We’ve all been there, right? We all know somebody who will nod along while you tell them about your kid’s dietary restrictions or other rules and then do whatever they want when you’re away. It’s even worse when that person is a family member. You don’t want to tell your kids they can’t hang out with Uncle George or Grandma Betty just because they don’t follow your rules, but these are some seriously important rules, and you don’t want to endanger your child in any way by allowing them to be broken on a regular basis.
Hopefully we can learn from one another’s experiences this time around and find a satisfactory solution to the issue. Reddit may be your life-saver today.
A woman whose daughter has diabetes turns to Reddit with a problem involving her father giving her daughter unauthorized treats, complicating the diabetes treatment plan they’ve established. Reddit users, thankfully, have the answers. Read on to find out what they think the appropriate response is to this well-meaning grandpa’s generous but sugary handouts.
NOTE: Some comments have been edited for length or grammar.
Provide appropriate treats yourself
“Get your dad some treats to give your daughter. You pick them and have them packaged in a special box at his house. My grandparents were the same way; they only really knew how to show their love through food.”—Reddit user royalic
Be firm about it
“Simply say ‘I will not have my child eating this way. If you won’t respect that, we can’t have meals together anymore. This isn’t about judgment or class or money or anything more than you respecting my choices as a parent.’ And then, make a little allowance or two. If he wants to give the kid a small chocolate bar when they visit Grandad, let him. A lot of what you describe above is a huge problem. But there’s a place for moderation somewhere in there, surely. Find that, and it will ease the tension.” —Reddit user walk_through_this
Make the rules clear
“We have had good luck with defining the kind of treats we will allow (yogurt-covered pretzels, trail mix with chocolate chips in them, stuff like that) so the grandparents can give them treats and feel loved. And we bring stuff like spring water. When they get out the soda, we break out our water. They have kind of learned.” —Reddit user Marzy-d
“Perhaps a compromise with some indulgences allowed within reason for him to give to your child.”—Reddit user piemanrises
Do what you have to do
“I admit to making fun of my friends (privately) who have a sugar free house…but I respect their choices for their kids. If I snuck their kids candy, then they would be in the right to limit my access to their kids. Anybody who doesn’t follow the parents’ rules (unless its really unhealthy) doesn’t get to see the kids. Period.”—Reddit user Ethelfleda
When it comes down to it, you are the parent and you have to decide what’s best for your child. But at least now you have some reasonable options to work with. Good luck, and happy parenting!
Want more tips from other parents about how to deal with diabetes? Read more here.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?