Adapted from an online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: My parents want to take my 5-year-old son on a vacation with them. This would be at least partly to give me and my husband a break (we also have 2-year-old twins), so we would stay behind.
I would really love to just say yes, but I am struggling with the idea of their being in charge for five to seven days straight. They would never knowingly put my son in danger, but they are typical grandparents, meaning they do not enforce rules. He can eat whatever he wants, stay up as late as he wants, refuse to follow directions, no limits on screen time (amount or content). All of that is okay for even the occasional overnight, but I get very anxious thinking about a whole week where he is 500 miles away being indulged the whole time. (And we are not that strict — for example, we follow the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines on screen time.) Also, they might say they are going to enforce certain rules but then don’t. He once came home without having brushed his teeth.