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?
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.