Can a Grandparent Over-Spoil a Child?
Here’s an interesting dilemma I’ve (luckily) never thought about!
A friend of mine recently confided she feels uncomfortable with the amount of spoiling her parents do when it comes to her child.
Now, I understand what one person considers ‘spoiled’ might be another person’s norm, so I suppose it is all relative and dependent upon your situation. That said, in my friend’s case, she believes one set of grandparents over-spend on gifts for her child.
She compares the overspending to the amount she and her husband and the other set of grandparents spend for holidays and birthdays and just everyday items.
For instance, my friend’s daughter received a Kindle from her grandparents for her birthday, along with a variety of other expensive gifts. These gifts were much more expensive than the ones my friend had given her daughter. She felt uncomfortable in the situation, as though it were over the top. She feels as many of us do – she wants her daughter to appreciate what she gets and not get everything she wants, which, she fears, will turn into a bad outlook on life down the road.
Grandparents typically want to be able to lavish their grandchildren with special things, whether its presents or goodies. And they want to do special things for their grandchildren. My kids LOVE the fact that when grandma comes to visit and makes pancakes she coats them with a layer of whipped cream! And I LOVE the fact that these little things she does, like letting them watch more TV or play more computer or eat more candy than I allow, are things my children will remember and cherish forever. I still recall my granddad letting me stay home from school once. Did he drive me to school? No! He took me out for breakfast!
On the other hand, I’m certain this type of problem could cause issues if the parent believes the grandparent is breaking boundaries. I suggested my friend talk to her parents about this but she said she doesn't want to hurt their feelings. She has mentioned to them they don't need to go ‘over the top.' She has given examples. She knows they are doing this out of love and wonders if she should let it go, but she's afraid if she does let it go her daughter will begin to expect things rather than appreciate things.
I told her I'd bring the question here! What do you think? Is there such a thing as a grandparent over-spoiling a grandchild? Should we let grandparents enjoy giving what and when they can? What's your experience with this situation?