Q: I’m a first-time granny aged 67 with a daughter of 33 and granddaughter of [...]
Ask Jackie: am I being too over-protective of my baby grandson?Created by Charlotte in Ask Jackie
Q: Dear Jackie, my daughter aged 39 years, showed me some photo’s of my grandson drinking water from the dog’s water bowl. She thought this was hilarious and said it will help his immune system, he’s aged just 13 months.
Having raised two children myself, I wouldn’t let my kids do anything, that I wouldn’t be prepared to do myself and drinking the water that the two dogs have previously drank from, is a definite ‘No, No’. Considering that domestic dogs lick their bums and other dogs bums too, also they sniff pooh, eat their own vomit, then drink water from the bowl. Eeck!
I’d be mortified if the little fella caught some stomach problems or possible eye blindness through drinking water from the dogs bowl. Am I being too over-protective of my baby grandson or should I just lighten up as my daughter suggests?
A: Toddlers get into everything. They see the world from the level of our knees and spot interesting things to investigate that we’ve never even focussed on. It’s all a big adventure to them and it can often be amusing to adults, but these babies don’t understand consequences so they’re never afraid. They’ll get into an unsecured cupboard under the sink and sample the bleach; they’ll crawl through the cat flap and get stuck. They’ll lick almost any shiny surface. That’s why parents spend a fortune on child proof locks, stair gates and antiseptic products. The trick is getting the balance between overprotection and letting a child get into danger.
Your daughter thinks you’re over-reacting. If your grandson has done it once and she’s removed the danger now, then there isn’t really anything more to say. She’s dealt with it. He presumably didn’t become ill, and it was a funny story because no harm has been done.
If, however, the dog’s bowl is still on the floor every day and your grandson still enjoys drinking from it, then you could have a quiet word – but be careful. If you make too big a fuss she’ll think you don’t believe she’s a caring mum, and that could be the beginning of a road you don’t want to go down. It’s her call, remember.