Friday, September 23, 2011

The (Grand)parent Trap

It's my Friday - what I consider a "free" day to talk about whatever I want. So I want to talk about those lovely, crazy, annoying, loving people - the Relatives, and more specifically, the Grandparents.

Now, let's get one thing straight. I appreciate all of my kids' grandparents - my children are very lucky in that they have two grandmas that love them a LOT.  They seek out time to spend with my kids and they do lots of fun things with them that, frankly, neither I nor Steve would do - two case in point: Adventureland and the Clay County Fair.  Uh-uh, no way, NOT a chance am I taking my kids to either place at this stage in the game.  The kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE their grandmas - so much so that within the first 30 minutes of B's return from his last trip to Grandma's house, he called ME Grandma seven, 7! times.  So, working on the basis premise that Grandparents are a good, positive thing for my kids, I have some issues...

 Grandparents are NOT "partners in parenting."  There is no sitting down and discussing discipline, behavioral expectations and nutrition and agreeing that "This is our game plan." I guess I should qualify that: there is the sitting down and discussing - with them- the parenting plan.  What is seriously lacking is follow through - our rules go in ear and out the other when it comes to Grandmas.  Best case scenario this is mildly irritating. Worst case scenario this is entirely disrespectful of us as parents.  Unfortunately, Grandparents don't see it this way, and, from my perspective, the transgressions are becoming so serious that, as a parent, I feel like I have to intervene.

I have three examples which immediately spring to mind.  Both Grandmas have been advised that B spends too much time on the computer, that when he does he gets peevish and rude, and that his computer time should be limited; he does not go onto FaceBook or any site not pre-approved by us.  One weekend with G'ma, and I am receiving invitations to Zoo World, Aquarium, and a series of FaceBook generated games...from G'ma. (I don't think so!); Incident Number Two: we try pretty hard to keep the kids' candy and sugar intake under control. Once, at Gma's, I bought one of those 'movie theater' size boxes of Runts candies for B as a reward for something I don't recall.  This was an early morning purchase, and of, course, B wanted the candy immediately.  I, of course, refused, and told him he needed to eat breakfast and then I would give him some. I left the room for a few minutes and when I returned, G'ma had poured the entire box of Runts into a cereal bowl and given it to B! What the...what??! Finally, and most recently, Incident Number Three: my kids are not allowed to drink soda very often. When they do, it is almost always caffeine-free.  Last overnight trip to Gma's, B advised that he was up all night watching movies - literally, ALL NIGHT. He said he went to bed at 6:00 A.M.  Why? Because G'ma gave them caffeine.  LOTS of it - as much as they wanted, whenever they wanted.  H confirmed the truth of these statements.

I understand that Grandmas are supposed to spoil their grandkids, but c'mon - seriously?! Steve and I don't always agree on every parenting issue, but we agree on this: Grandmas are on probation.  They will have supervised visitation with the children, only - no contact without a parent present.  Am I wrong here?! I'd like to hear some other parents' perspectives, as well as some Grandmas'  Have a great weekend everyone!!


1 comment:

  1. This is my biggest fear since both our parents live in the same city. I would be very interested to hear more advice on how to handle it...