Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Locust Valley, New York
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LaLa, I think you are right to be concerned about this. It's not What they are doing, it is the lesson they are teaching about dishonesty, and I think that is your concern, right?
I don't (to my knowledge!) have this problem with dd's grandparents or anyone else, but if I did, I would find an appropriate time to sit them down and say something to the effect of, "I know you really value your relationship with dd and she just adores you, too. And I know that you enjoy "spoiling" her, and sometimes letting her do things that I would not normally allow. I would prefer if you didn't, but I'm not going to make a big deal of that. What does concern me is when you tell her, 'Let's not tell Mommy about this.' I think it is a dangerous lesson to teach children that it is okay and even fun to keep secrets from parents. We are trying to teach her that she should tell us everything and feel comfortable sharing anything with us, and that is for her own protection. If someone were to harm her in any way and ask her to keep it a secret, I want her to know that she should tell me immediately."
That was kind of long, but you know what I mean! Hopefully your inlaws will understand where you are coming from rather than interpret it (as so many inlaws do, grrrr!) as, "Oh, she's being so ridiculous...we're just having a little fun." As far as what you can do to help your daughter, I once read a really valuable bit of advice about teaching kids the difference between secrets and surprises - that a surprise is something you don't tell for a little while because it will be fun when the person finds out, like a present or a party, and that makes you feel good, but a secret is something you are never supposed to tell and it usually makes you feel uncomfortable or guilty. And then you tell them, "We don't have secrets in this family." This advice really made an impression on me, and i plan to use it!