In response to the caller whose daughter was asking to see her grandparents every day, I listened to your cute story about telling your son you would allow your grandchildren to do all the things he was asking to do. It reminded me of a story about my son when he was 4 1/2. He loved going to his grandparents’ home (my parents), and every time I’d pick him up to go back to our house, he would have a crying, begging episode: crying about having to leave their house, begging to stay with them, etc. And always in front of them! At 4 1/2, I’d finally had enough. We got in the car with his crying and begging, and I started in on my lecture. I told him he was a big boy now, and this behavior was unacceptable. He was old enough to understand that he lived at OUR house, that he was VISITING his grandparents, and that these visits did in fact END. The moment I ended my speech, he immediately stopped the crying, wailing, etc., turned to me and said very calmly, “Mama, if I didn’t cry and beg to stay with them, it would hurt their feelings SO MUCH.”
I was flabbergasted that my 4-year-old had this kind of insight and understanding. From that point on, I let him carry on, and sure enough it ended in due course. He’s now 35 and still amazes me with his insight. Never under estimate the 4-year-old!