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Grandparents and toy safety
Q: How do I diplomatically address issues with my son's grandparents that concern his safety—for example, grandparents having toys/household items for him to play with that have unsafe parts that could choke him? Sometimes I sense defensiveness, like they get tired of hearing that a toy isn't safe for him to play with. Help… my son is 10-months-old and is the first grandchild on both sides of the family, and we live in the same town as both sets of grandparents.
A: You are fortunate to have both sets of grandparents near you, as children need to know and spend time with them. Likewise, contact with the grandchildren—and with you—means a great deal to the grandparents. But, let’s face it: grandmothers are just mothers-in-law in disguise! Can you think of any type of joke more common than the mother-in-law joke? They’re unkind, but we usually laugh. And, in your case, you’ve got a double dose (both mother-in-law and mother, and, presumably, father-in-law and father).

I think I’d play this scene rather lightly. Whenever one visits and offers a play item that looks iffy to you, say something like, “Wait a minute, mum, and let me have a look at that. You know I’m a nut about toy safety. I probably over-do it, but it makes me feel more secure.” If you don’t think it is safe, don’t reject it altogether. Suggest, “Do you mind if I put this back until he’s a little bit older?” With this kind of acceptance of their good will, I think they’ll be less resentful of your control and instead will be impressed with what a good mother you are. And it certainly sounds as though you are one indeed. Keep it up.