My 3 y/o is exceptionally well behaved for a child her age. No matter where I take her she is on her best behavior and rarely gives me a problem. Except at my moms. When we are there for longer than a day or two she refuses to listen to anything my fiance or I have to say to her. She does things she knows she is not allowed to do. And even worse when she comes back home she believes the rules still don't apply to her. She gets completely unruly. She won't listen, breaks things, and gets bossy and nasty with me. I said something to my mom about it and she said that it is because my daughter is rebelling because all my fiance and I do is yell at her. We will yell at her if she doesn't listen the first 10 times we tell her something and she is doing something that will eventually get her hurt, but we don't full on scream at her. Her only punishment is time out and it works everywhere except my moms house. I think the problem is my mom completely under minds everything I am teaching my daughter and all my rules right in front of her. She told me she sees nothing wrong with my daughters behavior. She has also told me several times that I am a bad parent right in front of my daughter. I am a stay at home mom and have been since my daughter was born. My mom doesn't seem to understand that the only reason my daughter acts like this is because of being at her house. She thinks it's a normal for her to misbehave and act out at home and for me to constantly have to punish her. It's not. Normally she only needs time out once every other week or so. I rarely have to tell her to do something more than once. And we spend a lot of time together. We play board games, watch movies, and play with her toys. Of course she has her own time too. And occasionally she will visit with her friends. So I don't understand what I am doing wrong here or why my mom is saying these things and insulting my parenting skills in such a bad manor. I need advice on how to handle my moms behavior and to make my daughter understand that my moms place is no different than any other place and there are still rules to be followed. I also just found out today that my mom called her ex-husband (my step-dad that raised me) and told him that my fiance and I are abusing my daughter and she wants to take custody of her. I love my mom and have dealt with a lot over the years but now she is crossing a very dangerous line and I will NOT expose my daughter to this behavior. Please give me any advice because I am at a loss and feel like my entire family is very close to falling apart.
When you are at your mom's and she undermines your authority or calls you a bad mother, call her on it - right then and there... She says "Oh, you can do that at Grandma's", you say, "No, Grandma, she can't do that at home and she can't do that here, either." We will leave if she continues to do that (or if that is too far away from home, you will go to a hotel). And DO leave if you have to... Don't let it get far enough where you have to yell when at your mom's. If your DD doesn't listen the first time, look her in the eye and quietly tell her she has one more chance or you are leaving and then follow-through...It should only take a few times before both your DD and your mom see that this behavior can't be tolerated and it will prove to your mom that you can handle things without yelling. IF that approach doesn't work, tell your mom that you are limiting your visits to her house because they are a disruption to your DD's behavior.
If you feel it's necessary, pull your mother aside and remind her that you are DD's parent and make the rules for her. Tell her you're aware of her remarks to your step-dad and you don't appreciate it. In other words, stand up to your mom and force her to see you as the Mother of her grandchild and not as her daughter who couldn't possibly know as much about parenting as she does...
Last edited by kare.bear; 12-04-2009 at 01:33 PM.
Thanks for the advice. The problem is my mom is next to impossible to talk to about anything. Every little thing turns into a full blown argument with her. I am at the point that I don't even want my daughter around her until after this is settled. I decided I am going to send her an e-mail and give her some time to cool down before we visit again. I'm just hoping she opens her eyes and realizes what she is doing to her daughter and granddaughter. But I know my mom well enough to know she is going to ban my brother and sister from talking to me and tell me I'm no longer welcome at her house.
I tend to send emails and let someone cool off too - gives them enough time to get mad, think about what you said, and respond based on their thoughts and not their reaction. This is a tough situation and you have every right to do what's best for your child.
Maybe you can introduce your mom to some articles, stories, movies, etc about turning "rules" into something fun? Or playing a game out of following the rules? Here's a article that may be helpful to you from the Playskool website:
Good luck Ninjacupcake!
Say what you mean and mean what you say. - Dr. Seuss
It's not about following the rules with my mom. It's about the balance of power. Either she has complete control over every situation or she is not happy. She is very domineering. So for her getting my daughter to ignore me and all of that is like she won the power and it makes her feel better.
Maybe it's time to limit contact with your mother. I'd be proactive and reach out to your siblings...Tell them that you and your mother are going through some tension and you'd don't want it to affect your relationship with them if possible. They are always welcome to call/come talk to you whenever they want, but you probably won't be around as often.
Then talk/write to your mother explaining how you feel undermined as a mother by her and will limit your contact if this continues. If the situation improves, you will modify frequency accordingly.
You and your family may be better off without the drama of her around... By reaching out to your siblings first, they will know that they can still reach out to you if she forbids them and it can be their decision. You never know, they may need someone to talk to who sees the situation for what it is...
I sent her an e-mail that I wrote her today. I held back all my anger and just laid everything out for her. I definitely want to try to keep in contact with my siblings but they both still live with my mom (they are 17 & 19)and she caters to their every whim 98% of the time. So if she says not to talk to me they will do it. It's horrible how bad she runs our family. Either we abide by her every wish or we get completely cut off from the family.
From my experience, grandparents tend to be a bit more forgiving with bad behaviour (my folks and my in-laws certainly are), I guess it's a little of the "been there, done that" attitude. Don't get me wrong, they will reprimand our daughter if she's misbehaving or doing something dangerous but will always stand back and let me or my wife take the lead if we're there at the time.
Whatever happens, your own rules need to be followed, be it at your house, your mum's house, playgroup, the supermarket, wherever... There's no way that your little one can grow up with a clearly defined concept of right and wrong if she can get away with anything she likes at nanny's house and especially if she sees you being told you're a bad parent.
She's your daughter, they're your rules, if other people don't like them it's their problem...
Proud stay-at-home dad since May '08 looking after our daughter. Son born 7 weeks early in Feb '10.
Why is it that every suggestion people offer you have a rebuttal for? It seems like the apple didn't fall far from the tree with you and your mom. Bottom line, she is your child. Don't go over there if it always causes problems. Once your mother starts to miss her grandchild, she will either change her ways or not be a part of her life.
Chrissy, Married to Josh
Mommy to Ian born 12/11/06 and
Declan born 01/23/09
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
I'm not offering rebuttal's, or at least that's not what I'm doing intentionally. I'm sorry you feel that way. I'm just trying to interact with the people that are nice enough to offer me their advice and add a little more insight into my situation.