SHOULD THE PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER/FAMILY ASKS PERMISSION FIRST?

Debbine - posted on 06/08/2013 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I have five year old cousin (June 12), whose paternal family wants to throw her a birthday party without first consulting her mother and allowing her mother to give her a party first. The two families cannot work together.

A little history would be helpful. My cousin "A" has a daughter with "J". For a long time they did not get along. For every argument they had his family became involved. Even to the point where his father was downright rude towards her. I believe I'm a fair minded person (recent years) and has informed her if I felt she has spoken out of terms or did something spiteful. The past two months, the have been chummy. However his family is not. The paternal grandmother feels she has the right to see the child every weekend. Court documents from another incident stipulate every other weekend. However, the child does go every weekend. She has also visited several elementary schools to register her because she keeps asking us can she keep the child. We keep telling her no, but she keeps asking.

Since June 12 is a weekday, we deiced to do something on the weekend to celebrate her turning five. "A" spoke to "J" and informed him of her plans to throw a party. "J" does not communicate with his family and thus they did not know of our plans so they planned a party at the same location we had planned on the same day. "A" tried to explain to the grandmother that she should have spoken with her first about making party plans. The grandmother said she does not need to consult with her about anything. As long as the child is with her on the weekends she can do anything she wants to do. Which I disagree with. Since the grandmother does all the talking and fussing with "A", I speak up for her also.

I told the grandmother when it comes to special events the mother should always be informed. Why would you plan a party and not inform her mother. This happened last year also. The paternal aunt asked me to make the cake, but never formally invited us. The night before the party she called and said by the way you can come to the party. There was a big blow up last night between the grandmother, the paternal aunt and the mother. I heard the disrespect towards her and took the phone. I felt since the mother and grandmother were speaking it was ok until the aunt got involved. When the aunt started in, I took the phone.

I tried explaining that as a mother, you want to know what is going on with your child at all times no matter who they are with. I told her you wouldn't want your child ears pierced by someone else without first giving permission, you don't want your child taken out of state without permission, nor do you want someone to plan a party for your child without first consulting you. They didn't see it this way. They feel as long as the child is with them; they can do whatever they want. I told them they need to show "A" respect as the mother. As I spoke with the maternal grandmother she told me she does not need to any show “A” respect or does she need to inform her of anything.

If you noticed I have not mentioned the father "J" too often. Most often his parents pick up the child. He works on the weekends and odd hours and leaves his daughter with his family to do as they please. They both responded to my examples by saying if I go to McDonald’s I need to tell her mother? I never go out of state, or I'm supposed to tell you I'm taking her to church? I was truly annoyed. I don't know if it was a language barrier, we're African-Americans and they're Haitian.

I want to know should the other side of the family, in this case the paternal side, inform the mother of plans they have for the child? I don't think a trip to McDonald's or church warrant such a call, but if you plan to pierce her ears, throw a party, take her out of state, stay overnight besides home, cut her hair, blow it out which we don't (had that discussion), etc. The mother should be informed. "A" had to call the aunt when the father told her they were taking her to get her hair done for a family gathering. The aunt had planned to get it blow it out and press it. Her hair is naturally curly and when you press it, it takes weeks for the curls to come back. We saw how long it took to curl up after the aunt pressed it when she was younger.

Any comments? We really need help.

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Dove - posted on 09/02/2013

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If there is a court order for every other weekend... who is letting these people have her EVERY weekend? Is the party scheduled for the court appointed visitation time? If not... too bad for them. If it is... it's just a party. No kid is going to be scarred for life for having TWO birthday parties.

Ear piercing, taking out of state, etc... are legal issues and only legal guardians can make those decisions without a court order.... but a party? Let it go would be my advice... as long as the party is scheduled during the father's court ordered visitation time.

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8 Comments

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Ashley - posted on 06/10/2014

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If it is the father's time, then the mom has no say in what he does. If they want to throw her a bday party then let them. Dad throws a party on his time for his family and mom has a party on her time for her family. Leaving state, piercing ears and cutting hair are completely differant than having a birthday party. Obviously they couldnt have one big pary for both families because od the tension and fighting so there is nothing wrong with 2 differant parties. Pick your battles wisely. This is not something to argue about.

Debbine - posted on 09/02/2013

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Hi Dove,
Although the post is old, the situation is ongoing. We are trying to get the paternal grandmother to understand that she should respect the mother if she wishes to see her grandchild, especially now that the father has left the state. She feels she does not have to respect the mother at all. That she can speak to her and treat her as she wishes. My cousin says until the grandmother can call her and ask for the child, no visits will take place.

Dove - posted on 09/02/2013

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Sorry... just read the update. Didn't realize the post was that old. ;)

If the grandmother does not have court ordered visitations rights.... the mother does NOT have to let the woman see the child at all.... and certainly not unsupervised. Period.

Debbine - posted on 09/02/2013

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Thank you Melissa for your reply. Although this was written a few months ago, the paternal grandmother is still refusing to show respect. The father has now left the state to further his education. The grandmother called my mother to ask to see the child and when my mother told her to call my cousin directly, she told her she wants nothing to do with the mother. This is so weird to me.

Melissa - posted on 09/02/2013

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to not ask the mother permission is very disrespectful and indicative of how this grandmother undermines the parents right to raise their own children

Debbine - posted on 06/08/2013

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Hi Jodi,

Thanks for your reply. The mom and dad speak all the time. The mom keeps him informed with everything concerning her, including all school events, learning to ride a bike and all her ER visits, which eventually lead to us finding out she has celiac disease. The dad just doesn't tell his family the decisions they've made together as parents. It's not the dad that is making the decisions. It's his mother who cares for the child while he is at work. She doesn't feel the mom needs to know anything. I don't know. The mom is very upset over this.

Jodi - posted on 06/08/2013

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Well, the father has rights too. Does mum inform dad about all these decisions? It goes both ways. The father has a right to give permission for these things just as much as mum does.

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