After years of being deprived sugar and have very strict rules, you might be surprised at how different your parents are now that they’re grandparents. Where you had to be in bed by 7:30pm no matter what, your kids seem to stay up late every time they visit their grandparents. You thought cherry tomatoes were treats until you were five years old, but your parents are doling out candy now that they’re grandparents. While you want to encourage a happy and close bond between your kids and parents, you also probably want to know your ground rules are being respected.
Why do grandparents spoil their grandchildren?
This one is quite simple, they’re not the parents. They don’t have to worry about teeth brushing regimes, screen time or an overload of toys because they’re not the parents. They’ve been there, done that. They were strict with you, but now it’s their turn to enjoy all of the fun bits of young children without having to worry about the consequences. They don’t spend as much time with your kids as you do, so they want to make sure your kids have the best time possible when they’re together. Of course, this doesn’t have to mean e-numbers, over tiredness and lots of new toys, and it’s ok for you to point that out.
Does it really matter if the grandparents are spoiling your kids?
Er, yeah. If the grandparents are filling your children’s tummies with sugars, additives and e-numbers, you’re likely to be the one paying the price at the end of the visit. If your children are returning home from sleepovers at Granny’s house overtired, exhausted and emotional, you’re not likely to have a good day. If it matters to you, then it matters. You’re the parent and you set the rules, and some of those rules should apply to the grandparents too.
How to stop the grandparents spoiling your kids
It’s important to communicate your feelings with the grandparents. After all, they’re a big part of your children’s lives and it’s important they support your parenting ethos. You’ll need to tread carefully, it’s important to get the grandparents on side. If you’re worried about sweet treats, explain the problems with tooth decay and obesity. If you’re worried about sleep, explain how difficult it is for you to get your child back into a routine after a late night or skipped nap. Be kind, understanding and polite. Remember, the grandparents were parents once so they’ll understand.
You might want to let some things slide. All grandparents want to spoil their grandkids, and though it’s not ideal, it’s just a way for them to bond. You can suggest better ways of them spoiling your kids. For example, instead of giving your children cookies, ice-cream and candy, suggest some sugar-free recipes they could bake together. They’ll still get to have fun and you won’t have to worry about tooth decay. If they love spending money on the grandkids, suggest things your children really need or perhaps experiences they could do together.
Are your children spoilt by their grandparents?
Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.