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annierobyn

Controlling son

83 posts in this topic

I'm back - again. Things have been going well with DS and DIL. Now 3 days into the New Year here we go....

DGS slept over Mon and Tues night. We had a ton of fun. He is very good. He is 8. He is not perfect. all in all he is a very polite well behaved friendly little guy. When DS picked DGS up on Wed he asked how he was a I said "perfect we had a blast and he is a delight". which is all true. This morning  I got a call from DS "we have to talk". DGS told his Dad that when we went to Wendy's DGS had to go to the washroom. I said Grampa will go with you. DGS said "I'm 8 I can go alone" not meanly, not rudely, very matter of fact. We could see the door to the restroom so we let him go. DS says we let DGS be "rude" to us  by him challernging what we said.that was "mistake #1". "Mistake #2 - while on Skype with grandfather in Florida he was not his usually outgoing self. He apologised for being cranky because he was hungry. He then proceed to show his grampa using my IPAD his new toy and was  very excited to show him. Well apparently florida grampa told DS that DGS was acting like a "wild animal" and he had never seen him like that. OMG. DS has said to me that "I am lying about DGS behavior so he can sleep over". I am just so sad. Anyone who know me KNOWS my pet peeve is liars. I have never and will never lie. (except for do I look fat in this dress?" ) For DS to say something that I know is not true hurts so much. He said I was very strict as a parent but that seems to "have gone by the wayside". I told him I am now a grandparent and have relaxed. As well people's ideas of "bad behaviour"  and tolerance levels vary. DS has ZERO tolerance. He does not seem to understand this. He is very angry and has to reconsider allowing DGS to sleep over.He is is a charming, polite, good little boy. He is 8. I don't know what to do. Confront son, let him get over it etc. I'm at work and about to cry just thinking about. If I have done something wrong I am the first to admit it. DS should know better.

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oh I forgot - we took DGS swimming.with DS approval.  DGS does not swim but loves the water and wears a lifejacket. He has had many lessons. DS asked us if he wore his lifejacket all the time. I said yes. DS said "we are being to soft with him he has to learn how to swim. His jacket should have been off and we should have been teaching him." This was NEVER mentioned before. No matter what we do it is either wrong or not enough. I'm at my wits end. Any advice, suggestions, kind words are really needed at this point. Thanks so much.

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Your son has a right to parent anyway he wants although I can see why you would question his sink or swim parenting philosophy. But I think he is treating you unfairly. I think your in a ****** if you do ****** if you don't situation with him. I thought for sure when I was reading your story you were going to be in trouble for letting him go to the bathroom by himself- boy was I suprised and I can imagine what he would say if you let the kid (almost) drown. I wouldn't take well to being accused of lying either. Being called a liar or lazy are the worst things you can call me.

I would call him out on this. I would tell him just what you said here- that no matter what you do its either wrong or not enough. I would also tell him that you don't appreciate being called a liar I assume you are doing the best you can to follow his parenting philosophy and I would tell him that. As a grandparent you have to make decisions on what you think is best based on what you know of how they raise their children. You couldn't possibly know how he would handle every situation in minute detail. He can't micromanage from afar. You have to have some leeway. How often does he do this because If it was often, I think I would just give up alone time and see them only when son is there. One caveat- I don't have grandchildren so I could only guess at what I'd do.

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  • thanks so much Skipped. I think you are right.  We may have to spend time when DGS only when DS is around. Sad because DGS comments on how much he loves being just the 3 of us and that he doesn't sleep over enough. when things have settled down ie when I stop the tears and DS calms down a bit, maybe mid week, I will call and ask to go for coffee. Never thought I'd have these issues.

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Does your son and his family live locally?

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SueSTx - yes they live 20 minutes by car from us. Any words of advice I'm really lost here. Was going to call DS midweek to meet for coffee but don't know if I can wait that long. I'm really upset at his accusations. Knowing DS the meeting will be dreadful with him telling me I'm trying to lay a guilt trip on him by saying I'm really upset.  I've had to "show up shup up and wear beige" over the years.

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You do realize the parents are the 'controlling' vote in raising a child, and as grandparents we have no vote.

Is it more important for you to have alone time with grandson or to simply have an opportunity to see him? You do know that things could be worse right.

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SueSTX - absolutely! We appreciate EVERY second we spend time with DGS - alone or with  DS/. We glady take whatever we are given.

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Annie, I get it. It's very painful to do your best with your GC and have your son say it's not good enough. But Sue is right, your son is the one who decides so I think it would be wise to wait until you can be calm and just be honest, that you want to respect his parenting rules and that you did not intentionally lie. Ask what son wants you to do instead, try very hard not to be defensive, I wouldn't even tell him it upset you, he already knows. Sounds like you've had to do this before, so suck it up and be patient with your son just as you are with your GS. It's very hard to parent and personally it sounds like your son is coming down too strong but unless there is abuse, it's not your place to interfere. 

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missmm - I concur. I have learned to "show up shup up wear beige". I do not say anything I do not interfere. When I am called a liar by my own son for something I have not done it is difficult not to feel anger. We obviously have very different definitions of "bad" behavior.

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Obviously. And, IMO, DS has no right to dictate what you and DH feel is rude behavior when it's directed at you, unless it's very clearly rude (as in saying something insulting to you, which he didn't do). If DS didn't like the fact that GS argues w/ you, then, by all means, he had the right to tell him that's out of bounds. But he had no business, I feel, telling you that you have to see it the same way.

 

Let me amend that - If he has a rule for GS that he must not challenge adults - and if he tells you that (which I guess he now has) - then I think you would either have to follow that or eschew alone-time w/ GS. But if he never told you this, he had nor right to expect you to "know."

 

As for the other GF, it's possible that he saw GS' excitement differently than you and DH did. Regardless, in the future, if you do have GS again, I think you should avoid contacting his other GF. It was nice of you. but it's up to DS and DIL to facilitate that relationship, not you and DH. Again, it was nice, but if instead of appreciating it, he's going to complain, then I wouldn't do it again.

 

I agree w/ PPs that you shouldn't say anymore, right now, and just wait for DS to calm down. Also, I agree w/ MMM that I wouldn't  get defensive. But I would, when the time goes, very firmly let DS know that I didn't lie, that DH and I 'call 'em as we see 'em." and that I was deeply offended by his accusation. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think he went too far by making that charge and he needs to know it.

 

About the lifejacket - What GP would take a child's life jacket off w/o express permission/instruction from the parents? And what parent wouldn't be furious if they did? Hopefully, when DS calms down, he'll realize he was wrong to expect this of you and DH. If he doesn't, then I think you'll need to tell him that he has to let you know what his expectations are - you cannot read his mind. Also, if you and DH don't feel comfortable having that sort of responsibility around water w/ someone else' child (and I can totally understand that), you'll have to tell DS that and/or forego taking him to swim.

 

In fact, it seems a lot of the problem here is a matter of DS expecting you to be different than you are and, as I said, to read his mind. He needs to be clearer. Or, as PPs have said, you may be better off only seeing GS w/ one or both parents. I know he loves visiting you and you love having him. But the eventual consequences could be too great to risk any further issues.

 

(((Hugs!)))

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Rosared - thank you for your encouraging words (as always).

 

DS had set up the skype date with his Dad. So we were kinda forced into going through with it. I wanted to say "not on my time" but did not. that would have been a whole other issue.

As far as the swimming goes IF we had been told "1/2 lesson 1/2 fun" we would have done it. NOTHING was said then I get yelled at after.

All I can say is, when DGDS is a teenager boy oh boy DS is going to have his hands full........

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I think I would give up alone time in your shoes.  I don't see a way to please your DS, a lot of these are very small details that he would have to say explicitly what he wants before he allows your son to spend the night.  So it seems to me he set you up for failure.  As well as calling you a liar :(  

 

If you go through with the sit down, I think I would only say the most minimal to keep the peace with your son and just know in your head that you will not tolerate the treatment any longer.  And enjoy your grandson when your son comes over.

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tinka - thanks so much for the advice. I'm tired of being called a liar. It is completey opposite to what or who I am. Wehave differing opinions on "bad" behaviour and I suppose that will never change.

DS is, as I've mentioned before, a control freak and sadly this happens in his child-rearing as well.

I think you are right in that we must have no alone time with DGS. When DS is there he is the boss and we do not have to say or make any decisions. If DGS asks us something we always say "you have to talk to your Dad". I feel bad for DGS as he LOVES spending "alone" time with us and mentions that he doesn't get to do it enough. I can surely understand why!

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woops...meaning I can surely understand why he doesn't think he sleeps over enough. He probably needs to get away from his Dad!!!!!

Which breaks my heart.

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I'm sorry.  I read that DS dislikes your DH. If I read that correctly and things haven't resolved - I'm sorry. Could these new problems be related to the other/older issues?

 

We would have gone to the restroom with our grands no matter what (that's because one of my sisters was snapped at about restrooms) NOT because GS was "rude" or challenging - lesson learned. I don't see how you can possibly be responsible for how GS talks or acts or just is on skype with other GPs - not your failure at all. Swimming lessons and swimming proficiency are important to me and really everyone I know. But DS should already be taking care of GS swim lessons himself (years ago) - not your failure, not a bit. You did nothing wrong and your son should know better than to expect you to be clairvoyant about what kids can say and do (good or bad). All parents are in control of the of food, ideas, morals (etc) presented to their small children, but nobody can control the output of words, ideas, and emotions (etc) from those small children.

 

If your son angrily holds onto things, I'd not talk about this very soon.

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Rosared - thank you for your encouraging words (as always).

 

DS had set up the skype date with his Dad. So we were kinda forced into going through with it. I wanted to say "not on my time" but did not. that would have been a whole other issue.

As far as the swimming goes IF we had been told "1/2 lesson 1/2 fun" we would have done it. NOTHING was said then I get yelled at after.

All I can say is, when DGDS is a teenager boy oh boy DS is going to have his hands full........

 

This bothers me, as well. Why on your time? Why not have GS Skype w/ the other GF when he's at home? Perhaps it was a more convenient time for the GF but, IMO, still unfair to you. And perhaps, awkward, w/ DH there though IDK how concerned DS is about DH's feelings.

 

But could it be that DH and DIL don't want to take the time out to do this at home? If so, again, it was unfair to foist this on you (I get why you didn't argue).

 

Worse case scenario, could it be that GF was supposed to be sort of "spying" (for want of a better word) on you? And expected to report back to DS? Regardless, he may have really felt that GS was acting too wild or he may have felt that this is what DS expects him to say. I'm so sorry, I don't like to fan flames, but this whole situation smells to me.

 

Whatever, Janelle might be right about the "unresolved" issues contributing to the new ones.... Sigh... It just seems to me that there are too many issues going on, both on and under the surface. I'm glad you're thinking of foregoing alone time, for now. GS may miss it but he doesn't see the whole picture... sigh...

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Well, it's too bad you hate liars, because there is some iffy truth telling going on here, or how do you explain that your GS is both not perfect and perfect at the same time???

Anyways, your son has his own parenting style, and whatever works for him is what is right for his son, and his style is not your business to change. If you want to continue babysitting the boy, ask what your sons expectations are, and then do exactly that with full disclosure.

It is COMPLETELY OBVIOUS though that this story is (at the very least!) not the whole truth. Otherwise how does your DS learn exactly what words were used when DGS went to the bathroom alone? Why does other grandpa call this boy a "wild animal"? From what you describe here, there is a whole different story going on here, and unless you share that, I'm not really sure we can give any appropriate advice.

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oh I forgot - we took DGS swimming.with DS approval.  DGS does not swim but loves the water and wears a lifejacket. He has had many lessons. DS asked us if he wore his lifejacket all the time. I said yes. DS said "we are being to soft with him he has to learn how to swim. His jacket should have been off and we should have been teaching him." This was NEVER mentioned before. No matter what we do it is either wrong or not enough. I'm at my wits end. Any advice, suggestions, kind words are really needed at this point. Thanks so much.

 

This doesn't even make any sense. I would advise, if this is actually really what happened, to tell your DS "I am not comfortable teaching your son how to swim as I am not a licensed swimming instructor. I can not guarantee his safety at the pool unless he wears his life jacket at the pool, so if you believe every trip to the pool should be a swimming lesson, I will not take him to the pool any more."

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I'm back - again. Things have been going well with DS and DIL. Now 3 days into the New Year here we go....

DGS slept over Mon and Tues night. We had a ton of fun. He is very good. He is 8. He is not perfect. all in all he is a very polite well behaved friendly little guy. When DS picked DGS up on Wed he asked how he was a I said "perfect we had a blast and he is a delight". which is all true. This morning  I got a call from DS "we have to talk". DGS told his Dad that when we went to Wendy's DGS had to go to the washroom. I said Grampa will go with you. DGS said "I'm 8 I can go alone" not meanly, not rudely, very matter of fact. We could see the door to the restroom so we let him go. DS says we let DGS be "rude" to us  by him challernging what we said.that was "mistake #1". "Mistake #2 - while on Skype with grandfather in Florida he was not his usually outgoing self. He apologised for being cranky because he was hungry. He then proceed to show his grampa using my IPAD his new toy and was  very excited to show him. Well apparently florida grampa told DS that DGS was acting like a "wild animal" and he had never seen him like that. OMG. DS has said to me that "I am lying about DGS behavior so he can sleep over". I am just so sad. Anyone who know me KNOWS my pet peeve is liars. I have never and will never lie. (except for do I look fat in this dress?" ) For DS to say something that I know is not true hurts so much. He said I was very strict as a parent but that seems to "have gone by the wayside". I told him I am now a grandparent and have relaxed. As well people's ideas of "bad behaviour"  and tolerance levels vary. DS has ZERO tolerance. He does not seem to understand this. He is very angry and has to reconsider allowing DGS to sleep over.He is is a charming, polite, good little boy. He is 8. I don't know what to do. Confront son, let him get over it etc. I'm at work and about to cry just thinking about. If I have done something wrong I am the first to admit it. DS should know better.

Confronting is the wrong idea!

Let him come to his conclusion, tho I am sure that is hard to do, it is his son first and for all so if he feels you are not being exactly upfront and if he thinks or heard his sons behavior is out of control he has every right to tell his ds and you that there will be no overnights for a while.

I am sure he will not take away all visits as if you can never see ds again?? just the overnights, which are a fun privilege for ds and as his father he may feel they need to be taken away for a while

Also to be frank..My mil and fil tell me things all the time about my ds and I know better, I know they are stretching the truth to make things seem perfect at their home (as they always like to do) to make sure dh and I do not sense that anything is wrong and also because simply my in-law's feel they do not have to tell us about anything going on in their home. But again I know my son, I know he doesn't eat much, I know what he won't eat, I know what upsets his stomach, I know how he behaves with other children, I know how my pil's animals are with the grandkids...I know more than they think I know

So I too have cut visits down (my son is only one) so it's not his actions that got the visits cut, I feel that when grandparents think they do not have to follow rules parents set up that there needs to be consequences. Also if a parent feels a kid is acting in a certain way thinking they can get away with things because it is at their grands house there has to be consequences!

It is the parents job to raise their children, you may not agree with how they are doing that but I'm sure someone somewhere did not and wouldn't have agreed with your parenting either 100% of the time..you have to respect your child's decisions in regards to their children

I also have pil's who feel as grandparents that they can do as they please and that is just not accurate, give your son time! if he does feel overnights are an issue right now then okay..give it time I am sure the overnight fun will resume eventually when the parents are comfortable with it again

You just need to let your son see you respecting his decisions despite you not agreeing fully GL

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Sounds like DS has a bit of a chip on his shoulder. My DB is like this with my DM. He's still really mad at her because of mistakes made in the past. She's attempted to make amends many times over the years but he hasn't accepted it. She tries to maintain a relationship with him. She also tries to maintain a relationship with her two GDs by travelling there and staying to babysit. But last time he was so horrible she has decided to drop the rope. She will offer to have the GDs travel and stay with her in future but she won't go there anymore because both DB and SIL are so critical of her. I don't know either of my nieces and I don't mind. However I understand why they mean so much to her.

I understand why you're so upset. I guess you just need to work out how much you're willing to tolerate for the sake of time spent with your GS. IMHO I think your DS needs to get some perspective - noone else is ever going to parent EXACTLY the same way as he is! Besides, if GS was rude to you then it's his job to step in and make him go back and say sorry and try again. And you would need to accept the apology rather than tell him its ok.

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Well, it's too bad you hate liars, because there is some iffy truth telling going on here, or how do you explain that your GS is both not perfect and perfect at the same time??? Anyways, your son has his own parenting style, and whatever works for him is what is right for his son, and his style is not your business to change. If you want to continue babysitting the boy, ask what your sons expectations are, and then do exactly that with full disclosure. It is COMPLETELY OBVIOUS though that this story is (at the very least!) not the whole truth. Otherwise how does your DS learn exactly what words were used when DGS went to the bathroom alone? Why does other grandpa call this boy a "wild animal"? From what you describe here, there is a whole different story going on here, and unless you share that, I'm not really sure we can give any appropriate advice.

 

Easily.....none of us are perfect, but we are still our perfect selves. Example: My children are not perfect, but they are perfect to me, for me and perfect at being who they are. 

 

And Grandpa saying dgs is a wild animal could have just been his perspective at the time. 8 years olds are not known for being docile. Maybe grandpa is a control freak like his son. Who knows. But we comment on the information we get, not on suppositions from a third party barely mentioned, who isn't really relevant.

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Thanks to all who have responded. For the moment the only solution I can sadly see is not having DGS for sleepovers. Perhaps in tine DS will relax a bit.

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Thanks to all who have responded. For the moment the only solution I can sadly see is not having DGS for sleepovers. Perhaps in tine DS will relax a bit.

 

I think that is a really smart decision.  Your DS is angry at you for not following a strict rulebook he did not make you aware of beforehand.  Apparently your skills as a GM must also include being a mindreader .... I would be just as ****** at him as he is with you.   You were set up to fail without this rulebook.  That alone would cause me to take a break from any overnighters with the GS.   Also, I would wait for DS to approach you, and when he does, I would calmly respond with your new boundaries in place.

 

Underneath this all, it appears that your DS has some anxiety over his son being spoiled or not following the program when he is with you unsupervised by a parent.  Yet another reason to take a break from these overnighters.

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I do a lot of things for my grands.  Unless specifically asked, teaching them to swim would NOT be one of them... and I am a strong swimmer (or at this point as strong as an out of shape 60yo can be).  When I've taken my grands to a pool, we either stay in the kiddie pool or where they can stand in the adult pool.

 

As for the other things, I think it's a case of you say potayeto and I say potahto, with the parents being the ones to decide which is correct.  For the skyping it does sound to me like your ex (if I read that correctly) was expecting too much control from an excited 8 yo boy.

 

I'd back off and let your son approach you. 

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