How to Deal with Meddling Grandparents: 5 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Your child probably adores his grandma and grandpa, even if they drive you a little batty!

Marrying into a family is a little bit like visiting a foreign country. Every family has its own culture and way of doing things, which might seem very different than your own. These differences become even more obvious after you have kids. Grandparents often have their own ideas about what's best for your little one. Let them have some say -- after all, they have a vested interest in your child. But, don't be afraid to set boundaries for the big things.


  1. 1
    Pick your battles. If you try to feed your little guy healthy foods, but Grandpa brings a gallon-size bucket of licorice every time he visits, he's probably not trying to undermine you -- he just wants to make his grandson happy. Thank him graciously, give your little one a few pieces of licorice and stash the rest after Grandpa leaves. Everybody's happy.
  2. 2
    Ask for advice. You know they're going to give it, whether you want to hear it or not, so why not beat them to the punch? Sometimes grandparents meddle because they feel unneeded or unappreciated. You don't have to follow their advice, but by asking for it, you make them feel validated.
  3. 3
    Share news about your little one. Grandparents love it when you include them in first steps, first days of school and other milestones. Invite them to special events or e-mail them photos if they live faraway. When grandparents feel secure in their place, they're usually less meddlesome and more helpful.
  4. 4
    Ask for help. When Grandma comes to visit, perhaps she makes comments about toys strewn on the floor -- or even dishes left in the sink. Hearing remarks about your housekeeping when you're performing your regular juggling act of caring your family, your house and a keeping up with a part-time job are enough to send you through the roof. Instead of getting defensive -- or making excuses -- say something like, "The kids really love spending time with you and you're so good with them. Would you mind getting them to pick up some of their toys while I answer my phone messages and reply to some emails for work?"
  5. 5
    Set boundaries around the important issues. When it comes to safety and health, you probably have a few non-negotiables. Calmly and pleasantly let grandparents know that you won't compromise on these issues. For example you could say, "I know you never used car seats when your kids were little, but it's the law now. She can't go with you unless she's in a car seat."

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Categories: Education and Communications

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