My house, my rules

How can May reinforce ‘my house, my rules’ when her grandchildren are running riot?

My house, my rules

How can May reinforce ‘my house, my rules’ when her grandchildren are used to running riot whilst at home? Jo Lamble offers her advice for this tricky situation.

Q. May
My two daughters have very different parenting techniques – Catherine is quite firm, as I was, but Sarah spoils her children and lets them run riot. This wasn’t such a problem until Sarah moved back to Sydney last year, to be closer to Catherine and me. Now both daughters drop their children with me at the same time, and I am having a hard time explaining to Catherine’s children why their cousins are allowed to get away with bad behaviour. They answer back and won’t follow instructions, and I’m not sure how to set limits when they barely know the meaning of the word. Should I talk to my daughter and risk angering her? I don’t want her to move away again, but her children really do need a firmer hand.

There’s no doubt that being a grandparent is not easy at times. Having the responsibility for children who are out of control is terribly difficult. You have every right to insist on certain rules in your house and it’s okay to explain this to both your daughters and to all your grandchildren. I wouldn’t tell Sarah that she needs to take a firmer hand with her children; I’d just explain what you expect when they’re in your care. As for your grandchildren seeing different rules applying to different children, that’s an important life lesson. They will go through their entire childhood and adolescence seeing friends being allowed to do things they’re not. That's why the ‘my house, my rules’ decree is the only explanation needed.

Jo Lamble


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    6th Oct 2015
    I totally agree with this article. Your house your rules is the only way to proceed, you need to speak to your daughters and explain that while you are happy to look after your grandchildren they need to obey your rules in your house. If this is not acceptable to them that is their choice and do not feel guilty when you refuse to look after them
    6th Oct 2015
    Absolutely agree Toots. The daughter with the unruly kids may have her nose put of joint but the grandchildren will accept the 'my house; my rules' premise. May has to have one rule and stick to it. Her daughter will accept it when she finds out how expensive the alternative will be!

    And by the way, bad behaviour and rudeness is NEVER acceptable no matter what the age or relationship. This is a lesson best learned when young.....

    6th Oct 2015
    "The tree grows as the sapling is bent". Try a bit of bending and it will do everyone, especially those bent, a lot of good in the future.
    6th Oct 2015
    Sorry fast eddy but I'm too old to bend, my house my rules. All my grandchildren know the rules. Nothing to do with the parents, good manners at my house all the time. The kids must be ok with it because they always want to come. I have told one small child, that he wouldn't be able to come if he didn't behave as I expected. He is now telling his mum the rules. As if she didn't know! I find bribery is a good incentive.
    6th Oct 2015
    Your house - your rules - for adults and kids. If they don't like it, explain that as much as you love them and would like them to visit again, they are not welcome unless they all adhere to your rules - thereby making their visits pleasant for you.

    Your daughter should be reminded that your rules and standards are the same as they have always been, and that you have no intention of changing them. Give them another chance to explain to their kids on arrival at your home that "nannie's rules apply while they are visiting". If this does not happen as you request, be tough, tell them goodbye "until they carry out your wishes". Also point out that you treat all your children and grandchildren the same.

    Do not soften if they plead for you to babysit. Have the phone numbers of some baby-sitting services handy to pass to them. Your daughter and her kids will not respect you - nor value the help and company you provide if you play pushover doormat. Doormat grannies get used as doormats.

    6th Oct 2015
    Squirrel, a sapling is YOUNG, like a child and not an adult. The adage refers to teaching someone of few years prior to reaching adulthood. Doh!
    6th Oct 2015
    Doh! To you too, I thought the saying was about twigs! But never mind i still don't want to bend. My children know the rules, I brought them up to be the parents they are today and they know I will treat their children the same as I did them. With maybe a little more sugar.
    6th Oct 2015

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