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To be annoyed with my daughter...

(33 Posts)
maxgran Mon 16-Jan-12 09:13:21

This weekend I took my daughter and her 4 children out to lunch. My granddaughter, who is 8 picked up the salt and sprinkled it all over her lunch - I was shocked my daughter did not stop her so I told my granddaughter that salt is bad for you and not to put any more on her lunch - My Grandson who is 4 then proceeded to do the same and I stopped him because he was pouring it on.
My daughter said it didn't matter - they can have salt if they want and she told them they don't have to listen to me,..they can have it if they want it !
She reckons they don't have salt at home ( I find hard to believe) so if they want it as a treat when they are out its ok !
We had a bit of an argument about it because I think its mad to allow them something that they do not need and which is positively harmful on top of the crisps and other salty foods they eat.
OK,.. so I shouldn't interfere,.. but at what point should a Grandmother say something if she thinks her daughter is being stupid ? :-(

Gally Mon 16-Jan-12 09:20:35

I would have said just the same Maxgran if it's any consolation! It's such a difficult position in which to find yourself. If it was a one-off then I suppose no harm, but if she let's them do it every day then I would justifiably be more than concerned. Maybe a chat with your daughter another day when she is less stressed might be the way to go.

Carol Mon 16-Jan-12 09:32:20

I would have felt the same as you maxgran. I find that, if I raise such issues with my adult children they don't necessarily acknowledge or appreciate me saying something at the time, but will act on it quietly and won't say anything about it - I just happen to notice that there's been a change!

bagitha Mon 16-Jan-12 09:33:25

I don't think you're being unreasonable to be concerned, maxgran, but it's a tricky situation. What to do in practical terms? Maybe don't take them out for lunch where extra salt is available or, if they eat at your house, hide the salt. confused

Did they like the food when it was liberally salted?

DD3 has had periods when she has dipped her finger in the salt pig that I use for cooking. She doesn't do it very often and I can remember doing that myself as a child. So long as it is not every day! DD does not eat crisps and neither did I, so maybe we actually did need a bit of extra salt every now and then. It is essential, after all.

Anyway, good luck! I empathise with your feelings! x

greenmossgiel Mon 16-Jan-12 09:40:00

I bet she had her own thoughts on it later, maxgran. If she says that they don't have salt at home, then she'll have her reasons for that (knowing that it's not good for them!) However, I would have made the same comments as you did. I wouldn't have thought twice, actually! (Perhaps the fact that the salt was on the table was a bit of a novelty to the youngsters, and it made them feel grown-up to use it)!

Annobel Mon 16-Jan-12 09:40:09

I would be concerned but would be in a quandary as I have the reputation in the family of being a salt-lover. In fact, my senior GD has been known (frequently) to take me to task on this issue. I have reduced my salt intake in recent years.

GoldenGran Mon 16-Jan-12 10:02:37

I would have done the same maxgran, but I know with my DD it would have landed us in a big row if I had. In theory I go down the "don't interfere" route, but I find it virtually impossible at times. I think save the guns for bigger issues, your DD is in charge as regards salt et;, but I do sympathise, being a Granny is not always easy, the kids are fine, it's dealing with the parents that is the tricky bit .

petallus Mon 16-Jan-12 10:16:55

In my own case, I eventually realised that when I intervened against something I didn't agree with that my daughter was doing with her children (or in her life generally) it often did more harm that good. I think she found it necessary to make a stand in order to make the point that I no longer had the right to tell her what to do. It does seem that the power struggle between us and our children can continue well into their adult life and sometimes be played out through their children/our grandchildren. So these days I hold my peace and I've found I can trust her to do what is best for her children. Personally, I wouldn't be too concerned about the salt.

Mishap Mon 16-Jan-12 10:21:35

Being a grandparent is an exercise in biting the tongue!

My GS picks his nose indiscriminately and it drives me nuts as his parents ignore it - presumably not wanting to draw attention to it and make a big fuss - bite the tongue grandma!

I think that long-term good relationships outweigh the need to intervene over the salt issue - nothing is more precious than having the fun of seeing your GC grow up. I have seen too many posts where relationships have broken down and the anguish this causes. Clearly salt in that quantity is not good for them, but I would still be inclined to bite the tongue - ouch!

Faye Mon 16-Jan-12 10:24:12

I would say something too, I wouldn't have been able to help myself from speaking up. D2 has had problems with headaches and the one thing that did help was when she cut down her intake of salt.

maxgran Mon 16-Jan-12 10:42:35

Petallus, I have found that my daughter will sometimes dig her heels in even if she knows she is wrong about something ! She can be very bloody minded but I wouldn't expect her to let them have something known to be harmful.

One of the reasons the salt thing bothers me is that years ago I worked with a man who had a 3 yr old grandson who became quite ill - apparently he had some kidney damage as a result of high salt intake. They would let him have salt on all his food and he ate lots of crisps and salty foods.
Its not as if I don't pratice what I preach either - We never add salt to food at our house. Mind you, when I was a chid I must have had loads of salt ! I am still here and OK so it didn't actually kill me.

The fact they seemed to like the food liberally salted makes me suspect they are used to it,.. Thats why I don't believe my DD when she says they don't have it at home !

Its not the only issue I have with my daughter,.. I do try to lay off really - but she lets them have lots of cakes & sweets too. Seeign as its not something I can control in any way,.. I should back off I guess, and just set an example when they are with me !

kittylester Mon 16-Jan-12 10:43:04

I wouldn't say anything if it was only on one occasion but if it happened regularly I would mention it when the grandchild was not around. Theoretically! (where is the emoticon with halo when you need it?)

maxgran Mon 16-Jan-12 10:47:38

Probably right Kittylester - but I just blurted it out as it happened because I was shocked at how much my GD was putting on her food - and because I thought my DD had not noticed.

Butternut Mon 16-Jan-12 10:55:59

I would give my eye teeth to be out having lunch with my grandchildren, and as it is something that rarely happens as they live abroad, I would definitely bite my tongue.

I think your last para. in your last post says it all. That's probably what I'd do in a similar situation.

Charlotta Mon 16-Jan-12 11:28:03

Maxigran - in this case you were quite right. Your daughter will probably think about it and things might chnage, better to be against it than being later accused of saying nothing. That can also happen with daughters.

I am surrounded my Grandmas who bite their tongues and before my first GC was born I read a good book about grandparenting and it maintained that a lot of unspoken matter can mount up and poison the atmosphere.

Better not to say anything in front of the children but mention it afterwards. Just say it upsets you and you feel apprehensive about the effects it could have. Remember you have a right to your own emotions. You can say you feel bad/ sad/ upset about it. But don't blame anybody especially in front of the children.
I watched my 2 year old GS developing into a tyrant for 6 months and then I asked my daughter if we could have a word when she had time when GS wasn't in the room. I told her about my feelings. She was surprised but then admitted she was worried as well, so we discussed a strategy to nip this tyrannical behaviour in the bud and it has worked.
I'm glad I spoke up. But it takes self discipline and - courage.

jingl Mon 16-Jan-12 11:39:36

Butternut sad

Mishap, they all pick their noses. smile

maxgran Mon 16-Jan-12 11:51:06

I tend to just say something before I have stopped to think. In this instance it was because I was trying to stop the GC doing something immediately but yes,.. you are right - its best discussed later when the children are not around.
My Daughter and I are very close - but we are both quite 'bossy' characters and we clash quite often,..without falling out though, so thats good !

goldengirl Mon 16-Jan-12 18:07:54

I too would have said my piece - as I do quite often. My excuse is that we see so much of my grandchildren that they really are part of our lives. My DD corrects me gently sometimes when she feels it justified but knows it's just part of me being me. That said, I wouldn't make a big thing of anything - even the salt issue. I'd just say what I have to say and leave it - well, I do now but it's taken a little while for me to relax more smile.

harrigran Mon 16-Jan-12 21:55:40

Yes they do jingl, mine seem to have endless colds and green noses. Does nobody have nice cotton hankies up their sleeve anymore ?

Annobel Mon 16-Jan-12 23:58:55

Hanky? What's that? Nowadays, a little lacy something you take to a wedding in case you want to shed a little tear. Seriously, it's far more hygienic to use a tissue and throw it away rather than tuck the germs up your sleeve time after time.

bagitha Tue 17-Jan-12 06:26:35

I use cotton hankies all the time because I have rhinitis. If I used tissues I'd also have a sore nose all the time because tissue is much rougher than cotton. I learned this the hard way. It's bad enough having a constant runny nose and nosebleeds fron the inside without making the outside bleed as well.

maxgran Tue 17-Jan-12 08:55:37

My partner has always used cottom Hankies because he has rhinitis. Mind you, it improved a lot when he had an operation to remove polyps. If he used tissues he wouldn't have a nose left !

petallus Tue 17-Jan-12 08:55:39

I had rhinitis for years (even in India couldn't smell a thing) and always had a very sore outer nose so I wish I'd thought of cottong hankies. But for the last 3 years I've been on oral steroids for PMR and a good side effect is that nose has dried up and sense of smell is back. Lots of bad side effects to steroids though so not recommended simply for rhinitis.

bagitha Tue 17-Jan-12 09:57:09

I have a sense of smell (a good one) thank goodness, and I have tried the nasal sprays that are the same drug as asthma-preventer inhalers, but I'm allergic to those and they caused problems inside my nose (you don't want to know!) so I just have to put up with it. If it's really bad and I get headachey I take some anti-histamine, but that seems to exacerbate nosebleeds so it's a bit no win! confused Years ago there was another anti-histamine that worked well for me (Terfenadine) but it was withdrawn from use. Anyway, thank goodness for cotton hankies!

Butternut Tue 17-Jan-12 10:29:10

My man uses cotton hankies as he has rhinitis/4 season hayfever! Tissues are useless for him.
He takes the nasal spray 'beconase', which is steroid based. In England you can buy it over the counter, but prescription only here. I do think it has damaged his sense of smell but is the only thing that seem to work most of the time. Sometimes I'm concerned at the continuous use of it, but I think the 'steriod' content is very low. (I hope!)