Also, I notice that sugar negatively impacts their behavior, temperament and focus. Diabetes runs on both sides of the family.
My mother-in-law continuously sends us cookies and sweets for almost every holiday. She also has bowls of candy throughout her home whenever we are over.
I have tried calmly addressing this with her, both privately and in front of other family members. My husband has a sweet tooth too, but overall agrees with me.
For Valentine's Day, she gave each child at least 15 large pieces of chocolate and candy, including a heart-shaped box of chocolate for each.
How can I address this with her? I feel that she does not respect our goals for good health. I would feel this way if this was my mother, or any other family member, plying the kids with sugar.
Feeling Low about the Sugar Highs
Feeling Low about the Sugar Highs: Young children are very trainable, even if their grandparents are not.
Your kids are learning about healthy eating and nutrition at home and at school.
You should be very clear with them that, even when they receive sweets, they should only eat sweets when you say it’s OK for them to have a treat. Most kids know, for instance, that when they come home from trick-or-treating, they can have one or two sweets but must save the rest for other times (in my household, I call this “paying the house”).
When the kids are visiting their grandmother, they must ask you before diving into the candy bowl. And your mother-in-law will watch you say, “You may have one now and bring one home for later. That’s it.” When they are at their grandmother’s house without you there, they will know this rule and will likely try hard to follow it.
If your mother-in-law openly undermines you, you should tell her, “You’re a wonderful and generous grandmother, but the kids know that they need to limit their sweet treats. I take this very seriously.” When treats are sent to the house, you should let the kids pick out one apiece and you should store, give away or toss the rest.
Make sure they thank their grandmother personally -- she is showing them she loves them in the limited (and unfortunately unhealthy) way she knows how.
Dear Amy: I am currently pregnant with my first child, and because of that I finally accepted my mother's Facebook friend request. She and I have not always had the easiest relationship, but we've both worked hard over the years to get to a better place.
Going into this, I knew my mom and I had different political opinions, but when I looked at her Facebook page, I was extremely disheartened at what I saw. Her page is full of racist, xenophobic, homophobic and transphobic posts. It filled me with so much sadness and anxiety. I would never want someone who shares such hateful opinions about others to be in the day-to-day life of my child, but this is their grandmother.
I'm not sure how to approach this with mom, or what to do as my child gets older. Amy, what do I do?
Conflicted Daughter: First of all, disengage from your mother on Facebook, and tell her why.
Understand that when you are a parent, you will be the primary influence for your child. You will raise her to understand that the world is complicated and full of people who hold thoughts and opinions that you don’t like or agree with, or that are generally unloving and offensive. Your child’s grandmother might be one of those people.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t spend time with -- or even grow to love her. It does mean that she will occasionally offend you. And each time she does, you should speak your own truth.
Dear Amy: Love your column. You recently answered a question from a lovelorn guy ("Freaking Out") about how to get his girl back.
In your answer, you suggested standing beneath her window, blasting Aerosmith on a boombox.
I loved your "Say Anything" reference, but in the movie, it was Peter Gabriel.
Cusack Fan: I was definitely referencing “Say Anything.” I went rogue with my music selection.