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May 29, 2013

Grandma's House and Vegas

by Tracy Jensen

They have one thing in common: Both offer an escape from everyday life. For many kids, staying at Grandma & Grandpa’s sometimes means you can eat what you want, stay up late, gorge yourself on TV, and what happens there stays there. I read this blog recently on how one mom chose to let go of worrying over what happens at Grandma’s, and although it may seem wrong to stop fussing over your parents’ (or worse, your in-laws’) disregard for your parenting policies, there is logic in this stance.

Beyond the obvious reason of avoiding a confrontation guaranteed to make someone feel bad, perhaps you should let it go as a testament of trust in your parenting. If you’ve taught your kids how to choose healthy meals and balance an active lifestyle with their TV and computer time, trust that it will stick. I mean, you sort of have to, because you will have to let them go someday. Personally, I have no plans to accompany my child when she heads off to college.

Take, for example, this recent experience: My daughter had a friend sleep over last week, and her family is pretty hardcore on the whole organic thing. We went to the market to pick up something for dinner, and while looking at the fruit, she said, “Oh, is this organic?” and then informed my daughter on the benefits of buying organic. I don’t normally because of cost, but that day we did get the organic strawberries.

The takeaway? When you let your child loose in the world, there is a decent chance they will be the influencer rather than the influenced.

Have you heard tales of your kids acting on what you’ve taught at home when they are out with friends/family?

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