Parents Talk: Not so Fast, Grandma

Some say it's a grandparent's right to lavish the little ones with gifts--any and all kinds of gifts. Is it?

Editor's Note: I've changed the column name to Parents Talk to reflect emails that pointed out fathers struggle with parenting questions just as much as Moms. Didn't mean to dis ya, dads!

It's a love manipulation that's stood the test of toy time: Mom and Dad say no to the mini motorcycle, the swing set, the BB gun, the Barbie Dreamhouse, but Grandma says, "Sure!''

This week's Parents Talk topic arises from an email received by a grandmother. She pointed out the curiosity of grandparents buying items for their kids' kids that they'd never have purchased for their own children, for reasons aplenty: exorbitant price, too many moving parts, a lack of substance or any tangible value.

Do you remember when "meanie mommie'' said ''Absolutely not!'' to the Easy Bake Oven, either for fear of pidgeon holing her girl into a female stereotype, or sheer fear that she'd burn her fingers on the bulb, but then one pitiful puppy-dog glance at the Grandparents and there it was, under the Christmas tree come December?

Therefore, this week's Parents Talk question: How should parents deal with telling their parents what to buy or not to buy for their kids?

Previously, this column has addressed a number of potentially sticky parenting issues such as social media and cell phone use, and we've gotten some great feedback.

Here's a a quick look at some of our past questions:

Do you see cliques starting younger than when you were in school, and if so, how do you help your child navigate those social land mines?

How do you discuss different academic abilities with your kids?

At what age do you allow your children to have a Facebook or My Space page?

So, Moms, when is advanced placement, advancement overload? Are parents (and kids) overbooking kids?

If you missed any of these discussions and would like to read responses or post your own, just click on the links above or in the right-hand sidebar and share your thoughts.

You can also follow this feature  by clicking on the "Yes, Keep Me Posted" button below this article. And if you'd like to pose a question without identifying yourself, email  donna.evans@patch.com.

Peggy Casmer June 26, 2011 at 07:19 PM
As a new grandmother I find it difficult when my daughter suggests what I should buy my grandaughter. I don't ask because at age 2 there really is nothing she "needs" so I buy her what I would have bought my daughter. Which was not an easy bake oven, fake ffood, a grocery cart or even dishes. A rocking horse was the gift of choice.


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