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Moms Talk: Is It Okay to Let Grandparents Spoil Kids?

Moms Talk: Is It Okay to Let Grandma Spoil the Baby?My husband came home from work the other day and commented, “I thought I had the wrong house. There are no packages on the steps.”

It’s true I’ve been doing a lot of online shopping, but most of the packages have been addressed to our daughter – from Grammy in Florida. Even the box addressed to me and my husband included a few treats for Ashley.

Even with five grandkids, my mother-in-law manages to spoil every one of them. Or perhaps I should say she lavishes them with love, attention and gifts! I don’t see anything wrong with it.

Spoiling Comes in Many Forms

It is only once a toddler learns to manipulate grown-ups to get their way that spoiling can occur. You can spoil a child with too much:

– Attention
– Toys / Gifts
– Freedom

How Do Moms Feel About Grandparents Spoiling the Baby?

With Christmas around the corner, we asked the Babies Online community of moms if they feel it’s okay to let Grandma “spoil” the baby. It’s important to note that infants cannot be spoiled – infants have needs (for love, food, cuddling and clean diapers) and those needs must be met in a timely manner.

“Yes, Spoil away!”

ToyBaby: Its just natural that grandparents spoil the grandkids. That’s what makes being a kid fun. Things that mom and dad don’t agree with, the kids know the grandparents will say yes. Parent just have to understand and know how to reason with their kids.

Meghan Power: Sure is… Saves me money.

Lauren Curtis: It’s not like you’re gonna stop it from happening. Would you rather it be behind your back?

Kristin MacDonald: I think obviously grannies should be allowed to spoil their kids. They did their time disciplining us and having to be firm even when they didn’t want to, so let them enjoy the babies of their babies!

Alexandria Pappas: In our situation the grandmas are all far away… the closest one being a 4-hour drive from us, so seeing Grandma is a special thing and a certain amount of spoiling is expected. We can’t deny Grandma her grandma privileges! Now, if grandma was a constant presence, a small amount of spoiling is okay… special treats here and there… but no matter what, I think the parents need to agree to it, and grandma does not get to overrule Mom and Dad!

Jehn Ferec: Absolutely, I grew up with a wonderful Grandma and have nothing but fond memories of being allowed to stay up late, eat junk and get away with all kinds of things my mom would never let me do. She always bought us things at the grocery store and brought us gifts… We turned out OK.

In regard to my own kids being spoiled by Grandma – I’m just thankful that she’s willing to babysit them for me for free; she can do what she wants with them!! Maybe if I felt that she were not responsible with them I might have an issue with it but as far I’m concerned it’s fantastic to have a mother and mother-in-law who WANT to spoil my kids!

Fran Wilson Magbual: If the grandparents don’t see the kids all the time, then I don’t see the harm in lavishing them with gifts and attention when they do see them.

Racheal Day: Yep! That’s what they’re for!

@TheChattyMomma: There’s no such thing as spoiling a baby & Grandma can never LOVE the baby 2 much! Toddlers R another story.

“No Spoiling MY Kids!”

Angie Krebs: When grandma is raising the child….she can spoil the child all she wants.

Christian Logarta-Tulio: No. The kid will grow up a brat and see no authority in mom and dad (based on experience!)

Megan Wadesauer: The concept of grandparents spoiling their grandchildren has become a cultural expectation. If parents don’t agree with something a grandparent does, it often is automatically labeled as spoiling.

Children are to be cared for, loved, and cherished, but not spoiled. It hurt the first time I heard “I want more presents” at Christmas. Regardless of the time of year, it’s important to set the boundaries now that will help a child deal with difficulties later in life.

It Depends…

Kelly Hollis: I think within reason. Babies should still be told no for their own safety…”No we aren’t playing on Grandma’s stairs, no we can’t have fruit snacks for dinner, no we can’t play with the stick while running around…”
Some grandparents won’t say no and they should. I don’t think not saying no is spoiling them. I think it’s teaching them and keeping our babies safe.

Our children also need to learn that the world isn’t going to be handed to them on a platter. But like someone said above, if the g’parents only get to see them a few times a year then yah, buy them the world; however if they live nearby and get to see the kids all the time there need to be some lines drawn.

DonnaDanny Johnsen: Yes, when there’s mutual agreement. No, if it’s done behind your back and against your wishes and she knows it…


Megan Leann Sweet: Yes and No-
Yes- Grandmas only get to see them so many times a year so why not let them spoil them?

No- When grandma sees them everyday and is the one feeding them and is changing the menu so the baby will only eat fruits and not vegetables and has to eat cereal with fruit or something else like that then no, they shouldn’t be spoiling them in that way. I believe most babies are “spoiled” but it is not being spoiled it is just being loved!! You can never love a baby too much!

Sheena Aikens: It depends on the circumstances. If you (like me) cannot afford child care and have to have them watch the kids while you are at work…then definitely not. They help raise them on a daily basis. However, if they only see them once in a while, let ’em have at it.

Susan Estep: It’s okay to an extent. It is nice because when they want, or need, something you can’t afford you can call grandma, but there need to be limits, too!

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6 Responses to “Moms Talk: Is It Okay to Let Grandparents Spoil Kids?”


  1. FranMagbual (Fran Magbual)
  2. obviousfeed (Marilyn Rich)
  3. Babies Online (babiesonline) « Moms Talk: Is It Okay to Let Grandparents Spoil Kids? | Parenting ... « Chat Catcher
  4. Science_mom (Science_mom) « Moms Talk: Is It Okay to Let Grandparents Spoil Kids? | Parenting ... « Chat Catcher

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