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CH0718 SparkPoints: (7,451)
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7/21/11 1:46 P

Ok, so I have a mixed bag of responses here. Your description only tells your side of the story, of course. But we all know there are at least 2 sides to every story and we don't know the paren't point of view here. So any answer anyone gives you will probably be skewed.

I'm a mom, not grandparent, by the way.

I do agree with that your rules apply in your house. To me that's just a given. However, HOW & when discipline is done is up for debate (yes, how is in caps on purpose).
I know what rules applied in my parent's house when I was a kid, but I also know some of their rules have changed because's GRANDKIDS! LOL So sometimes, I just need to be told that this particular item is off limits in case I haven't figured it out. If I know the rules, then I can enforce them with my own kids and my parents don't have to. It is MY responsibility as a parent to take care of my own kids. If I don't know there's a problem then I can't fix it. Communication is key.
And the manner that redirection or discipline is handled is another hot button. If anyone were to take something away and smack my kid's hand, heck yeah I'm getting defensive. NO ONE hits my kid in discpline. But that's my take on discipline. I do not spank. How can I justify spanking when it directly conflicts with the message that A) we do not hit people and B) bigger people do not do mean things (bully, threaten, etc) to smaller people? I can certainly find other ways to discipline than to hit. And no, I am not implying you smacked the kid's hand or anything of that nature. I am just using this as an example. We all handle discipline in different ways with our kids. For all you know, your son didn't like the way you disciplined HIM growing up and wants to try a different way with his kids. Or, his wife has different ideas based upon how SHE was raised and they're trying something different because of that. You just can't know unless it's been discussed. Again, communication is key.

So I guess my opinion is that while yes, you do have the responsibilty to enforce rules in your house, disciplining kids needs to be discussed. Not that you can't...but if you really want to be really involved in your grandkids' lives, then you're going to want to understand how the parents handle discipline and why. This is hard because we all have our own way. But sometimes we can learn different ways if we listen to others ideas. Who knows which way is truly right or wrong....what really matters is growing a healthy kid, who knows right from wrong, and is respectful of others and their stuff (including rules). Each kid is different (I have 2 and they're different as night & day!), so what works for one may not work for another, which I'm sure you know.
My suggestion to you is to sit down with your son (& his wife if possible) and ask questions. What was it that you said, did, etc, that upset them? Why did it upset them? Do they have suggestions for handling similar situations in the future in a way that is agreeable? Don't be defensive....just inquisitive. Find out their feelings on discipline and why they feel the way they do. Some may see this as "admitting your wrong" but honestly? Who cares. The bottom line is that grandkid. Do you want to be actively involved in his life or not? Do you want to be close to him? If so, then you're going to have to find out what makes their parenting and discipline styles tick. If you guys are constantly disagreeing over it, then you're not going to see him as much as you'd like. If you are going to make suggestions, DON'T do it harshly or sounding judgemental of their style. It won't work.

Anyway, those are my thoughts....worth what ya paid for 'em. :-)

KLPEFFERS Posts: 987
7/19/11 8:24 A

I'm going out on a limb here and say that the majority of these replies make me cringe. "you should discuss how to discpline with the parents" etc. YOU are the youngsters' GRAND-Parent. Ergo, you have a responsibility to yourself, your home, your son and your grandson to uphold the rules of your home.

Perhaps the young boy was overtired and just plain cranky (it happens) and when you took the flashlight away he just had a meltdown. Again, it happens. I believe in chosing my battles, but you were well within reason to do what you did.

Perhaps your son didn't realize that his son was overtired, perhaps everyone had a long day and everyone needed some rest!? I firmly believe that grandparents SHOULD discipline kids especially when the kids are in your home. And you should do so using the rules set up for your home.

Any parent worth their weight in salt will grow to appreciate it. And by the way, if my child were in your home and at 2 1/2 you told her to put the flashlight back where she got it from and she ignored you I would expect you to do the exact thing you did. You needed yell or scream or threaten, just simply get up, take the light and put it away. End of story. That's not discipline, that's making sure your belongings are taken care of.

Sounds like your son maybe had a long day, maybe your grandson had been pushing his buttons all day and that was just the "straw". I don't think I would worry too much about it.

DWROBERGE Posts: 348,249
7/18/11 11:54 P

and lefts.

DODDSE Posts: 824
7/18/11 12:52 P

I do think you have rights but would caution you to pick and choose your battles. Its not worth hurting feelings or damaging relationships if it isn't something that he can break or hurt himself. Otherwise you are playing a battle of wills and no one ever wins that game.

KCCAMPBELL SparkPoints: (0)
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7/18/11 12:33 P

I am not a grandparent, but as a parent I feel you were correct. I am very strict with my children and feel quite strongly that ALL rules need to be enforced no matter where they are or who they are with.

Unfortuntely this causes significant friction between myself and my mother in law, who thinks my children are able to run rampant just because she is around.

My best advice to you is to call your son and say hey,I'm sorry if I offended you! I love you and your family, especially my grandkids. I think maybe we should talk about what kind of behaviors you think are appropriate and what I think is appropriate, that way we can make sure we don't have misunderstanding like this again!

By approaching it this way you're telling him that you love and support him, not saying who was right or wrong...

Another bit of advice, take it or leave it... Even if you disagree with your sons response, don't begin an arguement... think back to when you were raising your children and how you felt about others telling you what you should or should not do in regards to discipline, etc... Your son is only trying to raise his children how he sees fit, regardless of how anyone else feels about it, because they are his children and his responsibility...

MYREALANA SparkPoints: (30,332)
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7/18/11 12:03 P

When my kids are in someone else's home - family or not - I think the homeowner has the right to set rules about what can go on in the home.

Their exact role as to how to discipline the children is, however, limited.

Taking something away and putting it out of reach would be well within their rights, as would gently escorting the child out of a forbidden area and locking it or blocking it off. Striking the child would not be acceptable - even for my father or mother to do. I wouldn't allow them to send them to time out or to take away privledges from outside their home either. (For instance, Grandad could say "You are not allowed on my computer any more." But he couldn't say "You're not allowed to use your XBox for a week.")

If they are in my home, the rules are similar. They can set the rules about their own belongings and person. Grandma can tell my kids to stay out of her purse. She can't override our own household rules by taking away things they are allowed to have NOR by allowing them access to things we normally wouldn't.

BEHAPPY0201 Posts: 678
7/18/11 10:39 A

The kind of discipline you are describing I think is within anyone's rights if the children are in their home. I wouldn't expect my child to go to a friends home, let alone his grandparents, and not have her take away something that she didn't feel was right or safe for my child to play with. I also wouldn't expect people to bring children to my home and not be able to tell them xyz wasn't a toy. If we were talking spanking versus not it would be a different story, but children have to learn what is a toy and what isn't. Also, I don't think you should have to go find your son everytime your grandchild picks up something that he shouldn't play with. I think you did okay grandpa.

7/16/11 1:17 P

With the info that you gave I would have to say that what you did was reasonable. There is nothing wrong with setting up ground rules for your house. As long as you discipline the kids in a way that is acceptable to the parents. My son isn't allowed to play with flashlights either at my parents house. They have the heavy duty metal ones and I know that someone would get hurt with how he plays. But some parents do believe that they should be the only ones to discipline their kids and that's their right. I say next time you want the rules enforced tell your son what rule is being broken and see how he handles it. And if he says it's ok at their house, you need to be firm that it's not ok at yours and he needs to take care of it.

And it sounds like your grandson is still very young. My son's a toddler and he will completely meltdown over something being taken away from him or even the threat of it. He tried to take me out at the knees the one day after I took away something that I didn't want him to have.

SUECHRIS50 SparkPoints: (72,085)
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7/16/11 10:22 A

Let me tell you,My grandkids were raised to understand that my house is to be respected.whether I have solid gold couches or cardboard boxes to sit on.They are good kids and know how I feel.You sir have your rights.If daddy stands there and watches him disrespect your things he is at fault...stick to your rules.

SWEETDARLA SparkPoints: (0)
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7/14/11 7:14 A

Another thing that may be the reason for your son's behavior is maybe he's in "poppa bear" mode. If this is his first child, he could be feeling like he's got to protect his son from any and all dangers, even if they're just in his head. It's a stage that should pass, especially when him and his wife have more children.

Edited by: SWEETDARLA at: 7/14/2011 (07:15)
BIGRT1 SparkPoints: (0)
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7/14/11 12:19 A

The flash light is keep by the door for emergencies. We live out in the country and sometimes you need a light fast to see what is going on outside.
I thought my son and I are very close but now I may rethink that. I never touched my grandson, just took the flashlight away. I don't no why he started crying when I told him that is not a toy that you need to put it back. He just sat there crying so I took it away from him. I guess my son didn't like that.

Edited by: BIGRT1 at: 7/14/2011 (00:31)
SWEETDARLA SparkPoints: (0)
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7/13/11 9:37 A

Ok, OP, what is it you aren't telling us about that incident? It's just hard to believe your son would overreact that way without you hurting his child. Or could there be some bad blood between you and him, and his anger manifests itself in situations like that?

HARDROCKER1 SparkPoints: (0)
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7/13/11 1:11 A

I don't think grandparents should put things up when the grandkids come over, that is just plain silly! Children should know that no means no and I feel this grandpa behaved appropriately. Maybe he should take his son aside and talk to him about it. If my preschooler is over at my parents' house or in-laws' house, he is expected to abide by their rules and be disciplined as they see fit. The only time I had an issue at my in-laws' house was when an older cousin spanked my son for wanting to sit next to his pregnant wife while she played the piano. I was shocked and outraged and we left immediately, while my FIL stood up for him and said loudly that he was glad he spanked him, it was about time my preschooler was spanked....huge issue erupted over that. Since it was my hubby's side of the family, he handled it, but I was very much offended.

As a parent, I do tend to be a bit more highstrung at other peoples' houses, I've even had others tell me I'm over disclipining my kids, because I get so worried that they will tear stuff up and I am uncomfortable punishing them in front of people. Usually, I just take my preschooler into another room and talk to him quietly, explain to him why his behavior is inappropriate and handle things that way.

I just think you need to talk to your son about it, explain your expectations, etc.

Blessings, Michelle

7/12/11 9:51 P

All things at one of my grandparent's house were off limits for toys, at the other grandparent's house, everything was a toy. Your house, your rules. That being said, why was a flashlight out where a 2 year old could get to it, if you knew they were coming over?

Edited by: JONICACALDWELL at: 7/12/2011 (21:52)
NPPMOM Posts: 601
7/10/11 9:04 A

My husband and I don't have any problem with family members correcting our child's behavior, we actually expect it, as long as it's within the parameters of what we feel is acceptable discipline (No hitting or screaming). Kids need to learn that they need to listen other adults, not just their parents. It's better to prepare them early than have it be an issue when they start school or start visiting friends houses.

I would have a problem with my mother stepping in if I was already dealing with the problem, but in that case I just stop dealing with my son, tell her I'm dealing with it and she should back off and then return to dealing with my son.

FINEFITT SparkPoints: (0)
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7/9/11 7:29 P

Only if the parents are traveling or sick.

BJACOBS84 Posts: 174
7/9/11 12:09 P

I'm with Burningember. I don't think grandparents have "any rights" (no matter what the quacked out state of FL thinks!). Responsibility is a better word. And yes, I do believe that grandparents should be able to discipline, as long as the parents agree with what sort of discipline should be used.

Your story makes it seem as though the parent made a big deal out of nothing. Although, I'm unsure why a child would cry over someone simply telling them to not play with something that isn't theirs?! If you undermined the parent, yelled at the child, jumped the gun, or made a deal out of nothing then sure, I would have been mad myself. If none of those things happened, I think the parent overreacted.

Discipline is something that you should really discuss with the parents that way you know where you stand. Maybe they disagreed with "how" you said it or how you came across? You will only know if you ask.

And I must say, I absolutely disagree with others who said "your house, your rules". Sorry. We cut my mother-in-law off because she was cruel (although she didn't see it that way) and yelled over every small thing. Our then 4 year old came to very much dislike her, we stopped trusting her judgement and she has yet to meet our daughter and likely never will. We tried confronting her and telling her the problem. "Her house, her rules" was her answer. She told us that she would do what she liked. Then we told her to hit the highway and we've never looked back. Our other parents discipline our children but they also know what is off limits. Yelling and spanking are deal breakers in our book.

Edited by: BJACOBS84 at: 7/9/2011 (12:13)
BURNINGEMBER SparkPoints: (0)
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7/9/11 9:08 A

If the parent is not intervening with the child, someone needs to. Like other posters, as a parent, if my mother/father jumped in before I had a chance to take care of it myself, I may be put off somewhat. But if the parent is just sitting and doing nothing, you have a responsibility to teach the child what the rules are for your home. I prefer the word "responsibility" over the word "right" to discipline. "Right" gives such a domineering, authoritarian connotation in my opinion.

Edited by: BURNINGEMBER at: 7/9/2011 (09:08)
7/8/11 4:34 P

As a parent, here is my view:

When my kids are at their grandparents' houses, their rules go. If my mom doesn't want my son playing with something and I don't think it's a big deal, my mom wins. Their house, their rules.

I have learned that we need to de-grandparentize our kids after a weekend of eating ice cream for breakfast. And I love my parents and my in-laws just the same.


50BRITTMOM SparkPoints: (0)
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6/13/11 1:46 A

I think your son should have taken away the flashlight when he heard you tell your grandson it was not a toy. Children need to learn to respect - tough at 2 1/2 yrs but harded as he gets older and more out of control. It does not sound like you were out of line and your son over reacted to the situation.

ALHOOVER81 Posts: 364
6/12/11 12:20 A

If it is your house and your grandchild then yes you had every right to punish your grandchild. I hope your son gets over acting like a child and apologizes to you for his behaviour.

KRISTINKOTT SparkPoints: (530)
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6/11/11 9:53 P

I agree that if things went down the way you say they did you had every right. You didn't physically discipline you just took it away. To be honest I expect my children to follow rules at anyone's house whether it is their grandparents or just a friend house. And if they are not following the rules then they shoud be spoken to. Of couse never physically touched but definitely spoken to and disiplined.

6/9/11 11:36 P

Your house, your rules! I would have agreed with you in this case due to the right levels were reached before the discipline!

ANDILH Posts: 1,543
6/9/11 10:44 P

I am a early childhood teacher, so I'm pretty used to redirecting children's behavior even in front of their parents. Each place a child goes has different rules, and children need to learn what those rules are. The only way a child can learn them is if the adults are consistent. I see too many parents who are too busy talking or otherwise occupied to pay attention to what the children are doing, let alone correct the bad behavior. Some parents take offense when someone else corrects their child's behavior, but if they're paying attention, then someone else wouldn't have to. I know some grandparents try to boss their grown children around and tell them how the grandchildren should be disciplined and that is a different situation than a basically one time event. I try not to stop on a parents toes, but there is only so much that I allow to happen in my house (or my classroom) regardless of how the parents feel about it.

YOGINILMT Posts: 309
6/9/11 12:48 P

I don't see there being a problem with what you did, but I know that even in my mom's house I'd want to know how behavior problems would be dealt with.

Taking away a non-toy doesn't seem to be an issue, but I can see with things like time-out and spanking it'd be important to discuss how to handle certain situations for the sake of consistancy, and, if possible, to leave the bulk of discipline to the parents.

SG9381 Posts: 4
6/9/11 9:25 A

I think you were totally within your rights with it being your home, sounds like there was an underlying issue here, I can't imagine someone getting so worked up over a flashlight being taken away from a toddler. That being said, was it a super expensive flashlight? Because my 3 yr old loves to play with flashlights, he really can't hurt himself with it and it's a way for him to learn about his world and how things work.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (191,504)
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6/9/11 5:14 A

taking something away from a child is hardly discipline..

it's not like you took the flashlight from the child and beat him with it.

I think your son should chill out.

Fitness Minutes: (3,130)
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6/8/11 12:17 A

I agree that in this situation the way this grandpa handled the situation was appropriate. It is good for children to learn to be respectful and to experience various persons of authority address situations that need to be handled in an appropriate manner. Maybe you could sit down with your son and express to him that you saw a situation that needed to be handled immediately (especially since it involved your things in your home) and so you addressed it. Let him know that your intent wasn't to step on his toes or offend him in any manner and maybe if you open up a dialogue with him in a nonthreatening way, he'll be willing to talk to you about what it was about the instance that really bothered him. It's important to broach it when you're both calm and let him know that you love him and your grandchildren and don't want to have anything come between your relationship with each of them so you wanted to sit down and talk to him about it. Good luck!

ALECIA0823 Posts: 446
6/7/11 9:16 P

I believe it is important for young children to learn that all adults have authority to some degree. This helps prepare them for other situations where they have to obey an adult other than their parents. So, I have no problem with my kids' grandparents enforcing rules at their home. However, at the same time, I don't like them trying to tell me or my spouse how to discipline our kids, or handling something major without us. I guess it has to be a balancing act.

IVYLASS SparkPoints: (218,323)
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6/7/11 7:11 P

Your house, your rules. I don't see anything wrong with taking away something that is obviously not a toy.

WHOAMI9999 Posts: 48
6/7/11 6:34 P

I think it depends on the situation. But in this case, I don't see how taking back something he shouldn't have been playing with should have been an issue. What if it had been something dangerous, or if something expensive had been broken? And if your son really wanted to handle this himself, why didn't he do something about it at the time?

I think grandparents need to respect the parents wishes as to HOW to discipline a child. But parents also need to allow other people to handle situations in a reasonable manner. Do you need to go find your son while your grandson does something that needs to be handled immediately (you didn't want your flashlight broken)? What if you or someone else were watching him without the parents there - at that age you can't just wait for his parents to pick him up - you need to deal with things at the time they happen.

I've also seen times where a child is doing something they shouldn't, and the parent is just oblivious to what is going on. I watched a child hit my son during a gymnastics class, and neither the mother nor the teacher saw it happen. I didn't say anything since it didn't happen again, but if the teacher had seen it, she should have been able to do something about it.

DEANJR86 Posts: 126
6/7/11 6:32 P

I'm going to be on the grandparent side here. If my kids are messing up my folks' stuff and it's bothering them, they have every right to do something about it. It's THEIR house. I think we as parents today labor under the delusion that we alone know our children and what works best, but we're so blinded by them sometimes. And what are grandparents supposed to do: LET their grandkids ruin their things? No, I'm sorry, but in my parents' house, their rules go.

As a son, I enforce my parents' rules in their home, even when I don't agree with them. In my home, I expect them to abide by my rules. It's all a matter of respect here. And, to all my fellow parents, if you have a problem with your folks disciplining your kids, do it yourself. But it is grandparents' house; their rules are the ones that will be followed. Simple rules of being a good houseguest.

LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 25,734
6/7/11 10:10 A

"I fill I have the right to discipline my grandchildren"

I feel that is the parents' job.
You should have talked to your son/DIL about the rules in your house. He/she would then be responsible for the toddler.

JMIRROR SparkPoints: (0)
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6/6/11 11:24 P

Grandparents have a role. With their role comes rights. Those rights have to be granted by parents.

JENMC14 Posts: 2,786
6/6/11 9:46 P

If the situation unfolded as you describe it, I likely, as a parent, wouldn't have a rpoblem with it. However, if you jumped up before I could say something or interrupted me, I'd be pretty pissed. Even when I'm in someone else's home, even my parents', at the end of the day, they are still my children, and the discipline should be up to me. I can't stand it when my mom or dad jump in when I'm trying to handle a situation. Just because they already raised their kids, doesn't know that they know better than me how to raise mine. If your son didn't say anything and it was bothering you, then yeah, I guess it's ok to say something, but discipline issues are very touchy subjects, and the end word on how a child is disciplined should come from the parent, even if you don't agree with it. You should try to talk to him about what exactly it is that you did that upset him.

BIGRT1 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/6/11 8:58 P

I fill I have the right to discipline my grandchildren at my home when there in my things. My son does not think so. Yesterday my 2 1/2 yr. old grandson had my flashlight. I told him that he needed to put it back that it is not a toy. He started crying so I got up and took it away from him and told him he could not play with it. It pissed off my son and we had some words about it. After a little while him and his family left. I was very hurt over it because I thought we were closer than that. My wife and I love are grandchildren very much and would never hurt or be mean to them. Not sure what to think or do about it. Just wanted to know what you other grandparents think?

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