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My children spend a lot of time with their grandparents. We are very fortunate that they are so hands-on and willing to take them for extended periods and sleepovers. However, it backfires almost every time. When we pick them up, they are grumpy and overstimulated. They are off their routine and we become the “mean ones” because we aren’t as lenient as G&G.
I am trying my best to remain consistent and I have had multiple conversations with our parents about screen time, bedtime, etc. I also believe that they can have their own rules in their space, within certain limits.
I’m just really tired of dealing with cranky kids after the visits. It is such a nice break for us, but almost not worth it because of the attitudes and fatigue they come home with.
Is it inevitable? Do we limit visits to weekends so that they don’t affect our weekday/school routine? I’d love any suggestions. Thanks!
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what lovely grandparents your children have in their lives. It might not always feel like it but this is such a blessing. As you children get older, they will be less cranky after visits and will become easier to manage but the relationships that are building are so special that it is definitely worth it.
I agree that your kids having that special relationship with their grandparents is both necessary and enriching. I was not fortunate growing up to have either sets of grandparents engage in time with their grandkids, so I encourage this as much as possible!
Maybe instead of limiting what the grandparents can do during their time with the kiddos, you can direct what the kids do after the visit? Allow for decompression time for the kids -- laying down for a nap, going to a local park and running off the remaining energy, going out to a favorite pizza place, or building a living room fort and watching a movie.
Things which could help ease them back into yours, and their, daily routine may benefit them.
I read a question similar to this one several years ago. The general consensus was to allow the grandparents to continue to spoil the children as they were lucky to have such a loving and involved family.
However, I feel that you can have the best of both worlds and still set some limits. As a grandparent myself, I love spoiling my grands but would listen to some kindly stated instructions from my children as to what is tolerable and what is not.
I would be happy to comply with screen time and bedtime rules. Telling me that no sugary treats after a certain time in the evening or limiting sugar to one serving per day would be perfectly fine with me. Sometimes, I do not know what is acceptable as I also see rules stretched on the parent's end. Adults, as well as children, do well when they know what the expectation is and are more likely to follow along if the rules are clearly stated ahead of time. That way, there is no grumbling at the end when the "unspoken rule" is not followed.
Treasure this special relationship, and I hope it all works out on both ends.
I wouldn't limit their time with their grandparents in any way. God forbid anything happened to one of them, you would always feel terrible about taking time with their grandkids away.
That morbid scenario aside, I think you will find that the time off from parenting you get on those visits IS worth it and once it goes away, I think you would regret that decisions as well. I think the best option is to just have a direct conversation with your parents. I don't think it's an unreasonable request to ask for the elders to follow certain rules. Sure they want to spoil the kids but if they see the kids multiple times a week, perhaps they can keep the spoiling to a minimum. Or tell them to spoil the kids not with sugar but with activities that won't turn them into over-stimulated monsters. Maybe buy them all zoo memberships or memberships for the nearest natural history museum.
Let the kids build memories with their grandparents and let the grandparents spoil them just enough and not in a way that will disrupt your life. They were parents once too. Trust me, they will understand.