I just threatened to cut my parents out of my kids' lives - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 54 Old 06-09-2011, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll do my best to keep this short. My mother is a handful. She has lots of great qualities but way more lousy ones. Growing up was stressful and I have more bad memories than good. From the outside all way fine and dandy. In her mind she spoiled me. In my reality she was controlling, hurtful, manipulative, and mean and emotionless. She guilt trips and dismisses feelings. She yells. She insults. She is very judgementel. For lack of a better phrase, she's always up on the cross. she was a punisher. Toys taken away as a kid, grounding and canceled plans as a teen. All. The. Time..

She's an odd grandma. On one hand she devoted an entire room in her house to the kids but will buy what she wants regardless of any restrictions we have. (no character toys, battery toys etc ). She calls to say come visit then when we get there has a puss on her face and acts like she doesn't have the will to live. things like this.

She also never ever under any circumstances apologizes. It has been a real sore spot with me for my entire life.

My dad is attached to her at the hip and what she says goes. Period.

Today my almost 4yr old son fell asleep on the way there and woke up too early and was crabby. His weapon of choice right now is to refuse to eat. He will yell, run away, tantrum whatever. I have learned to just collect him, dragging if need be to his chair and calmly that it is time to eat. So he's fussing and she's grumbling within earshot what happened to make him think he's the boss, and blah, blah. She goes to give him a napkin and he yells that he doesn't want lunch. She then, to my horror, leans down, gets in his face and hisses at him "then you'll be a weak little boy!!"

I grabbed her and told her not to speak to him like that. Ever. Minutes pass and my sad, confused son asks " why did grandma make a mean face at me?". I say I don't know why but she should apologize. Well that did it. She was snarling and yelling and I yelled right back. Mainly because she made it about her, not my son. That he throws fits because I'm mean to her. Like, really? Was she joking?

I told her again to apologize. She refused. I packed up and left making it very clear that she would not see her grandkids if shevrefused to apologize. I sent an email when I got home saying the same thing. She put me through this stuff and said mean judgementel things to me my entirevlife but she will not do it to my kids.

Guess this is just a vent but I feel sick over it.
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#2 of 54 Old 06-09-2011, 08:39 PM
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Just hugs, mama. I hope you have a peaceful night.
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#3 of 54 Old 06-10-2011, 06:23 AM
 
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I had something very similar happen a few years ago, where my mom said something verbally abusive to my daughter (called her a horrid little girl), and we walked out and I said we wouldn't be back until she was willing to apologize and promise not to talk to her again like that. She did eventually apologize and said she wouldn't do it again, but we still have very limited visits and my kids are never alone with her, and I am always prepared to pack up and go at a moment's notice.

Good luck, and you aren't alone!
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#4 of 54 Old 06-10-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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hug2.gifOur mom's sound very similar! I have cut my mother out of our lives completely, for different reasons though, and I can honestly say my life is much more peaceful now!! My mom was a great grandma and had a very good relationship with my kids, so I let them visit her after our fall out, unfortunately she did things that caused some emotional trauma, and something that could have put their lives in danger.... So my kids haven't seen her since, and won't until they can take care of themselves and make their own decisions regarding her.

 

I'm so sorry!


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#5 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 06:58 AM
 
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Don't just threaten to cut her off-JUST DO IT!

 

She will not change.She did it to you and is now doing it to the grandkids.If you are OK with what she says and does then just keep taking the child to her.Thing is once she does/says something that is hurtful an apology does not in any way make things better.

 

My son got bullied in K.Everyday kids hit him,he told the teacher,and the teacher told them to apologise.Do you think those daily apologies made any difference after the daily beat down?Ofcourse not. Same goes for your mom. Sadly she is toxic. You are an adult now and can choose whether or not to have her in your life.It is not the end of the world if she is not a part of it now.

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#6 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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Why is it acceptable for HIM to yell and scream and pitcth a fit in HER home?

 

I would be telling my child to apoligise to his grandmpother for acting that way in her home. Darned if I would be asking my mother to apologie to my kid who was throwing a fit.

 

He yelled at his Grandmother.

 

And SHE has to apologise to him?

 

Heck no. Not here. The second he raised his voice to an adult in that mannar he would be in the car going home.

 

She made a comment that he was acting like a King? He yelled at her. He threw a fit. He was acting like one and should have been called out on it.

 

Was it the right thing to say to him...of course not.

 

But seriously, why shoudl she have to take being yelled at by a 4 year old? And then apologise to him when he was never asked to apologise to her???

 

I dont get it. Why was that okay for him to do?

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#7 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 12:23 PM
 
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She said he was fussing, not screaming.

I don't expect 4-year-olds to apologize for acting like 4-year-olds, but I do expect adults to apologize for acting in a verbally abusive way.

Or better yet, not be verbally abusive in the first place.
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#8 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 12:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beenmum View Post

 

Why is it acceptable for HIM to yell and scream and pitcth a fit in HER home?

 

I would be telling my child to apoligise to his grandmpother for acting that way in her home. Darned if I would be asking my mother to apologie to my kid who was throwing a fit.

 

He yelled at his Grandmother.

 

And SHE has to apologise to him?

 

Heck no. Not here. The second he raised his voice to an adult in that mannar he would be in the car going home.

 

She made a comment that he was acting like a King? He yelled at her. He threw a fit. He was acting like one and should have been called out on it.

 

Was it the right thing to say to him...of course not.

 

But seriously, why shoudl she have to take being yelled at by a 4 year old? And then apologise to him when he was never asked to apologise to her???

 

I dont get it. Why was that okay for him to do?



I agree with this.

 

And your response was to GRAB your mother and tell her not to talk to your son that way, in front of your son?  How is that teaching him respect?  It sounds like you may have just been teaching him that the only people who have consequences are grownups.

 

"On one hand she devoted an entire room in her house to the kids but will buy what she wants regardless of any restrictions we have. (no character toys, battery toys etc )"

 

How is this odd?  She doesn't share the same values as you, but I'd say it's pretty darn nice that she has done all that for the kids, and not for you.  If you're going to dictate how your mother interacts with her grandchildren, including what toys she should and shouldn't buy for them to play with in her OWN house, then I can see why there would be conflict.  I know how hard it is to have a parent whose grandparenting isn't exactly how you would want it, but this is one of those pick your battle kinds of things.   My kids' grandparents are thousands of miles away, and my father died 3 years ago, so I am just grateful for any relationship and memories my kids have of their grandparents.

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#9 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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It sounds to me like she was showing her son she'll stand up for him if someone verbally abuses him.

I do agree about the toy room, though. That was a nice gesture and you can't get controlling with grandparents about what toys they buy your kids. That's just not fair.
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#10 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 12:34 PM
 
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She said this

 

He will yell, run away, tantrum whateve 

 

 

and he yells that he doesn't want lunch. 

 

 

She also said that he was throwing tantrums, running off and such.

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#11 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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She also never ever under any circumstances apologizes. It has been a real sore spot with me for my entire life.
...

I told her again to apologize. She refused. I packed up and left making it very clear that she would not see her grandkids if shevrefused to apologize. I sent an email when I got home saying the same thing. She put me through this stuff and said mean judgementel things to me my entirevlife but she will not do it to my kids.
 


 

Why would you think she would apologize for something she didn't think was wrong, if she never did in the past?  If you want to cut her out of your lives, do so, but not because on this one occasion she wouldn't do something you acknowledge is a character flaw?  She's not going to change now, no matter how much you think she should.


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#12 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 12:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beenmum View Post

She said this

 

He will yell, run away, tantrum whateve 

 

 

and he yells that he doesn't want lunch. 

 

 

She also said that he was throwing tantrums, running off and such.


She said that's how he behaves in general, not all the time. She said when the mom got verbally abusive, he was "fussing". And if he did yell, you don't know whether she said something to him or not. It's very possible that if he yelled, she did or would tell him not to yell at his grandma, and should still expect her grandmother to behave like an adult and not berate a little boy.
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#13 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 12:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamazee View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by beenmum View Post

She said this

 

He will yell, run away, tantrum whateve 

 

 

and he yells that he doesn't want lunch. 

 

 

She also said that he was throwing tantrums, running off and such.




She said that's how he behaves in general, not all the time. She said when the mom got verbally abusive, he was "fussing". And if he did yell, you don't know whether she said something to him or not. It's very possible that if he yelled, she did or would tell him not to yell at his grandma, and should still expect her grandmother to behave like an adult and not berate a little boy.


Of course, but we can't control others' actions.  Perhaps grandma was annoyed that the boy had no consequences and responded immaturely?


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#14 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 12:43 PM
 
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She got upset that a 4-year-old responded immaturely, but no one should get upset with her for behaving immaturely? She's an adult. And the mom is under no obligation to punish her son to appease her mother. Why would you assume the mother is not working on this issue with her son?
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#15 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 12:44 PM
 
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I'll do my best to keep this short. My mother is a handful. She has lots of great qualities but way more lousy ones. Growing up was stressful and I have more bad memories than good. From the outside all way fine and dandy. In her mind she spoiled me. In my reality she was controlling, hurtful, manipulative, and mean and emotionless. She guilt trips and dismisses feelings. She yells. She insults. She is very judgementel. For lack of a better phrase, she's always up on the cross. she was a punisher. Toys taken away as a kid, grounding and canceled plans as a teen. All. The. Time..

  She then, to my horror, leans down, gets in his face and hisses at him "then you'll be a weak little boy!!"

I find the bolded last sentence  disturbing.    It actually creeps me out.  It is so hard to say; but I would be very reluctant to have my child around someone who seems to still act the way she did when you were growing up.  It doesn't feel healthy.  I don't know if you have done any counselling around your relationship with her; but this may be a good time.   I do think she needs firm boundaries in knowing how to treat other human beings.  Children can be difficult at times; but as adults and caregivers I think it is our responsibility to be able to try and be understanding to these huge feelings that can be so overwhelming to these little ones.  I guess what freaks me out about her response is not so much that she was annoyed or angry (thought it still does bother me as you seem to know what you need to do).  But it is how she hissed at him and what she said.  To me, it feels  mean and kind of frightening. 

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#16 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 02:11 PM
 
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She said right before the grandmother said that that as she leaned down he YELLS that he doesnt want lunch.

 

She goes to give him a napkin and he yells that he doesn't want lunch. She then, to my horror, leans down, gets in his face and hisses at him "then you'll be a weak little boy!!"

 

I'm not making this up. I took it directly from her post. And yes if my kid yelled at my mother he would be finding himself going home to bed.

 

She is all upset at her mothers action (which was inappropriate but seriously not life threatening) was abusive to her child. But her child yelled and she grabbed her mother and tried to force an apology.

 

They all acted badly. They ALL should apologise.

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#17 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 02:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beenmum View Post

 

Why is it acceptable for HIM to yell and scream and pitcth a fit in HER home?

 

I would be telling my child to apoligise to his grandmpother for acting that way in her home. Darned if I would be asking my mother to apologie to my kid who was throwing a fit.

 

He yelled at his Grandmother.

 

And SHE has to apologise to him?

 

Heck no. Not here. The second he raised his voice to an adult in that mannar he would be in the car going home.

 

She made a comment that he was acting like a King? He yelled at her. He threw a fit. He was acting like one and should have been called out on it.

 

Was it the right thing to say to him...of course not.

 

But seriously, why shoudl she have to take being yelled at by a 4 year old? And then apologise to him when he was never asked to apologise to her???

 

I dont get it. Why was that okay for him to do?



Key point:  He is a child.  She is an *adult*.  Sorry, but this whole post misses the mark entirely.  A four year old acting like a four year old doesn't give granny the right to do what she did.  Did you not read through granny's toxic history? 

 

OP-- I am really sorry you're in this situation.  I have a similarly toxic mother, though so far, she hasn't done anything like this to my son--just me.  Even so, I have cut her off for months at a time, and she knows that certain behaviors are unacceptable, and if I see them, I will have to cut her off permanently.  It isn't about me (or you) being punative with our mothers.  It is about doing what is right for our kids.  Your son doesn't deserve to be treated that way, and you don't either.  You need some firm boundaries.  I don't know if you will be better off cutting her off entirely or just significantly limiting time with her, but it sounds like one of the two needs to happen. Ironically, my mom had cut off my grandparents, for good reason, as well.  I never ever once missed the relationship with them.  Ever.  I have talked with others in the same situation and it has seemed that they have also not missed the relationship.  Your mom is going to become more and more toxic as your son gets older.  You have every right to do what you think is best for your family, and even more importantly, it is our job to protect our kids from toxic people including family members.  Wishing you strength and peace...

 

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#18 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 02:34 PM
 
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She is all upset at her mothers action (which was inappropriate but seriously not life threatening) was abusive to her child. But her child yelled and she grabbed her mother and tried to force an apology.

 

They all acted badly. They ALL should apologise.



You know beenmum, when you spend a lifetime with a mother who is manipulative, controlling, plays victim, is mean, etc, sometimes you fly off the handle a little faster than you would in a typical situation.  If someone walks their dog past your house each day at 3pm and lets him take a poop on your lawn without cleaning it up, at some point, you are going to be out there at 2:59 yelling down the street that you're going to kick his butt if his dog poops on your lawn today.  And you'd look like a real lunatic to everyone who didn't see him come by for the past 10 days and let his dog poop on your lawn.  But to those who understand, it makes perfect sense.  OP might seem to you like she jumped the gun and overreacted, but as someone who has been in a similar situation, I completely totally understand.  On top of that, I could never fault a mother for protecting her own child.  OP has *seen* first hand what her mother is capable of.  Part of the reaction was probably also to knowing what her mother was capable of and how far she could have taken it. 

 

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#19 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 04:17 PM
 
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AP, my mother is severely mentally ill. I spent most of my life being abused, beaten, homeless and faced things most never have. I never had hot water, let alone heat in my house. I moved from motel to hotel into places that should have been condemed. As we speak my mother is Homeless. I KNOW.

 

You didnt have enough infomration to make that call about my past.

 

However, escalating things with an emotional mother by grabbing her infront of her child was not the best idea either was it? How quickly could that have escalated?

 

Regardless, I admitted it wasnt appropriate.

 

But neither is her 4 year old yelling at an adult in that mannar.

 

Neither is the mother grabbing the grandmother.

 

They all had a part in this. I agree the adults are adults and needed to act as such. But yes, the child also needs to understand that yelling at adults or yelling at other people in general is not the proper way to comport themselves.

 

 

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#20 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 06:23 PM
 
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AP, my mother is severely mentally ill. I spent most of my life being abused, beaten, homeless and faced things most never have. I never had hot water, let alone heat in my house. I moved from motel to hotel into places that should have been condemed. As we speak my mother is Homeless. I KNOW.

 

You didnt have enough infomration to make that call about my past.

 

However, escalating things with an emotional mother by grabbing her infront of her child was not the best idea either was it? How quickly could that have escalated?

 

Regardless, I admitted it wasnt appropriate.

 

But neither is her 4 year old yelling at an adult in that mannar.

 

Neither is the mother grabbing the grandmother.

 

They all had a part in this. I agree the adults are adults and needed to act as such. But yes, the child also needs to understand that yelling at adults or yelling at other people in general is not the proper way to comport themselves.

 

 



I made zero assumptions about your past beenmum. Tell me where I made a single comment on your life.   Everyone apologizing isn't necessary in this situation.  Should she have grabbed her mother? No.  I am not even sure what she means by that.  Should the four year old have acted like a typical ticked off four year old?  No, but they do.  It doesn't change that this is a toxic situation.  Given your past, I am somewhat surprised you can't understand that.   

 

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#21 of 54 Old 06-11-2011, 08:29 PM
 
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I agree with this.

 

And your response was to GRAB your mother and tell her not to talk to your son that way, in front of your son?  How is that teaching him respect?  It sounds like you may have just been teaching him that the only people who have consequences are grownups.

 

"On one hand she devoted an entire room in her house to the kids but will buy what she wants regardless of any restrictions we have. (no character toys, battery toys etc )"

 

How is this odd?  She doesn't share the same values as you, but I'd say it's pretty darn nice that she has done all that for the kids, and not for you.  If you're going to dictate how your mother interacts with her grandchildren, including what toys she should and shouldn't buy for them to play with in her OWN house, then I can see why there would be conflict.  I know how hard it is to have a parent whose grandparenting isn't exactly how you would want it, but this is one of those pick your battle kinds of things.   My kids' grandparents are thousands of miles away, and my father died 3 years ago, so I am just grateful for any relationship and memories my kids have of their grandparents.


I agree 100%.
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#22 of 54 Old 06-12-2011, 02:42 AM
 
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Can we step back and look at the root of this situation? OP states that her ds' "weapon of choice" lately is to refuse to eat. Um, ok. So why-oh-why would you get into a battle over this with an admittedly grumpy child who just woke from a brief nap? So he doesn't eat. No healthy 4 y.o. child in a first world country has ever voluntarily starved himself.

 

OP, your mom shouldn't have spoken to your ds in that manner. Trying to force a child to eat is a recipe for disaster, though - especially since this seems already to be a control issue for the both of you.

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#24 of 54 Old 06-12-2011, 08:24 PM
 
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You know beenmum, when you spend a lifetime with a mother who is manipulative, controlling, plays victim, is mean, etc, sometimes you fly off the handle a little faster than you would in a typical situation.  If someone walks their dog past your house each day at 3pm and lets him take a poop on your lawn without cleaning it up, at some point, you are going to be out there at 2:59 yelling down the street that you're going to kick his butt if his dog poops on your lawn today.  And you'd look like a real lunatic to everyone who didn't see him come by for the past 10 days and let his dog poop on your lawn.  But to those who understand, it makes perfect sense.  OP might seem to you like she jumped the gun and overreacted, but as someone who has been in a similar situation, I completely totally understand.  On top of that, I could never fault a mother for protecting her own child.  OP has *seen* first hand what her mother is capable of.  Part of the reaction was probably also to knowing what her mother was capable of and how far she could have taken it. 

If someone walks their dog past your house each day at 3pm and lets him take a poop on your lawn without cleaning it up, at some point, you are going to be out there at 2:59 yelling down the street that you're going to kick his butt if his dog poops on your lawn today.  And you'd look like a real lunatic to everyone who didn't see him come by for the past 10 days and let his dog poop on your lawn.  But to those who understand, it makes perfect sense.  OP might seem to you like she jumped the gun and overreacted, but as someone who has been in a similar situation, I completely totally understand.  On top of that, I could never fault a mother for protecting her own child.  OP has *seen* first hand what her mother is capable of.  Part of the reaction was probably also to knowing what her mother was capable of and how far she could have taken it.


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Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post


I made zero assumptions about your past beenmum. Tell me where I made a single comment on your life. 

 


 

While you might not have said "clearly beenmum, you've never had a mother that's done x, y, z.  So you know nothing about a toxic parent"  You're 1st post clearly points to her and tries to explain a toxic parent background.  Which does imply that you believe she's had no experience with the issue.  Her response was to say, I've had a toxic background parent and I see things differently.

 

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#25 of 54 Old 06-12-2011, 09:49 PM
 
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Seriously? "Poor, poor, adult grandmother being yelled at by a four year old." And he should apologize? No.

He's 4. She was being nasty to a 4 year old for yelling and throwing a tantrum. Thats like being nasty to a dog for barking or an elderly lady for taking too long to cross the street. He is a child, she has no right to treat him that way.

I would tell your parents that if they cant get a handle on themselves in front of your kid, your kid cant come over.


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#26 of 54 Old 06-13-2011, 10:03 AM
 
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I think everyone was wrong in this situation. Grandma should not have yelled at the child, Mama should not have grabbed Grandma or forced child to sit down for lunch, and child should not have yelled at Grandma. Sure four year olds act like that, but as the adults it is our responsibility to guide them into more appropriate behavior.

 

If Grandma's house is so toxic that the OP can't control her actions there, then they should no longer be visiting. I don't think it is fair ( and it is beyond confusing) to model to a child that it's ok to act however you want because Grandma is toxic.

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#27 of 54 Old 06-13-2011, 11:15 AM
 
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This! If the Grandmother is really so bad, then cut her off. But don't do it over this incident alone. Explain whatever background you need to, OP, and move on. From the outside, though, it sounds like you put your DS in a bad situation, your mother exacerbated it, and you all need to chill out and accept the positive in each other and let go of the negative.
 

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Originally Posted by Agatha_Ann View Post

I think everyone was wrong in this situation. Grandma should not have yelled at the child, Mama should not have grabbed Grandma or forced child to sit down for lunch, and child should not have yelled at Grandma. Sure four year olds act like that, but as the adults it is our responsibility to guide them into more appropriate behavior.

 

If Grandma's house is so toxic that the OP can't control her actions there, then they should no longer be visiting. I don't think it is fair ( and it is beyond confusing) to model to a child that it's ok to act however you want because Grandma is toxic.



 

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#28 of 54 Old 06-13-2011, 11:17 AM
 
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It seems to me that the real issue stems from the OP's childhood and what she saw with her son triggered an over-reaction.  I've seen it with myself and my husband when it comes to our children. You're going along just fine and then your parent treats your child in a way that brings back a flood of issues you never realized you had.  My husband freaked out on his mom when she tried to force one of our kids to wear a coat.  Later he said it was like remembering her forcing him to do it to him as a child as she was always doing little controlling things like that for things that didn't really matter (like wearing a coat). 

 

OP, your mother never apologized to YOU, so this is the real issue, I think.  Maybe she forced you to do things you didn't want or spoke to you in that way and it just got to you.  I think maybe you should backstep and see if there's something from your own childhood that you could address because it seems like the real issue wasn't what happened with your son that day.

 

 

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#29 of 54 Old 06-13-2011, 11:18 AM
 
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OP said that that her son yelled "I don't want lunch!" at Grandma. And I agree with the PP - the son should have been asked to apologise for speaking that way. Just because a behavior is age-appropriate, doesn't mean that it should go uncorrected (whether by time-out, apology, or whatever.)
 

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Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

She said he was fussing, not screaming.

I don't expect 4-year-olds to apologize for acting like 4-year-olds, but I do expect adults to apologize for acting in a verbally abusive way.

Or better yet, not be verbally abusive in the first place.


 

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#30 of 54 Old 06-13-2011, 01:36 PM
 
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We don't know his behavior wasn't corrected. She might very well have told him not to speak to his grandmother like that.
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