This month’s Ask Coach Kathy’s question is about how to handle the situation when grandparents spoil their grandchildren.
My mother-in-law has just begun watching our kids for the summer.
Our children are 7 and 9. I have written instructions for her on how much tv the kids can watch and what they are allowed for snacks.
Three days this week, I came home to learn that the kids watched tv for more than 3 hours and she brought pop for them to drink each day! I’m really upset, but don’t know what to say to my mother-in-law. Help!
When the kids are not around, I would have a conversation with your mother-in-law. Start the conversation on a positive note by expressing gratitude for her availability to watch the kids. Leave out the word, “but“ when speaking to her for it will erase any positive statement you would have previously made. Instead, say something like “I may have not communicated very clearly around the kids’ tv time and snack options, so I’d just like to clarify.” Go ahead and clarify your desires and ask her if she has any questions.
Make sure you are clear about your discomfort around pop and offer another option for drinks she can bring. Then give her a chance for a “do-over.” She may just surprise you.
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