GMA'S AND SWEETS???? Shouldn't There Be a Limit???

Updated on January 20, 2013
C.S. asks from Crescent City, CA
13 answers

Ok, so I am not sure if this is a vent or a question. But feel free to give me any suggestions on changing this behavior or living with it.

A little background: We don't eat sweets often (usually special occassions), and we certainly don't keep them in the house. Also, my husband and I try very hard to get/stay in shape and a healthy weight. We don't eat sugar or processed carbs at all. In addition my daughter is having weight issues that we are working closely with her pediatrician on.

Now, I know that gma's are going to spoil kids and give them sweets and I am fine with that, but there is a limit, right? This past weekend my hubby took the kids for a visit at gma's. I was attending a party. They not only got cake and chocolate chip bread (and whatever else), they were sent home with a container full of more of each!!! Now I have to hear "can we have cake, can we have cake..." and I have to be the bad guy and say no! Ration it out and/or toss it. I just don't get it???? Its fine to treat them and spoil them, but why does it have to be an extreme??? I hate having to always be the bad guy, but I am responsible for their health, right?

Of course this isn't a one time thing, or I wouldn't be so bugged about it. It happens all the time and we live in the same town. Any thoughts? Ideas? feel free to tell me to just suck it up too! :)

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So What Happened?

Thanks so far for the responses.

Just to clarify. She is well aware of our eating style and how much I discourage the sweets being brought home. I don't even try to control it at her house. It just bugs me that she does it even though she knows what we are trying so hard to do. Like at Easter she gives us a big bag of candy to be fair (why not buy sugar free, thats what I would do). Its just such a waste.

Oh and someone asked what my grandma did, well not much because she ran a daycare and had foster kids, so there wasn't much to go around. but I remember my great grandma would have us over and we would always have oreo cookies and tea. But it was always only a couple and they never went home with us. I never felt more loved because of that or less because or it either. It was the time and the traditions that mattered not the quantity.

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answers from Seattle on

I totally sympathize with you! My folks do the same thing! One option to freeze the portions and distribute the pieces every so often. It would be awful if the kids realized you threw something their grandmother gave them, ya know?

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from New York on

I would tell Grandma that the kids should enjoy their treats with her but you and hubby watch your weight and sending treats home is too much temptation for you and the kids. If she sends treats again, gently remind her. And be sure to tell yourhubby to NOT accept them and to remind her.

Grandmas like sweets and kids like to get sweets from grandma - it's an all around good feeling. So let them spoil them when they are in their company - it's fine.

Grandma might think of you as a bit of a control freak mom - but that's her issue. You are the mom - be flexible and within reason but set boundaries.

Good luck!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

What was your gramma like? funny thing, my mom was completely differant with my kids than she was with us. Anything goes with the grandkids, but she was super strict on us. I asked her once and you know what she said....she had lived long enough to learn not to sweat the small stuff. she was so tightly wound trying to regulate every aspect of our lives, that she forgot to enjoy us and finally realized, it doesn;t much matter anyway. We are all going to grow up and have our own personalities and our own preferances, so all that policing us was a giant waste of energy. lol. Now, I of course, still police my kids. That's my ever lovin job. But it did help to get her perspective.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

THE more you withhold something the more they will want it.
Yes they have to eat healthy, but sometimes just letting your hair down a bit isn't going to hurt them.
Plus if you try to regulate everything they put in their mouths you are setting them up for eating disorders.
Make a rule, when grandma sends cake home then each child can have one piece for dinner the next night or a piece for breakfast, tha's it, the rest gets eaten by Daddy.
Also speak to your mom and telll her whatever they do at Grandma's is great but please do not send it home.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tallahassee on

I honestly don't know what to tell you. Maybe you could tell grandma that you understand that she spoils the kids when she has them but please don't send any food/candy/treats home with them. If it wouldn't hurt her feelings too much you could tell her that you hate for her to waste the food because you don't let the kids have any additional treats once they come home.

I have the same problem with my mom and mother inlaw (and sister inlaw too). Over the weekend I was driving by Chick-fil-a with my almost 5 year old daughter and she commented that they have ice cream there. She proceeded to tell me that grandma took her there for ice cream even though she didn't eat her dinner. Nice. I asked her which grandma and, of course, it was my mother inlaw (it always is when it comes to ice cream).

A couple of weeks ago my mom kept my daughter for the night and she informed me that she let my daughter have a popsicle immediately after she finished her breakfast. Great.

About a month ago we had dinner over at my sister inlaw's house for Father's Day and my mother inlaw's birthday. My daughter refused to eat any dinner at all. We don't get into power struggles over food so that was her choice and it was fine. We figure that it's our job to put the food in front of her and if she doesn't eat then that's her choice but she doesn't get any kind of snacks or desserts. Well, when it was time for cake my sister inlaw told her she could have some. Wrong. No, she can't. My sister inlaw proceeded to tell us that it was her house and her rules. Um, wrong again. After my sister inlaw gets it that we won't let her have cake she offers her some ice cream. Hello??? Is anybody home inside your head??? Absolutely not. I just wanted to yell at her and ask her what was so hard to understand about no dinner means no dessert.

Good luck. ;)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

Tell her, tell her and tell her again to keep the sweets to a minimum. One thing only and not much of it. Tell her if she sends it home it will be thrown out.
Do not serve it to your children at home. Tell them it is going to be thrown away and throw it away in front of them so they tell her what will continue to happen to sweets sent home.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

This would really bother me. I would most likely throw it out. Next time she tries to offer a container of goodies for the kids to take home, I'd kindly say, "Thank you SO much but we're really watching our diet!" If she gets offended, don't sweat it. I've learned that people often get offended about stuff like this because they feel like you are judging THEM and THEIR eating behaviors, when in fact, all you really want to do is eat healthy & for them to respect your wishes. Good luck!!

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answers from Cleveland on

Typically I'd say to just let it go but since this happens a lot and you are working with your daughter's weight per her doctor, I would definitely stop this. I also try to limit sweets bc my daughters seem to easily gain weight and sorry but I feel like it's my job as a mother to not set them up to be overweight their whole lives. I'm not trying to make them underweight etc but if a child is actually overweight, it's a real issue. I would definitely explain this to grandma. She can give them some but as you say, there should be a limit and you can help set that with her. I see this as a different issue than a child who can eat and eat and eat with no weight gain and also only sees grandma once a month or something. This is something I'd be really firm about.

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answers from Daytona Beach on

my in-laws do this, too. i have the kids eat a few sweets at their house and then they can bring other stuff home. i ration it out. i allow my kids 3 small pieces of candy/sweets a day after they eat lunch/dinner. i don't want to tell them no because i don't want it to become a problem later. i feel that they want the unknown more than the known. :). but the are 7 and 5 now and they know that after their meal, they get that certain amount. i just suck up what the grandparents do. one day won't offset what you are trying to do.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

You are correct, that is a problem. Maybe cool it for a while with visitation until they get the message or just say do not send that home with them or I will throw it out & do it so the kids tell them it was wasted. Be the enforcer your kids lives depend on it.
I think Krista P has a great idea blame the doctor & CookingMom has the right idea too throw it in grandma's trash can on the way out so she knows you are serious.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I agree, it isn't right. I have told my mom and mother-in-law that while treats are fine, overdosing is not. I remind them that they would have never let us eat that kind of stuff and I know that they love my daughter, but love isn't based on treats. I ask them to limit treats to maybe one or two special treats per visit.


answers from Pittsburgh on

I just have to say, I know this is an older question, but I am SO glad I'm not the only one venting about this issue (and here is a &*(&(@#@# to the "nice" lady who called me a "Maunchausen" Mom for bringing up this issue! :))

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