GP's Overstepping Boundaries? (Long)
My parents live out-of-state but my mom has always been very vocal about her opinions. A lot was overlooked just to keep peace and being around her you have to walk on eggshells and everything has to be her way. Small example: One year at Thanksgiving she threw away all the margarine because it wasn't 'real butter' and she only eats 'real butter'.
Anyway, the straw that broke the camels back is last year my son refused to do his homework or schoolwork. He was in 4th grade and we've had this battle since he was in 1st grade. We tried everything imaginable including testing for ADD, parenting classes, rewarding, bribing and taking him to doctors. Finally my husband and I decided that he would have to learn the consenquences of his own actions and decided to not press the issue with him anymore. We did explain to him what we were doing and what the possible outcomes for not doing home/school work could be.
Well, according to my mom we were bad parents for letting him (possibly) flunk. She called him up and made a deal with him that if he passed she would give him $200. I called back and got hold of my dad. I stated my reasons why I didn't want this 'deal' to take place and he said he would tell my mom, all the while siding with me. After that mom called back and made the same deal with my daughter. Being furious I waited the weekend then called. I again got hold of my dad (mom being at work) and asked why mom would do this. He stated, "Well, you know how she can be".
I then e-mailed mom expressing how hurt we were that she delibertly went against our wishes and how she didn't have the right to make deals with the kids without our consent, especially in this case since it's been a struggle for years and bribing in the past didn't work.
Fast forward a few months and I find out that my dad didn't pass on the message to my mom and that he also deleted the e-mail I sent because he thought it was 'no big deal'.
Yes, my feeling were hurt that what was a major struggle for us was not a big deal to him and I was equally shocked that he lied and tried to pass the blame on mom.
Anyway, a huge fight ensued about what their grandparents rights are regarding raising and disipling our kids. As a result my husband and I have been disowned by them. That's fine, but then my mom turned to my kids and said the we (my husband and me) won't let them call, write or visit them until they're 18. Of course my kids were upset as well as us because NOTHING of this sort was mentioned. My husband and I explained to the kids that the relationship between the parents and grandparents was severed but they can continue to see them if they wish. Later my husband and I decided that the visits would be supervised since who knows what my mom would say if we're not around as she can be very manipulative (see above). My kids are fine with this but the grandparents are not.
My son's B-day comes and go and she doesn't call. She calls the next day and talks to my son, who answered the phone. She told him that we are preventing any relationship between them. I explain (again) to my son that he's welcome to call them anytime and if he wants to visit them let us know in advance so we can make arrangements with work.
I'm tired of her trying to sabatoge the relationship between my kids and me and my husband, but it's not a surprise.
Sometimes I want to end ALL relationship with her when she does this, but that would mean ending the kids relationship with her and that would just hurt the kids and come back on my husband and me later.
Was I overly sensitive to the situation and should have just ignored it? I still strongly feel that they didn't have the right to bribe them when we specificly said not to.
Do any other grandparents make parental choices if they don't like the decisions being made or how do you handle it?
BTW - my son went the whole first quarter not doing any work and then when he saw we wern't making a fuss and he was in jeapory of repeating a grade he made a whole turn-around and made it through the rest of the year with flying colors.
Any feedback pro or con would be appreciated.