My son (almost 3) is a holy terror whenever we visit my mom. It's almost amazing the transformation he goes through each and every time we visit her. She refuses to reprimand or discipline him for any reason, and it's like he knows just how much he can get away with when he's there. She does not babysit him, so I am always there, and I'm shocked and embarrased at the little monster he becomes.
I know it is most certainly my job to discipline him -- she has already raised her children and should not be expected to do the same with mine. But when we visit my in-laws and if DS tries to pull something, it's amazing how far a few simple, "No, dear, we don't do that here" will go. I don't know why, but DS does things he would never do at home or anywhere else for that matter.
For example, my mom keeps some magnets on her fridge that he loves to play with (as we do at home). DS decided to take all of and fling them off the fridge, scattering them in the air and breaking some. I took away the magnets and put him in timeout -- he could care less. It's like the timeouts have no effect on him, whereas they're very useful at home.
When he was put in a timeout because he refused to stop throwing a ball against my mom's sliding glass door (we were outside), we took away the ball and put him in a timeout for not listening. He told us that we're not his friends and that grandma is his friend -- shocking, I know! She stares at him sadly when he's in timeout and sympathizes with him even though I've told her to please not talk to him while he's in timeout. Of course, he goes running to her for hugs when he's allowed to get out.
Another example is that she doesn't want him going upstairs, so we use a baby gate to remind him he can't go up there. Although we do the SAME exact thing at the in-laws, DS thinks it's fine if he pulls the gate down and climbs upstairs. He never tries this at home or at my in-laws, and the timeouts don't faze him -- he just tries it again later.
I'm seriously mortified by the way my child acts when we are there or when we spend time with my mother. That side of the family must think he is a rotten kid because he's always like that, and I can't figure out how to reign him in. He's generally a really good kid (he's almost 3 so he does have his moments at home, of course), but it's like someone replaced my child with a monster when we're with her. If he acted the way he does with my mom all of the time, I would be seriously considering a behavior consultation.
Any advice is greatly appreciated. After our last visit, I'm at the end of my rope. We left at 6:30 in the morning right after DS woke up because I didn't have the energy to run around after him, saying, "No, no, no!"