My granddaughter is six.
Her parents want her to grow up to be independent.
This manifests itself in many freedoms and responsibilities, some of which I think are too small to do.
I’ve never said anything to parents about this aspect of their child-rearing, but I recently witnessed a couple of cases where I felt their approach was too lax.
In one case, they let her down a slippery marble spiral staircase on her own without a proper handrail.
She ended up falling, but fortunately she wasn’t seriously hurt.
The other incident was in a restaurant when she needed to use the bathroom. Instead of going with her, they told her, “You know where he is, go ahead.”
The bathroom was a single room with a women’s stall next to a men’s stall. There was an outside door surrounding the room with both compartments inside.
I said nothing, but went with my granddaughter and stood outside her booth.
(When I was six years old, I was molested in a park, so I know how quickly and easily molesters act.)
Should I talk to the parents about my concern about having to accompany her to public restrooms until she is older?
Or am I overprotective?
– Grandma is worried
Since you were assaulted when you were six years old, do you even care if you are called overprotective?
I agree that another person should accompany a young child to the public restroom, and then should stand outside the door until the child is finished.
In general, the goal of any parent should be for their child to be bright, intelligent, independent, and possess good general judgment. The way kids become this way is for their parents to allow and encourage them to take some chances (ride your bike, even if you’re still a little wobbly, jump off a diving board, shake hands with someone new) and learn through their experiences.
Slippery marble staircase? Risky.
Solo visit to the bathroom in a crowded restaurant? I’ll call that lazy. Although the risk of abuse may be remote, an important lesson for kindergartners is that it is important for their parents to know where they are at all times, especially if they are in a public place.
If you haven’t told these parents about your own experience as a child, you should now.
My brother and his wife have divorced after 25 years of marriage. She has been part of our family for over 25 years and is still invited to family gatherings such as holidays and special events. She is the mother of my two adult nephews, and of course the mother of my two grandsons, my father.
My sister hosts the holiday gatherings and keeps inviting my ex-sister-in-law.
We love our brother’s new fiancée and consider her a new member of the family.
My brother said that if she kept inviting our ex-sister to family gatherings, he wouldn’t invite our sister to his wedding.
We told him that our ex SIL will always be a part of the family and we don’t want to exclude her from our lives. We love her very much and still consider her family. He might have divorced her, but we didn’t.
Should we do what he’s asking and stop inviting our SIL to family events? They get along for the most part, and my sense is that he might be sensitive about how his fiancée feels about his ex still in the picture.
– divorced from a torrent
Your brother’s alarm is out of control. His wedding has no bearing on your family’s ongoing relationship with his ex-wife.
Given the way he feels, the proportionate response is to say that if his ex is included in family events, he and his new wife will not attend.
I assure you, the vast majority of people do not want to spend special occasions with their new wives and ex-husbands.
Your family doesn’t need to cut your ex-sister out of your life, but you may need to make choices regarding certain occasions.
Regarding “On Time”, whose friend was always late, years ago I had a friend who started showing up late to golf times.
And after the third time we decided not to wait and started without him. Coincidentally, this was the last time he was late.
– The problem has been resolved
And that was a consequence, not an accident. I did well!
©2023 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.