First of all just know that there will be some spoiling. John Rosemond said, “I’m convinced it is as proper for grandparents to spoil their children as it is completely improper for their children to do so.” But you can direct the spoiling to your advantage.
If you know grandparents are going to buy your children presents give them ideas of what to buy. Make comments like Johnny has grown so much he’s now wearing a size 10, or Mike is really into Playstation racing games, or Allie loves My Little Pony. This will help ensure your kids get presents they’ll actually want and use. My mother-in-law hadn’t seen my son in a while and bought him a shirt, two sizes too big. She just assumed he was two sizes larger than his age because her other grandsons are. I had to take it back. Next time I’ll let her know what he wants.
For most children staying up an hour past bedtime isn’t a big deal. But some kids can’t handle less sleep. If your child is one of those, talk to their grandparents; explain how grumpy your child gets with out enough sleep.
If grandparents give your children too many sweets, ask them to buy alternative snacks like crackers, granola bars, fruit snacks, and pop tarts. While still sweet these have some nutritional value. If grandparents insist on buying treats limit the candy. My grandpa always had a sack of candy and when we’d come over we always got a piece, but only one piece. He would pull out the bag and shake it up. Then we would peer in and carefully choose a piece. It was a ritual that we cherished.
|When Donald and Bea Campbell wrote on the subject of grand parenting, they said, “Perhaps the greatest gift we can offer our precious grandchildren is the gift of time.” Let grandparents know that you and your children value them and their time more than their money and presents. The best way they can let their grandchildren know they care is by doing things with them. Over Thanksgiving my mom planned some activities for the grandkids. She dyed macaroni and they made necklaces. Then they made Native American headbands and played in the tepee. If she had given them gifts they would have been quickly forgotten, but the memories they made will last forever.
The Thanksgiving before, my Dad made homemade ice cream with my kids. They were so happy to be cooking with Grandpa. While eating the ice cream my son commented, “This is the best ice cream ever.”
Keep things in perspective, a little spoiling isn’t going to hurt. There is a big difference between allowing your child to eat candy before dinner, and letting them ride in a car without being buckled in. If you do have safety concerns discuss them immediately. But for the most part, as long as it’s not an every day occurrence, allow a little spoiling. After all one day you will probably be a grandparent and spoil your grandchildren.