Grandma upset by tomboy behaviour

I’m the mother of 11-year-old twins, “Jack” and “Jill.” Jill is quite a tomboy. She’s always been more interested in her brother’s trucks than dolls, and I have given up trying to put a dress on her.

Dear Annie: I’m the mother of 11-year-old twins, “Jack” and “Jill.” Jill is quite a tomboy. She’s always been more interested in her brother’s trucks than dolls, and I have given up trying to put a dress on her.

Jack and Jill spent last week with my husband’s parents in Florida. Jill is their only granddaughter, and Grandma makes no secret that girls are “little princesses.”

My husband always defends our childrearing to his mother, but she refuses to accept our authority. Within minutes of their arrival, Grandma called to criticize me about Jill’s boyish haircut. A few hours later, she called again about Jill’s lack of a “proper” swimsuit. (We allow her to be shirtless whenever her brother is, especially since Gran’s pool is enclosed and Jill is still undeveloped.)

I told Jill to placate her grandmother and wear a T-shirt. Grandma bought her a swimsuit that Jill hates and almost assuredly won’t wear at home. Later, we heard about the lack of pajamas. Jill prefers to sleep in boxers like her brother. They still share a room at home.

I know Gran reads your column because she’s always quoting your advice. Would you please tell her we don’t live in Victorian England?

Jill will adopt feminine ways when she’s ready, and we don’t appreciate Grandma’s interference. It confuses Jill to have Grandma tell her what bad parents we are. — Mother of a Tomboy

Dear Mom: Grandma is overstepping her authority a bit, and under no circumstances should she badmouth you to the kids. Although we admire the flexible attitude you have toward childrearing, Grandma’s concern is not without merit.

Jill may be undeveloped, but it won’t be for long. It’s time she understood that a certain amount of modesty is necessary. No one, including Grandma, should be pushing her to be “feminine,” but Jill should not be topless, and soon enough, she will require more privacy at home. It would be best if you anticipated some of her needs before she has to ask.

Dear Annie: My husband wants to purchase a youth-sized ATV for our 10-year-old daughter. He claims it will teach her to be a better driver, and that it will be safe because she will be driving in the country and wearing a helmet.

Even though I have fond memories of driving one myself as a child, I say absolutely NOT. Am I being overprotective? Help us make the best decision for our little girl (who is totally on board with her dad). — No ATVs, Please

Dear No: While we are not in favor of young children riding motorized vehicles, most youth-sized ATVs will not go over 30km/h mph and some can be set as low as 8 km/h.

You and your husband should agree on a low set speed, and she must wear a helmet at all times, stay away from areas where there is traffic and not ride more than a specified amount of time per day under close supervision. We also recommend she take a training class specially geared for children. If she is reckless or careless, her privileges will be revoked.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer up to four active COVID-19 cases

Province announced 77 new confirmed cases across Alberta Friday

Red Deer woman loses student visa, ‘has no choice but to leave’ Canada

Victoria Forschle and her family came to Canada in 2008

Agriculture trade show is a must, says Red Deer chamber

Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce promotes trade show

$21M of improvements to be made to Olds College

More than $21 million in improvements will be made to Olds College,… Continue reading

‘Are you wearing protection?’: Daters struggle with COVID-19 compatibility

WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Baltimore on Friday struck down a… Continue reading

Red Deer sports groups sticking to racially sensitive names for now

Professional sports teams Edmonton Eskimos and Washington Redskins are reviewing their team names

Genetic non-discrimination law is constitutional, Supreme Court says

OTTAWA — In a split decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has… Continue reading

Quebec arts scene shaken by wave of anonymous sex misconduct allegations

MONTREAL — Quebec’s arts scene is being rocked by a wave of… Continue reading

Conservatives say police should be called in to investigate WE charity scandal

OTTAWA — Calls for independent review of the Liberal government giving a… Continue reading

Montreal Impact lose 1-0 to New England at MLS is Back Tournament in Florida

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Argentine forward Gustavo Bou scored early in the second… Continue reading

Baseball is back in Japan, and so are fans in the stadiums

TOKYO — Japan’s professional baseball league opened the delayed season three weeks… Continue reading

Depp says feces in bed was last straw in marriage to Heard

LONDON — Johnny Depp said in a London court on Friday that… Continue reading

Most Read