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Grandparents & Toys

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

We have a unique grandparent (my parents) situation... After sharing the same house for with them for 2 years (phew...), we moved into our own separate houses but we are on the same 1/2 acre property about 50 feet apart from each other.  This creates a whole host of parenting problems that I'm not going to get into right now but the current issue is the toy battle.  We are trying to trim down our toys significantly, rotate, etc. to keep stimulation down and try to open up more creative play.  My parents used to always ask before buying toys but now they buy whenever and whatever they want.  I have 2 problems with this:  #1 too many toys between our 2 houses, #2 our kid isn't learning the meaning of anticipation which creates some excitement and gratitude when he knows grandparents will buy whatever he wants.  In fact, just yesterday they took him shopping to pick out toys and didn't even say they were for Christmas, just gave them to him now.


I realize that there is a custom for grandparents to "spoil" the grandchildren but isn't this going too far?  I believe I should have a say in how this works.  I would welcome any and all thoughts and suggestions!



post #2 of 4
I would tell them your concern about the toys and limit new toys to their house. Can you cut back on how often he goes to their house so this isn't such an issue? When we lived with my parents we were out and about in the community almost daily and that helped a lot. I also spoke up when parenting boundaries were crossed to much.

Letting go of some things helped to though. When they watched my dd it was their rules and in this situation it may help your situation if you try to let it go and not try to control what goes into their house or what they do with their time with him. Just don't allow it in your home. It isn't ideal but keeping the peace is sometimes more important than ideals, especially when living in close quarters and facing a situation that is not going to be resolved without a lot of argument and anger all around.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

I appreciate your thoughts!  I am really struggling with my relationship with my parents.  Our living together brought up lots of stuff from my own childhood and fair amount of resentment.  I am understanding things I struggle with as an adult as they relate to my childhood.  When I see the same patterns repeat with my son, it kinda makes me crazy!  They are painfully insecure and will go to extremes to create an illusion of perfection, which includes over-indulging my son.  I know I'm not going to get everything right but I feel like I need to be respected as a parent with regards to my son's life.  I think I would feel different if they only saw him on weekends or less but I think they have a higher level of responsibility to respect my parenting since they are involved on a daily basis.  Need to work on communication!

Thanks again!

post #4 of 4

My immediate thought was "space!  distance!", but I don't actually think that would help.  What might help is drawing them closer.  Let them know that you feel that they are sharing this parenting journey with you, and let them know your favorite parts of when they parented you.  (My parents are much farther away and I recently had to do this with them and my grandparents!)  In my case I told them that although I remember being completely spoiled with 'stuff', what I remember most and truly Cherish, is the time we spent together and the 'stuff' that we DID.  I couldn't name a single toy I got from anyone when I was 4yo, but I remember going to have 'coffee with the boys' with my grandfather, building stuff with scraps in my father's wood shop, making up funny dances with my mom, and going to work with my grandmother where I would make looong drawings on dot-matrix printer paper.  I also told them that I understood that as grandparents it is their duty to "spoil the grandchildren rotten", but asked if they would give the children their time.  If they absolutely MUST spend money, it could be on trips to the zoo, museum, pool passes, plays, sports games, dinner/movie dates maybe?  Or stuff for everyone like games, music, movies, etc?  I think the big part for my folks was in letting them know that I really do appreciate them and all that they have done (in spirit), because I really do think that their hearts are in the right place, this is how they know to express it.  It took me a long time to get over my frustration with them not being cooperative and respecting my parenting decisions, but I am glad we are here.  It isn't perfect, but a step in the right direction for sure.


Good luck Mama!

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