Grandchildren Need Guidance and Discipline

Dear Sara,

My son and his wife have been married for ten years and have two beautiful girls ages five and seven. We live in the same city so I get to see them often. My son will make them behave when he is around but he travels in his job and is gone a couple of weeks a month. My daughter in law seems to have no idea how to discipline the girls and just lets them run wild. The house is a mess and the kids have no schedule except for school. How can I get her to pay more attention to the girls and give them some guidance and discipline?


Dear Julia,

Your daughter in law seems to be on her own with the girls quite a bit. For the most part, we learn our parenting skills from our parents so she may not have had any good role model. Whatever the problem is her girls need some guidance. The problem could be also that she is overwhelmed with trying to do all the parenting chores by herself. Since you live close by you could give your daughter in law a break from time to time by taking the girls for an overnight once in a while.

You can’t really take over the parenting and organization for your daughter in law but if you see her doing something right give her lots of praise. If you have a really good relationship with her you could make some suggestions but she may not be open to anything she considers criticism so proceed with caution. Be supportive and helpful but don’t interfere unless you feel the girls might be in danger.


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