Oh, Behave: making strange with grandma

By Joe Rich on July 20, 2009
My daughter is three. Recently, she’s started making strange whenever my mother-in-law comes over. She told me that nanny smells funny and her smile is scary. I try to reassure her that it’s just a different perfume and that her smile is the same. I don’t want to offend my mother-in-law either, but this is getting uncomfortable. How do I handle this?  KYLIE R, EDMONTON, AB

Ask your husband to handle this situation. She is his mother, and things can be easier in marriage if each of the spouses deals with their own family. This can relieve the strain and make for a better mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship.

Ask your husband to comment to his mom about your daughter’s behaviour and suggest that if everyone just accepts it, the visits will be easier and the pressure will be off. Children make strange and then they get over it. If Mom asks if there is anything she can do to help (and only if she asks) your husband can suggest no perfume for a while. Keep in mind (and reassure Gramma) that things that are scary at three are nothing to a four-year-old. Besides, four will bring its own brand of interesting challenges!

By Joe Rich| July 20, 2009

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