UGH! crabby grandma in the family!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    This is kind of a continuation of my other thread about a blow-up and a revelation. My mom is still "arguing" (via email because I refuse to talk to her about this) that difficult child is the way he is because I have spoiled him "since the day he was born". When we are around her, I don't do much discipline because she usually beats me to it in HER way, which is heavy handed. She has disagreed with how I discipline most of my kids' lives so I let her deal with it her way, which never works. We got to the point where we were around her as little as possible. She is very critical of easy child/difficult child when he acts Aspie. Both my kids have asked me more than once, "when will we ever be good enough for grandma". That really hurts and the only thing I could say was the truth: "I don't know. I'm still waiting for when I am." So sad but sooooo true.

    I told her that it would be nice to have family support instead of more criticism. Her response was "how can we support something we don't know exists?" I simply replied "now you do know and look what you're still doing." In her emails, she points out situations from over a year or two ago where I was "wrong" in how I handled something. She thinks grounding and losing privileges are the answer to ALL situations. I believe that teaching is more important with difficult child in many situations and I reserve more severe punishments for more severe situations where I know he does know better. Because his thinking is so different, I work at listening to his point of view then explaining mine so he understands there is a difference. If he "gets" what I'm saying, problem solved. If he doesn't, we compromise. Mom just doesn't understand that.

    Oh, and when she first asked me about it, she actually asked "you wouldn't lie about something like this just to cover for him?" That still just has me fuming. I have now told her that I will not discuss this any further. My guess is I will get the silent treatment for a loooonnngggg time or I'll get the "poor me" that she is so good at dishing out. I can deal with the silent treatment because then I can breathe and relax. She has been critical of me my whole life and I know nothing is ever going to change that. We are just fine without her if that is what it comes down to.

    Sorry, I just really needed to vent to my "real" family. Thanks everyone for being here.
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW Very observant kids. LOVED your answer. If they ever ask you again, suggest that they ask Grandma that question directly - might just stop her in her tracks.


    My kids all just seem to adapt to groundings and loss of privileges. While for some situations this works for my kids, situations caused by their "issues" never respond to that. Yeah, I know you knew that, we ALL know that.

    :consoling: ((((HUGS))))
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    The thing is, when I was growing up she was a very physical punisher. If you didn't do what she said when she said it, we got whacked with a stick. The thought of saying no to her or disagreeing with her got us worse punishment. Of course, I was the "bad" kid in the family (until my baby sister became a REBEL) and never did anything right and was actually diagnosis'd by some quack (based solely on my mom's version of events) as a "professional liar". That was over 30 years ago and she actually had the gall to remind my baby sister of that yesterday. My sister's response was, "don't you think she's outgrown that by now?" Mom's answer was simply "I would hope so but you never know." How sick is that just because she disagrees with my parenting style, which is the opposite of hers. I swear I am the only 48 year old that is still afraid to tick mommy off, although I am trying VERY hard to get past that for my sanity and the mental health of my children. I refuse to raise my kids to be afraid of me.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Lifelong patterns of behavior very rarely change. I don't mean to sound pessimistic but unless she recognizes her issues I don't think there is anything you can do other than limit your contact. Perhaps, you could declare the subject off limits and then just say "sorry I have to go now" if she begins again??? I'm sorry that your relationship isn't the way you hoped it would be. DDD
  5. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with DDD. I really think any attempts to change her mind on any of this, are a waste of breath and precious energy. It's so painful when our family members are so completely unable to understand or support us that we have to detach from them.. but I think it is necessary sometimes (I have a brother like this). If she's "arguing" via email, just don't reply (or, write up a reply but don't send it.. I do this sometimes just to get it out). If you don't reply, you take away some of her power over you. Disengage yourself from any furture conversations by saying something like, "I appreciate your point of view, but I really need to do what I think is best. I'm not going to discuss this with you any more. So, isn't this weather crazy?" :)

    I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I thought Tedo was calling for me!!!
  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Janet, if you're here, you don't fit MY definition!!! LOL

    Thanks for the input ladies. My last response to her was that I will not discuss this any further and that I draw the line here. So far, it's the silent treatment from her. She is, however, "venting" to my sisters about how terribly I am treating her and how so wrong I am. We have been keeping our distance but will totally disengage if need be.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It hurts a lot to hear this kind of thing over and over from your mom. I would tell her that this is NOT a topic that is open for discussion and if she continues to bring it up or to discipline your son when you are right there then she won't see them. in my opinion it woudl be better for the kids to not see her than to experience that kind of constant criticism and to see her do that to you. You CAN set a boundary that this is off limits and she is NOT going to do anything to discipline your kids when you are there. That she does not have to like the way you are raising them but she DOES have to respect that it is your right to raise them any way you see fit. Period.

    If she cannot respect this then seh is NOT a good influence on your kids. I learned the hard way that having Grandma constantly undermine Mom with messages that Mom isn't good enough at whatever ( discipline, raising kids, anything) will result in kids that do not respect mom as much. But if mom sets a boundary about this and sticks to it, then the kids learn that A. You don't mess with Mom and B. It is OKAY to say a topic isn't open for discussion if you are an adult or if the conversation is unhealthy.

    There is NOTHING healthy about what your mom is doing. Her comment about wondering if you would lie to cover up bad behavior of your child is extremely telling. This woman has NO respect for you. You will have to be very firm and consistent to establish your boundaries, but in the long run it is teh best thing you can do. been there done that myself.

    If/when she continues to email you about this, let her know that you will NOT be spending time with her or going places with her. Don't ride with your family to go somewhere. Either drive yourself, find antoher ride, call a taxi or don't go. It is unhealthy to put yourself and your kids esp difficult child in that situation. Don't give them rides unless they will agree to NOT say things like that to your children. If they don't keep the agreement, let them out of the car and let them find their own way home. They are adults. If you are at their home and they start to discipline your child, scold your child, or they want to discuss this topic/his behavior/your parenting, give one warning and then if they do not stop get up and leave iwth the kids. Period. The next time you are there, do not give a warning. They start doing what you have said they cannot do, you get up and leave. they get ONE warning ONE time, not one warning each time you are together.

    They will either get the message and show you the respect you deserve or they won't. If they won't, they are not a good influence on your children and it is the perfect way to show your children that you will NOT tolerate abuse and disrespect from anyone, even if they are family. It also will show the kdis that it is okay to set boundaries and enforce them.

    Either way, I wouldn't read any more emails from your mother, at least for a while. She isn't saying anything you need to hear. Just because she sends an email or calls you doesn't mean you have to read the email or answer the phone call.
  9. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Susiestar, that is exactly where we are at. Until she agrees to let me do the parenting of my children my way, we will have no contact with her at all. Since we haven't been around her for two days now, I even notice the "relief" in my kids. I know I am more relieved. My life will continue just fine without her. I know the only reason we have tolerated it this long is 1) I have been raised to fear my mother and 2) it is the only grandparent my kids have. Ex's parents have never had anything to do with them (I've never even met the people because they live clear across the country), but then again neither has he (he went back home to mommy & daddy 3 months before they were born). My dad died 3 weeks before the boys were born so they never got to know him. These missing pieces in their lives cause intermittent issues with them but we work through them.

    Thanks again for all the support. I just love you guys!