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Any Advice on how i should deal with this?

Started by jill1963, January 17, 2012, 05:54:49 am

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Hi All,

i have 2 lovely GC,  1 GS & 1 GD,  GS is 4 and a 1/2  GD is about 2 weeks old.  As before i have said in a previous post due to difficulties i am pulling back from my DD & BF because the atmosphere is not always great.
Bit of background information, GS and DD lived with me until GS was nearly 3 and a 1/2 (with BF for the last 2-3months)
At the moment, i am having a bit of contact with my daughter, largely due i think to the arrival of my GD (on 29th Dec) which is nice but dont want to rock the boat too much.
Anyway,  to get on with the item i need advice on:- my Daughters BF is one of the most emotionless people i have ever met, (even his Father called him emotionless) he even stated himself up until the age of 17 (when his Mom left) he was never allowed out, never allowed friends round, had to come straight home from school, you get the drift, very tightly controlled!! However when he went to live with his Dad he said your 16 an adult and can go out and do your own thing more, however due to his previous upbringing , he did not do this and would never go out or express himself in any way (he met my DD over the internet)
Well, when i went to visit them, he sat there all moody looking, and then this last weekend they visited me (only because my daughter had to collect something) again he sits there with the moody look  >:(  Anyway my DD got p**sed off with this and called him out on it, they then disapeared into the other room to argue whilst myself and my other DD looked after my GC,
not a good situation but better than the GC's being in the room with them, whilst this was happening my GS was completely happy with us in the room we were in and not too badly behaved.  Anyway, after they had sorted it out and come back in the room BF was a bit more sociable, so the mood was a bit better, they then left not long after and went home. 
Later that evening i texted by DD to wish her a good night and also said i was sorry to see her upset earlier on and hoped she had sorted out the problem.  She replied yes, but that her BF narked her (annoyed/upset her in other words) because everytime my GS misbehaved he took his mood out on her. i then had a few more texts with her, and stated that her BF should not take what GS does so personally and that he (her BF) was the adult and he was the child and it wasnt personal and that i was sure my GS loved them both. she stated that my GS was forever trying to hit his Dad. I also said whilst visiting us his behaviour although not perfect was not too bad, to which she agreed, but said he was always answering back and being cheeky at home. i suggested a few things ie:- talking to their health visitor, starting up a simplified reward chart ( they had set up one which made it practically impossible for my GS to get any stars!!) amongst a few things and managed to get through a conversation without DD getting upset or angry with me (which was great!!).
Now for the bit i need guidance on:-
one of the reasons i pulled back is because everytime i visited my GS was being told off for silly little things, for example after being told he had to sit on a chair and not move, getting into trouble for wiggling his feet :-/ (this is a 4yr+ child for godsake what child that age can sit perfectly still!!) that is one example in a whole list of things that normal 4yr olds are allowed to do but he isnt!! 
Well as i have stated before my family has its own business and my daughters BF works there with me, i called him up on the moody bit at my home, well..............big mistake, he then proceeded for the next 30-45 minutes to tell me how badly behaved my GS was, some of the things if true ( and BF is known for exaggerating and even lying in some situations) are not good and yes my GS should be told off and possibly punished.
But one thing i did notice is that not once did he say anything positive  about my GS, another thing i have noticed when i am there on the odd occasion is that he never interacts with his son, never plays a game with him, always tells him off, tells him to go to his room etc, when we do go over my GS wants us to go in his room so as we can play a game. At the moment because i do not want to get myself cut off completely from my GC's i found myself saying platitudes like hopefully he will grow out of this, oh dear not good etc.  He made my GS sound like the Devils Child which i know he isnt!
I never thought of it at the time but now do, i reckon my GS is doing this to get a reaction from his Dad, any attention be it good or bad is attention!!
How do you get a BF with no desire to interact with his son to do so? how do i get my point across to my own DD without getting myself alienated because she didnt like to hear what i say?  i have tried on the odd occasion to ask my GS why he behaves badly at home with his Mom & Dad when i see him but of course he doesnt really know or understand  :'(I know if the situation arises again at work where BF is being so negative about my GS i am unsure how i will react, all it did this time when he talked to me about GS was upset me greatly and want me to spirit my GS away :-( will i say be quiet i dont want to know you are the Father and adult and i am sure you are exaggerating and know it will get back to my DD possibly resulting in a fall out because of it or shall i just say platitudes again? 
I hate the thought of my GS being bought up by such an emotionless person, and wonder if my GD will fare any better as she gets older ( i think my DD's BF blames us slightly for the way my GS was bought up for those first three years as to why he is like he is now) i dont want either of them to end up like him emotionally :-(, i have no doubt my DD's  BF loves her but feel he/they should of let themselves gel as a couple and for my DD to possibly bring out that emotion he may have out, before they had children, he is one of the few people i would say is not cut out to be a father (sorry know that sounds harsh but way i feel at the moment).


Quote from: jill1963 on January 17, 2012, 05:54:49 am
How do you get a BF with no desire to interact with his son to do so? how do i get my point across to my own DD without getting myself alienated because she didnt like to hear what i say?  i have tried on the odd occasion to ask my GS why he behaves badly at home with his Mom & Dad when i see him but of course he doesnt really know or understand 

Hi Jill-
Well, I guess my opinion is first up. 

I don't think it's your role to get a DD's BF to interact with his son.  I don't think you should be trying to get your point across to your daughter.  I don't think your young GS has any clue why he behaves badly.

I think you are expecting full blown rational behavior from a family that is confused and uncertain and unhappy. 

I think the best thing you could do is step way back, be good-humored and hopeful,  and give them some respect for any of the good things they are doing.  If they complain about GS, cheerfully offer to give them some free time by babysitting.

I don't think you should mix family matters at the business.  If you want to help the BF, be a friend to him.  He doesn't seem to know how to do that and you feel you do, so help him by being interested and respectful of him.

It's their life that they need to build, however they manage to do it.   GMs can't determine how their children raise their own but you can offer positive moral support when they ask for it.  If anything, I would stop mothering them and try being more of a facilitator, as in assisting their progress, the progress that they choose to make.



Jill........I am sure that you feel anxious about the situation but the sad fact is that we as grandmas have no say in what goes on in our kids life. I am sorry that you are going through this because I have been through something like this and it was not fun... now I am left with an empty nursery and silence....I wish I had an answer for you maybe just step back and enjoy the children as much as you can and give that little fellow the love he people treat kids terrible and it will bite them someday... Hugs and prayers sent your way ;)


I'm with the others. My take is that it's time to let their paths be whatever they are and their lessons, also. Your life is about your life. It isn't easy but we can't live others lives for them...our own is where we need to focus, learn, grow and expand. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

lancaster lady

hi Jill ...

Your daughters BF is acting with his Ds the only way he knows how .
This is how he was brought up and perhaps has never seen how a 'normal' family act together.
His own mother perhaps never praised him and constantly scolded him every which way .
He doesn't know how normal children behave or how to interact with them .
If your DD has any friends with children , she should invite them round or visit them with her BF , so he
can see how other children behave and that his own DS 's behaviour is quite normal for a 4 year old .
He himself has never learnt to socialise with adults , let alone children .
Your GS behaves badly , because any reaction from his DF is better than none at all .

Perhaps you can invite other families over at the same time as your DD with other children ,
better than a confrontation with them .
I think he is uncomfortable in any social gathering , the more times he meets people , hopefully the more
accepting he will become .
Little people need praise too , your GC have got you for that and hugs , give them  plenty !


thanks for replies, i have been and was pulling back, but felt pulled back into a situation, because of their behaviour when at my house and when speaking to the BF at my work place, i feel that it was unnecessary for him to say all those things about my GS i find it very hurtful as GS is too young and also not there to defend himself.
I will be more careful what i say at work, i generally do not ask BF questions about my GS as i know i generally dont like his responses, i only mentioned his moodiness at my house because i thought it was rude of him, and as i dont really see him out of work it is hard to tackle him at any other time, i was possibly expecting a bit of an apology, not a bucketfull of blame on my GS.

I did as you said Doe and tried to be good humoured and hopeful and i get what you are all saying about it not being my place to do these things, (ie getting the BF to interact etc) but it is hard. i dont intend saying anything, but i wish my DD's BF could see or realise that by not interacting with his son he is missing out on so much for both of them:-(
I am a friend to him at work even defending him when other co-workers think he is weird, explaining things that he asks (my job is not a run of the mill job) i dont dislike him, i just dont care for some of his ways (mainly due to his upbringing).
i do help as and when i am asked but decided in my pull back plan that i wasnt going to do things i considered they should sort out themselves (ie and this is a silly one, their garden) amongst others, partially as you say so they stand on their own two feet more and partially because sometimes i was feeling used.
And i am slowly trying to build my own life, and have taken some steps towards this, but it is hard when you have been part of a growing family for so long.


Quote from: jill1963 on January 17, 2012, 03:27:54 pm
...but it is hard.

Boy, is it ever!    Weren't the adult years supposed to be easier?????   
I know it's hard to pull away from all these details of their lives, but I think you're moving in the right direction.  We'll cheer you on your way!


Hi Lancaster Lady,

thanks for reply, i do agree partially with you about my DD''s BF, however although his Mom was like that very strict and cold etc, his Dad wasnt so when he and his siblings went to live with his Dad they had plenty of interaction with other children as his Dad is part of a Land Rover off roading group, who met regularly, my DD's BF however i do not know how he dealt with the other children although i suspect he was somewhat more of a coldfish and didnt get as involved as some of the other kids in the group.
My DD has other friends with children but has chosen to isolate herself away from them because of her wish to keep her BF happy, although i am having contact with my GC it is limited for the same reason.
It would be difficult for me to arrange anything or invite other families with children for this reason.
My DD has always been quite a passionate person with something of a temper, i do hope that she does not become like him, although i already see some change :-(
And yes when i do get the opportunity to see my GC i do give them kisses and in the case of my GS tell him how much i love him and  hug him (my GD is only 2 weeks old so a little small for hugs yet), i only wish it was i could see them a little more, oh well we will see it will either get worse or better lets hope for the better scenario :-)
Jill x


yes it is hard i dont want to intrude but dont like to see some of the things happening, sometime hard to bite my tongue, but know i need to, as you say their mistakes to make. Just dont like seeing my GS in particular suffering because of it.
i need a harder shell and also a notebook to write down all my plans of things to do and new directions i want to take lol.

Jill x


I read an elder's advice recently to just 'let it be' when you run into things that you can't really change.  Deep breath, in and out and just let it be.
It seems that someone who is really tense can make other people tense.  Your DD and BF seem so wound up.  Maybe if you can find a way to relax and enjoy your own life more, your DD and DS won't have any tension you may have to build off of. 

That BF sounds like a hard nut to crack.  Sometimes I like to take on grumpy disagreeable people and melt them down as a project.  If you're inclined, you might make a game of seeing if you could make him smile.


I have also seen children behave one way at one place and another way at another place.  I had a nephew that would drive a person insane when he was around his Mother.  She let him get away with murder and do whatever he wanted.  When I would go over there, I would literally have to bite my tongue not to get onto him or her for that matter.  It wasn't my place.  It was her home, her child and outside of her just flat out physically abusing him (which she wasn't), I had to not get involved in her parenting and decisions.  When he would come over and stay with us, which was often, the first few times were very hard because I had to make him understand that things he was allowed to do at his house, he could not do at mine.  It took a few times in timeout, talking to him and such to get him to finally get it.  After that, I had no problems with him at my house but as soon as his Mother picked him up, right back to his behavior.  The GPs (my Ex's parents) were constantly complaining to me that he was such a handful at their house.  I told them what I had done but she was in denial that her DD would ever let him behave that way....Ok.  She also told me that my SIL wouldn't like me disciplining him.  I told her quickly, well then SIL can not bring him over.  I will not allow him to treat my possessions, children or myself badly.  MIL didn't like my response, but over the years, he continued to come to my house with no issues while they had problem after problem with him.  To this day, he is now 16 and on my FB, after the divorce.  He still leaves me little notes and tells me he misses me.  I am blessed to know that he remembers the love, fun times and attention at my home.  He is failing school, sneaking out and causing his Mother tons of teenage problems....imagine that.

I think you probably were right when you said that it could be that GS is acting out at BF because he craves the attention.  I would stay out of DD/BF parenting and just sat your own boundaries with what is acceptable when he's with you.  (Now I say this to get myself off the hook.  My SIL did not believe in spanking and I did.  I never spanked nephew because I knew she hated it, but gave him timeouts bunches at first.)  SIL didn't necessarily like it, but she never said anything because she liked the breaks and being able to go out some (single Mom).  I even disciplined him in front of her a couple of times when she was still at my home before leaving.  She kind of gave me a look when I sat him down in timeout, but never said anything.  Of course, I'm sure since I have no poker face, my look back at her kind of told her where that would go.   ;D
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


This is my DD, Pooh.  At school she is angelic, I've yet to hear anything even remotely negative.  Teachers from other classes even comment to me about her, substitutes, librarian, computer lab.  She's gotten rewards for role model, leadership.  She's been asked to go to the Resource classroom once a week to help the kids in there feel and go more mainstream.  I'm in awe and I tell ya what, every conference...I'm a little in shock.

At home she is a mild terror lol.  Constantly destructive, her room looks like a mad scientist is living there and the mouth on that kid could make a sailor blush. 

At her fathers she goes back and forth between angelic and terror and I think from some reading I did, it has to do with how comfortable she is feeling. 

I don't know but I do know that kids do this, they act in certain ways in different situations and I don't think it's all that uncommon.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


hi Doe,Pam & Pooh,

thanks for responses :-)

Doe, i can and have made DD's BF smile but afraid he is a bit like a snail he pops his head out seems he might change, smiles and then goes back into his shell :-/  i think this may be his downfall if he does not changes some of his behaviours with my DD as she has stated sometimes he is hard to get along with because of it........... personally i know it would grind me down after a bit!! so that would be an ongoing project!
Pam, Pooh Yes i agree, my GS is boisterous there is no doubt about that and i think the reason my GS was better behaved at my house was because we showed interest and tried to do things with him, still a handful but a manageable one lol.
When i have seen him at his house in my opinion his behaviour is not too bad apart from the occasional hissy fit when he cant get his own way,.......... but thats my interpretation, they may see it all as bad behaviour with no leeway?
One of his punishments is to have his toys taken off him and its very hard for him to earn them back, sometimes i then think they are shooting themselves in the foot so to speak as then it is easier for him to get bored as the ones taken away are usually the ones that keep him occupied the most.
But as stated before i can look and make observations, but need to keep my opinions (as much as possible) to myself. Although i will also have to work on my "poker Face" as my expressions (on my face) have got me into trouble before!!

And Pooh, i would love to set my own boundaries with my GS when he is with me, but as stated before, i dont get to see him on my own as they are being very controlling over him, and he is defintely not allowed at my house without his parents. (on the rare occasion they have asked me to look after him it has to be at their house).  I just have to hope things improve as my GS gets older... we will see.

i do think they are making things harder for themsleves than it needs to be.