My son just spent an entire weekend at my parents’ house and now the Grandparent Detox is in full effect!!
What is the Grandparent Detox you ask?
Its the period of time – after an extended stay with grandparents – where all the behaviors and bad habits your children have been able to get away with, need to be removed (detoxed), including, but not limited to a diet of sugar and junk food, late bedtimes, jumping off furniture, basically the opposite of any ground rule you have ever enforced, ever.
Now let me just state for the record that my parents (and my in-laws) are fabulous and I feel so blessed to have them close by and willing to babysit. They love their grandson and want to give him anything and everything he wants… and they do… and that’s kinda the problem.
They give him pretty much anything and everything he wants. So much so, that when Mom and Dad come home and refuse the cookie he has politely asked for – with a please, I might add – we are not only met by tears but a literal outpouring of sobs for ‘Grandpa’ and ‘Nana.’
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s amazing he has such a wonderful relationship with them and I get that spoiling is what grandparents are supposed to do, or so I’ve been told. I really do get it.
I’m not upset about it, not in the least. It’s just that as the parent the aftermath of it all can be brutal.
So in order to deal I make sure to follow these steps once we are home:
1. Cleansing –
This is the first step in eliminating unwanted behaviors. Your kids are adjusting to the fact that they are no longer getting their way. At this point you are basically just administering a ‘tough love’ policy and let me just tell you that it’s going to suck… for everybody!!
Your children may experience symptoms such as: tiredness, irritability, a dislike for your cooking or refusal to eat period, the overuse of the word “no”, and an inability to listen to anything you say.
You may experience symptoms such as: tiredness, irritability, the refusal to eat – opting for a glass of wine instead, and the overuse of the word “no” – because no one will listen to anything you say!
Just like any other detox the more rest and sleep everyone gets the quicker and easier this whole thing is to go through. This, unfortunately, is easier said than done.
2. Stabilization –
Immediately, and I mean immediately, get back into your old routine and household habits. This will help everyone acclimate to being back at home much quicker. As a result, previously mentioned symptoms should be less noticeable.
3. Build up –
At this point (we are talking a couple days here) life should start to resemble a sense of normalcy. Your energy levels will be higher. You’ll have a greater sense of mental clarity. Everything is working more efficiently – meals, naptime, bath time – everyone is back in their groove.
You might consider thinking twice about your next trip away, but then again you realize that for what its worth, the Grandparent Detox is nothing in comparison to the bond that is created between your children and your parents, and that you are so unbelievably lucky to have family to help step in and be present when you really need them!!