Grandparents influence on your child

Shanna - posted on 11/19/2009 ( 19 moms have responded )

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I am a divorced mom, my ex husband's parents see my daughter once a week on weekends. They are decent people however each have some habits I am not fond of. The Grandmother use to be a school teacher so often bosses people around instead of asking for their attention and the Grandfather is a pushy ass. Sadly my five year old daughter has been picking up on their worst habits. Both her father and I have tried talking to them about this, but the Grandmother throws herself into a teary fit and locks herself in the bathroom no matter how nice we try to be about it and than that just sends her husband into a yelling fit at us.

At first I didn't realize how much my daughter's bad behaviors were coming from them until last month were they only were able to see her one weekend because of illness. My daughter became a very different and respectful person...than they saw her and she became a belligerent, rude, and inattentive girl who thought it was funny to do unsafe things.



It has finally come to a point were I don't want her spending time with them...



What influence do your parents/your spouse's parents have on your children? How do you deal with it? And what would you do in my shoes?

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Lucie - posted on 11/20/2009

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I think that it is extremely difficult for children to be going from one home to another in a weeks amount of time. My own children have fabulous grandparents who do not act immature and they still struggle with respect and boundaries when they spend time away from me for any length of time. The more that changes in a child routine the more they act out. Consistency is the key to stability. If your Daughter is with her Grandparents from Friday to Sunday and with her Dad from Sunday to Monday then she is bouncing all over the place and feels insecure. Try to keep her as much as you possibly can and she will even out and be more stable. I have experience in this with my children as I was away from them for a long period of time and they had horrible behavior issues until they felt secure with me again. It took a long time and it was very challenging and at times frustrating. Who said parenting was easy thought! Good luck and what ever you do don't be in a rush to send her off to spend time with other people. It doesn't help her sense of security and trust in you.

Natalie - posted on 11/19/2009

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YOU ARE THE PARENT! I think once a week is too much. They had their time with their children to place their own input, now its your turn, don't let them push you around by having little hissy fits that is childish in itself. I don't think they should stop seeing your girl but tone it down a bit. My Brother in laws Sister respects her grandparents more that her own parents and now they don't see her or her children because she regards them as her own parents not grandparents because they spend alot of time with her as a child. She will play on this, and run to her grandparents as a child and a teen everytime you try and instill a rule or guideline. I say butt out to the grandparents, and take control of this situation!

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Michele - posted on 03/21/2013

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All I can say is get out now and quick!!!! My mom is like this and now my daughter is 14 and doesn't care about me or anyone else that has been there for her for the past 10 years. She is disrespectful, lying, cheating, not getting good grades, stealing, and so on. She has turned out just like my mom. I took her to live with my mom against every bone in my body because she said she was acting out because she only wanted to be at my mom's. Now when I try to punish her for stealing from my roommates, my mom threatens me that she is going to take me to court for verbally abusing her. So like I said, either get them to stop or get as far away as you can as quickly as possible.

Jennifer - posted on 11/21/2009

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No matter what your struggles in the past, you are still the mother and the truth is that now YOU are there and you do not owe them.. and if you do somehow figure out something other than the child itself... if they are using the "help" they gave against you then that is manipulation.. express your gratitude but you are back and better and they should be applauding you and showing your child how strong you are to overcome these things... we all have struggles in our emotions and such.. and help with a price on your soul and well being is in actuality no help at all... as you get more and more on your feet there will be opportunities to pay your respects for what help they do provide... but you just may have to take some "slaps" for now to gain back your place as parent in the family.. whether or not they understand is NOT your issue.. your child, your stability and your own is yours... they just cannot see the big picture of it all... and I agree with what was stated above... try to keep the child with you and in a routine with you as much as possible to help gain trust and stability to you and your child.. your child needs to get to know you too.. and ENJOY this time of new beginnings in your life.. look back and be proud of how far you have come... we need to build relationships with our children... not just authority.. the two are interchangeable...

Jennifer - posted on 11/21/2009

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P.s. I do not talk ill of any of my family in front of my child.. as two wrongs do not make a right and in the end when my child is older he can see that his mommy did not talk like they did... in fact i encourage him to pray for them and call them and write letters but until they can start to treat me as a person and a parent ... no give.

Jennifer - posted on 11/21/2009

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wow! I thought i was the only one who struggled with this. I started noticing that when my son comes home from his grandfather's he starts telling me that I am mean and talking back to me and disrespecting me. Come to find out that my father and my step siblings put me down in front of my son and my son picks up on their disrespect for me and well. We keep our distance now and have actually been seeking a move soon.. for many reasons but this just encourages my decision... I realize that its important to allow your children to have other relationships.. but what they do not see is that by their hurtful remarks it brings a great divide into my home with my son and I and I am a single mom and cannot afford these kind of battles when its everything in me to protect what relationship I have built with my son. My step siblings children say very hurtful things to me as well and call me "poor" and "wierdo" to my face.. they are very young.. so where are they really hearing these things? Distance has done wonders in my home and though my father is still offended and has not relaxed his narrow opinions of me I no longer have to be in the cross fire... WE are the parents... they had their chance.. they should focus on supporting YOU as the parent and showing the children how to respect and HONOR you as the parent.. One time I specifically asked my mother to NOT give my child caffeine after 3 as he was having trouble sleeping and it was creating chaos for us at home in the a.m and I told her if she did it she would have to deal with it... she laughed and said "but, I'm grandma and it's my job" (really? Is there a book on that? I would LOVE to read it) Well, guess what? She didn't listen and gave my son soda at 9p.m!!!!! And we had to be up at 6 the next morning for preschool... I kissed my son on the head and hugged him and then turned and walked out the door and left him with her.. SERIOUS! She was stuck with him being up until midnight and I went home and yeah I was like "did I just do that?" My mom was exhausted and guess what? She has NEVER undermined me since...... LOL! Sometimes its "hell" raising your parents isn't it? Good Luck and stay strong.. you are the most important influence in your child's life and sometimes you just have to fight for your right to parent and protect your child...

Iysha - posted on 11/20/2009

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My daughter is only 4 1/2 months, but I am scared that she is going to pick up on people in my family's bad habbits. Things like saying bad words, being rude and ignoring people when they are speaking as well as things like watching TV 24/7 and eating fried food all the time.

Your ex in laws sound rediculous in the sense that they won't listen and over react to what you are trying to tell them. Have you tried just bringing up that children mimmic people and that you all are trying to watch what you say/do around her because she is picking up bad habbits from EVERYONE? It might make them feel like they aren't being singled out, that it is an issue that comes down to everyone's behaviors not just theirs.

Shelly - posted on 11/20/2009

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Quoting Danielle:

Well first and foremost, grandparents do not HAVE to have visits. Letting them visit only with you or your husband there is perfectly acceptable, and actually pretty normal.



Unfortunatly in the state of NH they have tis thing called grandparent rigths.  My friend had stopped bring her son over there. The grandparents took her to court and won. Now she has to bring her son over.

Sherry - posted on 11/20/2009

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This is a good one! I lived with my parents for the first 3 years of my oldest daughter's life and my youngest daughter was 2 when I moved out. But my parents still see them every weekend. And my oldest daughter has my father wrapped around her chubby little finger! She has become a master manipulator all because she has been practicing on my parents.... it is rediculous. She will go to my parents' house and tell them that me and her father is mean and she wil sit back and listen to my parents lecture me about the way we dicipline her and her sister.... and believe me, we are all about the time out and a swat on the behind if time out doesn't work! Not harsh at all, but my parents feed into it horribly and I honestly dont know how to stop it without ripping teh children away from my parents. My mom is a talker, she like to talk "crap" about my fiance (their father) and my dad absorbs every word that comes out of their mouths and spoils the rotten. It's a horrible injustice what some grandparents are doing to our kids. I have not yet done anything but I am in the same boat as you and I feel your pain!!

Stephanie - posted on 11/20/2009

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at the end of the day they are YOUR children and therefore YOUR responsibility. your in-laws are behaving shockingly and you need to put your foot down. if they understand there are consiquences for teaching her bad habits (such as limiting access to to the children) they will soon mend their ways trust me! my inlaws were much the same.. smoking and swearing around the kids and stuffing them full of sweets.. in the end I had to put my foot down and just stopped taking them around as much.. when I did eventually start taking them around a few times I noticed they smoked in a different room and behaved themselves.. so it does work.. if it doesn't and they get mad because you've spoken your mind.. forget them.. they are going to get worse as your children get older and the lack of respect they have for you as parents will become worse.

[deleted account]

this is just a thought, but the reason your ex's parent's are having a hissy fit might be because they feel you are critisising their personality traits. They can't change who they are just because a little one is visiting them. Now it's a good thing to want your child to have positive influences in her life but as she gets older she will learn what behaviour is acceptable and what is not. It's your job to teach her this. If the Grandparent's influence is causing too many problems for you handle right now, then cut the visits back to once a month. I hope this helps, good luck.

Kylie - posted on 11/19/2009

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if uve tried being nice, time to attack, if they throw a hissy fit wen u try to bring this up then walk out wiv ur child and let them now they wont c her until they change their attitude and listen to wat is being sed. My mum is a controlling person, warning afta warning didnt work until i walked out and she didnt c my son for 3 weeks, now i just have to say no and she stops. My partners parents r excellent but coz they r older (80s) they r constantly tryin to give him food, even wen he has just had lunch, luckily we were able to sit with them and talk it thru, now they ask myself or my partner 1st b4 offering it to our son. Unfortunately this doesnt work wiv evry1, but if ur at ur wits end, sumtimes u have to be cruel to be kind. I feel g/parents have a right to c their g/kids but not at the cost of ur childs development. GL with evrythin, hope u find ur solution

Chris - posted on 11/19/2009

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It does take sometime to come back from being homeless. Been there done that with a child too. You have to remember you are the parental figure in your child's life and you make the call on who she visits and how much. As others have said, you can limit visits to where you or your husband are present or curtail the visits all together. If your ex has visitation than that was set for him and his daughter not the grandparents. I had a set of very bossy in-laws and we limited the visits and the length of the visits both. There was some hard feelings at first but we stood firm as the parents and things worked out okay. Hope this helps you and good luck.

Shanna - posted on 11/19/2009

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I would have cut them back a long time ago however the last couple years have been really hard. I myself was not completely emotionally healthy because of living 6 months in a homeless shelter with my daughter and than a month after getting out having a fire which claimed our apartment last Thanksgiving among other things. So I needed time away from my daughter to help stabilize myself and her father didn't really help at all until after she was potty trained. As he said he was waiting for her to become "more cerebral" so he could enjoy his time with her. Even now he only takes her from Sunday to Monday while his parents take her from Friday to Sunday. Plus he will only take her if it convenient for his schedule.

I couldn't rely on my own family for help either.

In the past few months my house and my personal being has really started to stabilize. I would like if I could stabilize my daughter too, but that seems impossible with how much she follows the Grandparent's examples.

[deleted account]

Well first and foremost, grandparents do not HAVE to have visits. Letting them visit only with you or your husband there is perfectly acceptable, and actually pretty normal.

Jodie - posted on 11/19/2009

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my husbands mother is the same way altho my son is not old enough to pick up on her habits yet but my neice is and she becomes a completly different person when she is around her she becomes a stuck up snob and raises her nose at people and my SIL told her that she will no longer see her if she keeps acting like this and for a while she wouldnt allow her to see her and she doesnt act like that anymore towards anyone even when she was with her.... i guess ya just kind of have to talk to ur children and put ur foot down if they continue to act this way there will be no grandama and grandpa until they learn to stop acting like that they need to know it isnt pleasant and will not be tolerated and i would write ur Mil a letter and tell her ur feelings that way u wont be there to send her into a crying frenzy and all that stuff

Lorilyn - posted on 11/19/2009

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Wow, that's a really tough situation. Have you talked with your ex-husband about the possibility of cutting back the visits until the grandparents "grow up"? The grandmother might just have to get over it with the guilt trips (how childish!) and deal with not seeing your daughter until she can control herself instead of everyone else. Good luck and I really hope things turn out for the best for you!

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