This is a little hard to explain, so if you need clarity I can try.
My mother in law visits a few times a year for a week each time. My kids are the only grandchildren she will ever have. She is not the sort of grandmother that is help to me. She is fun for the kids, but she does not watch my kids, take them places, assist me at all. That is fine. Due to her age I am not expecting her to do anything specifically.
She is aware of basic house rules and rules for the kids. She will, while I am home, bend & even break rules the kids have. They have been very minor things, so I have just looked the other way & even teased that it's cute that they have their own things they do with grandma that mom doesn't do. I have been truly okay with it as my kids have always seemed to grasp that this is only while grandma is here, and they do fine after she leaves with returning to the regular ways.
As my kids get older, it has become more & more apparent she doesn't approve of my parenting approach. She has been more & more vocal about things I should allow or shouldn't allow as well as how discipline issues are handled. I have been very calm & respectful in responses & just told her that she doesn't have to like how I do things. I am okay with that. Everyone does things their own way, but this is the way I do it and I am not going to explain it, defend it, or discuss it. I said it kindly, calmly & without any anger, because it really is how I feel. This has worked for a while, but I can see something brewing the last visit or two, where she clearly is struggling to hold her tongue & is being obvious that she is angered that I would tell her I don't want to hear it, no matter how nicely I say it. I also know she has a temper. I haven't had her scream at me in years, but she used to, many years ago now & my husband had to get into a nasty fight with her for that to stop. I have never screamed at her at all. I would only reply with things like 'I can see you are too upset for a good discussion, we should let it go for now & talk later when you are calm". I have a lot of practice before her on how not to engage in fighting & setting boundaries and I am pretty good at it.
I am wondering if by chance I have created this sense of entitlement I am seeing out of her by allowing the rule bending & if on her next visit I need to assert that the rules are rules & that they will be the same no matter who visits. I thought I was being accommodating, since she gets so little time with them, but now I am wondering if I have sent the wrong message. I would of course tell my kids before she visits that this time is going to be different and tell her as well, that I don't think the rule bending is a good idea anymore. I am just not sure if I am overthinking that part or if I have created my own issue by making her think she can change my rules when she is here.