When Grandma won't follow baby's routine - Newsday

When Grandma won't follow baby's routine

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Ask Amy Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist. ...

DEAR AMY: My husband and I have a strict bath and bedtime schedule that we follow every single night with our 11-month-old son. When dropping him off at his grandparents' for a sleepover, we went over his routine and explained how important this consistency is. They agreed to it. The next morning, we learned that not only did they not follow the routine (he didn't go to bed until two hours after his usual time), but when giving him his bath, my husband's mom was in the tub with him, completely nude. I am extremely uncomfortable about that. I know she would never do anything to hurt her grandson, but I also feel strongly she crossed a line. This is not the first time she has overstepped her boundaries. In the past when we talked to her about boundaries, she got upset and accused us of not appreciating anything she does. How should I approach these issues with her? Mad MomDEAR MAD: I believe in the importance of routine for babies and children, but your adherence to this strict a schedule is more for you than your son, and you should realize this.

Here's what you know: Your in-laws will not respect your son's schedule when he is with them. My view is that time spent with grandparents should be looser than life at home.

Your mother-in-law's choice to bathe nude with her grandson shows poor judgment, and I agree that this crosses the line (although she may have done this with her children at that age).

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When you've talked to her about boundaries in the past, she has retaliated by accusing you of being unappreciative. Remove this red herring by expressing your appreciation.

Make sure your in-laws provide a safe environment for your child. Encourage an attitude of open dialogue by asking their opinion (they've already raised children -- you're just starting).

You shouldn't do another overnight until you are more confident in their ability to respect your wishes.

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