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x in laws

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

The BACK STORY

my XH and I had a very nasty divorce. His mother was part of the reason for this, the other side was him having mental health issues. I was able to protect my children in the long run all be it many years into it. those boys are now 16 and 12. they do not see their father currently (due to a breech of custody order and refusal to comply with counseling) he has also chosen to not have any contact with them (his choice) 

 

XH mother fought me for custody at one point and that was a mess. She obviously did not win and was not even given visitations because she would bad mouth me to the children and was just nasty to them about me. after 2 years of her not seeing them we slowly worked out her seeing them one Christmas when I reached out to her. slowly she was allowed to spend more and more time with them. Currently she seems them once a month for the weekend, more isn't really feasible since they have tons of school stuff and friends etc. 

 

THE ISSUE

we offered her time for her birthday weekend and she took them from Friday at 5 to Sunday before church. the boys came home sullen and cranky as usual which i usually attribute to less sleep/poor eating/endless video games. not an issue since its once a month and shes a grandparent. whatever.

turns out shes bad mouthing me to the boys again. talking about how I'M a control freak, its not fair I grounded DS1 from his phone. not fair that when XH snuck him a phone I tool that away too. that she refuses to help him pay for his wrestling summer camp (500$) because she thinks I will just spend the money. she even went as far as to tell DS1 that he should move in with her to "get out from under my thumb"

 

I have decided to stop visits for a bit. that was at the beginning of march and just now have I stopped getting attitude and crap from my boys. Every time I would ask them to do anything they say I'm so controlling or other comments like that.

 

I ha vent spoken to her since I found all this out. I am still furious. Am I overreacting? what would you say to her in this situation

post #2 of 20

No your not over reacting.  You gave her a chance and she blew it again.   Teens are hard enough to parent with out a toxic influence

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

i guess I just feel guilty. they dont see their dad at all and to take away their grandparent on that side seems horrid. they do still see my XH dad and they enjoy a wonderful healthy relationship with him. they have my parents and DH's parents . DH's parents treat them like all the other grandkids. I just want them to have as many people that love them around them as possible. I want to fix it , which could just be my very own hangup

post #4 of 20

You cant make people "nice"   You extended your heart/hand to your xmil and she treated it badly.   She is using the boys for her own agenda and thats not good for them or you.   Sounds like they have many people in their lives  that love them.   Could you do  "dinner dates" with the boys and their grandmother?  Eliminating the over nights?  Its easier to detox from 3 or 4 hrs than 2 days

post #5 of 20

Do the boys want to go spend time with her? They are 16 and 12. At those ages if they wanted to go and spend time with grandma I would let them and just tell them if grandma is saying inappopriate things to tell her they don't want to hear it.

post #6 of 20

You sound right on point, to me!

 

It's not about you punishing Grandma because she doesn't like you.  It's about Grandma failing to recognize that it's unhealthy FOR THE BOYS, to have people undermine their mother's parenting and encouraging them to disrespect you.  

 

And you don't have to be a perfect parent, to deserve respect from your children.  Even if Grandma might have chosen to handle discipline issues differently with her own kids, you have handled it in the way you think is best.  You've done nothing abusive or inappropriate.  So, your kids need to understand that YOU are their parent, they must follow YOUR rules, or deal with YOUR consequences.  I may not agree with every individual restriction my best friend places on her kids.  That is, I may not place the same restrictions on my kids.  But when her kids are at my house, I support her rules.  God made her their mother.  She is doing what she thinks is best for them.  They know what she expects - and so do I.  And so that's what I expect of her kids, when they're with me, whether she's around to see what's going on, or not.  Anyone who does not model the same respect for YOU, to your kids, is not teaching them to do the right thing and be their best selves.  Anyone who encourages them to disrespect and disobey you is training them to be sneaky and dishonest and is trying to damage one of the most important relationships in their lives.

 

Don't reach out to Grandma.  When/if she reaches out to you, wanting to resume spending time with the kids, tell her yes, on the the condition that she not bad-mouth you, and give her another chance.  If you get the same result, have them stop spending weekends at her house again.  Invite her to come have lunch at yours.  If she really wants to see the kids, she'll come and she'll be polite.  If the bigger priority for her is to get your kids away from you and to try to have them side with her, against you, then they really don't need to be around her anyway.

 

I'm not saying you ARE controlling.  Kids don't have an inalienable right to their cell phones!  But sometimes "controlling" parents produce adult offspring who have better self-control.  My friend's excellent mother often told her, "I'm not interested in being the 'cool' Mom.  You and I can be friends when you're a self-supporting, functional adult.  Right now, my job is to make the rules and set limits.  You don't have to like them, but you do have to respect them."  She was absolutely right.  She did raise two self-supporting, functional adults.  And both of them have great friendships with her, now.  Don't apologize for good parenting.

post #7 of 20

Yes..this isn't your fault.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBaxter View Post

You cant make people "nice"   You extended your heart/hand to your xmil and she treated it badly.   She is using the boys for her own agenda and thats not good for them or you.   Sounds like they have many people in their lives  that love them.   Could you do  "dinner dates" with the boys and their grandmother?  Eliminating the over nights?  Its easier to detox from 3 or 4 hrs than 2 days



 

post #8 of 20

I agree, all visits should be stopped. Teenaged years can be so tricky and she is manipulating them and hurting them by doing this. She took advantage. They do not need to speak to her or see her again for a long time. Ever in my opinion.

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post

You sound right on point, to me!

 

It's not about you punishing Grandma because she doesn't like you.  It's about Grandma failing to recognize that it's unhealthy FOR THE BOYS, to have people undermine their mother's parenting and encouraging them to disrespect you.  

 

And you don't have to be a perfect parent, to deserve respect from your children.  Even if Grandma might have chosen to handle discipline issues differently with her own kids, you have handled it in the way you think is best.  You've done nothing abusive or inappropriate.  So, your kids need to understand that YOU are their parent, they must follow YOUR rules, or deal with YOUR consequences.  I may not agree with every individual restriction my best friend places on her kids.  That is, I may not place the same restrictions on my kids.  But when her kids are at my house, I support her rules.  God made her their mother.  She is doing what she thinks is best for them.  They know what she expects - and so do I.  And so that's what I expect of her kids, when they're with me, whether she's around to see what's going on, or not.  Anyone who does not model the same respect for YOU, to your kids, is not teaching them to do the right thing and be their best selves.  Anyone who encourages them to disrespect and disobey you is training them to be sneaky and dishonest and is trying to damage one of the most important relationships in their lives.

 

Don't reach out to Grandma.  When/if she reaches out to you, wanting to resume spending time with the kids, tell her yes, on the the condition that she not bad-mouth you, and give her another chance.  If you get the same result, have them stop spending weekends at her house again.  Invite her to come have lunch at yours.  If she really wants to see the kids, she'll come and she'll be polite.  If the bigger priority for her is to get your kids away from you and to try to have them side with her, against you, then they really don't need to be around her anyway.

 

I'm not saying you ARE controlling.  Kids don't have an inalienable right to their cell phones!  But sometimes "controlling" parents produce adult offspring who have better self-control.  My friend's excellent mother often told her, "I'm not interested in being the 'cool' Mom.  You and I can be friends when you're a self-supporting, functional adult.  Right now, my job is to make the rules and set limits.  You don't have to like them, but you do have to respect them."  She was absolutely right.  She did raise two self-supporting, functional adults.  And both of them have great friendships with her, now.  Don't apologize for good parenting.


I agree whole heartedly with this. If you don't want her in your home, then the visit could be in a restaurant or bowling alley or wherever else she can suggest that the boys might enjoy. 

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

i dont want her in my home. the last time she came here she made stuff up and called CPS. She is always invited to everything parties, sport events , school things ect. she chooses not to come. She wants them on her terms or not at all. I feel sad for my boys.

 

your right I cant make her get it. I cant make her nice. I just so desperately feel like I need to fix it for them (my own hang up admittedly)  thank you guys for the input. After all the divorce and issues put me through I have a hard time not feeling like Its my fault. thanks again everyone. I appreciate the input

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 

I am kind of controlling in the way that I expect respect and manners. I expect good grades (within ability) I currently have my teen grounded until report cards come out . but , I also allow for my boys to learn from mistakes. everything in life has consequences. Its something my XH never really learned I guess now I know why. Maybe Im not so much controlling as I hold our boys to a higher standard and I hold them accountable.

thank you jeannine~ 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post

You sound right on point, to me!

 

It's not about you punishing Grandma because she doesn't like you.  It's about Grandma failing to recognize that it's unhealthy FOR THE BOYS, to have people undermine their mother's parenting and encouraging them to disrespect you.  

 

And you don't have to be a perfect parent, to deserve respect from your children.  Even if Grandma might have chosen to handle discipline issues differently with her own kids, you have handled it in the way you think is best.  You've done nothing abusive or inappropriate.  So, your kids need to understand that YOU are their parent, they must follow YOUR rules, or deal with YOUR consequences.  I may not agree with every individual restriction my best friend places on her kids.  That is, I may not place the same restrictions on my kids.  But when her kids are at my house, I support her rules.  God made her their mother.  She is doing what she thinks is best for them.  They know what she expects - and so do I.  And so that's what I expect of her kids, when they're with me, whether she's around to see what's going on, or not.  Anyone who does not model the same respect for YOU, to your kids, is not teaching them to do the right thing and be their best selves.  Anyone who encourages them to disrespect and disobey you is training them to be sneaky and dishonest and is trying to damage one of the most important relationships in their lives.

 

Don't reach out to Grandma.  When/if she reaches out to you, wanting to resume spending time with the kids, tell her yes, on the the condition that she not bad-mouth you, and give her another chance.  If you get the same result, have them stop spending weekends at her house again.  Invite her to come have lunch at yours.  If she really wants to see the kids, she'll come and she'll be polite.  If the bigger priority for her is to get your kids away from you and to try to have them side with her, against you, then they really don't need to be around her anyway.

 

I'm not saying you ARE controlling.  Kids don't have an inalienable right to their cell phones!  But sometimes "controlling" parents produce adult offspring who have better self-control.  My friend's excellent mother often told her, "I'm not interested in being the 'cool' Mom.  You and I can be friends when you're a self-supporting, functional adult.  Right now, my job is to make the rules and set limits.  You don't have to like them, but you do have to respect them."  She was absolutely right.  She did raise two self-supporting, functional adults.  And both of them have great friendships with her, now.  Don't apologize for good parenting.



 

post #12 of 20

 

"The last time she came here she made stuff up and called CPS."

 

Then from now until your youngest is 18, she doesn't exist. Seriously. Maintaining ties with somebody who calls CPS on you is like maintaining ties with somebody who batters you. 

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

"The last time she came here she made stuff up and called CPS."

 

Then from now until your youngest is 18, she doesn't exist. Seriously. Maintaining ties with somebody who calls CPS on you is like maintaining ties with somebody who batters you. 



I totally agree. She sounds very toxic.

 

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 


I dont know that I ever looked at it that way. interesting. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

"The last time she came here she made stuff up and called CPS."

 

Then from now until your youngest is 18, she doesn't exist. Seriously. Maintaining ties with somebody who calls CPS on you is like maintaining ties with somebody who batters you. 



 

post #15 of 20

Mama, where is your self-respect? She asked the government to take away your kids, install them in a stranger's home? At best, a CPS invasion is still a terrible shock to a parent, even if the worker "gets it" and apologizes for interrupting your day.

 

You deserve support and respect, from yourself and from everyone around you. It has to start with you. This person has no place in your life and is a horrible burden to your children.

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
And you don't have to be a perfect parent, to deserve respect from your children.  Even if Grandma might have chosen to handle discipline issues differently with her own kids, you have handled it in the way you think is best.  You've done nothing abusive or inappropriate.  So, your kids need to understand that YOU are their parent, they must follow YOUR rules, or deal with YOUR consequences.  I may not agree with every individual restriction my best friend places on her kids.  That is, I may not place the same restrictions on my kids.  But when her kids are at my house, I support her rules.  God made her their mother.  She is doing what she thinks is best for them.  They know what she expects - and so do I.  And so that's what I expect of her kids, when they're with me, whether she's around to see what's going on, or not.  Anyone who does not model the same respect for YOU, to your kids, is not teaching them to do the right thing and be their best selves.  Anyone who encourages them to disrespect and disobey you is training them to be sneaky and dishonest and is trying to damage one of the most important relationships in their lives.

 

I'm not saying you ARE controlling.  Kids don't have an inalienable right to their cell phones!  But sometimes "controlling" parents produce adult offspring who have better self-control.  My friend's excellent mother often told her, "I'm not interested in being the 'cool' Mom.  You and I can be friends when you're a self-supporting, functional adult.  Right now, my job is to make the rules and set limits.  You don't have to like them, but you do have to respect them."  She was absolutely right.  She did raise two self-supporting, functional adults.  And both of them have great friendships with her, now.  Don't apologize for good parenting.


 

I am sorry to thread hijack, back these two paragraphs are pretty much the most spot on concise examples of why you are my personal hero for parenting, Jeannine. More than once I have thought, "What would Jeannine do?" when dealing with drama.  I think you sound like a really awesome person and I'm thrilled that I get to follow you around MDC reading your advice.

 

Uhm, I'll go stand in the awkward fangirl corner and shut up now.  Back to your regularly scheduled thread.

post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittn View Post


I dont know that I ever looked at it that way. interesting. 



 



Yes, at this point in time you are in an enabler/abuser cycle with the woman.  You are allowing her access to your children while knowing full well that she does inappropriate things with them.  At this point it's not all her fault any more.  If you allow your children to go to her house you are giving her permission to be an influence on your children.  Do you really think that is in their best interest?  So, how stable is your exhusband again?

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittn View Post

i dont want her in my home. the last time she came here she made stuff up and called CPS. She is always invited to everything parties, sport events , school things ect. she chooses not to come. She wants them on her terms or not at all. I feel sad for my boys.

 

your right I cant make her get it. I cant make her nice. I just so desperately feel like I need to fix it for them (my own hang up admittedly)  thank you guys for the input. After all the divorce and issues put me through I have a hard time not feeling like Its my fault. thanks again everyone. I appreciate the input



That is just the saddest thing. I really think you are in the right here. My X-SIL is a horrible parent but my mom would WALK ON NAILS and has come close to it frankly to maintain a relationship with her grandkids and be a support to them whilst living with a nutjob. A grandparent who really wants to be there, will be.

 

post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 

I thought I should pop over and update ya'll nice ladies. First I want to thank you all for your input. I really thought hard about it. I worked through what was going on in my head that made this even seem ok for a second. and  I realized I was behaving like a frightened teenager.(the same teen I was when I had DS1) not that it makes it ok , just the reason I guess. partially that and being far to over emotional and pregnant. Since having my daughter things have spun into a new perspective. I keep thinking "what do I hope Gracie would do in my shoes with her own children?"horrors.gif   UGhhh yeah

anyway. I politely but in no uncertain terms let nanna know that she would not be taking the kids anywhere. she can have monitored email and phone contact with them and may come to any  of their school and sport functions but I will not allow her to turn my house into a battle ground.

So thank you ladies for helping me find my backbone. I dont know when it was misplaced but I am so glad to have it back thumb.gif

post #20 of 20

 

thumb.gif

 

Good job mama!

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