When all else fails, kids often resort to that murky phrase, "But my mom let's me do it." And if that doesn't work, there's always the flip side they'll turn to, "My parents don't understand, but I know you do." Like a chess master, they're maneuvering. Four words: Don't fall for it!
There is one golden rule to grandparent visits: Never step on parents' toes. "In the case of a difference of opinion, the parents’ rules are respected," says Tami Lawrence, Ph.D, OTR/L, a pediatric therapist who's working on a curriculum on autism and pediatrics for the University of St. Augustine. Grandparents should keep that structure clear, and if you have problems with how your child or son or daughter-in-law is doing things, save it to talk about when the kids aren't around. "You never ever undermine a parent or say they're wrong in front of the children, ever," Greenberg says. "That's a sure way to send a split right down the family."
Luckily, Lawrence says there's an easy fix. "In such cases, it's important to remind everyone that family is a source of strength and support. What it comes down to is communication."