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micromanaging grandparents time -- how do I stop???

I've gotten into this horrible cycle... My mom and I are such different parents. I'm working on a dissertation and all year my mom has been taking my kids one day a week to give me a solid work day... We're very routine-oriented in our family, and our daughters thrive on that... My mom is more flexible. We're pretty strict with sugar intake, we keep screen time extremely limited... my mom, well, is fully embracing her role as grandma... she spoils them by giving them "treats" -- suckers, movies -- they don't get at home! My mom knows how I feel because I make comments... I know I should say, "Mom, these are my rules, please follow them." Or should I? I do understand the appeal of grandma spoiling the kids, I do understand that sometimes you need to let go as a parent. I feel like we're in a place, though, where I'm annoyed with my mom who is being so generous with her time. How do I get out of this pattern that I hate?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 4:41 PM on Jun. 4, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (10)
  • You are the mom. You get to set the rules at your house. She is the Grandma. She gets to set the rules at her house. Grandparents are suppose to be fun and have no rules. I would be asking yourself why am I so strict. What damage can a sucker or a movie once in awhile hurt? Are you really concerned that your children be exposed to these things or are you in a contest to see who is the better parent with your mom. I know alot of people who get caught up in this.
    Be thankful that your mom wants to be in your children's lives. That she is willing to give you that day without worry.So many grandparents do not babysit or even care about their grandchildren. If she was good enough to raise you, Why would she not be good enough to look after your children?

    Answer by CelticFaerie at 4:52 PM on Jun. 4, 2010

  • it is only one day a week.... let her be. The kids will have great memories of silly grandma who didnt know what a clock was for.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:53 PM on Jun. 4, 2010

  • I have to agree with previous posters. Maybe you can just talk to your mom about a few rules that are important to you that you wish she would follow. For example my mom feeds my daughter junk but she knows not to give her soda because it very important to me that she does not drink soda. My mom respects that because I am not being unreasonable, I am sure your mom would respect a few rules that are really important that she keeps. Good Luck.


    Answer by lilysmom2607 at 5:00 PM on Jun. 4, 2010

  • My mom watches our son 3 hours a day 3 days a week - she fully follows our rules at her house also.. maybe not so much in the area's of when he throws his fits or wants something, but very much so on foods and sugars and movies tv ETC. I think its only right for her to follow your rules,. you are the Mom.. her role as a grandparent is not to make your job as a parent harder when they come home from her house - which it will and I am sure it does -

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 5:05 PM on Jun. 4, 2010

  • PS- Our son is very affected to sugar and gets off the wall crazy and already hates to sleep as it is, and yes, 1 sucker would be enough to set him off for the whole night - of course not ALL kids are like this, but I sure know my son is.. so sometimes it really is NOT ok -

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 5:07 PM on Jun. 4, 2010

  • Your kids are very lucky to have a grandmother who wants to spend time with them and you my dear, are VERY lucky to have your mother watch your kids for you one day a week so you can do your schoolwork.You need to lighten up a little bit and understand that this is what grandmothers do! Some of my fondest memories as a child are of going to my grandmother's house and eating cookies and her buying me stuff when we went shopping together. My MIL does the same thing when my kids spend the night with her. My mother spoils my kids when we visit her ( twice a year, we live 550 miles away :( )Either understand that one day a week of watching movies and eating a sucker isn't going to cause irreparable harm to your kids, or don't let her watch them anymore.

    Answer by Bethsunshine at 5:27 PM on Jun. 4, 2010

  • I'm not so strict that I think that a movie or a sucker will ruin a kid... of course not. But my girls are 21 months and 3 years old and I'm of the mind that there's no reason to be offering that stuff when they LOVE things like fruit and books... So at home, little by little, those things (which I do not find evil or anything) have come into our lives, but we make them special treats for special occasions... or we let our 3 year-old watch 30 minute shows but not full-length movies (the little one is still under the age where the AAP recommends no screen time at all. Like I said, I don't expect g-ma to be mom -- of course she should be the fun one. But our girls come home at 5pm having had no nap (the older one), hopped up on sugar, and not hungry for dinner. Then my older one, tired from her day, pitches a fit about not watching a show before bed (we've never offered that option!). I wouldn't care except it makes them much...

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:14 PM on Jun. 4, 2010

  • ... harder to manage. My 3 year-old has a lot of fears linked to some of the Disney movies she has watched... Don't get me wrong, I am incredibly grateful for the time she spends with my girls and the ways she's giving to our family. I know I'm lucky and I'm so glad that we live in the same city (we won't always) and can have that relationship. I just wish she didn't take the easiest way out of every single situation... sometimes I think that's what she does... We've made decisions for a reason, not the least of which is making life predictable and manageable for both the kids and caretakers. But I do thank you all for your input... I will definitely try to let go a little more but also be more deliberate about the rules that are most important to us.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:18 PM on Jun. 4, 2010

  • I think you need to yank the pickle out of your rear end and let your kids ENJOY being with their grandmother. Maybe if you weren't so strict with them and didn't keep them on such a tight schedule and deprive them of things, they wouldn't be so affected by the things their grandmother gives them.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:13 PM on Jun. 4, 2010

  • Anon:13 deprive them of things? Please, that's ridiculous. You act as though kids need candy to live. I've had this problem with my parents, too. But then my in-laws are like the total opposite -- they ask me before they do every little thing, and I'm thinking, just make a decision and give me a break if that's what you're offering to do!!! But seriously, you do have to think about your relationship with your mom... you may be right, but she's your mom. This is a battle I choose not to fight (and, like you, I do spend some time stewing about it from time to time, which makes me, like you, feel badly).

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:28 PM on Jun. 4, 2010

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