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How can I get my kids' grandparents to stop spoiling the kids?

Armin Brott
Pediatrics
If your mother-in-law has always spoiled the kids, you need to have a chat with your wife to see whether she agrees with your assessment. If not, that may be the root of some of the problem (or the perceived problem). Once you and your wife can agree on your expectations and desires from Grandma, you can let her know about them before taking the kids for their next visit.
Trish Booth
Family Medicine

Sometimes grandparents want to give their grandchildren things they weren’t able to give their own children. Sharing your concerns with the grandparent can reduce the spoiling.

When food is the issue, explain what your family policy is.

  • Talk in terms of healthy choices.
  • Provide a treat pack for the visit. This will show the special foods the child can eat.
  • Suggest fewer treats during the visit.

When toys are the issue, propose other gifts.

  • Suggest a special outing with your child.
  • Suggest paying for art, music or sports lessons.
  • Reduce the number of toys at home by helping your child donate gently used toys to others. 

When behavior is an issue, it may take several discussions to alter a grandparent’s approach.

  • Explain why a rule is important to your family.
  • Describe the difficulty your child is having when the rules are different.
  • Ask the grandparent’s help in keeping the rules the same.
  • Hold strong to family rules at home. Your child will learn the spoiling is limited to the grandparent’s visit.

 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.