Grandparent Boundaries: Where to Draw the Line

What would you do if your mother gave your child pain medicine without your permission?

This happened to me the other day, and I am still in shock.

My daughter had gotten her braces tightened, so her teeth were a bit sore. I usually give her a dose of Children's Adviland she's fine, but I didn't have a chance to give it to her before she left for school in the morning.

By the time she got home from school, the pain had transformed my sweet beauty into a tyrannical beast. She lashed out at her brother when he dared to make a suggestion she didn't agree with, and she gave her father an attitude when he dared to call her out for it.

Around that time, my mother (Mimi) came over to see the kids. Sally's behavior had escalated to the point that my husband had to give Sally a swift "talking-to" right in front of Mimi. (This really embarrassed and upset Sally, of course.)

Soon after the scolding, Mimi took Sally out to get a snack, and when they returned, she was a totally different kid. She cheerfully went right to her room and did all of her homework. She even worked on a long-term project and practiced her violin with no complaints. She was nice to her brother, and she was all smiles during supper.

I asked her why she was acting so differently than she had earlier in the day, and she said, "Mimi took me to Walgreens and bought me some medicine, so I feel a lot better."

I was floored. Mimi knows how I feel about medicine and junk food. She won't even buy my kids a candy bar without asking my permission. But she decided to take my daughter to the store and give her medicine without even telling us?? What if we had decided to give her medicine, and we accidentally double dosed her? What if she had some sort of reaction and we didn't know why? The whole thing was just baffling. To read more, please visit


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