Dealing with Grandma crossing boundaries

Rachel - posted on 11/08/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )




I am a divorced mom of a 10 year old daughter, and we moved in with my mother after my divorce a few year ago. Because we live my mother, she feels she is an equal parent to me. She wants to be at every parent teacher conference, every school event, have a say in decisions about my daughter, have an equal say in discipline. She has gone so far and crossed boundaries by contacting my daughter's teachers and telling everyone how she is raising her granddaughter (my daughter). I am not an absent mother, and while i appreciate my mother's help I don't like how she goes around pretending that she is raising my child. My mother gets hurt if my daughter and I have alone time that doesn’t include her. It has been causing a lot of issues between my mother and myself, and my daughter is now starting to not like her grandma as much as she used to as my mom doesn’t respect my daughter having friends and doing things without her. My mother gets hurt if my daughter does anything that doesn't include her and if she isn't fully included she pouts like a child. I am not surprised by this cause my mother has always been a very insecure and needy person. My daughter no longer likes being around her grandma, and hates it that Grandma is the one that picks her up from school instead of me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my daughter say “I want you, not grandma”. Then my mom gets hurt and jealous that my daughter prefers me over her. This living situation has ruined the relationship between my mother and daughter. I can’t afford to move right now (I was a stay at home mom and never worked during my marriage and am just finishing up my college degree) and truthfully didn’t want to move in with my mother after my divorce, but I had no other option. I will move once I can, and when I approached the subject of moving to my mother she started crying saying I can’t take my daughter away from her.Help!!!


Ariana - posted on 11/08/2012




I would try to sit her down and talk to her calmly. Say pretty much what you've said here. Use 'I feel' a bunch instead of 'you're being'. So I feel like you're overstepping your boundaries with parenting my daughter. Tell her how much you appreciate everything she's been doing. You love that she's involved and helping you out. What you don't like is that she's going behind your back talking to the teachers and not disciplining her in the way you like. Tell her that if she has any issues with how you're parenting she can come talk to you about it away from your daughter and you will be open about seeing it from her side.

You might also tell her that your daughter needs some space (distance makes the heart grow fonder). Try to be specific and just say things like you want to do things alone with your daughter for bonding and your daughter wants to do things on her own as she's older now. Maybe you could get your mother to do something special with your daughter once a week, or have a 'family night' where the point is to have fun all together. That way she does get special time with her without smothering her. Possibly tell her you're going to have a special signal if you feel she's 'smothering'.

She may be resistant at first, make sure you try to stay calm during the conversation. If you try to talk to her and nothing seems to change I would find a councellor who you can explain the situation to and then get your mom to come talk to you with the councellor. People tend to handle things a lot better when it's coming from someone else.

It really is that fine line, on one hand it's understandable your mom wants to be involved, but she had her time to parent and now it's your time. Try to explain things calmly to her and see how much sinks in.

Good luck! (you'll need it :)

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