Your parents or your in-laws give everything to your children and you no longer know how to react to this overabundance? Here are some ideas for reflection and discussion.
At Christmas, as on any occasion, grandparents spoil your children enormously? Too much, maybe? They give them everything the little ones want, even giving them gifts you don't agree with? Maybe you didn't say anything at first, when they were very small – a doggie here, another one there, you didn't see that it was that problematic! – but now you feel that things are slipping. Your children even serve you phrases like "It's okay if you don't want to buy me this video game, I'll ask Grandma!" or similar lines.
Another way grandparents spoil their grandchildren is to never contradict them and always take for them. " Poor little! Don't quibble about it! " Wow! Just a little cookie, it's not that bad! ". These situations quickly become unmanageable.
A continuous rain of gifts
Even if they claim to have the most beautiful roles, no longer having to raise these children on a daily basis, thegrandparents understand that they educate them all the same, no matter how many times they see each other. They should support the efforts of parents and model themselves on them. Like parents, grandparents need to set boundaries and be able to enforce them. Saying “no” or refusing a gift is not being bad grandparents, far from it. Of course, this would be an absolute rule.
One of the "functions" of grandparents is to spoil (reasonably, however!) their offspring. However, if you think they spoil them too much, a good discussion is in order. Tell them that their attitude makes you uncomfortable because you are worried that your children will exaggerate and take advantage of them and their kindness. This is surely not the desired relationship!
Don't violate all their grandparenting privileges, give them the chance to spoil - maybe in another way -, but explain to them how you feel when they don't leave the a chance for little ones to experience expectation and desire, an important step in better appreciating what is offered to them. You don't want your children to think that they are en titled to everything and become jaded children.
Also, explain to the grandparents that you are not against a little excess of gifts at their party or at Christmas, but if they systematically shower your children with gifts, how do you to receive at their party would be magical? You have to make the distinction so that receiving a gift doesn't become a meaningless habit.
Usually grandparents get the nuance. Also, they can simply swap "material gift" for a gift that will be even more precious: time. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing that children want to spend time with their grandparents even if they do not shower them with gifts. Grandparents have time for special activities that strengthen their bond with their grandchildren: going to dinner with them on a school day, taking them to the movies, cooking, doing complicated crafts, teaching them how to sewing or knitting, etc. Gently suggest this type of activity to grandparents whose propensity to buy gifts is very high, they will see that they can spoil them otherwise without leaving money by allowing them to experience the he althy frustration of not having everything immediately.
Hands off my discipline
Showing them gifts is one thing. Intervening in the way you raise them or apply your discipline is another. Do not allow them to thwart your efforts to establish some discipline or routine. Don't let this situation continue. Intervene clearly by reminding your parents (or parents-in-law) that you have instituted this type of discipline in your home. At best, have this discussion not in front of the children, but alone if you can (especially if the situation is getting worse). Mention that what you fear above all is that their interventionscause your relationship with them to suffer, and indeed the relationship between them and your children.
It's not about establishing over-marked terrain. Accept on your side that a grandmother can grant some privileges when she keeps her grandson, for example: sleep a little later, watch a movie, eat a cookie before bedtime. Let it be clear to everyone: these are treats and not a new way of doing things! Also, grandparents - and kids! - understand that this is an exception and then the rules will not be changed.