An article caught my eye yesterday titled, How to deal with an overzealous grandparent.
Upon reading, I discovered that being “overzealous” refers to wanting to spend time with your grandchildren, hoping to see them on Christmas Day or at some time close to that, giving them gifts, squeezing their perfect little feet and talking to them.
Does that make me “overzealous”? Probably. But have you noticed parents these days? They are eight kinds of overzealous! So we thought we’d have a bit of fun today – here’s how to deal with them this Christmas.
Get in early
Apparently some parents find it stressful dealing with the “competing demands” of various sets of grandparents. If this is your family situation, I suggest you get in early and make sure you have your allocated slot for “interacting” with your grandchildren.
Practise your “listening face”
Overzealous parents need to be heard. In fact, they constantly feel that they are NOT BEING HEARD. So even if they’re talking gibberish about their children being on a paleo, non-refined anything diet, make sure you nod and smile.
Get your presents pre-approved
Before you wrap that gift you’d better check it passes muster with the parents (both of them!). They might be screen-adverse, or pro-early exposure to technology. They might want to know the chemical makeup of the paint on that wooden toy, or whether flame-retardants were used in the fabric of those pyjamas. They may even tell you “no presents”.
Do as you’re told
Obviously any experience raising your own children is null and void now that you are a grandparent (never mind the fact your own child has lived to procreate). If you’re told to hold the baby a certain way, do it. If you’re asked not to sneak lemonade to the 11-year-old, do it – just don’t get caught.
Adhere to safety standards
Even if you live in a padded cell, chances are your home is not safe enough for the baby. Meanwhile, the front door must be locked at all times to ensure no maniacs walk in while everyone’s busy admiring the turkey. Oh and that turkey had better be organic – pesticides kill, you know.
Remember, you were slightly neurotic once, too
Whether our memories extend that far or not, truth is, we’ve all been there. Perhaps not quite in the over-the-top, frantic, helicopter way some parents today approach their role as caregivers but, to some extent. Remember how protective you felt about your children and what it’s like to lack 40 years of hindsight, endure the madness and laugh about it in years to come when they wake up and realise their children aren’t made of glass and will survive being spoiled by their Nanna.
And just in case you’re one of the lucky ones who has never encountered an overzealous parent, here is an hilarious example:
Do you know an overzealous parent? What are your tips for coping with them?