Great Grandmother is discplining my son....

nadastimerAugust 24, 2002

and I don't like it. My son is 3 and it's my grandmother who thinks she can do as she wants with him. It's every year at the county fair~this time of year~that I end up mad at her. Last night, DS started whining that he wanted this whistle thing from a game and we explained that we were done playing games for the night. He then got mad and threw a fit like a 3 year old occasionally will, hoping that you will bend and give in. We didn't. I said it was time to take him back to our tent (it's the last remaining tenting fair) and have him sit on a chair. If you get him out of the situation and get him calmed down, it's much better than standing there while he goes on a on until he calms down. My grandmother then tried to make matters better by holding on to him and saying stuff about bad little boys in his ear. This only makes him get more upset. I said it was time to go sit on a chair and right as she let go of him, she smacked his butt...out in the middle of the crowd! I didn't say anything at that moment because I didn't believe I saw what I did (I happened to catch her right as she was in the middle of the act) but my fiance', my son's father, said about it later. Last year the same stuff occured. She also tried grabbing his mouth and smacking it last year (he was just tired and whiny at that point) and I had to explain in a mean tone that she was not to do that down on the grounds. Another time I had him on time out and she's over there talking to him and making matters worse. I want her to butt out because she doesn't know our DS enough or our parenting skills. She also forgets what toddlers are like! She actually said that she wished he could talk better last year and the kid was only 2! Or he would get whiny and need a nap and she'd say that he's a spoiled little brat because he was whining! My child isn't perfect but he's not bad. He has his moments, as all kids do, and mostly it's when he's getting tired and had enough. He's at a stage where he's trying to push our buttons and seeing what he can get away with. I've stood my ground with him and take care of the situation but I dont' need someone else trying to help who's not around our son enough to know much about him. I also don't want her thinking she can slap him or smack his butt or anything...Am I wrong in my thinking? What can I say to get that message across and not be mean in her eyes?

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Why don't you just keep him away from her for about six months? Three year old children do misbehave and she is treating him just as she would have done children of her generation. Sometimes it works quite well.

However, since you don't like it, stay away. (I am assuming that you don't live in the same house with her) Find something else to do so the child doesnt' bother her.

It's your choice. Accept her view of what needs to be done or stay away until he is older and better behaved.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2002 at 2:44PM
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Do you work at the fair? Or do you just camp there? Is grandma living with you or near you? As a grandma sometimes I forget that my kids really do know how to raise kids and I too have been disciplined from my two daughters. Yes, it has caused hard feelings, but I truly try to respect their wishes. I too have swatted my GD, and wished later I had not done so. By talking with my kids and spouses we have pretty well ironed out some really hurt feelings. Yes toddlers really do get fussy and tired and it does get on our nerves. We have to bite our tongue!! and it is not easy. The only suggestion I have, is insist that your grandma DOES NOT spank or hit your child. If you see her whisper something, ask her what she said. Remember, that OLD people are like children. I am 70 and I too am a OLD person. I too have to really think --Gee the toddlers of today, are the teens or tomarrow and the future leaders . I truly wish you the best.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2002 at 9:25PM
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We just go the fair for fun...don't work there. We're not staying over night this year because we have a dog this year and he needs left out. It's also easier to get a restful nights sleep by staying at home and just commuting. The tents don't allow for much quiet and the camper is hard to sleep in because Gram and Pap are up early. In previous years we have stayed, even when DS was a baby.

My grandmother is 62~a young great grandmother, actually. Really she's not just on my nerves at this point, she's on everyone's. Last night she had everyone come to the camper for warm-ups and was trying to tell me how to lace my son's shoes and making fun of how my mother taught me to tie my shoes (guess they showed it on Sesame Street years ago and it was easier for me) and I just never learned the way everyone else did...but it works! Then she brought toys over to the camper for Shane that she bought at a yard sale and was yelling at him to only push one button and listen to one sound at a time...I explained that kids don't do that. I said that she didn't have all those noisy battery operated toys with her kids that we do today but that's what kids do. (Actually, it's a duh on her part...why'd she bring the noisest toy she has?) Then because she had DS's shoes and he wanted me to put them on him, she made a comment about he'll never learn to share if he's not around kids! He's around kids and he does share, it's his age and a stage he's in and I said I read in Parents magazine that 3-4 year old know how to share, they just often don't want to. They're always making jabs at me because I'm a SAHM. They had my life dreamed up for me and well, DS came along before I got to start college (I was taking a year off to work before starting). Ever since he was born, she's been trying to tell me what to do, like I can't do it. (She even stood in the delivery room and commented to my mother not to buy him too much because he may not make it..he was premature and we didn't know exactly how the situation was yet but you dont' say stuff like that at a time like that!) I said to my Dad's gf yesterday that I've raised him to this age and I haven't killed him or hurt him or made him sick yet! I guess she did the same with my Mom, too. We hear about everything we do or buy for our DS! How he acts, how we handle the situation, etc. I try to avoid her and we've actually saw them coming at the fair and went another way. Pap even made a comment last night about me maybe wanting to look nice to find someone and I'm with my son's father and have been for 4 years and he's a great father and he's great to me! He even made little comments to my Dad's new gf's daughter (she's 10) about her weight at supper! I really think they're trying to start a fight or something and I'm trying to stay away but I can't keep my mouth shut about some stuff. I'm afraid I will probably have to say something to her to get her to back off. It may not help but at least I did something and didn't allow her to walk all over me and put me down...

Thanks, for the comments and advice.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2002 at 9:10AM
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Tell the mean old bag to keep her hands to herself.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2002 at 9:16AM
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I have seen your posts over the last year, giving advice to others enough to know that you are very level-headed, a good mom, and a wise person.

For you to be running into this buttinski-ness, means that it could happen to anyone.

First, assume she doesn't mean the worst. In other words, assume the best even when she's being rude and pushy.

Then politely assert yourself in one sentence. "In order for me to successfully discipline my son during his tantrum, I need you to give us some space." Keep it simple, and bend over backwards to be polite, even in the face of some impolite behavior.

I also find that when I am around DH's family, and DD starts showing her 'toddler best' :-), I simply scoop her up and take her outside or away from them, and deal with her one-on-one.

Remember kids tend to know when it's the WORST time to show their very best tantrums, and it is usually when they can get attention (i.e. when some family other than just mom and dad are around). But don't bother explaining this to misguided family members. It will only put them on the defensive.

So the keys are:
Remove you and DS when you need to discipline him, so that he can't play grandma against you, and she won't be tempted to butt in.
If you can't remove him, politely assert what you need and why you need it, in simple but firm terms.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2002 at 7:30AM
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Most times when I answer a post, I've either been in the poster's shoes or know someone who has and learned from it. I haven't had that happen in this case yet.

The big problem I guess is that people tell you to usually just ignore behavior like this. Just let grandma think and do whatever and go about my business, but it's to the point where it ruins my fun and upsets me! I'm so afraid that when we decide to have the second baby, it's going to only get worse! She was very bad when DS was a baby. She was constantly trying to put more layers on him and stuff because she thought he was cold and it could be 80-something and humid!!! Everything I did with DS was wrong! I just hate it. I don't want someone questioning every decision I make as a parent and honestly, I don't think there is anyone who would like it. I've also learned that if you dont' speak up, the person will just keep it up and never know how much they're bothering you. If speaking up will get her to stop...I'll do it in a heartbeat! I don't want to feel used and like I"ve been walked on and just take it. That's the old me...the new me stands up for herself more but she's still learning, also!

Thanks, everyone. Things have been better the past two days...we'll see how today goes.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2002 at 9:37AM
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There are cultures that honor an older generation as being wiser. Listen carefully, you might actually learn something from her if you don't explode first from holding everything in. Take a look at the child of this grandmother. Would you like your son to grow up to be like him or her? Think about who it was that raised your mother or father and in turn raised you. Maybe her form of disciline wasn't so bad . . . or maybe she is trying to give you a hint to invervene earlier. In past generations (probably hers), children were definitely seen and not heard. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2002 at 10:47AM
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The fair is long since over and that means, things are back to normal. Gram is fine now and no problems. It's only that time of year that she drives me insane, really.

Honestly, no I don't want my son to grow up like them. They claim they had to work for everything but didn't, they hired others to do the farm work for them and even though they say they just retired in the past 5 years, it was way before that...There are some things I like about them but not everything. My father, did not turn out so great. He's 42 and still not settled in his life and has issues with a lot of stuff. I see my brother turning into him and I dont' want that for my son. I love them but I want to not carry everything into the next generation...

    Bookmark   September 26, 2002 at 11:45AM
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Just use common sense, and some of the parenting magazines have really neat stuff. Sounds like you are doing the best you can.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2002 at 8:05PM
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Maybe your grandmother is just fed up with your whiney brat. She was probably very busy at the fair and didn't want to hear his tantrum. I applaude her smacking his bottom. Appears he could do with a few more from you! Chrys

    Bookmark   October 12, 2002 at 1:02AM
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Excuse me, but actually my son is no different from really any other toddler. They all get tired and whiny! If you say yours never did then I guess you forgot because it's part of raising and having young children. My grandmother's problem is that she forgets that kids aren't good little angels 24/7 (believe me I know hers weren't either!). And as for smacking his butt and disciplining him, it does happen. However smacking him out in public and in that situation I knew would not help matters, only make him more mad. Not to mention some people would have you arrested for doing as little as smacking a child in public! We were handling the situation by trying to get him back to our tent where he could chill out and calm down but my grandmother was preventing it. She was holding him and honestly, what 2 or 3 or 4 or really any young child that's ticked off or adult likes to be restrained? He calmed down before we even got 10 feet from them! Actually to her whining isn't even whining. The kid could ask nicely for something over there and she says he's whining. Last year he was whining all the time in her mind because he couldn't talk perfectly but he was only 2! And if you actually read all my posts you would have seen that I said we do take care of him, he's mostly a very plesant child and some of this only seems to be a stage. Don't you rememeber the terrible 3's?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2002 at 6:09AM
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Kids get whiney for a variety of reasons. If whining could be fixed with a smack on the bottom, why are kids still whining?

If you were my kid's grandparent and you presumed to smack her for being whiney, you would never be invited to see her again.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2002 at 12:10PM
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