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Just a thought. A compromise.
If indeed Grandma is doing this because she feels her time is short and wants happy memories, maybe there are special outings (picnic, carnival, etc.) for you all where the child would be allowed to get a few treats and have some remarkable memories.
So candy would be special occasion only.
Explain that you want to keep those treats as treats. Not as every day stuff.
As far as exploring goes, beware of pill bottles. A relative of mine thought hers would make dandy baby shakers. No child-proof tops. Fortunately nothing serious came of it, but it might have.

Erin - posted on 06/18/2010

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Stand your ground. I have always been the bad guy in my MIL's eyes. She has always thought I'm mean to the kids and that I don't let them be kids. Whatever! It's called safety, routiene and raising independant functioning people in today's world. They have to know limits and right from wrong. She has done things with and for my kids that I'm embarassed to admit have happened. We did go through a period of not seeing her due to this. However, recently my MIL has had her eyes opened "her" form of parenting and the results it produces... get this, she has actually complimented me on how I have done such a great job raising my kids and how well behaved they are! We still don't have a great relationship, but at least she's seeing the results and not so nasty to me anymore. Good Luck!

Debbie - posted on 06/18/2010

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Gather as much printed articles that support your concerns and present them first to your husband. The two of you need to be on the same page before you can work on "Grandma".When you discuss this with your husband, don't talk about how you feel, but rather how the things "Grandma" is doing is affecting your daughter. I am a grandmother to 8 grandchildren. The hardest leson I had to learn, was that I had to respect and go by the rules that the mothers and fathers had implemented. If I felt there was a safety or health issue I would as diplamitically as possible, discuss it with them. Your problem is compounded by the fact that "Grandma" is very ill.However, you are correct in that does not give her the right to ignore your child rearing method.Once you and your husband are in agreement, together talk to "Grandma" and you may have to get tough and tell her that eventhough she lives next door, her visits can be cut off if she does not comply with YOUR wishes.Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!

JUDI - posted on 06/18/2010

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I am the G-Ma of 7..I don't meddle, but sometimes I do see ways, that might make life easier on my daughter, I talk with her..it is so imprtant to have that line open..My grandchildren no there are things they can do at my house that aren't allowed at home, but they are special times and know at home the rules are still in place..Being a grandma is so special and a love I couldn't describe..different from your own children..I hope my "littles" always remember the good times..dancing on the ceiling!! Yes we've done that..picnic in the livingroom..oh dear we only eat at table at home..we play games..read..watch movies..and of all things..WE BLOW BUBBLES IN THE HOUSE!!! Now they all know it's a special thing..and so does their mom..we tell secrets in the dark at night..sometimes they need to talk..I listen..and they know I don't repeat unless I think it's harmful to them or someone else, so that door is open if they need help and aren't comfortable in asking for it..
y grandchildren age from 19 down to 6 months and each will remember me for something we did together special..Please sit with your grandparents and talk don't tell..we all want happiness for them, and each other..

Cheri - posted on 06/18/2010

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It's so odd how some grandparents feel spoiling should include candy, soda and all things not good for our children. This is the case with my MIL (why is it always them?). My own mother pointed out that she wants to spoil my kids with love and affection (sounds cheesy, but I love it ). That is what the kids will remember when they are older, not the candy or presents. Children are so smart and they figure out who they have the strong emotional connection too and who just gives them presents anytime they want.
Maybe your MIL needs to be reminded that your daughter will remember the hugs/kisses/stories/playtime with her after she has passed away.

Judy - posted on 06/18/2010

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Thanks for a shout out to the grandparents. My Dad let all of his grandchildren (10 boys and one girl) do pretty much anything they wanted when at his house. They quickly learned the difference between the rules at Grandpas house that didnt apply at our house. The youngest is now 20 and they all grew up to be decent, loving, successful human beings. Not one of them is confused about the rules at different places. Mom's pick your battles. My best advice is, you don't have to be"right." I think one of the worst things a parent can do to a child is use the grandparents time as punishment.

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