Help with Grandma issues...HELP!!!

Anne - posted on 06/12/2011 ( 21 moms have responded )

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Ok so here is the situation. I have a five year old daughter. I had her when I was 20 and my mother helped out ALOT when she was first born since I was parenting alone. She would take her on Saturdays when I worked, help with laundry and other stuff, and we would hang out all the time. She spoils my daughter ROTTEN just like a grandma should. However, she doesn't listen to me when I ask her not to do certain things. One example is when I started giving my daughter an allowance I asked her to refrain from buying her EVERYTHING she asked for at the store. I was trying to teach my daughter to save up her money to buy something and when I told her "No, you can save your allowance and buy it" I would get the response from my daughter that she would just get Grandma to buy it for her. I would tell my mother not to and still she would come home with the said toy. Now I have given in on alot of the things because I have learned to pick my battles.

I have since gotten married and had another child. All while dating my now husband my mother had nothing but good things to say about him. The day after my wedding we were at my father's house where my daughter pushed her cousin. My husband (who has been acting father since Lexi was two) brought her into the house to give her a timeout bc she refused to say she was sorry. Lexi then threw a giant fit and we didn't give in. We are a non-spanking family and discipline through taking privileges away and giving timeouts. My mother called the timeout abusive and left in a fit. That night she called me and the first words out of her mouth were "I think your husband is abusive". He has never hit her and is a very loving father. The issue is that my mother is feeling replaced by him and in her eyes my daughter can do no wrong. She complains when Lexi acts like a brat for not getting her way but then gives into all her fits. We have since had two blow-outs where my mother has called us bad parents, threatened calling social services, and all kinds of other nasty things. I personally do not want to let my children see her when she won't listen to anything we ask her to do/not do. That and when my daughter gets home from Grandma's she refuses to call my husband "dad" and insists on calling him by his name. He has been "dad" for over 3 years now. I know grandma is very important in her life and I know she would miss seeing her but I don't want Grandma feeding lies into her head or have her keep undermining our parenting. Sorry this is so long. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. I am at a loss of what to do. Oh, and us all spending time together so that I can monitor the time together won't work because we can't be she ends up telling her she can get/do stuff before asking me and when I have to say no i end up the "bad guy"

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Jennifer - posted on 06/12/2011

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Sorry, IMO that sounds ridiculous that your mother is behaving that way. It seems kind of child like and very immature. Social services aren't going to do much about a parent giving a child a time out. Would she rather he push her back like she pushed the child? I actually tend to ask my daughter if she would like it if I did the same thing she just did to her sister and she will say, "No." I'll ask, "Then why would you do that to your sister?"
I honestly think that if my mom did that to me that I would not let her see her if she continues to undermine you. Bottom line is it is your child, not hers. If she were disciplining your child for something that would be a different story, but she's not doing anything but causing problems. And as for the part where your daughter refuses to call her daddy "dad" when she comes home, that's just sad that your mother is playing those kinds of games. She's doing more harm then good in more than one matter. The main thing isn't whether or not he's biological, it's whether or not he was man enough to take on a role that another boy was not.
Grandma's importance pales in comparison when it comes to her mother or the one who took on the role of her father unless those people aren't doing a proper job. Your child is safe, fed, clothed, has a roof over her head, and is taken care of. She's overstepping her boundaries.

Debbie - posted on 06/13/2011

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First of all Anne..Im sorry for your mom's unwanted behavior. I too have a 20ish daughter w/ a toddler. I was very vocal about MY needs & expectations of her & my son in law regarding parenting skills, babysitting, how to live etc..I was placed in timeout! ( not speaking to me for many months) I realized "thier life" was not my life, and that was'nt "my baby". In other words... You cannot tell anyone how to live thier life.I have a better relationship with them now because I completely respect thier family. I am just lucky to be a part of it. My grandbaby turned into a toddler & she nothing like I remember..What a valuable lesson I have learned. Maybe your mom needs a time out..No more than a few weeks tho. Good Luck & God Bless!

Jennifer - posted on 06/14/2011

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Grandma needs a timeout or supervised visits only. We have one very simple rule when our daughter visits grandparents..she has the same rules to follow at their house as she does at ours. If they decide to do things differently and not follow our rules (minor infractions overlooked, a little later bed time, a bit of something with sugar to eat, etc.) then they get supervised visits only. The first time we are corrected or what we say is contradicted by a grandparent then we just gather our things up and leave. That stops any arguing back and forth and sends the message that we will not tolerate being undermined as parents; it is our daughter and our rules.

Julie - posted on 06/13/2011

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i know it sounds childish but i think your mother is jealous. she has been your HELPER really and now you have your husband she needs to cope with the fact that once again she is like the empty nest mums. you have grown up again and left. talk to your mum and let her know that you have apreciated the help she has given and that you will still depend on her from time to time because she is your mum and you love her but it yours and your husbands job to set boundaries rules and consequences for your child and that she needs to learn to respoect your rules and any form of consequence that comes out of it. my mum see's my kids as an extension of me and as such was always interfering and undermining me then one day i lost it and told her rudely (which i shouldnt have done) but she got the message and has been a Grandma not another mum to my brothers kids (mine are the eldest) explain to your daughter also that you are the parent not grandma and that she will do as you tell her and that she is not to run to grandma when things dont go her way that it is rude and not nice. limit the time they spend together for a while so they both have time apart and realise that they are not the be all and en all of each others lives. we all love our mothers but they need to be told to respect your wishes when it comes to your kids and if they cant do that then keep their mouths shut. as for your husband and her i know that one from personal experience. my mum liked my BOYFRIEND but now doesnt like my HUSBAND how a few words and a ceremony change people ha ha they are still the same people its just they seem to have taken a bit of us away from our mums and mums cant handle that. mums think they are the only person that we can rely on and find it hard for us to be with any one else they cant let go but they need to learn to do this to allow us and our families chance to grow and be happy. you really do need to talk to your mum about how you feel and hfow she is behaving before it gets worse and puts up barriers between you all.

Schyla - posted on 06/12/2011

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sounds like Grandma needs a timeout. It is possable to do this without causing a scean just simply say NO when your mother wants your LO to come over you do not have to give a reason just a simple No I'm sorry We cannot do that will suffice. When your LO asks to see Grandma simply say that now is not a good time. When My children behave badly I use a better choice chair instead of a timeout because My oldest has sensory overload and timeouts are used for calming down. If your Mother wants to behave like a child then by all means treat her like one. I've dealt with a difficult mother my entire life and I only live a few blocks away from her now because My Brothers need someone stable to be there for them. When she's medicated she's a very plesent person but without the meds we're talking HIGHs and lows. So give Grandma a Timeout and don't make excuses just make the choice that less time with grandma will make your family happier in the long run.

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21 Comments

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Elaine - posted on 03/09/2012

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It sounds like Grandma is more of the child than to child is. She doesn't want to give up control of the child that she used to have, but times change. Your no longer a single parent. You new husband has a much right as you do. Tell your mother if she can't respect you wishes then you will have to cut down of the time she spends with her. It's harsh but you and your husband suffer when she comes home from being with Grandma.

Gabrielle - posted on 03/08/2012

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I agree with leyla. Its worked with my in laws. Even tho they do still buy crap for the kids that we don't want them to have. When I say crap i mean crap. Bikes and stuff from garage sales and auctions that should just be thrown in the dumpster and a swingset that is totally screwed up. We tell them "NO TOYS UNLESS WE SAY ITS OK 1ST" Most of the time they listen. When they don't i just wanna tell them to take whatever they have and stick it somewhere.

Leyla - posted on 02/13/2012

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Sorry for brief reply, but just threaten her if she carries on she will not see her grandchildren!

Summer - posted on 11/09/2011

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HOLY CRAP !!!! my grandma pulled the EXA games on my parents my ( dad and step mom, who was my "mom" since i was 18 mos) um you need to stop letting her go see grandma for a while, put granny on a timeout, til she can agree tot he RULES of YOUR Family.... she raised you so she obviousely did a good job.... so she needs to trust that she did the right thing and raised you to be a good mom.

she is feeling replaced by hubby, she was your crutch for a long time, and now you dont "need her" its kinda a pissy feeling however, she needs to let you go to be the great mom she raised you to be

Shawanna - posted on 10/23/2011

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Wow. You have got ur hands tied bc that is your mom. I think that the very best thing to do is to keep the communication open. Let her know what u are expecting and what the consequences are of crossing the boundaries. You are her daughter and maybe she feels that she can do what she wants because she doesn't believe that you will ever stand up to her to put her in her place. You have to set the boundaries and stick to your guns until she sees how serious you are. If things doesn't get better makes moves like not allowing her to see her for a week or two..change up the routine. It will cause her to wonder what's going on, and then when she asks, the line of communication is open again, and she will be more willing to hear you and change. She doesn't want to lose both of you. As far as your husband, stand up for him each and every time she disrespects him because he will then sees how much you support and love him. This is YOUR family..establish it the way you see fit. Personally, I pray about everything before I talk to someone about such serious lifechanging issues, and after prayer, I go with confidence, humility, and boldness.
Be strong Mom! Things will get better.

Shy - posted on 06/17/2011

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I think that if I were in your position I would stop dropping off my kid(s) at her house with my supervision until she apologizes to both me AND my husband. And when she does, change visits to just a few hours a week with you there to watch how she acts. Slowly you move back to have it now but not without warning her that if your baby girl goes back to the nasty habits that she's showing now and which you do not appreciate then the cycle will begin. GOOD LUCK

Rebekah - posted on 06/16/2011

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Time for a talk with your mother one on one. You lay down the rules, she can't follow through, you pull the cord and your daughter cannot come see her. I had to do this with my in-laws, since they watch my son 2 days a week, while I work, and I bartered with my husband to have our son in preschool the other 3 days. I literally typed up all our rules in a contract and made them sign it. If they didn't follow through, I got to fire them from watching our son and put him in school the rest of the week. So far so good, but they are upset with me about it because they have expressed they don't feel like they get to be "grandma" or "grandpa". I just interjected that if they are going to watch our son for more than 2 hours at a time, then they have to help teach him the manners and the rules we want him abiding by. I personally don't mind them spoiling now and then, but I can't stand the battles I get later with my son after I come home - I have to start OVER all the time, it's annoying!

Corinne - posted on 06/16/2011

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Your mother is behaving like a spoiled brat. A hissy fit over a time out? get real. You need to go for a coffee with her and explain that you feel she is undermining you and your role as a mother, they are your children and you will parent in partnership with your husband as you see fit. Explain that if she cannot abide by the boundaries YOU have set, and the values by which you are guiding your family, she will not be welcomed as a part of it. Sounds tough I know, I'm going through the same with my M.I.L at the minute and it sucks bum big time. Good luck.

Vicki - posted on 06/15/2011

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it sounds to me like your mum needs to be reminded she is only the Nana and not the parent!

Yes she helped out a lot but that does not give her any right to over ride you or your husband's way of parenting!!

I think you should maybe limit your mum's time alone with your daughter as her going behind your back like that is teaching your daughter that it's ok to ignore mummy because Nana/Grandma will just get her whatever she wants instead! x

Brie - posted on 06/14/2011

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i haven't read all the responses but i thnk i would tell her that if she can't start respecting the way you want your child raised then you don't think she should see her that often.. and personally i wouldn't let my child be around her especially with her threatening to call CPS on you.. seriously the woman is messed up for even saying that!

Nicky - posted on 06/13/2011

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could you maybe talk about moving? like you are thinking about moving away, and if she probes as to why, it could be all sorts of reasons, including her attitude... sometimes it would be nice to pack the family up and move away.... perhaps you could entertain the idea vocally.... that would put the shits up her im sure...

Heather - posted on 06/13/2011

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I agree that her behavior is not ok and frankly, if my mother were to start doing this, i would simply tell her "mom, this is my child, i will raise her how i see fit, not how YOU see fit. Also, because she is my child, you need to respect my rules and choices, even if you dont agree. If you cant respect my rules then she simply will not be spending time with you until you decide you can respect my wishes when it comes to raising my daughter". I had to have this talk with the other set of grandparents already but thankfully it never made it to the "You cant see her" phase....they figured out i was serious and agreed to respect the way i want to raise my daughter, and so far, they have! Good luck btw!!

Schyla - posted on 06/13/2011

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Don't take her calls and stick with telling Miss Lexie that right now is not a good time to go see Grandma! What do you do when your child misbehaves? modify that to fit Grandma! Like I said if she's gonna act like a child then treat her like one!

Carly - posted on 06/13/2011

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I think Lexi shouldn't be with her unsupervised. If Grandma cannot respect your wishes as parents, and especially if she is planting those bad seeds like calling her her dad by his first name (that is total bullshit btw, I can't believe someone would attempt to interfere like that, especially when so many men don't want to step up for their own kids, let alone a stepchild) She can't be trusted. Sure grandparents are supposed to spoil their grandkids, not RUIN them and mess with their heads. Grandma should not be unsupervised, period.

Anne - posted on 06/13/2011

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I like the idea of a "time out" for Grandma. However, we have done that the first time she did this. Right after my wedding. We were just about to let her take Lexi over night again and it had another blow up. What about time out two...what should be different?

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i think that you mom is having trouble letting go and feels that she is being replaced and that because she helped you alot when you were a single mother that she should have say about your daughter's life. i think you and her need to sit down and have a conversation where you lether know that, while youlove her and appreciate everything she has done for you and want her to be in your children'slives, that she cannot continue to act how she is. you need to explain to her that she had her chance to parent you and now she needs to let you and your husband parent your children. I also think that you should mention how much it hurts you when she threatens to call children's services and calls your husband abusive. maybe ask her how she would feel if someone said those things to her when she was raising you. if she doesn't want to change her behavior, i would consider limiting or denying access to your kids

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