For two years, my husband and I lived in the same city as our parents, which meant that we experienced the benefits of having family support close by. Equally, we’re both too familiar with the drawbacks of well-intentioned relatives overstepping their boundaries when it comes to spoiling our son.
For example, I find it a lot easier to leave a list of detailed instructions at my son’s daycare. And if my rules are ignored, I may choose to look for someone else who respects my wishes. But, a to-do list for grandparents may appear “insulting.” My parents had to tell me one day “Don’t you think [we} know what to do? We raised six children, remember?!” Therefore, I learnt to bite my tongue and only left instructions when necessary, such as when AJ needs to take medication.
Also, I’ve had to deal with other relatives that spoil him with gifts as well as feed him meals that aren’t home-cooked behind my back. Then there’s my husband who would offer our son chocolate right before dinner or bed time. “Oh come on, let him have a chocolate. How can that harm him?” and then winks at the little one.
Sometimes I’m okay with the occasional exception. Other times, I simply don’t allow it and explain to them what I’m trying to accomplish over the long run with my son. As young as he is, I also try to let him know that my rules haven’t changed even when other people’s rules are different.
How about you? How do you deal with relatives spoiling child?