Why is it always my fault?


New Member
My dad is always blaming me when it comes to my difficult children. I'm too hard on them, I never let them slide, yada yada yada. I love my dad and usually we get along great (and you have no idea how hard it was to type that right now with how mad I am), but we had a neuropysch visit today so we had to leave all the kids with him. My 3 difficult children were in trouble so there were on punishment and my dad plays the gray area with them and they're all playing when we get in. Then when I tell him how upset I am with them taking advantage of him, he says "Fine, I'm never watching any of your (fowl word here) kids again, ever". My husband tried to explain to him I was mad at my difficult children and not him, but I'd had it at that point. I try to make life easier for everyone around here by being very black and white with my difficult children if they are left with my dad, yet everytime without fail they do something they're not supposed to do with supposable permission from grandpa. Then to be cussed out by my father, what on earth? This is not behavior that he does, but he does always blame me if one of my difficult children is in trouble. Usually in a much milder form. Its always because I'm too hard on them or I should learn to ignore it, yada yada yada. At what point does he realize I'm not trying to be a jerk I just want to give them exact instructions because that is the language they speak. That I want his decision making left out of the equasion because if he gives any input at all, they go off the deep end. It has been awhile since I left him in charge during awake hours because this happens everytime. Even if difficult children aren't in trouble when I leave, by the time I'm back they have stolen something, snuck something or done something bad. We just didn't have a choice today and this is what I get for explaining to dear old dad why I was trying to leave him out of it.


Active Member
Wow, I am not sure how you do it! I could not live in peace knowing there was someone always judging everything I did. I get enough of that the minute I walk out of my house. Is there a medical reason he stays with you, or could he possibly live on his own?

My thoughts are with you.......

On another note, how did the psychiatric exam go?


Well-Known Member
in my opinion I'd detach from your dad. You don't need that and he doesn't seem to understand or to WANT to understand how to parent them. You can't MAKE him understand, listen, or do what you want--you can't control him, the only one you have control over is yourself. I've had to detach from relatives myself.


New Member
Since you were forced to use your dad, I would say learn to ignore what ever he tells you, and yes him to death, as you escort him out the door. :salute: bye bye!

And then when you are alone with the kids, explain to them clearly why it isn't okay for them to prey upon your dad like that. And if the next time they do xyz when g'pa is there, then abc will be the consequence. So they clearly know which boundaries they are crossing the second you walk out the door, and the consequences to them.

Don't waste your time trying to make your dad see the light though, he clearly has your number for the blame game and doesn't sound like he will be convinced. I have family like this, no matter how clear I make it, they have in the past the second I've left told my kids that my rules don't apply since I'm not there. :grrr: Needless to say, my family no longer watches my children unless they are in a deep sleep lol.



Former desparate mom
Pay a baby sitter. It's much less stressful and you can fire them.
If you ask a favor of family, you have to swallow their input. You don't have to follow it and you don't have to give it any more weight than any other unknowledgeable person but they are doing you a favor.
If you don't want his input, then don't ask him to sit for you. Detach, keep some distance, love him but don't let him act as a parent. His job is gramps.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
You can do what my Mom used to do.

Before we went anywhere, she laid down the rules of what we could and couldn't do. She told us ahead of time what the consequences would be if we didn't follow her rules.

While we were there if we broke one of her rules she never said a word. But once we got home... the guilty party had to pay the piper. And it was never pretty. Punishment was swift and painful.

I can count on one hand the number of times we got into any sort of trouble away from home with or without our mother.

Family always though she went way overboard. And yep, actually she did in many ways. But she had the best behaved 5 kids probably in the whole town. And 3 of us were difficult children. She could take us anywhere. I toned down some of her method with this and used it on my own kids. It worked for me, too.

It takes where they are/who they are with out of the equation. The issue becomes the rules and consequences, just as it is at home.



New Member
Amber-Today was just husband and I talking to the neuropysch. He gave us some paperwork to fill out about the boys. Hes going to meet them all next Wednesday, he said each visit should take about 2 hours. He thinks my oldest and youngest difficult child display some characteristics of aspergers (sp?) from what my husband and I say about things they do. He thinks middle difficult child may just be ADHD. He referred us to 2 pyschiatrists for us to try someone different than the doctor we've been seeing. Todays visit was 2 1/2 hours of questions and talking. I had written a list of all the "symptoms" my boys have and the doctor asked tons of questions too.

As for my dad, I went and told him under no uncertain terms is he to ever speak to me that way again. This is my house and he will treat me with respect. We discussed my issues with husband present, husband all the time on my side, but trying to soften the blow with dad. My dad sincerely apologized and explained he felt he was on the attack. In some ways, he was. The kids know that grandpa lets them do whatever they please so they do and deal with the consequences later. My difficult children just don't care about consequences enough to behave unless we're in front of them.

I'd absolutely love to hire a sitter sometimes, but I don't know anyone who can handle 6 kids. husband and I have a hard time dealing with all 6, you just can't pay anyone enough to do it. Thats why typically our only time away together is late at night after bedtime while dad veg's on the couch. The rest of the time its only one of us out and the other one home with kids.


Active Member
Have you thought of getting more than one sitter? Both adults? Maybe an education or sp. ed. undergrad? Is there someone with difficult children close by who can understand enough to be strict? We have this problem too. Sometimes I divide up the kids. difficult child 1 goes to a family without other kids while the other 2 somewhere else. No one realizes you just can't turn your back on him with other kids no matter how much I tell them. I've also found school teachers who are willing to babysit. I've also grounded difficult child 1 to his bedroom until I get back.


New Member
I haven't thought of sp. ed undergrads. Don't know any, but I guess I could try to find one somehow. I've only met people on here who admit to having difficult children. People I know from school don't admit to it and they certainly don't make it seem like their life is all that difficult. I don't know anyone who knows how to handle them or what to expect really.

I've grounded difficult children to their rooms too, today I sent them outside. Still, they misbehaved. And when they're in their room, they sneak out and steal stuff or destroy things. We had to put keyed locks on everyone elses rooms to keep them out. With dad in charge they walk right behind him through the dining room and sneak off to get whatever they please.

I feel like I have no options. I feel like until my 7 year old is 18, I won't have any away time with husband.


Active Member
I don't use my teacher friends (or anyone) for babysitting often just the times like you had where both of us had to be gone. I'm resigned to no time out with husband for the next 11 yrs to. Our dates consist of a movie after the boys are asleep. I feel like if I ask them to much they'll get burned out and won't want to.


New Member
Thats us, we only go out when they're asleep, with the exception of days like today. Dad always says we should go out more, but the kids don't behave when we're gone. Its just so exhausting. We feel like we should resign ourselves to the fact that no matter what, they will always misbehave. I just don't want to be at that point and maybe I should want to be there.


Why is it always your fault? Because you're the mom. Mom's are always the one to take the blame. We're easy targets.

I'd have a serious conversation with dad regarding his role as grandpa, not parent. I just do a lot of smiling and nodding with my mom. When she crosses the line, sometimes I tell her and sometimes I just tell her I have to go and get off the phone. But, it's easier for me than it is for you, as my mom is 45 minutes away; not down the hall. Definite boundaries need to be set.


New Member
You're going to hate this idea but it is what worked for me. Granted, it wasn't an issue in my own home but it was an issue at my mother's. Mom felt she knew what was best for my child and would pretty much let her do whatever she wanted. After a few battles, I gave up and simply decided that my rules did not apply when my daughter was with her grandmother. Her house, her rules.

This saved a tremendous amount of battles. Things also changed the day my child shaved her dog, stole her favorite perfume and dumped it all over the couch, dyed her white Persian cat pink with kool-aid and cut up a Persian rug. This was all in the span of two hours. All of a sudden Mom asked what my rules were, how to handle her, etc.

As I said, I know your situation is different because it is still your house. The one thing I'm not sure of is whether your father actually knew the kids were in punishment mode. Just having the kids know is never enough. I think even the most well-behaved child would be reluctant to tell a sitter they're in trouble.

However, if this were my situation, I would either give my father explicit instructions as to what the kids can and cannot do or, more likely, let things be pretty loose and accept the fact that things will not be qas I want them when I get home. No matter what, I would not expect someone else to enforce my consequences. It just becomes too hard for all involved.


Former desparate mom
My other thought is that if 6 kids is almost too much for either you or husband alone, that maybe a sitter with dad is a more humane idea.

The sitter can attend to half the kids and dad can attend to halp the kids. Handling a 3 yr old requires different skills than a 10yr old difficult child. Just a thought.


New Member
Yes, my dad did know they were on punishment. I actually had hoped by giving them instructions and sending them to a specific location that my dad wouldn't have to deal with them at all. He would just be there in case of emergency basically. This was expressed to him and he still went out of his way to make sure they knew he was in charge and they could do as they pleased.

I think between him cussing me out and the fact he always tells me its my fault they're in trouble, I had had enough yesterday. I apparently make them behave the way they do. He has since apologized for cussing me out. The boys doing as they please yesterday is exactly why we stopped allowing dad to watch them during awake hours. We didn't want him to have to watch kids who were in trouble and we know hes not really capable of it when they're not in trouble either. Him babysitting is only used now for when the kids are sleeping or when both husband and I need to be there for an appointment. My mom doesn't babysit, but she would keep our rules if she did, probably stricter. I'm debating next time begging her to watch them just so I don't have to deal with the mayhem when I get home.