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Re: I genuinely want to know what you think.

Started by Ruth, February 28, 2012, 06:44:44 pm

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Hello, WW.   I've missed you all so much!  I have been unable to be here for a while due to being worked too death, but I am in need of some wise input and didn't know how to start a topic.  When I found this thread it seemed like my answer, even though its a problem that's way past maternity wards, etc., anyway  I do hope you will give me opinions because I'm very troubled about an incident that happened with my g/c and I don't know if I have been wrong about the way I responded.

I am not clear any more as to what is the role of a grandparent.  When I grew up, grandparents were important.  Grandmother was respected and even revered, she did not buy our affection with lavish gifts and money.  My grandmothers were strong and dependable and kind and wise.  We went to their house, they weren't  expected to drive to ours.  When we visited, we entertained ourselves and left feeling like it was so great to go to Grandma's.  We knew if we ever back talked Grandma (which we never did) that we'd sure get it when we got home.  I loved my grandmothers and they were such a special part of my life.  I deeply respected them, and learned so many of my values from my grandmothers.  I wanted to be a wonderful Grandma, I have always thought that I was, and it has been the one thing in my life I have felt I did well.  I've worked very hard at it and given a lot.  But now I'm not sure at all. 

The incident seems silly to write about.  It isn't an isolated incident.  Its actually happened a couple of other times, that I make special arrangements with the g/sons in advance to drive over and take them for an outing, and when I get to their house I wait and wait outside, and they never come out of the house.  This is what happened again.  I later found out they were still sleeping.  It was 10:00 a.m.  My g/s are 14 and 18, they aren't little kids.  I have always just given hugs and said not to worry, we'll do it again another time.  This time I told them that I was ashamed of them, and that they needed to learn good manners.  I told them that if my Grandmother and planned her day (which I did) to take me someplace special, that I would have been watching at the door for her!

No one is speaking to me now, DD doesn't take my calls and I'm sure she's mad about my saying this to the boys.  Maybe I've overstepped a boundary. Maybe I was wrong to say anything to the g/sons, I don't know.  I just don't have any history to go on to figure this out, as it would never have happened with my grandmothers growing up.  I  believe my issue is really more with DD for not teaching responsibility and just plain good manners to the boys.   I'm not sure if I should apologize to her for interfering with her authority.  Now I also don't even know if I should address it in the future with her (when she finally decides to talk to me again). 

Reading over this, it sounds really stupid, still I'm going to post it because I'm just so distressed over it that I need some feedback and I need to get back on track.  Things just seem fundamentally wrong to me, that's all. 

lancaster lady

Hi Ruth ,

I'm sure one of the mods will move your post to another topic .
I know you feel hurt , but perhaps that at the age your GS's are at , days out with GM are not
so exciting as when they were small .
Perhaps they are trying to tell you something , not in a very kind way either .
I would let the dust settle and plan a day out for you and a friend . I'm sure you've better
things to do than wait in a car outside a sleeping house .
Maybe your DD is annoyed at your outburst , but I would be mad too , and those boys should
apologise to you .
Different times I'm afraid , perhaps not for the better .


Hi LL, thanks & I realize they are too old to enjoy days with grandma, and we joke about it a lot but the truth is they made (and make) the request(s) to go.  After I posted that I knew it looks odd that boys that day still go out with grandma, but they are bored and unsupervised a lot, and not driving yet on their own so it is a diversion for them.  I was exhausted that day, I had been working hard about 60 hrs that week, and rather than say no and miss out on any opportunity to do something for and with them, I made the sacrifice to be there, because they asked.  This is why I was irked with the two of them, but with them I was only annoyed.  They're young boys and I understand flippancy and distraction in young boys.  Where I was really hurt and indignant was with the way DD seems to show me no deferment, or respect, in phoning me and saying Ma I'm really sorry the boys were so irresponsible, and not only that she makes me out the bad one.  This is how she is, however.  She is into herself.   Asking for no info from me, I'm sure the boys told her Grandma scolded us, and for her end of story. 



If my kids did that to my mother I would be livid. They would be writing letters of apology if they ever wanted to eat again.

What do you have to apologize for? You did nothing wrong. You are establishing boundaries with your GC, and even if your DD doesn't respect them, maybe the boys will remember that you won't tolerate disrespect from them. GRRR this makes me so mad.


Constantmargaret, thank you so much for those encouraging words!  I can't tell you how much it means to me.  I worry a lot about my perspective and when you're in the middle of something so emotionally volatile with a family member, it is hard to know if you are seeing things objectively.  I would have also made my children formally apologize to their grandmother, and I would have spoken to her myself making an apology for my children, but somehow I have failed to pass on the concept of respect and courtesy to my adult children they way I wished.  The worst part is that I feel we lose out on a lot of the real value in our lives, when all the people in our lives stand equally tall.  There's something fundamentally missing in our lives when the respect and honor part is missing, its not that I'm an egomaniac and just crave and demand some kind of preferential treatment and as I said before, this isn't some isolated incident but its the way my family relates to me.  I am disgusted and grieved for children to not be encouraged to be respectful.  I am more disgusted that a DD which has had the lions share of my attention all her life thinks so little of me to not speak up in my behalf, as their grandmother.  As a result of this, I will be rethinking all the ways I give support.


It's very sad, Ruth. I'm so sorry to hear you are being treated so dismissively by people you love and care about. IMO, kids learn how to treat people from their Ps. My Ps dismissed my DF's DM as being a crazy old bat (she kind of was one, actually) and a mean MIL to my mom. I learned to value my DM's FOO over my DF's FOO. When I got older I was able to get more balance and accepted GM for who she was, but I was never able to warm up to her completely.

My DIL's DM has modeled hateful behavior toward her MIL and DIL follows suit in her treatment of me, although to her credit she's not as bad as her DM. Your DD may be at the root of all of this, unfortunately.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb