Disagreeing with your child’s playtime habits

Dear Wendyl,

My granddaughter is four years old and an absolute delight to be with. When she spends time with me we get up to all sorts of mischief with adventures in the bush and quite a lot of playtime, which leaves her a bit dirty.

Her mother has asked me to stop playing with her like that and instead read books or watch TV with her so that she isn’t dirty and boisterous. But I think that’s ridiculous and unhealthy for her growing mind. There’s no way I’m changing, but have you some suggestions for letting her think that I have?

Gregarious Gran, Tauranga

Dear Gregarious Gran,

You’re right about your playtime being good for learning. But, you can’t go against the mother’s wishes – she is the parent, not you. So I suggest you compromise and still have your imaginative, boisterous playtime, but assure her mother that she will be returned immaculate and clean. That way her tidy phobia is satisfied and you get your playtime – and you’re not deceiving anyone.

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