Paternal Grandmother Troubles! Advice Needed w/ Pre-Teen Girls

Chrissie - posted on 05/18/2016 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Why do my girls ask me if they can live with their grandmother every time they get mad at me? My girls’ father (call him Joe) has never been in the picture in a good way but Joe’s mother (call her Jane) has always been good to them. Jane has always got the kids every other weekend instead of the girls’ father because he had better things to do. I wanted my girls to have all the love that comes from a grandparent so I thought I was doing the right thing by letting Jane get them on those weekends. Come to find out Jane doesn’t have my back when it comes to me raising my kids. She is belittling me and my parenting to my kids in small ways that are now adding up. Every time my girls get mad at me they tell me they want to live with Jane and she won’t say something like, “No girls you can’t live with me your mother would be sad and miss you but you can visit me anytime you want” instead Jane tells them, “Sure you could live with me we would have such fun but your mom would never let you live here”.
What do I do???? If I stop letting them go to Jane’s house as much they will hate me if I let them continue going but not move in with her they will hate me! Heck, every weekend Jane calls me while the girls are with her wanting me to discipline one or both of them because they did something disrespectful to her....OMG isn’t she the adult, shouldn’t she be the one dealing out punishment since they are with her??? Now I am the bad guy because I punish them for acting out at home or I take their electronics away because of bad grades, all they see when they are with her is that no matter what they do there are no chastisements or consequences. I will NOT allow my kids to live with Jane!! I feel betrayed by both my kids and Jane. I have always included Jane in everything I do with/for my girls and I have never kept them from her. I have raised my girls to the best of my ability in good times and bad, through arguments and hissy fits but they want to throw me away because they think life would be better with Jane. Why Oh Why wasn’t I given a manual to raise my girls when they were born?

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Chrissie - posted on 05/20/2016

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Thank you so much for your suggestions. I have spoken to Jane many times on this particular topic and other things being said while the girls are with her. She will tell me that I know she can't physically or financially take care of my girls or that she didn't mean for them to take her words seriously and sometimes she denies that she said anything at all. I am worried I have had blinders on this whole time because I am now beginning to notice small things have been happening all along that I dismissed as minor inconsequential things.
With my girls, I talk to them every time they get mad at me and tell that they want to live with Jane. We have started family counseling and I am hopeful that this will help with some of the things going on.

Dove - posted on 05/18/2016

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Well, the 'I want to live w/... whoever isn't punishing me' comment is perfectly normal... I get that from my 8 year old son all the time. The fact that she doesn't back you up though... yeah, that's not good.

Have you sat down w/ her and talked about how her comments are having a negative impact on them and their behavior? Have you sat down w/ her and discussed what you feel are appropriate consequences for her to dish out when they misbehave at her house? Have you let her know that if she can't respect them enough to start backing you up that you will have to start limiting her time w/ them?

It sounds like you need to have a sit down w/ Jane and then depending on the results of that conversation have a sit down w/ your daughters. Let them know that you know they love Jane and have fun w/ her, but that you are their mother and they live w/ you. Let them know that you understand they get angry when they have to have consequences for their behavior, but as their mother it is your JOB to teach them how to behave and why... because you were tasked w/ the job of making sure they grow up to be decent and respectful adults. It's a job you love and do willingly, but that doesn't make it always easy.

Good luck!

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