Fam­ily Mat­ters

Working Mother - - Contents -

Re­lo­cat­ing for a new job, set­ting ground rules for grand­par­ents, and more.

My hus­band and I are go­ing away for a wed­ding and leav­ing our young kids with my par­ents. We love that our chil­dren get to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa, but they let them stay up late and have way too much screen time. How do I get them to stick to our rules?

A

Many grand­par­ents love to skirt the rules and make their grand­kids’ vis­its as ex­cit­ing as pos­si­ble, but you should let them know there are some con­se­quences for break­ing a child’s rou­tine—no­tably, it makes par­ent­ing more dif­fi­cult for you. “Start by gen­tly talk­ing with your par­ents about how navigating from the rules af­fects your house­hold,” rec­om­mends Shan­non Philpott- San­ders, au­thor of the par­ent­ing book Screen-Free Fun. “For ex­am­ple, when the chil­dren stay up too late, they’re of­ten crabby the next day, and that im­pacts the plans you have with them.”

For the unchecked screen time, ex­plain that you’ve set lim­its and spec­ify an ex­act amount of time for them to al­low. “Pro­vide them with a sug­ges­tion of screen-free ac­tiv­i­ties, such as play­ing board games, tak­ing a walk to the park, and mak­ing crafts,” says Philpott- San­ders. “Let them know the ac­tiv­i­ties your chil­dren love to help limit screen time.”

You should also be open to some com­pro­mise. Let them know which rules are un­break­able and which ones can be bent.

Your mom can love her grand­kids with­out spoil­ing.

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