How to tell grandparents they are not helping?

Momma - posted on 01/23/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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How do I tell…Well let me start from the begging. My ex husband drank himself to death after we got divorced. He had been an alcoholic for about 7 years. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and we got divorced. His parents blame ne for it all and sometime his mother tell my daughter that it was my fault he drank and died. I have called her out on this many times and she FINALLY stopped doing this. I never told my daughter how he really died, She isn’t old enough to understand what killed him . (She does know that he drank all the time. ) Its been 2 years now, she is doing better, BUT every single time she come back from see his parents (her grandparents) she come home an emotional rollercoaster. She back talks, cries act up at home and in school. It takes about 2 weeks to get her lined out, and back to the norm. We talk about her dad at home when she asks and only when she asks. But when she is there with them its all the talk about..day in day out….they have a “shrine” of him and all his stuff, they buy her things that remind her of her daddy and tell her all this crap that he “did” for her and none of it is true. They have his old truck and drive her around in it and all kinds of strange things. I know it has to be really hard on them. I could never understand how it feels to lose a child at any age and no parent should ever have to burry their child. Not matter what. How do I tell them to stop talk about him all the time to her and to stop crying over him every time they see her and talk to her on the phone? This is NOT healthy for my daughter. She is so good and happy when she hasn’t seen or talked to them. If I have to I really don’t want to but I will stop all contact with them regarding my daughter. I just need help on what to do and how to handle these issues. Please help.

Thank you
From one mom to another……

5 Comments

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Ev - posted on 01/24/2013

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My suggestion is if they want to see her that badly, that you take her to spend an afternoon with them on a weekend but you have to stay with her. That way its supervised and maybe you can cut the false stories and so on. But you do need to talk to them and tell them it has been two years, they need to move on with their lives so that your daughter can learn how to move on with hers, they need to quit focusing on her dad all the time whens he is with them, and that the stories have to stop and that she is old enough to know and realize within the limitations of her age what went on and how it ended up. Kids know more than parents and other people think they do and give them credit for. Limit the time they have for now with her and be ready to remind them that the visit is about her not their son who has been gone for two years. Do this in a loving way and respectful way. THey got to know that their fantasy of reliving him in life has got to stop.

Momma - posted on 01/24/2013

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She knows more than she should about alcohol. She knows what it can do and how it can affect you and how it can tear a family apart. She saw so much of it and I wish she never had to see any of that. I jist dont want to break her little heart more than it already has been broken. Her Nana wants her to come down this weekend, But I am not letting her go. Thank you for your help and advise.

Dove - posted on 01/23/2013

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At 10 she is certainly old enough to hear that alcohol killed her father. She's at a good age to start hearing about the dangers of alcohol and the reality of alcoholism... especially since it can have a genetic connection. I would not bad talk him, of course, but not encourage the made up stories about him either.

She probably wants to create a new memory of her father which I certainly don't fault her for, but if she was 8 when he died... she was probably more aware of the reality than you realize and the stories from her grandparents are only causing to hurt and confuse her.

Sorry, I still don't know how to deal with the grandparents, but your daughter needs the truth (as gently as possible) and help to deal with the realities of this situation. Perhaps you can speak to a counselor about the best way to approach these conversations with her.

Momma - posted on 01/23/2013

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Thank you so much. I just dont want to step on anyones toes. My daughter loves her grandparents. Her Nana is the worst of them all. She is so tenderhearted and cries all the time. Her son was the baby of the family and doesnt want to beleive that he did what he did and they all want to put these thoughts of good in my daughters head (i understand why they want too) but she already makes up these storeis that never happend and I let her think it and tell her "Wow baby girl thats pretty cool that you and your daddy did that.) I just dont know what to do any more. They all love her so much and I want them to be invloved in her life but i want them to stop talking about her daddy ll the time. Dont know how to tell them that,... BTW she is 10 she was 8 when he died,

Dove - posted on 01/23/2013

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I would stop all unsupervised contact immediately. I don't know how I would talk to them about it, but my biggest concern would be protecting my child from emotional harm.

How old is she?

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