From the moment you become a parent, you learn quickly that there’s often no “parenting” in grand-parenting.
Your mum and/or dad morph into these strange unfamiliar creatures that don’t resemble the people who raised you, and it can be a bit bewildering.
No enforced bed or nap times. No boundaries about screen time. No random rules about things like buying gifts, or saying nonsense like “you can’t get a present every time we leave the house.”
You know, the rules that you hated when you were a kid, but that you fully intend on enforcing now you’re a parent.
This change in your parents comes on suddenly, and it’s a bit of a shock. One day you hear, “Of course darling, you don’t need to eat your peas,” and you think, “Hold up, what’s this?”
All of those rules, which you literally learnt about through the dark years of your childhood from your parent-overlords, have suddenly vanished from their dialogue.
The ‘no’ people have become ‘yes’ people, and the people who swore they’d never become their parents are now dark overlord enforcers themselves.
Which is, if you’re honest, kind of nice. Really nice, actually. It’s a joy to see someone adore your kids as much as you do – even if it means your parents are nicer to these little people than they are to you.
Once you recover from the shock, a part of you resigns yourself to the fact your kids will be overindulged when they’re with nonna, nana or nan, and that your rules about ‘sometimes treats’ may for a couple of hours (or twenty-four if you’re super #blessed) be ignored.
But happens when that crosses a boundary? A boundary that you, as the parent, have every right to set?