We have friends with two small children who still go out for happy hour drinks. Can you imagine? Happy. Hour. Drinks. Guess that’s life when your parents live down the street. But those of us far from family are not only left budgeting for babysitters, but also left without that storied "village" to help raise our kids. After years of resentment, I’ve decided to stop pouting and called in the experts. Here are five far-from-home tips from both Jeffrey Bernstein, psychologist and author of Ten Days to a Less Defiant Child and Nancy S. Buck, a psychologist who is president and founder of Peaceful Parenting Inc.
1. Stop Being Jealous
"Manage your expectations,” says Bernstein. “When you focus on the family who has the mother down the street who comes over every Friday or Saturday night, and the couple goes out, that will just make you miserable.”
But how exactly are we supposed to curb the grandparent envy? Focus on the positive. According to Buck, there is a serious upside to living outside of Nana’s area code: Your mom isn’t hovering over you, telling you how to raise your kid. (Those other couples may not be paying money for a sitter, but they’re paying, all right.) “You don’t get unsolicited advice so much,” Buck points out. “When your family is around on a daily basis, you get phrases like, ‘You’re letting her eat that?’ and ‘He’s watching that show?’ It can be hard and painful,” she says. “You are more free from that. Plus, if you have any notion of doing any kind of parenting differently from your parents, you have a greater freedom to do that.”
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