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I am a working mother my child doesn't listen to me, what should I do?

Q: My husband and myself are working parents of a four and a half year old daughter. She stays with my in-laws through the day. At the end of the day when we pick her up, we face a lot of adamancy and misbehaviour from our child. If we try to explain to her she gets wild and rejects us. When I explain something which is not good for her, she is immediately supported by her grandparents who say that your mother doesn't know anything, you can do as you please. My daughter takes advantage of this and now is totally against. She finds it easier to lead a life where nobody forces her to eat or study. I cannot quit working, how should I handle the situation? If I talk to my in-laws they say they cannot take care of my daughter.

A:You do have a problem. But if you view it from a distance, you will see that your child is lucky to have caring parents and caring grandparents to look after her. In all families, there will be some difference in the views of the two generations. Generally, the grandparents are considered to be over-indulgent by the parents of the child. The grandparents, on the other hand, feel that the parents are being unduly strict. You are in a situation that is common to many families. However, it is only by changing your attitudes slightly and by seeing the positive aspect of it can you begin to handle the situation. When you pick up your daughter in the evening, talk to her and let her talk to you. Do not use the time to instruct her on good behaviour and tell her what she ought to be doing. At age 4, there cannot be much studying to do. The time is meant for playing. Get her books and toys from which she can learn with enjoyment. Also if she is healthy, has the expected weight and is active, there is no reason to be too worried about her eating. Of course, there is a problem if she has cold drinks all the time. Persuade her gently, when you have her on your lap and she is sure of your care and affection. Read stories to her, sing with her and play with her. If you constantly spend the little time you have, in improving her, she will only become more adamant. Do everything gently and firmly. This needs patience. Try and find something good to say to your parents-in-law about their caring for the child, so that they treat the baby sitting as a privilege, not a duty. Get your husbands cooperation in all matters and give him some time or activity with the child that is specially theirs. All the best.

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