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To limit kids' time with their grandparents...

(33 Posts)
papercliphoarder Thu 18-Jul-13 09:05:16

... because I don't like the food they give the kids? General overfeeding, loads of sugary stuff, adult portion sizes, etc. I've asked them to stop but they think I'm just being fussy and controlling. AIBU?

LostLion Fri 19-Jul-13 02:43:40

this is not a reason to cause a rift....YABU.

unclench a bit

itsonlyapapermoon Fri 19-Jul-13 01:57:38

My children only see my exh's parents when he has contact with them (only a couple of times a year). My exmil completely ignored and undermined me in regards to the children. The kids have various food intolerances (to additives, preservatives, too much sugar etc) and it effects them enormously if they eat these foods. It causes behavioural problems, gives them aching legs, generally makes them feel miserable and ill. Although they NOW listen to me regarding the food intolerances, they overfeed them instead. It's a control thing. When DS9 was about 18 months old, exfil overfed him to the point of him being sick, despite me telling him several times that ds had had quite enough. They killed their own dog through overfeeding it, despite warnings from the vet. When they used to have my neice over after school (she had ADHD) they would buy her a huge bag of sweets and wonder why she was bouncing off the walls. It has nothing to do with ignorance as their own son had ADHD too, and wasn't supposed to eat those sort of things.
The kids spent last week there and came back noticeable chubbier. We were told they were given two breakfasts every day (either two bowls of porridge or two bowls of 3x weetabix) and just generally stuffing them silly. It is harmful I think and as a parent yo have every right to put your foot down if it's causing problems.

stopgap Thu 18-Jul-13 20:36:47

My parents know I how feel about feeding my toddler junk food. We allow him pizza and chips on Saturday, and pancakes or waffles in the morning twice a week. That's it. It may seem harsh to some, but if my parents want to treat him, then they can take him for an extra trip to the park etc.

Mumsyblouse Thu 18-Jul-13 17:06:53

I used to spend every Sunday at my grandparents and we all ate extra yummy puddings which my gran made plus had the odd ice cream/lovely roast dinner and it is some of the happiest memories of my childhood! I loved being spoiled by them as I certainly wasn't the rest of the time and that was the way it should be- if you are in charge of the kitchen 6 days a week (or 12 days out of every 14), it should be possible to ensure they have a really healthy diet so these constant treats are not the norm.

ZingWidge Thu 18-Jul-13 17:02:40

I have a version of this kind of problem - but won't bore you with it.

it really depends on how often they see them.

it's a complicated problem.

papercliphoarder Thu 18-Jul-13 09:58:49

Yes, Smartiepants, and all others who have said this, I'm beginning to think limiting their time is really not at all the right approach.

Thank you all again. This has been extremely useful.

papercliphoarder Thu 18-Jul-13 09:53:38

dreamingbohemian - that's interesting. Maybe this is really common and just needs to be accepted as part of DGP behaviour.

Ragwort - I agree. I certainly don't count calories (I wouldn't know how!), and the kids are very active. But the balance is very different at the DGPs.

Smartiepants79 Thu 18-Jul-13 09:52:51

So about 4 days a month? I really wouldn't worry if they eat normally and healthily all the rest of the time and are healthy body size/weight.
This time with the GP is precious. Granny's house is supposed to be more fun than home! It is the blessing of being a GP rather than a P. you can feed them and then send them back!
If this is not a weekly childcare arrangement I would keep reiterating it if it bothers you but don't stop them seeing them.

My mum also gives the same to her two toddlers (2&3) and when we visit and its not raining she sends them out to her massive garden.

My stepdad is the worse 'offender' for offering sweet treats but not just to the kids, to me too! I have left my mums with chocolate eclairs, cake, sweets etc grin

papercliphoarder Thu 18-Jul-13 09:47:51

Yes, Bertha, it's a good point. At the moment, though, this seems to be limited to food. Luckily I think we agree on most other things (so far....).

It might be about 2 weekends a month, although it varies a lot so is hard to say. But basically I agree - as long as it's not too often it's OK. Just seems a shame to have to worry about how often is too often....

dreamingbohemian Thu 18-Jul-13 09:46:37

I think you do need to let it go, yes.

I understand, my MIL has DS once a week and while she feeds him healthy food, she feeds him a LOT, big portions, snacks, it's a bit crazy how much he eats sometimes! But it's once a week and not worth the drama.

Ragwort Thu 18-Jul-13 09:43:34

MadeofStar - but why does your friend 'feel bad about not treating her own kids because her mum has' - surely that is the point of treats, if your child has had a treat from a grandparent then it's absolutely fine that you don't have to treat them yourself confused. I don't feel I have to treat my children. Surely it is perfectly acceptable to say 'no chocolates today because you had some yesterday at grandma's'?

I would have thought that all this angst about sweets and ice creams would be better dealt with by a few brisk games in the park or a swimming session rather than counting the calories and fat levels of what your child eats.

BerthaTheBogCleaner Thu 18-Jul-13 09:41:08

I'm guessing that if they overeat one weekend a month or so, its ok. Depending just how much they overeat, I suppose.

But my problem with this would be that the GPs are ignoring your views on how you children should be brought up, because they disagree with you. It is irrelevant whether you're being fussy or not. I don't know how old your children are, but what happens when they think you're being fussy about, I don't know, playing out on the street, wearing bike helmets, supervision in the swimming pool, using car seats, surfing the net, watching adult tv ...

Limiting visits is not the only option though. You could do "we might have to limit visits if I can't trust you to feed them sensibly". Although they may just lie to you. You could also try "the doctor says ...".

papercliphoarder Thu 18-Jul-13 09:32:51

Madeofstardust - nice to know I'm not alone with this one... I like the idea of giving non-food treat ideas to them.

They are 4 and 7

papercliphoarder Thu 18-Jul-13 09:30:38

And you're right, throckenholt - I can try to reason with DM and be a bit more moderate. Thank you.

Sirzy Thu 18-Jul-13 09:29:59

How old are they?

As long as the diet is generally well balanced then the odd "bad" day won't do any harm.

MadeOfStarDust Thu 18-Jul-13 09:29:16

My friend is pulling her hair out with her parents over this one - on the one hand she needs them for childcare, on the other hand her children are getting fat.... (her words - no judgey-pants here)

She has started putting things in bag for after school - a sandwich, a banana etc, and asking them to limit treats to one or 2 days a week instead of every day. She told them the kids were into moshi-monsters/football cards etc - so if they wanted to treat the kids, get them one of those a week instead of the same value (or more ) in sweets every week...

She has started to feed them less at home and feels bad about not treating her own kids because her mum has already given them too much that day etc.....

Some big issues to resolve there...

throckenholt Thu 18-Jul-13 09:29:04

oh - and remind her she doesn't need to bribe them to be liked, they like going to stay anyway - they don't just come because she stuffs them to the brim grin

papercliphoarder Thu 18-Jul-13 09:28:14

OK, so from your responses I reckon maybe I do need to try to let go a bit and let them get on with it. I'm really very lucky to have parents who can and will look after them sometimes, tbh.

Thank you all very much for your answers. Good old MN!

throckenholt Thu 18-Jul-13 09:28:03

I think you need to talk to your kids about not stuffing everything in their faces just because it is there smile.

And talk to your mum - say you don't mind a bit of a splurge when it is a one day visit, but if it is longer you would appreciate it if she served more reasonable amounts and limit the treats. Ask her if she would eat all that stuff ? If not, why does she think your kids need it ?

Ragwort Thu 18-Jul-13 09:25:44

YABU - what do you call a 'lot' of sleepovers - once a week? Four times a week? I think it is great the children have good relationships with their DGPs and if that involves a bit of sugery over-load - is it really the end of the world? You do sound rather very controlling.

papercliphoarder Thu 18-Jul-13 09:23:32

I do ask - they just don't really listen!

Yes, maybe grandparents are just supposed to be feeders!

gordyslovesheep Thu 18-Jul-13 09:22:30

yabu and a bit controlling - if it's the odd sleepover I don't see the harm - I certainly don't see it as a reason to stop them seeing them. They managed to raise you fine!

Cant you just ask them to make smaller portions?

My nanna is a feeder. She lives in Ireland so don't see her often but when we do we put on about a stone during the visit as its constant food and cups of tea grin

Even at my age now I still eat everything she puts in front of me as I love her food blush I hardly eat when I'm home

papercliphoarder Thu 18-Jul-13 09:19:24

Oh, and yes, it's my parents.

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