Life Advice



Ask Amy: Grandmother dreads Christmastime visit

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My daughter and granddaughter are coming to spend 10 days with us over the Christmas holidays.

I am dreading the visit because my 3-year-old granddaughter is unable to be around others without being the center of attention!

If adults try to have a conversation she interrupts continuously, and if she has nothing to actually say, she just makes loud noises.

It is beyond irritating.

I try not to interfere with my daughter’s parenting, but I’m not sure how to survive 10 days of this, when even brief phone calls with the two of them make me crazy.

Any advice?


– Sad Grandma

Dear Sad: It is extremely common for 3-year-old children to want to dominate their primary parent’s attention.

Children learn not to do this through a combination of repeated reminders and distractions: “The adults are speaking to each other. You are interrupting. If you have something to say, you need to wait your turn.”

You can also ask a 3-year-old to do a “job” for you, folding dish cloths or towels on the floor, sorting wooden spoons into different boxes, stacking blocks, or putting their favorite toy “to bed” in a shoebox.


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