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My mother-in-law has no toys when babysitting
I wouldn’t say anything to her, Irene. Just be sure to take some toys your daughter especially likes to your mother-in-law’s house. And I would leave them there with a comment such as, “She needs toys to play with now to help her develop, and I thought you might like to keep these here.” If you can do so without sounding too catty, comment casually on some of the toys her other grandmother has bought for her. And you might take your mother-in-law with you when you are shopping to help her learn more about the importance of toys as a means of helping young children grow and develop. Along with the toys, take her to the library and let her see books she can check out to read to your daughter.

It is certainly true that grandparents find great joy in “spoiling” their grandchildren. I know that from personal experience! But some grandparents feel that their spoiling should come in the form of coats or jackets, new shoes, a piece of furniture, etc. I think you have a good childcare deal—one that’s good for you, your daughter and both sets of grandparents. Don’t ruin it when you can correct the problem with little effort or expense.
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education