problems with grandparents

Debbie - posted on 01/15/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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my mother has told me that when my boys (18 months and 7 months) are with her she can do what she wants with them and feed them what she wants no matter what my husband and I have said. So she has only taken them out once and is getting upset that I wont let her look after them. I have tried talking to her, but she still says that she can do what she likes. I need help as I don't want my boys to miss out on time with their grandparents. My mother has been acting strange since I had my first child. Can anyone give me advice on what to do?

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Jane - posted on 01/18/2010

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stick w/it. your family, your rules. she can visit at YOUR house. she can just as easily spoil them there.

if she isn't going to listen to you, then you simply can't trust her. point that out to her. she's in a battle for some reason, it's not your issue why but it's yours to deal with b/c she's chosen to spill out to your family. if she wants to enjoy these kids that she waited for, then she'll need to bend. just keep telling her that she is welcome at your house and to go places WITH your family.

seriously, our kids are never away from us. if we go anywhere w/family, it's always together or to someone's house or they come here. they're too little to be away from either one of you for any period of time. and my in-laws would never want to handle two little kids at one time.

she's your mom and you love her but she has some other issue in her life that is causing her to think this is a topic that she needs to be aggressive on. don't take it personally but do stay in charge of this part of it.

do what's right for your family. and a mother never has to explain herself on the topic of her children. you went thru a lot to have these babies, that needs to be respected.

stay on top of the "mum" and "dad" thing. keep telling your older one, "grammy" or whatever they're to call them." don't let her confuse them.

Debbie - posted on 01/17/2010

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thank you all so much. I think that I should tell you a bit more of the story, When my oldest was born my mother said to me that he wasn't just mine and my husbands he was theirs aswell because of all the suport they had given us when we lost 3 before and the suport they gave us as we went through IVF. After a lot of talking we sorted this out, but they still call them selfs mum and dad when they think we can't hear them. I think grandparents should spoil their grandchildren, but this is more than spoiling them. thanks again for all the advice I've taken it all on board and when the kids are in bed My hubby and I talk it through some more. x

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Deborah - posted on 01/17/2010

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Hi Debbie,

My hubby and i felt the same way the first month, my parents would call themselves mom and dad, but mostly cause they hadn't got used to being called grandma/ grandpa. To top it off, my parents are ministers and their church members often made remarks like how our son would follow in my fathers footsteps which made my hubby feel very sidelined. But we understood where they were coming from.

Whatever the situation, just remember that they mean well, they love your children endlessly and they can't control their love!

What we did?
We kept on saying "no" (even if it meant 20 times on just 1 matter). We were persistent but patient. Sometimes I lost my patience, but then I apologise and I said its because I know with all my heart what my child needs. I killed their stubborness with love. It takes alot of patience but its worth it..

I felt that when i had my son, i immediately had another two infants to deal with it. Hard to reason with so just lovingly keep saying "NO its this way" or "NO its that way". If they don't put him to sleep on schedule, i'd just say, "Sorry mom, i'm taking him home tonight." when they asked why u taking him home, i shrugged my shoulders and reply simply that, " I miss him that's all! " I did this until my son automatically gets very sleepy at 8pm and he will yell if they dun put him down. So then i started to let him stay over again.

Finally, we also prayed...My hubby and I, we prayed TOGETHER... that helps too. God has time for the little things too.

All the best ya..

Marcia - posted on 01/16/2010

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I think all moms have been in this situation to some degree. These are your children and you only want what is best for them. But, what do you want for their grand parents. I have three children of my own. I don't agree with several things that my parents have done or my in-laws. To my surprise, dealing with the in-laws was a lot easier than my own parents. My husband and I sat down with his mom and made compromises. Things like we don't want chocolate ovaltine added to our childrens milk but, if you would like to give them a cookie when they have finished their meal, that would be fine. We also talked to our children even before they could understand, letting them know that time at grandma's house was a special time. This worked very well with the in-laws. My dad however, has limited contact with our children. When they were younger and my mom was alive they would visit more often. (mom was good about trying to do what we asked, even when she didn't agree) My dad has since had a stoke and is well, sad to say worse than ever. (foul language has always been a major issue with him) I have always wanted my children to have a great relationship with all their grandparents. Because of the conflicts, that now seem a little silly, They will never have a great relationship with my parents. So, my advise, think things through, decide what is most important, calmly try to compromise with the grandparents and remember they are not going to be around forever.

Danielle - posted on 01/16/2010

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Even though I'm sure your mother would never do anything to hurt your babies, they are your babies. She needs to respect that and realize that she raised her child. It's your turn now. I wouldn't cut her out. Like I said, would she do anything to hurt them? I would continue to talk with her and (respectfully) explain that fact. If she isn't going respect your wishes, she's going to teach the kids not to respect them either. Not on purpose, but kids follow what they see. Maybe she hasn't thought of that. If she doesn't come around, maybe do visits with the kids only when you or your husband are there too.

Shana - posted on 01/16/2010

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Hi Debbie, My name is Shana and i so know this issue, but it is with my mother in law, I feel that these are my kids and out of respect she should do what you ask . I know that my mil told me that she is going to spoil my kids with all sorts of things and i saw what she did to my sister in laws son she more or less gave him what ever he wanted and told her not to get mad at him cause it was her doing. that did not do well with me . every one tells her that she should be allowed to spoil and get away with everything and i say they either go by what i say or they dont get to take care of them alone. I take them to see them and spend time with them so they are getting the time spent getting to know but i dont leave them cause I cant trust that they will do what i ask of them , they have also taught them to lie to me cause if they give them something they know their not to have she says not to tell mom this will be our little secret!! that only ticked me off more!! I do think that your mom loves your kids , you just need to sit down with out kids and tell her you both love them very much and what the best for them, and tell her you have to show me i can trust you to do what i ask or i will be here for every visit , i still go with my MIL i dont even trust my sister in law . and they live right here in town with me . I would rather call my mom or get a friend that is so sad to me but i am the mom . good luck with it and My God put a Blessing on you and your mom.

Mary-Ann - posted on 01/15/2010

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Just keep laying down the law with her. No she cannot just do whatever she wants with YOUR kids. just tell her that until she respects your rules for your boys she doesn't get to take them on her own.

Carolee - posted on 01/15/2010

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The natural thing for my family to do is: parents are strict, aunts/uncles play and are more fun, cousins are playmates, and grandparents spoil. The bright side of this is, once you become the grandparent, you get to spoil the heck out of your children's kids and send them back! Taking that joy away from somebody is kind of rude... my mom told me that the thought of what she was going to do with my children was all that kept her sane when I was a teenager! If it ever gets out of hand, I'll mention something, but really, I just want my son to have the experience of a grandparent who gets to spoil and love him.

Tricia - posted on 01/15/2010

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Just my opinion here...I did not have G-parents growing up so I missed out on all the "spoiling". Now as a G-parent I feel it is my job to spoil them. I do nothing against direct orders from my kids but I ask them to let mme have my relationship with them as long as it's not harming them. So maybe, as long as the kids are safe, you should lighten up and allow the special relationship. It's a rite of passage. Be glad she wants to be in their life.

Ginger - posted on 01/15/2010

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I think you and your mom need to talk about "what she wants" means. I know that what my mother does is pretty close to how I do things with my daughter. As far as keeping your schedule...if you have a regular one with your boys then she isn't going to have as much say in that as she thinks. They will let he know they are hungry and tired. As far as food just let her know what's going on. If you are still introducing new things to your 7mo old then she needs to stick with what you have tried. I know with my mother it also kinda depends on how long she is going to have my daughter. When she has kept her for 2 or 3 days she sticks very well to my schedule and feeds her similar to how I do. If momma only has Nyke a few hours then things are less laid back. Yesterday, for example, momma had Nyke for just an hour or so and knew it was snack time. They had crackers and fudge. If they spend enough time with their grandparents they will understand they have different rules. Nyke is 15mo and she already knows what she can do at home and what she can do at Nanny and Papaw's. I just think that things are supposed to be different at grandparents' and aunt's and uncle's houses. That's the fun of going those places when you're young....it's not home. When you say she's been acting strange is she just different b/c she is a grandma now or does she maybe need to see her doctor?

Jennifer - posted on 01/15/2010

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I know exactly where you are comming from. I am very strict with what my children eat and drink. My husband and I have struggled with our weight our whole lives and we want better for our kids. My parents just feel like they can do whatever they want. One day my my husband caught my father litterally stuffing cookies into my son's mouth right before a meal. My husband was so mad and so was I. My children eat very little sugar, so when they do get it, it makes them very hyper and my parents just can't seem to understand why they are acting up so much. My parents also let my kids do whatever they want while with them, so when the kids come home they act up alot, because they now have rules again. It is very hard. When I ask my parents why they let my kids do something, their only answer is because the kids asked to do it. I finally just told my mom one day. They are kids, you are the adult. Yes, I understand you want to spoil them a little and that is fine, but you need to act like the adult and not just their best friend. I have learned to let things slide a little, because I understand that the kids are only with my parents once every couple months if that, but when it comes to things where they can get hurt, then I put my foot down.

Lauren - posted on 01/15/2010

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Hello Debbie!! I can definately relate to this issue. Both sets of grandparents had different ways of raising their own children and to this day think that their ways should be implemented on my daughter...well that's not true!! My husband and I know are daughter better than anyone and what we do with her is best whether it's what she's eating, playing with or a daily shedule.



When my daughter goes over to either set of grandparents for a visit or overnight (she's 9 months old) I always write out a little note for them to follow. It has her schedule, approriate foods and when she gets them, her fav toys etc. I always speak to them briefly and explain why I want certain things done...just so they don't think I'm being a bitch :)



Anyways once I leave, all I can do is trust that they will follow what I've asked. In your situation I think you need to seriously speak with your mother and explain to her in a way that she won't get upset that you know what's best for your kids and you want her to respect your wishes...if she can't do that then she'll only be visiting with the kids in your presence. This will become frustrating for her I'm sure but maybe that's what it will take for her to change her ways and how she thinks about having this "I can do what I want" attitude. No grandparent is going to want to be restricted completely...they will slip up once in a while, you just have to know when to pick your battles. I hope this is a little helpful for you, best of luck!! Let me know what you did and if it worked or not!!

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