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My kids get totally spoiled when they visit their Grandparents. They drink Vimto, eat sweets what can we do? Elaine Beveridge from Solihull.

Grandparents have been spoiling their grandkids since time began and the reason is pretty simple — it makes them happy. Your parents and in-laws have done all the hard work of raising you and your partner, and now — no surprise — they want to enjoy the fun parts of parenting! That’s why they’re so willing to indulge your kids when they ask for another scoop of chocolate ice cream, just one more biscuit, or just one more story before bedtime, or even give them one more new toy. And they’re not alone: One recent study found that grandparents spend a staggering £50 billion annually on their grandkids!

I was recently asked by one of my clients what to do.

‘My kids get totally spoiled when they visit their Grandparents. They drink Vimto, eat sweets & stay up a bit later than we allow them to – what can we do?’ Elaine Beveridge from Solihull.

I told Elaine one of my true anecdotes from when my kids were growing up.

I remember my daughter Molly wanted some designer trainers and she kept dropping hints. We weren’t going down that route as we felt once you start that habit – it never ends – Gucci handbags and Mac Makeup weren’t something we were going to encourage unless she saved up and bought them herself. But Grandma who was down visiting for the weekend overheard and used up all their hard-earned money to buy these ‘special’ trainers for my daughter.

I was cross, upset and embarrassed as I knew that they were too expensive for my mother-in law but it also triggered a core value of mine. I didn’t want my kids to just ‘get what they wanted.’ I didn’t want them spoilt, and I wanted them to learn to earn and save up for special things. So, I grabbed a cup of coffee and when the time felt right, I had a little chat with my mother in law about not spoiling the kids and thanking her for her kindness but I didn’t want Molly or Will growing up to expect things, especially as it wasn’t their birthday or Christmas.

She looked relieved as the pressure was off and I felt delighted as our family values where being honoured.

Of course, Grandparents love to spoil your kids. I can’t wait to spoil mine one day! But if you feel worried or upset have a little chat but it’s all in HOW you say it. Your tone of voice is important, your body language and your INTENTION. The words you use and the message you put across is important. So, sit down and plan what you want to say.

One great strategy is to ask for their help. Mention that you’re worried about their teeth as the dentist mentioned that they have some tooth decay and ask them what they think you can all do to solve this problem. Make them feel part of the solution, not the problem.

Secondly, I reminded my client that keeping the bigger picture was more important, and retaining the lovely relationship with her mother in law, is more important than whether her son had an extra biscuit or a Vimto drink on his weekly visits.

Find the balance, keep the bigger picture. If your kids eat healthily with you most of the time, RELAX.