Manners Matter: Grandparenting 101

Dear Mary Pat,

My daughter is upset with me and my husband. We drove our grandson to baseball practice and took him for ice cream afterwards. We were still in the driveway after dropping him off when my daughter came flying out of the house and really let us have it for giving him ice cream before dinner. Before we could say anything in return, she stomped back and slammed the door. We were stunned. I know she likes the kids to eat well and not overdo the sweets but her reaction was way over the top. I’ve waited two days for an apology call and I don’t think it’s going to happen. Isn’t it our job to spoil our grandson(s) as we see fit? I thought that was Grandparenting 101.


Grandma and Grandpa

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.


Dear Grandma and Grandpa,

We have two issues here really. The first is should you have given your grandson ice cream before his dinner? It depends on whether you knew your daughter would disapprove. If she has previously asked you not to give him snacks/treats before dinner, then you went against her wishes as the parent of her child and you shouldn’t be surprised at her irritation.

If, however, she has never specified, then a little treat after a practice full of physical activity surely isn’t the worst thing you could have done.

The second issue has to do with your daughter’s extreme anger. If this isn’t typical, then maybe something else was going on to upset her. Maybe she had a rough day. Instead of waiting for an apology call (and yes, she should hopefully apologize for her delivery) why don’t you call her and check to see what’s really going on? Once you get to the root of it, you can clear the air and also find out if there are any other “house rules” that you need to know about. If ice cream is off the list, just remember that you can “spoil” your grandchildren by simply spending time with them.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

Article Comments