Ask the Experts

When the Grandparents Don’t Respect Your Rules

“When our five-year-old visits her grandparents, they indulge her-giving her treats, cleaning up after her, and helping her dress. They also refuse to give her her medication. Is this harmful?”

The positives of having involved grandparents outweigh almost any problem. I’m convinced that children know that “grandparent rules” are different from “parent rules.” If something is unacceptable to you, make it clear (for example, 10 p.m. is the absolute latest she can stay up), then plan to resume your routines once she returns home.

The medication issue, however, warrants serious discussion. Loan the grandparents some books about ADHD, or set up a talk with them and your doctor. If they still refuse to give the medication, invite them to your home, but tell them that your daughter can’t stay over with them.