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Daughter's expectations

(70 Posts)
daisybel1 Fri 15-Apr-16 15:22:35

We're lucky enough to live very near our daughter and her family which means we get to see the grandchildren often. We try to help as she has a disabled husband and 3 step-children (who stay every other weekend) as well as 2 adorable GS (age 4 and2). She has admitted that she's finding it difficult to cope and I have encouraged her to talk to her GP. Of course we want to support her and try to ignore her snappy criticisms as I'm sure its not really aimed at us. However I'm getting fed up of feeling that whatever we do isn't right or enough. Somehow she makes us feel that her problems are our fault. I don't want to fall out with her and I know that she can be very loving and kind and she's lovely to everyone else! I suspect she's depressed and maybe we have to put up with being the kicking boards. How do I talk to her?

KatyK Tue 19-Apr-16 10:05:14

Well said Jud I too would like some ideas as to how to say 'I don't think you treat me very well' but as you say with grandchildren in the mix, things are difficult. I tried it once and it did indeed make matters worse, although I have to confess I went about it in the wrong way.

thatbags Tue 19-Apr-16 12:47:05

I think if one's kids grew up not being allowed to be rude or disrespectful to their parents (one simply doesn't put up with it; if they try it on ever they are pulled up short immediately), they carry on into adulthood not being rude to their parents.

Works for me anyhow.

thatbags Tue 19-Apr-16 12:49:07

So one never has to mention it once they are adults.

I'm not sure how grandchildren make a difference to that. My DD who has children seems, give or take a few minor details, to have the same approach to child rearing as I did.

Elegran Tue 19-Apr-16 13:57:37

If you have tolerated it in the past, it can be very difficult to change tack. I may be older than some people on here (77 next month) but when I was a child you just did not badmouth your mother. If you did, father weighed in on mother's side, and you were in the doghouse. I was never physically punished (well, only once, and that was for something which I knew perfectly well was potentially dangerous, and forbidden for that reason. My father came upon me in flagrante and delivered just one whack across the backside before I realised he was there. I never did it again. Her was the most gentle of parents, and the smack was evidence of how much I had scared him for my own safety. I was well aware of that!)

Equally, my parents didn't badmouth me! Verbally chastising people is just a substitute for physical beatings. - if you were physically attacked by a son or daughter you would take steps to stop it happening again, similarly with a parent. Verbal attacks are just another version, one which will not involve the attacker in police proceedings. If defending yourself from an undeserved verbal attack causes alienation, then something is wrong with the basic relationship. A parent is not a scapegoat for their grown-up child's bad temper or tiredness, any more than it is legitimate to use a child as a scapegoat for a parent's unhappiness.

Elegran Tue 19-Apr-16 14:09:29

"How would you show that being rude to one's mother is not to be tolerated?"

The same way that you would get over that being aggressive to anyone is not to be tolerated - and when you have already sown a history of tolerating abuse (because that is what verbal agression is) then you will reap more abuse whenever tiredness or frustration put someone in a bad mood.

I don't know how to advise anyone to change the pattern once it has become established. Each person is different, so is each relationship. Losing your temper is not a good idea, that just ends up as a free-for-all. Bursting into tears and being hard-done-by is not, either.

Perhaps you could say quietly "That wasn't a fair thing to say." or "That was hurtful. I am sure you didn't mean it to be, you are tired, but I have done nothing to deserve that"

and then change the subject or remove yourself to another room.

KatyK Tue 19-Apr-16 16:38:44

My DD is never rude to me. She has a bit of a short fuse and can get a bit snappy and can be thoughtless regarding me and her dad but is never rude or never says anything horrible. When she was younger, people used to comment on her good manners. I think the point about grandchildren is that many of us are afraid to speak up as it could mean a split and we wouldn't see our grandchildren. I know that if you have a solid relationship with your children, this probably won't happen but it is always a fear.

Dandibelle Fri 22-Apr-16 09:37:54

Can't understand it!! My DD puts the kettle on as soon as I arrive and plies me with food n drink as long as I'm there (she had 4 kids in 6 yrs). Think it must be a respect/manners thing

harrigran Fri 22-Apr-16 10:57:21

My mother used to say to me " as you sow, so shall you reap " probably misquoted but relevant. DC have never been anything but respectful to me because I brought them up be considerate of others.

Iam64 Sat 23-Apr-16 18:41:25

Can I just say,without being confrontational, that those posters who imply that rude adult children are the result of poor parenting be a bit more sensitive to the OP and to other gransnetters who have posted about difficult relationships with their adult children.
There are many families who have 4 our of 5 adult children in the loving, caring, generous camp whilst one of their children has developed all manner of problems. Maybe drink, maybe drugs may just be an angry, confrontational and all round problematic attitude to life. As other threads on gransnet demonstrate, it leaves their parents feeling like failures.

NanSue Sat 23-Apr-16 20:14:31

Well said, I am!

annsixty Sat 23-Apr-16 20:30:33

2 children 1daughter eldest, one son younger. D loving, concerned. S no attachment to anyone including his children. Same parents, same upbringing, so different it is unbelievable. Just human nature.

Eloethan Sat 23-Apr-16 23:54:36

I was thinking the same myself Iam64.

mumofmadboys Sun 24-Apr-16 08:03:40

I agree Iam64. Rob Parsons from Care for the family says re bringing up children 'Don't take all the credit but don't take all the blame'. I think that is so true. Some people end up with a rude and uncaring adult child through no fault of their own. There is not such a thing as a perfect parent. We can only do our best but we are all flawed.

Gracesgran Sun 24-Apr-16 08:36:30

I wonder if the cup of tea thing (and I would say the leaving the TV on and the not seeing people to the door thing) are actually just generational and come from flat/house sharing that starts at University. It's all about training. Saying "shall I put the kettle on" works for me. Having said that my DDs partner has had to train me to "knock and come in" rather than waiting.

I do feel sorry for how daisybel1 feels but I wonder if the "feeling that whatever we do isn't right or enough" is coming from her daughter (who does seem to have a lot on her plate) or from herself. We can sometimes be our own worst critic. How sad that, having started the thread, she has not returned to reply to the help and kind comments she was offered.hmm

Judthepud2 Mon 25-Apr-16 01:19:09

Thank you for making that point Iam. Some of the comments made on this thread regarding 'as you sow....' etc are a bit hurtful, certainly not helpful. I have 3 children who treat me with respect as I have always treated them, and another who has a bit of a short fuse at times where she misinterprets me and others. She was brought up with love and care too confused but has a different outlook on life.

To those who never have any family problems, lucky you. But please don't gloat at the expense of those who feel hurt by adult children's treatment of them. There but for the grace of God......

KatyK Mon 25-Apr-16 10:01:08

My daughter was brought up with love and care too Jud and when she was younger people used to congratulate me on her manners. She is still well mannered and has made a good life despite some problems in her own life. Like your DD, she has a different outlook on life. I too resent the implication that because at times she is a bit thoughtless, that I have not brought her up right. Well said.

Luckygirl Mon 25-Apr-16 10:10:54

It is certainly true that our children can surprise us when they reach adulthood - they are under a whole raft of different influences as they get older and there is no way of knowing which way they will go.

daisybel1 Mon 25-Apr-16 19:03:43

Thank you especially to Iam, Jud and others for your posts about comments on upbringing etc.that can be hurtful and "off the point" - I was beginning to think some people had misunderstood my OP and its certainly about more than being offered a cup of tea! My daughter is generally polite, as she was brought up to be, but I know she is overwhelmed by her situation at times. My post was really about supporting her and keeping communication open whilst maintaining mutual respect - sorry if I was unclear.

embo32 Tue 07-Jun-16 11:28:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.