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Where do I draw the line?

I have two sons( a 3yr and 1 and 1/2 yr turning 2 soon) and they're at that curious age where everything is worth exploring. Well at home we have certain rules and they know and follow pretty good. Well when grandpa(pops) and grandma(nana) come over the rules are broken and they show their tails and act horrible and they do what they want and of course my parents will let them. They behave perfectly for me when no one is home with us but if we have company especially when my parents are here they seem to get away with murder. I tell my folks to respect my rules and they smile and say they're just babies. They load them up with sugar and spoils then leave. I have a hard time dealing with them alone besides having a sugar surge on top of that. And it happens everytime. I don't want to be the bad guy and tell my parents they're banned from my house but I can't keep dealing with my children ating out now its gotten worse. HELP!

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:34 AM on Jul. 16, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (6)
  • It is time to stop unsupervised visits with the grandparents. If they can not respect your rules, then they do not get the privilge of being with their grandchildren

    Answer by rkoloms at 11:39 AM on Jul. 16, 2009

  • Several problems with no easy solutions:

    Grandparents spoil kids and relax the rules. It's just a part of nature. BUT you can sit them down and firmly state - When the kids are in my house, my rules apply. If you take them on an outing, then you can BEND the rules... not break them... BEND them. You'll need to accept that they will come home from Grandma's with a sugar high but once they walk back in the door of their own house, they need to know that the rules are back on.

    Your kids have learned that not only do the rules not apply when grandma is over, they don't apply whenever there is an audience. They have learned that for whatever reason you will not enforce the rules in front of company. Many parents have this problem because they don't want the embarassment of a tantrum in front of company or out in public. Get used to it and enforce the rules. Let them have a screaming meltdown, it's good for them.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 11:42 AM on Jul. 16, 2009

  • Last, you ARE the bad guy. We all are. That's a mom's job. You are not a friend. You are not an enabler. You are mom. That means doing your very best to put yourself out of a job. No, your kids will not thank you for saying "NO" and enforcing the rules. If you are very, very lucky they will thank you once they are grown and possibly have little ones of their own. Consider that when talking to the grandparents about rules - have you thanked them for enforceing the rules when you were a kid?

    Answer by kaycee14 at 11:44 AM on Jul. 16, 2009

  • I agree with everything Kaycee said. You need to enforce the rules whenever anyone else is around - if they won't listen, do whatever it is you do when no one else is around, and send them to their room. My daughter tries that crap (she is 14 months old) and although it seems like I am after her more when company is here, I do not let her get away with anything extra.

    Answer by CarolynBarnett at 11:49 AM on Jul. 16, 2009

  • I agree with what most everyone else has posted. You are going to have to put your foot down (gently, but firmly) with the grandparents. Also - sugar making kids hyper is a myth, it's the situation (that usually has sugar in it so the sugar gets blamed), not the food that makes them hyper. I would also maybe suggest that if the grandparents want to spoil them and load them up with sugar - tell them they can take the kids to their house (without you) and do those "fun" things. Then see how "fun" they think it is when the kids won't listen and you're not there to put your foot down. I am blessed with grandparents for my children who understand that there are good ways and bad ways to spoil and they will not hesitate to discipline if need be. It's called respect. If the children are wild - they are not being respectful. Wish you best for your situation..

    Answer by cmkcafe at 12:18 PM on Jul. 16, 2009

  • Have Pops and Nana keep the kids for the afternoon and overnight and bring them back home early the next morning. That way the kids sleep off the sugar high after Pops and Nana deal with it, and they don't have time to load them up with much the next morning. This worked with my in-laws when my kids were little and I do it now that my grandkids are little. Works out well for everyone. Don't try to keep the grandparents from spoiling the kids and feeding them treats--it's what grandparents DO!

    Answer by pagan_mama at 2:33 PM on Jul. 16, 2009

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