When your parents become grandparents, they will pamper your toddler with all the love they can give, it is unlikely that you can ever stop adoring grandparents spoiling their grandchildren entirely. It is just a wonderful sight to see smiles on their faces it also makes you feel most probably this is how you were brought up with.
You may be at that stage of parenthood where you’re worried that they’re overindulging in their grandchild. You can try to reach a compromise with your parents that they can still show their love, but in a way that doesn’t break your parental rules.
Above all, your little one will benefit from being the center of attention of two family generations and the whole family will continue to have a positive relationship.
Here are some tips on how you can handle these three common situations sensitively and tactfully:
1. You gave him sweets again?!
What happened – You went out for a couple of hours and your parents kindly looked after your child, but when you return, you find his face smeared with chocolate and his hand sticky with the residue of sweets. You only allow him to have chocolates and sweets on special occasions and you have a very clear idea of his diet and about which food a toddler shouldn’t eat.
How to handle this – Grandparents usually don’t think giving him lots of sweets is spoiling him as they feel giving food is a demonstration of love, however, you can explain that sweets and chocolate can cause a toddler to be restless because of the sugar rush, therefore, junior will be over-active and difficult to keep an eye on. If they still want to give him sweets, set out a few sweets for them to give to their grandchild the next time you go out, remind them that they shouldn’t give him more than the amount you set out as it would be bad for his teeth.
2. But I’m the parent!
What happened – You already inform the grandparents that your toddler is not allowed to touch certain valuables on the shelf or in the cupboard, and yet they let him do what he wants. When they allow him to do that, they are undermining your parental authority.
How to handle this – Let the grandparents know that you understand they love him and don’t want to say “no” to him, but add that you also know that they want you to be an effective parent who can provide the best possible upbringing for their grandchild.
Point out to them that by breaching a limit you have set for your toddler, they have weakened your authority as his parent. Your parents wouldn’t like to think that they have a bad effect on your relationship with your child.
3. Oh no, not another present!
What happened – When you see your parents arrive with another armful of gifts, and it’s not even your toddler’s birthday nor is it Christmas. Your heart sinks because you know your parents are showering your toddler with gift as a sign of love, but you know very well that your little one already has more toy than he actually plays with. You are worried that he’ll lose interest if he keeps getting more and more, soon there won’t be any toys that can satisfy your toddler.
How to handle this – Before you say anything to Grandma and Grandpa, thank them for their presents, because they may not know any other way to show their love for their grandchild except for showering them with the best gifts. Explain that you’ll keep these unopened gifts they just brought so he doesn’t get everything at once because he still has a lot of toys, books, and clothes.
Tell the grandparents not to buy anything more until you let them know when his current pile diminishes in size.