The million dollar question (rant)

Why must grandparents spoil their grandkids?

Yea sure, I get the whole because-they’re-your-flesh-and-blood-plus-it’s-only-natural explanation but what I want to know is WHY, when you KNOW that spoiling your grandkids actually makes it a harder job for your own kids to be good parents, do you still do it?

Like this afternoon, when Rae was being difficult about her nap time and being her usual self, she cried and asked for her grandmother.

In good sense, what should the grandmother do? Should she have sat back and let me, her daughter-in-law, discipline my child? Or rush to Rae’s aid and as a result, fortifying her indignance, fuelling her loud, teary protestation?

We ALL know the answer to that question. No, don’t compare this to kids who aren’t lucky enough to get grandparents, please. Many children who don’t have grandparents grow up fine, by the way.

It’s just SO frustrating. I’ve ranted on this EXTENSIVELY before but OH MY GOD, it’s still happening and I am POWERLESS to stop it! It makes me want to light up a cigarette if I can actually afford one!!

This is a 71-year old woman who brought up two sons, who told me she used to scold her own mother for spoiling my husband when she herself needed to discipline him. Makes me wonder if she’s knowingly completing some karmic cycle to punish me, the mother, because she herself went through it!

I used to think that a little spoiling from grandparents is harmless. Now I know that when they become semi-permanent fixtures in your life, that becomes a real problem, because you know what? Grandparents don’t really care about you having to work twice as hard to instill good habits and values in your children. All they want is for your kid ‘to be happy’.

Like always watching TV, is happy. Like getting what they want all the time, is happy. Like living in a house with no rules, is happy.

I respect and care deeply for my in-laws and parents. I appreciate what they’ve done so far in helping us care for our children. I think it’s sweet to have people who think you’re fulfilling some kind of important, filial role by just being born but




And I’m quickly approaching mine. Or could I have surpassed it and not know since blogging about this, when a zillion relatives and friends (including my dear darling husband) read this blog, which makes me either very brave or very stupid?

What should I do? Really? I mean, she’s gonna be gone in three weeks and I know she just wants to see her grandkids happy before they go but to think all the ‘damage’ I have to undo when they go, just makes me want to throw something. Or throw up.

It’s just irrational, this NEED to spoil and frankly, irresponsible and inconsiderate.

But who cares? I’m the one who has to face the music in the end.


Excuse me while I go tear my hair out.




  1. bajie80 said

    You can always spank the child later to bring em back to shape, but then again, you could be charged with child abuse, because you’re no more in Malaysia.

    This will make your parenting even more difficult now due to child abuse laws there.

    Spanking works, but different cultures has different level of tolerance how far you can go to discipline the kid.

    So what’s it gonna be ? How does one get a message across a spoilt child without spanking em ?

  2. frosty said


    U r not the only facing that music now. My sis, Flo also doing the same. My niece, Caitlin is also very much like Rae now.

    For example, when she wants attention or something, she always tries to cry for it. My sis tries to tell her that she cannot eat it. Later my mum will comfort her with other soft food stuff.

  3. Time outs work very well bajie. A time out is when you take your child away from the situation into a ‘boring’ corner and you place her/him there (same as stand in a corner) for a certain amt of time. One minute per year. Rae is four years old, she has a 4-min timeout everytime she does something serious, like disobey any personal safety rules or any BIG bad deeds like lying or being violent.

    In the same vein, I use a star chart (not an astrological star chart, a literal chart with sticker stars) to encourage her to be good. That also works VERY well coz kids love to be rewarded and even tho the stars are meaningless to us, they mean loads to them. Every 10 stars she gets a mini present from us, and if she wants a new toy (now she’s working twds a toy violin) she has to get 20 stars or more. Good deeds include finishing her meals by herself, or going potty by herself.

    My beef here isn’t with methods of discplining. It’s the obstacles grandparents pose when they think it’s harmless to give the child a little love at an inappropriate time.

    It is NOT harmless when it’s done ALL the time, and the problem I have is in making them understand that! They just REFUSE to accept it!

  4. Vien said

    Have you tried having your hubby set the rules with his folks? My husband and I came up with a set of rules and he laid it out straight to his folks. If they step out of line, the hubby will rope them back in.

    For your situation, I know it is difficult to get the in-laws do what you say. It’s also part of the do-not-talk-back-to-your-elders so-called Chinese”values” that has been ingrained in our culture.

    If I were you, have your husband correct his folks. They will listen/”obey” if it comes straight from his mouth. Give it a try!

  5. Yea we did that Vien. I even wrote the rules down on a whiteboard after that.

    My FIL is actually great. It’s my MIL who seems to be reluctant :(. I don’t know what is worse. She doesn’t know so she accidentally does it, or she knows and chooses NOT to do it because she wants to score brownie points with her grandkids 😛

    anyway, they’ll be gone in a few weeks, so I’m hanging in there until then!

  6. i think 3 weeks cannot do much of a damage, grandparents are great ppl to remember when the kids grow up. Somehow i think it will help build the character. Just be glad you’re not staying with them! hehe

  7. Jenn said

    Theyve been here since Jan 14th Fashionasia, and they were Rae’s semi-primary caregivers since she was born (I was a work from home mommy so when I did work, I’d lv her with them). She’s now almost four. As for Skyler, I took care of her a lot more with my mom, so Sky is noticeably more ‘discplined’ (sleeps at 7pm, eats her meals at fixed times, sticks to her routine).

    Anyway, I love my in-laws, and if I never had kids, it wldve been ok even. I just have different principles and priorities for my kids u know, and am already struggling to raise them properly without someone throwing a spanner into the works now and again and I have to be the one to clean up the mess at the end of the day! Luckily my husband is totally behind me on this (coz it’s not pretty when I go insane lol).

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