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Was this grandma being careful, or over-reacting?
Q: I am a first-time grandma of a beautiful 18-month-old girl. When we were visiting a cousin recently, my grandchild was getting ready to touch their small dog, so I held her away; then my daughter told me not to make her child scared of the dog. The dog had growled when we entered the house and it concerned me. I felt so hurt when I was falsely accused of making my grandchild scared of the dog. Am I wrong to protect her from the dog?
A: Isn’t grandmothering wonderful! I always laugh and say it’s worth all the struggles we go through raising our children just to get to be a grandparent! My spin on your story is that neither you nor your daughter did anything wrong. Dogs (especially small dogs) do occasionally bite young children, who have a way of pulling ears, moving too swiftly, or even poking at an eye. You were wise to pull your granddaughter away. On the other hand, it is easy to intensify fears in young children by an over-emotional reaction to a possibly risky or dangerous situation. You can understand that your daughter doesn’t want her little girl to be afraid of everything.

I suggest the two of you sit and discuss the episode and other possible events of that nature. Ask your daughter if she thinks you made her fearful when she was a child, that you over-react, etc. And, if you think she is too casual about possibly dangerous experiences, let her know why you feel as you do. Chances are the two of you can reach the proper level of both protection and concern.