101 votes
Accepted

Grandparents want our three year old daughter to throw tantrums like her cousin did

What a pickle you're in! I find it hard to imagine an adult who demands proof of love from a 3 year old by her being distressed (begging and crying). But there you have it. Your parents delight in ...
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  • 66.3k
93 votes

Grandmother keeps calling my daughter "Good girl"

The developmental science on not using "good girl" is, as I understand it, pretty nascent and theoretical; I can find a lot of blogs about it, but anything with actual research beyond the &...
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  • 10.2k
49 votes

Too many presents from Grandma - is this bad for my child?

I think that having a lot of things for your baby or kid is not a good thing, like toys or any other distraction (ipad, presents, bad food with sugar). This could create a behavior of only doing ...
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  • 531
48 votes

Is it possible to spoil a child, but still teach them not to behave spoiled?

I don't believe you can spoil a child without having them act spoiled. You can't jump in a pool without getting wet, just like you can't spoil a child without having it affect them. Spoiling a child ...
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  • 13.3k
48 votes

Grandparents mistreating my children

You are your child's parent. It is your responsibility to defend your child, even from your own parents. If you can afford it, your wife should move to a hotel. But you will have to explain to your ...
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  • 1,622
46 votes
Accepted

How to explain to a 9-year-old why a relative is not welcome

I would provide much less information to your children than you have listed here. It would go something like this. Uncle Joe has a problem in his head and he hurts people on purpose. Not just people,...
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  • 13.1k
37 votes
Accepted

(How) do you explain a 3 year-old that he has to stay at his grand-ma for longer than anticipated?

Just be straightforward. Tell him what will happen and why in whatever way you feel makes sense to him. Then ask open ended questions to check in on whether he understands (or not) and what his ...
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  • 6,622
35 votes

Should I stop my mother in law visiting when she doesn't respect me as the father figure?

Whether she realises it consciously or not, she is directly undermining and interfering with your ability to parent your children. She is not their parent, nor their legal guardian, and has no right ...
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  • 755
30 votes
Accepted

How to encourage video chatting with family?

Calling someone or video-chatting is a quite abstract form of communication, and I would guess that her verbal skills are still rather limited, which makes a bilateral communication via screen ...
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  • 17.6k
29 votes
Accepted

I don't want to be an involved grandparent. How do I let my son know?

I have small children now, but I can imagine that I will feel the same when I become a grandparent. When I had my first baby, I assumed that my mom will take care of him. I asked her, and she said ...
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  • 1,575
28 votes
Accepted

Grandparents mistreating my children

You have some of the picture, and the parts you have are obviously distressing. But until you have the whole of it, I would say nothing to your parents. Talk to your wife often, and support her; she'...
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  • 66.3k
24 votes

Extended family not catering for baby's routine

This is interesting; it's only tangentially related to parenting, though. It has more to do with etiquette. Is it ever OK to demand a fixed time of arrival for a family with young children? Of ...
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  • 66.3k
24 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to spoil a child, but still teach them not to behave spoiled?

I see a lot of things that you can do just in the question, though I'm not sure there's a true answer to your question. First of all, one of the hardest things for children to deal with is ...
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  • 56.3k
21 votes

How to handle 5-year-old granddaughter shouting "Get out" (of her room)?

Defer to her parents in all things. While I can absolutely agree that behavior like this, particularly when expressed in such a rude fashion is unacceptable, there are a few things you have to ...
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  • 1,693
20 votes

Too many presents from Grandma - is this bad for my child?

At that age, there are pros and cons to having lots of toys, generally they're very superficial. For example: Pro: Very easily bored baby has lots of variety Con: Parents have lots of picking up to ...
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17 votes

How to explain to a 9-year-old why a relative is not welcome

Please forgive my posting anonymously, but I think I might be in a unique position to answer this. Without going into too many gory details about my family history, my mother found out she was ...
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  • 171
17 votes

Should I stop my mother in law visiting when she doesn't respect me as the father figure?

shouts at me in front of them... Ask her to leave. Don't even wait for your wife to get home. It's healthy for your children to see how you're able to handle such situations with cool and ...
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17 votes

How to explain to a 9-year-old why a relative is not welcome

To me, the most complicated part of this is explaining a) why you don't want to forgive, or trust (or both) your uncle, and b) why you don't trust your mother's judgement on the matter enough to allow ...
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  • 56.3k
15 votes

My son calls my father in law Grandpa "nonno" (in italian) and his wife (step grandma) is telling my son to call him just Grandpa now not nonno

I think you should tell your son to call his grandpa whatever he is comfortable calling his grandpa unless his grandpa asks him to call him something else. You're not overreacting and I think you are ...
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15 votes

Grandmother keeps calling my daughter "Good girl"

It's very hard not to praise a child you love when they're pleasing you; I still do it, and I'm in my seventh decade and know better. So, empathy. But your wife and you are right that praising the ...
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  • 66.3k
14 votes

Grandparents mistreating my children

I don't know what your relationship with your parents is like, but here's what I would do if it was me and my son, and either my own dad (mom is deceased) or my in-laws: After hearing my son crying ...
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  • 3,193
14 votes

How to encourage video chatting with family?

My kids (8 and 7) have gone in and out of interest of video chatting with Grandma (who they love seeing in person) over the years. We've not really stressed about it too much; we did at first, and ...
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  • 56.3k
13 votes

How to explain to a 9-year-old why a relative is not welcome

What a horrible dilemma! As I see it, your problem comprises three distinct elements: Your mother has little or no sense of what reasonable boundaries consist of. She also lies when it suits her ...
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  • 1,393
13 votes

Extended family not catering for baby's routine

I can speak from personal experience with situations like that. We bring our child's meals with us. We prepare everything and have little containers always. So our child isn't involved in anyone's ...
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  • 361
13 votes

Should I babysit my step granddaughter?

If it were me -- (and there are only going to be opinions, no 'answer'), I would take the opportunity to be positive and loving. Show this baby who you really are and teach her to appreciate her ...
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  • 17.3k
13 votes

Grandparents want our three year old daughter to throw tantrums like her cousin did

I'd have a question for the grandparents: "Do you want her to be happy to stay, or sad to leave?" It looks to me like the grandparents are assuming that those two have to come hand in hand. I know ...
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  • 1,497
13 votes

Daughter is deciding to have a child with near-total stranger

First off, I would stick to your guns on not raising the child, but you don't need to cross that bridge until you get there. That may never be asked of you. It's going to be a while before this child ...
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12 votes
Accepted

How do I get my father to stop making everything about him

No, you are not unreasonable. Your father is overstepping his bounds. He may be lonely, he may be a control freak. 1) & 2). Did you explain your reasoning to him? But don't mention this again. ...
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  • 4,574
12 votes

Should I be expected to love my new step-granddaughter instantly?

You are not expected to love your new graddaughter the same as your first one. But you are expected to love her for what she is: a beautiful loving child (your own words). That means she is an ...
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  • 17.6k

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