Parents face fallout after stays with grandparents

Four out of ten mums have been ‘run-ragged’ by their kids – after they have been spoilt rotten at nan and grandad’s house, a study has revealed.

Researchers found after spending time with grandparents, where they are fed what they want when they want, allowed to watch anything on TV and stay up late, parents face a battle to get their kids back to normal when they get home.

A quarter of parents say that they avoid letting their children stay with their grandparents too much, while one in four refuse to let them stay overnight at all.

And more than one in five have ended up rowing or falling out with their parents or in-laws because they think they spoil their children too much.

The study of 2,000 parents, commission for family comedy film Parental Guidance, found an overwhelming 83% say their children are regularly spoilt by their grandparents, with plenty of chocolate or cakes the most common treat.

More than a third reckon grandparents let the children stay up later than they are usually allowed to, while another one in three believe the youngsters are let off if they don’t want to eat all or any of their lunch or dinner.

Other ways grandparents spoil their children’s offspring include letting them eat whatever they want, not telling them off if they are naughty and putting up with them talking back or being cheeky.

But this means parents face the fall-out, with 45% saying their children act spoilt or misbehave more than usual after returning from a stay at their grandparents.

And 38% say their children are more likely to answer them back, while 37% also say their offspring will ignore them altogether after they have been looked after by Gran or Grandad.

More than half also reckon their children expect them to carry on letting them do the same things they have been getting away with at their grandparents’ house once they get back into their usual routine.

Some 48% of parents even think the grandparents try to get one over on them by letting them do or eat things they know they wouldn’t usually be allowed to do.

To try and avoid any trouble when the kids return home, 35% of parents have given the grandparents a list of do’s and don’ts, but a quarter of those reckon they are ignored anyway.

Researchers also found the average youngster spends around five days a month with their grandparents, along with one overnight stay a month.

And while 45% let the kids spend time with them because it’s fun, more than a third of parents have no choice because they need to rely on the grandparents for help with childcare.

But although six in 10 think it’s a grandparents’ job to spoil their grandchildren, almost one in ten admit it really annoys them. Some 46% of parents have told their parents, or partner’s parents, they let their children get away with too much.

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