DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I always get to be the grumpy grandpa, but it drives me nuts that my oldest grandkids never pick up after themselves when they visit. They are 10 and 13, and that seems plenty old enough to know better. My wife, who is their step-grandma and always feeling like she needs to win points, just goes along with providing maid service.
Whenever I say something, the boys tell me they don’t have to do such-and-such at home. I know their parents well enough to know this is only, at best, half true. My daughter-in-law assigns them jobs and if they want their allowance, they have to do what they are assigned to do.
So, if they can do it at their house, why not at mine? --- FORCED TO BE GRUMPY
DEAR FORCED TO BE GRUMPY: I can understand why your wife wants to score points with your grandsons, but it seems that if you and she don’t present a united front around the boys, they’ll continue to get away with not being responsible for their own messes.
My advice is to sit the kids down as soon as they arrive for their next visit and lay out your house rules. You wife should definitely be there, and if possible, so should at least one of your grandkids’ parents. Putting everyone publicly on the same page, at least to start with, might help get the point across that there’s absolutely no maid service at Grandpa’s.