ASK Amy is a monthly advice column for The Hype readers.
Send questions to Askamy@communitynews.com.au.
Q. I watch my two grandchildren once a week. I used to smack my children when they were growing up. Sometimes my grandchildren need a smack. Would it be ok to give them a tap on the hand?
– Scolding nanna, Dudley Park.
A. In Western Australia the law states that it is ok “for a parent or a person in the place of a parent to use, by way of correction, toward a child or pupil under his care, such force as is reasonable under the circumstances”. But it would be inappropriate to discipline your grandchildren without talking to their parents first. Find out what their parents think would be a reasonable punishment when the children misbehave. Come up with a plan that you’re both comfortable with. Also, grandchildren come to their grandparents house to be spoiled, eat too much and have fun. Do you want their memories of you to be fond ones? Or memories of a grumpy nanna who smacked them?
Q. I have one child. Since he turned two my mother-in-law has been asking when I’m planning on having another child. I have no plans to add to our family and I’ve told her that. But still she persists in asking. How do I get her off my back?
A. Humans are curious creatures and most grandparents want more grandchildren. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in asking when another baby might be on the way. But if you’ve answered and made it clear that you are not interested in having another, to ask anymore is just downright rude. At this point I would be offering a conversation ending answer every time she asks. Here’s some suggestions:
– When I give up my crippling methamphetamine habit.
– It costs $131,000 a year to raise a child, cough up the cash and we’ll talk.
– When the sun rises in the west, the earth turns anticlockwise and the mountains sing.
– Here’s my obstetricians number, give them a call, they might know.
– It’s too dangerous to have a baby with so many anti-vaccinators around.
– I’m sorry, I didn’t realise you were interested in discussing your son’s sex life.
– When my vagina recovers.
– When you’ve reached perfection there’s no reason to keep trying.
Hopefully, she’ll eventually get sick of your responses and give it a rest. If these don’t work it’s time to ask your husband to step in and have a chat to his mum.