Dear Grandparenting: The latest news concerns grandson Sean. He moved in with me because he can’t stand his stepmother. I’m OK with that since Sean volunteered to help out around here with chores and my three acres.
Somewhere along the line, Sean got the stupid idea he should become a showoff. All bets are off if Sean has an audience. I have seen him eat worms during mealtime. When I asked him why, he told me he “just enjoyed” watching how everyone reacted.
Last week, Sean came tearing out of the woods at a golf club, yelling and carrying on as a foursome was trying to tee off. One guy was so mad he threw his golf club at Sean before he ran off. He came back bragging about it.
His father is no help either. All he ever says is, “No harm no foul” or “Boys will be boys.” I worry where this is going. Sean will hurt himself or get arrested. The last thing I need is a 14-year-old juvenile delinquent on my hands. How do I put an end to all this stupidity? Maggie Owens, Piqua, Ohio
Dear Maggie: Readers may be surprised to learn of the collection of correspondence we receive in this same general vein — overly permissive parents who don’t rein in their children and leave grandparents to clean up the mess.
This time it’s not about protective, indulgent “helicopter” parents that hover about their kids. The problems here are parents who fail to set limits, resulting in children who don’t conform to standards of safety and common decency.
The great shame is that youngsters thrive under a firm but gentle hand, according to psychologists specializing in teen issues. Knowing that someone has their back and cares enough to set them straight can make all the difference in a grandchild’s life.
Let’s set aside the high probability that your grandson’s behavior is a byproduct of his domestic situation, since that’s beyond your control. Boys may be boys, but who needs to suffer such deliberate idiocy?
So keep it simple and put him on notice. Next time, your grandson will either be grounded for two weeks or must dig out a compost hole, eight feet square by four feet deep. After that, it doubles. Impose limits and let him know you mean business.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Sass Banks, of Bloomingdale, Tennessee, informs us that T.G.I.F stands for “something above and beyond Thank Goodness It’s Friday.
“I much prefer This Grandma Is Fantastic,” said Sass, grandmother of “seven and still counting.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.