or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › I just threatened to cut my parents out of my kids' lives
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I just threatened to cut my parents out of my kids' lives - Page 3

post #41 of 54
To expect the parents to keep a houseful of toys like that at their house would be disrespectful, but IMO the grandparents should be able to keep whatever toys they want at their house for the kids to play with. She set up a play room in her house for her grandkids. That's a nice thing. It seems very disrespectful to me to say, "Yeah but you didn't get the right toys." They're just for when at grandma's house.
post #42 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

To expect the parents to keep a houseful of toys like that at their house would be disrespectful, but IMO the grandparents should be able to keep whatever toys they want at their house for the kids to play with. She set up a play room in her house for her grandkids. That's a nice thing. It seems very disrespectful to me to say, "Yeah but you didn't get the right toys." They're just for when at grandma's house.


I agree. This reminds me of my SIL who freaks out and makes a huge stink that my MIL has barbies at her house... her kids see MIL twice a year, are we really going to pick a fight about Barbies? There are a lot of things I don't love my kids to play with but I can talk with them about the hows and whys when we're at home and just let them enjoy their grandparents in the small amount of time they're with them. 

post #43 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

To expect the parents to keep a houseful of toys like that at their house would be disrespectful, but IMO the grandparents should be able to keep whatever toys they want at their house for the kids to play with. She set up a play room in her house for her grandkids. That's a nice thing. It seems very disrespectful to me to say, "Yeah but you didn't get the right toys." They're just for when at grandma's house.


What if g'ma knows that parents do not want their children playing with toy guns.  Do the parents just have to roll over in your opinion, allow the children to play w/ them at g'ma's and not feel disrespected because g'ma knew their wishes and thought "eh, I don't give a cr*p what kind of values my child is trying to teach, they're not mine and it's my house so I'll do what I want.  What if it was bratz dolls or some toy that you didn't think was safe for your child (my mother insisted a child could never get hurt on a pogo stick, it's still in the box in the closet).  What if parents were Jewish and g'ma was buying lots of Christian themed toys?  In this case I think OP said it was plastic-y and battery operated toys she wasn't happy about, and that may seem less salient to some of us, but OP is the parent and it's her call.

 

Not only do I think parents have every right to put limits on what their children are exposed to anywhere, including g'ma's house, but I also think if the g'parents are not respecting those limits, the parent has every reason to be upset and put their foot down.

post #44 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post





What if g'ma knows that parents do not want their children playing with toy guns.  Do the parents just have to roll over in your opinion, allow the children to play w/ them at g'ma's and not feel disrespected because g'ma knew their wishes and thought "eh, I don't give a cr*p what kind of values my child is trying to teach, they're not mine and it's my house so I'll do what I want.  What if it was bratz dolls or some toy that you didn't think was safe for your child (my mother insisted a child could never get hurt on a pogo stick, it's still in the box in the closet).  What if parents were Jewish and g'ma was buying lots of Christian themed toys?  In this case I think OP said it was plastic-y and battery operated toys she wasn't happy about, and that may seem less salient to some of us, but OP is the parent and it's her call.

 

Not only do I think parents have every right to put limits on what their children are exposed to anywhere, including g'ma's house, but I also think if the g'parents are not respecting those limits, the parent has every reason to be upset and put their foot down.


Well, if grandma gave them arsenic and broken glass to play with, obviously that wouldn't be OK, so yes there is a line somewhere. But I'm not talking about anything that might come up - I'm talking about one grandma who tried to do something nice and created a playroom for her grandkids and bought toys for it made of plastic, some of which use batteries. Yes, I think it's rude in that specific case to say the toys aren't good enough.
post #45 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post





What if g'ma knows that parents do not want their children playing with toy guns.  Do the parents just have to roll over in your opinion, allow the children to play w/ them at g'ma's and not feel disrespected because g'ma knew their wishes and thought "eh, I don't give a cr*p what kind of values my child is trying to teach, they're not mine and it's my house so I'll do what I want.  What if it was bratz dolls or some toy that you didn't think was safe for your child (my mother insisted a child could never get hurt on a pogo stick, it's still in the box in the closet).  What if parents were Jewish and g'ma was buying lots of Christian themed toys?  In this case I think OP said it was plastic-y and battery operated toys she wasn't happy about, and that may seem less salient to some of us, but OP is the parent and it's her call.

 

Not only do I think parents have every right to put limits on what their children are exposed to anywhere, including g'ma's house, but I also think if the g'parents are not respecting those limits, the parent has every reason to be upset and put their foot down.




Well, if grandma gave them arsenic and broken glass to play with, obviously that wouldn't be OK, so yes there is a line somewhere. But I'm not talking about anything that might come up - I'm talking about one grandma who tried to do something nice and created a playroom for her grandkids and bought toys for it made of plastic, some of which use batteries. Yes, I think it's rude in that specific case to say the toys aren't good enough.



But WHO gets to decide what is an isn't appropriate?  The parents or grandparents?  I think the parents, regardless of how misguided their choices.  I would never pick a fight over plastic and batteries, but I would over toy guys.  Maybe another parent feels the opposite.  In the end, it should be the parents' right to decide, and the grandparents should respect that. 

 

post #46 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post





What if g'ma knows that parents do not want their children playing with toy guns.  Do the parents just have to roll over in your opinion, allow the children to play w/ them at g'ma's and not feel disrespected because g'ma knew their wishes and thought "eh, I don't give a cr*p what kind of values my child is trying to teach, they're not mine and it's my house so I'll do what I want.  What if it was bratz dolls or some toy that you didn't think was safe for your child (my mother insisted a child could never get hurt on a pogo stick, it's still in the box in the closet).  What if parents were Jewish and g'ma was buying lots of Christian themed toys?  In this case I think OP said it was plastic-y and battery operated toys she wasn't happy about, and that may seem less salient to some of us, but OP is the parent and it's her call.

 

Not only do I think parents have every right to put limits on what their children are exposed to anywhere, including g'ma's house, but I also think if the g'parents are not respecting those limits, the parent has every reason to be upset and put their foot down.




Well, if grandma gave them arsenic and broken glass to play with, obviously that wouldn't be OK, so yes there is a line somewhere. But I'm not talking about anything that might come up - I'm talking about one grandma who tried to do something nice and created a playroom for her grandkids and bought toys for it made of plastic, some of which use batteries. Yes, I think it's rude in that specific case to say the toys aren't good enough.


I guess for me the more profound problem is that grandma knew of her dd's wishes and chose to go against them.  That's very disrespectful.  I know that for both my husband and myself, it is important and feels good to have our parents respect us as parents.  It would be hurtful to have them so blatantly disrespect us that way.

 

post #47 of 54

I haven't read all the responses, but I would like to respond to say that I think removing the grandmother from your child's life is not a good solution to this situation.

When I was growing up there was a very similar dynamic between my mother and her mother, mostly over expectations about my younger brother's behavior (he was high-needs, odd, spectrum-y, etc). My grandparents took a tougher -- though I think reasonable, and well-humored -- approach to my brother's very difficult behavior. This was, apparently, triggering for my mother. My mother decided to stop all interaction with her parents for years, and forbid me to spend time with them as well. 

 

I understand that it was hard for my mother to deal with this situation, but I really think her reaction to it was all about her own feelings and not about what my brother was actually experiencing. However, my mother's solution -- completely splitting for her parents for most of our childhoods -- did not protect my brother and I. Instead it caused us (me more than him, actually, because of my age) to lose out on our relationships with our grandparents.

 

My mother later came to peace with her parents, thank God. After 10 years of work, they were able to have a loving relationship. Sadly it was too late for me, as I was convinced from a young age that the problem with my grandparents was my fault, and that I was somehow part of the problem (because my mother told them they favored me, etc). My brother was able to rebuild a relationship with our grandparents, as he was about 13 when my mother reconciled with her parents. I, on the other hand, was already away from home and separated from my family for my own reasons.

 

OP, I know it's hard now, but please, think of the harm that a permanent split from your mother could do to your son, especially if he thinks it's all about him. I agree with previous posters, if you know that the food thing is one of your son's ways of acting out right now, perhaps you could express that to your mother. Say "yes, this is his hill to die on right now. Let's let this blow over for the time being" (or whatever your strategy is for dealing with this). Don't let a little -- and known -- tantrum become the reason to split from your mother. If there are other and larger reasons, that are really between YOU TWO, perhaps those are the things to think about, perhaps those are the things to discuss with your mother. Work through your relationship together (or don't), but don't make it all about your son, please. 

 

post #48 of 54
Thread Starter 
OP here.

I want to clear a few things up. Of course I was addressing my son's behavior. I was calmly and repeatedly asking him to speak nicely. I wasn't screaming back at him which is the reaction my mother was probably looking for from me. So she felt the need to "handle it."

When I do something wrong, such as yell, I apologize to my son. Even if I have to do it 3 times in a day. Apologies are important. Pride can destroy a person.

As for the toys, it's a control thing with her. When she built the room she asked me what he liked and I told her along with things we are avoiding. She knows we don't like mass marketed character toys and she buys them anyway to simply flex her muscles and control everything.

We are not speaking but will be at the same event tonight. I am dreading it.

I'm just rather depressed about the whole thing.
post #49 of 54

OP-- I hope things go okay for you tonight.  I understand the whole flexing control thing on the toys because my mom is just like that.  Same thing with how I "discipline."  I have no other advice...just a hug and to tell you I understand. 

post #50 of 54

OP -- our moms are not really similar in personality, but I feel that I can identify with your situation because my mom has also completely disregarded me when I have told her that it was not okay for her to say certain things to my children. At more than one point, I have felt that we have reached "the end" and that I could never speak to her or see her again. The disrespect was just too hurtful.

 

But...my mom is 39 years older than me (she's 86 now), and, after some time would pass I'd start wondering if she was still in good health or even alive. I even subscribed to her church's newsletter so that I could be alerted if she was in the hospital or something (by the way, I'm still glad to be getting this, because one of my old friends from high school suddenly died last September, and my mom never even mentioned it to me -- but I know she knew about it since I saw her at his memorial service, and I was so glad that I saw the notice in the newsletter and got to go because I was able to renew a couple of old friendships, including my friendship with my friend's bereaved wife).

 

At any rate, what has been working for us for some time now is that we don't allow her any unsupervised visits with our girls. We currently visit her, as a family group, for about 1-2 hours every two or three months or so.

 

I've become so much more at peace now that I've just accepted that she's not going to ever respect me or any boundaries that I've set (even though she'll always feign agreement), or even remember that I'm sick of hearing, over and over again ad nauseum, about stuff like how my unpopularity in school made it really hard for my poor brother, who was two grades behind me, to make any friends because he was stigmatized as the brother of the weirdo...

 

Since I no longer waste my breath trying to explain, for the gazillionth time, why what she just said to one of my girls or me was not okay, I have soooo much more energy for relaxing and enjoying life!

 

Now, if she starts off on a tangent that I don't find acceptable for the girls or me to hear, I can do one of the following two things:

 

a) Change the subject. Example: "Hey mom, why don't you tell the girls about the time that you and your brothers walked home from school in that blizzard?"

b) If she's in a tenacious enough frame of mind to not be willing to change the subject, or if I'm so ticked off by what she just said that I just feel like I'm done with her and don't even care to try to change the subject, I say something like, "Oh, gosh, it looks like we need to get going." Since my girls aren't always quick to transition, I'll say something like, "Okay girls, you need to be finishing up (usually, at Mom's, it would be a TV show); we need to leave pretty quickly."

 

I actually haven't had many problems, of late, getting them to make this transition...and, forgetful as my mom my seem, now that I've formed this habit of not even confronting her about her misdeeds, but just "movin' right along," her inappropriate digressions have gotten less and less frequent.

 

The thing is, back when I'd get upset with her and explain myself over and over in some fruitless attempt to get her to listen to me and see my point of view, I was actually feeding into her control drama. I was giving her the power to make me angry! Once I realized that she really wasn't ever going to change, this freed me up to decide how, to what extent, and even if, I wanted to deal with her. And my decision to just get up and quicly extricate my family and myself from any negative interactions, has had a whole lot more impact on my Mom's behavior than all my years of attempting to appeal to her as a fellow human being.

 

 

post #51 of 54

You, are making a rod for your own back.  Teaching your child that it's OK to be rude to an adult and expect the adult to apologise after the child, was rude to her?  Believe me, you will deeply regret this in years to come when your child is grown and treats you with such disrespect, don't complain.  You taught him.

post #52 of 54
My 2 cents is to tread lightly when cutting out family members. I'm surprised so many posters jump straight to that. It can become generational. I know a woman who grew up watching her mom cut out "toxic" family. Now, this woman feels totally okay cutting out her mother over a disagreement. It's what she grew up with & what she knows. Her mother is heartbroken over not seeing her grandchildren, but, really, what did she expect? That's what she modeled & taught her daughter. Of course, abusive situations are a different story, but, I wouldn't cut out a family member over a disagreement of the OP's nature. Maybe set some ground rules & reduce/supervise visits, but, not totally cut out my mom over a heated moment.
post #53 of 54

I'm so sorry this happened, it sounds hard. And a lifetime of dealing with that behavior - not good.

 

I will add this though about the cutting off. Think real hard before you do it. My parents cut off a lot of people who were important to me, and as a grown up I have a lot of questions about that. Be sure you are doing it for the right reasons.

 

Good luck.

post #54 of 54

I might not cut her off but I would seriously limit where and how much time I would spend with that family member. Id probably also avoid their house (I find that meeting in a public place puts everyone on their best behavior, at least for adults) and avoid situations that might cause conflict (no lunch dates). I found that my inlaws were best when they were out doing an activity with the kids so we would met someplace where they could play with the kids.

 

As for the original situation, Id probably not have even tried to get my 4 year old to eat. Mine went through a phase like that and when she refused I just put her food to one side and went on with lunch. She either came to the table and ate with us or went hungry. I know some people probably would call me a bad mom for that BUT I refuse to fight someone to eat and I knew she wouldn't starve herself. 9 times out of 10 she ate with us. The last time she got to wait for snack time (my children have a chance for a snack every 2 hours or so) and then got a chance to eat something. For me, fighting over whether or not she would eat her lunch wasn't something I wanted to do. Shes a healthy kid, missing 1 meal won't kill her.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › I just threatened to cut my parents out of my kids' lives