Q: My 29 year-old daughter has come home…to live with me. I want to help but I am frustrated by her out of control children…any advice?

A: In this third and final part, we discuss discipline. The guiding principle to remember is that the house belongs to you, and the children belong to your daughter. Begin by taking your daughter out somewhere nice and discuss rules for discipline without the children present. You can put forth, in a friendly cooperative way, what you would like the rules of behavior for children in your house to be. Then ask for her ideas on how she feels this would be best accomplished. Ask what she believes would be appropriate consequences for breaking or keeping the rules. Ask if she has needs that you can help with. Work out a plan together of how she would like the discipline to be dealt out, and who can give out what types of consequences. Ask how she would like you to handle certain misbehavior when you are not there. Remember, it is your house so you have the right to suggest or even require certain rules and behavior regarding the children. However, the children are hers, so she has the right to determine how those rules will be enforced, and what are appropriate consequences to give.

Once this plan is worked out and agreed upon, have a special meeting with the children where your daughter outlines to her children the rules of behavior, and the consequences for either keeping or breaking the rules. In this meeting she can outline that grandma (you) will apply these same rules and consequences when she is not there.

Now there are two more important things to remember. First, if your daughter violates these rules for discipline that she has agreed upon, or you disagree with her discipline, do not give in to the temptation to confront her right there in front of the children. Later take her aside privately and kindly discuss it with her. If you discuss discipline in front of the children, major differences may occur that the children will see as an opportunity to later exploit for their gain. You may also embarrass your daughter in front of her children causing her to side with them in the future against you when discipline issues arise in the future. Last, once these agreed upon ground rules for discipline are set, do not ever violate them yourself. If you feel they are not working, discuss them with your daughter, because if you simply change or overrule them, your daughter will feel she can do the same whenever she wants. Good luck.

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