no not know how to handle this: my parent's 'spoiling' DD.....(11 Posts)
DD is 2, and I love spending time with my parents, and they love spending time with us, but:
My dad is pandering to DD whenever she chucks a strop (as all 2yr olds do), I'm a single parent and very much follow the whole 'ignore whinging and praise good behaviour' line, but the minute DD whines around my dad he picks her up and showers her with attention, I've asked (nicely) for him not to and I either get met with the old "I'm only trying to help" chestnut, or he tells me that she was "genuinely distressed", when trust me, she wasn't.
I've spoken to him about this dozens of times, he says he can't bear to see her cry, and if he dislikes what I'm asking him to do he pulls out the "I'm only trying to help" line, as if this justifies anything he might do and I have no right to have a differing opinion.
DD is becoming increasingly stroppy, typical 2yr old, and I'm worried this lack of consistancy might be making things worse.
AIBU in being a bit peeved? I don't mean to be ungrateful and I know its in a grandparents job description to spoil grandkids rotten. I just don't know how to get a hold on this situation.
I feel for you on this one.
Maybe you need to spend less time with them. It sounds like they've almost taken on a co-parenting role rather than a grandparent role.
I had this problem with FIL and DD. I had to stand back and let it go but warn dd when she got old enough that I wasn't grandad. Still now he backs her up but they do have a lovely relationship.
We had this with my MiL who thought it woudl be a good idea to pander to DS. It got to the stage where we could see his behaviour worsen noticably - at which point we had to lay down the law and say that if she wanted to play a significant role in his life (she likes having him to stay on his own) she would have to take a line a lot close to the ones we set otherwise she would just not be able to cope with him.
It took that change in behaviour and a joint discussion with me and Dh though to get her to understand this.
I think it really depends on how often they see your DD and what their involvement in her life is. If they look after her a lot (as in, a couple of days or more a week) then I think you really need to lay down the law as it will affect her behaviour if her main carers aren't consistent, just like it would affect her if her dad was inconsistent. However if they only see her for visits perhaps once a week or less then I'd let it go as she will be able to separate how you treat her and how her grandparents treat her. My parents live a long way away and rarely see my DS so my view is when they do see him they can do as they please (within reason of course!) as it is unlikely to affect his health if he is given chocolate once in a while or his behaviour if he is pandered to by them. I want his relationship with them to be special and different and I want my parents to have the chance to be the indulgent ones for a change.
If he's underming your parenting then YANBU to be peeved, but there might not be a lot you can do about it without causing havoc.
The best way to handle it might be just to 'swoop' on any tantrummy behaviour whilst she's with the both of you, before he can step in and make a fuss. Bob down to her level when she starts and say something like 'that's not nice behaviour, is it?' THEN ignore her.
That way you can say to your dad (and hecan see) that you are 'dealing' with it and it will be harder for him to override. If he tries to override, just say, 'Dad, it's dealt with. If you fuss now, you'll make her think she doesn't have to listen to me and what will that do? I have to be able to control her and this is my way. I know you're trying to help,and I appreciate it, I really do, but I need you to help me like this.'
And stick with it. Every time.
What he does when they're alone is something you'll never be able to control - if he spoils her, let him. As long as you enforce behaviour rules most of the time, being spoiled by Grandad a little won't harm.Worstcase scenario, she'll be a madam with him and him alone because she can be.
BTW it's clear that your dad is a big softie and loves your DD which is great. It would be a shame to make him self conscious about how he treats her without very good reason.
I would tell them that if they don't back up the way you parent then you'll see less of them whilst your daughter is at the tantrum stage. Difficult if you use them for childminding but that's one of the drawbacks of using family childminders.
If you are there then take control and tell your parents to politely back off if she is misbehaving.
Agree with Euphemia and WriterofDreams. Kids are not stupid. She'll work out that grandad's rules are different. Much better for her to have a lovely warm relationship with her grandparents than 100% consistency at all times.
IMO, grandparents spoiling you should be part of childhood - I didn't have this, and am delighted that DD does.
Lest this sound horribly self-righteous, let me tell you that I used to feel just like you! But as DD has got older (she is 3 now) I have come to realise that it really doesn't matter.
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