Grandparents. What can you do? My father is probably a good candidate for some serious life counseling. My son is 4. When he was 2 he was going to stay at his Grandfather’s for a sleepover. When I was dropping him off, my father asked when I was going to cut his hair. I responded that we are not cutting his hair right now, Oscar, my son, does not want it cut. My father looked at me, it was really quite similar to commanding a dog to sit, I said, “Do not cut his hair.” It was blunt. It was a statement. It was in front of my son. It was totally and utterly ignored. Fast forward two years. I asked my father yesterday what he would like for his upcoming birthday. “All I want is to give that boy a proper haircut.” Really? Really? Now I am not sure if this is first Grandchild syndrome or what is going on here. But my in-laws have many Grandchildren and have never, ever, ever commented or critiqued anything we have chosen to do as parents. Grandchildren are also old hat to them as they have 7. From my son’s name, our choice of circumcision or not (we did not!), what clothes he wears, toys he likes to play with it has been CONSTANT comments, critiques and criticism. Not to mention my father’s GF who is a talking head sidekick.
Now I understand many people have these issues with either their parents or in-laws. But I think what is important is the growing that is inevitable for the parent (me). My family unit now is my husband, my son and myself. These are the lives I am throughly invested in everyday, these are the people who it matters to me daily if they are happy/sad/hurt, my daily concerns are our little unit. I refuse to live my life with this outside commentary provided by my father or whomever else decides it is their place to do so. obviously I will not disregard a slight comment passing by but CONSTANT is where I draw the line.
SO, the lesson is: play by the rules or no play time for you. Simply stated, simply followed.