Grandparents Spoiling Grandchildren - 4 Ways To Handle It
Grandparents have been spoiling their grandchildren forever, and the reason is pretty simple — it makes them happy. Your parents and in-laws are done with the tough job of raising you and your partner, and now they want to enjoy the fun parts of parenting.
They may be spoiling the grandchildren in the following ways -
- Buying them toys and gifts regularly.
- Letting them eat too many chocolates and junk food simply because the grandchildren love it, or because they would not like to have anything else to eat for meals.
- Letting them watch too much TV or letting them play games on the mobile phones.
- Letting them stay up past their bedtimes.
- Not having any kind of rules and boundaries for the grandchildren.
- Not saying No to the grandchildren.
- They come in your way when you try to enforce rules.
The last point, especially, makes it more difficult for you as parents contributing to your stress factor. It is okay when grandparents visit once in a while for a shorter duration that you can choose to let go. However, it gets trickier when you live in jointly with your parents or in-laws and they happen to be the primary caregiver for the grandchildren. What is most appropriate in this scenario is not to make it about the power struggle between you and your parents/in-laws but to make an effort to work collectively and with co-operation.
Here are a few ways to handle such issues without making them into a tussle -
Talk to the grandparents - Simply asking your parents to stop the spoiling probably won’t get you very far. Instead, find a quiet time to talk and make them feel part of the solution, not the problem. Acknowledge that you totally get that they like to indulge their grandchild, but you need to set a few ground rules. Then ask for their input. For example, if you are concerned that your parents let the children watch too much TV, then discuss with them the harm it might be causing to their eye-sight or share a report from your doctor stating the same.
Gently set limits - Grandparents believe that they have all the experience and the expertise in the area of rearing children in the right manner and in the right perspective. However, setting limitations does not mean disallowing any interference, but grandparents’ actions must be coordinated along the lines of your wishes.
Learn to overlook - You must pick up issues with discretion because not all concerns are worth devoting time and energy to, thereby learning to overlook certain aspects of grandparents' rearing the grandchildren which might not otherwise go down well with you.
Accept grandparents’ role - You should accept that grandparents have a special role in their grandchildren’s lives. Let them know you respect and appreciate their contribution. Grandparents are role models that kids can look up to and consider as authority figures; they can pass on their wisdom gained from well-lived lives. Thus, their presence and involvement can truly make a difference in the lives of their grandchildren.
Here’s to the joys of grandparents.
Also read: 4 Ways of Dealing with Separation Anxiety
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