DEAR ABBY: My parents live nearby and are extremely helpful with my young children. My mom feels the need to be the "fun" grandma, and her way of accomplishing it is to always have sweet treats available for the kids in her home. In my home, she allows them to skip vegetables at dinner and loads them up with dessert. Because she is helping me out I ignore this, but every once in a while I ask her in front of the kids to refrain from giving them sweets.
My children recently told me that the second I walk out the door she goes and gets the sweets and hands them out. They all told me they do not have to say a word -- she just does it. I feel this is disrespectful to me and sets a poor example for my children. Should I say something, or am I overreacting? -- SWEET SUE IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR SWEET SUE: By all means "say something" to your mother. What she's doing may be well-intentioned, but she is doing your children no favor by creating and indulging their appetite for sugar. When she's at your house, TELL her what you want the kids to have as snacks and for dessert. And when they're at her place, bring approved snacks that you prefer she serve.
By going behind your back she is undercutting your authority as a parent. You're lucky your children told you what's happening so you can put your foot down.