Content inspired by this great About.com article on grandparents.
Grandparents can spoil your kids in a good way: by providing love, affection, and time. However, they can also spoil your kids in a negative way: gifts, letting them rule the house, or doing things they know the parents wouldn’t like.
Dr. Ellen, Jason’s mother, used to say “What happens at grandma’s house, stays at grandma’s house.” According to Susan Adcox, grandparent expert, words like that can teach children deceitfulness and lack of respect for the parents.
Here are some ways Grandparents spoil kids:
In the Buy Category
Buy innapropriate things
Buy too many things
Gifts are better than the parents
Buying expensive gifts – electronics
Don’t match parents values
Spend money on things parents think is wasteful when the money can be saved
Food or Consumption
Treats like ice cream or Candy
Here is what needs to be done:
With anything, you need to pick your battles. Are there some things you may not like but can be ok with for the sake of not creating an argument? Also be sure it is the direct parent/grandparent having these discussions. Do not have the discussion with in-laws.
1) Define your expectations – what is the role you want them to play? Have the talk even before the child is born
2) Set boundaries/rules – explain the importance of them respecting your rules. For the grandparent who buys gifts, it may mean saying “we don’t have guns or weapons in our house, I would appreciate you respecting that”.
3) Respect their time /effort – are your expectations realistic? Don’t abuse the resource. Don’t ask them to drop whatever they are doing and watch the child?
4) Make it a combination of fun time and babysitting time – You …