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Not sure what to do

(104 Posts)
Rolypoly55 Sat 01-Jun-19 23:21:09


I am really struggling to keep quite. My sons partner is very verbal, never wrong, I am finding it difficult to cope with. She has a good heart in some respects but continues to pick at our grandaughter who is 5years old. I had an extremely hard upbringing, no love and picked on growing up and it really upsets me when she picks away. When I have my grandaughter we play quite happily and I have no reason to scold her, she has her moments but on the whole she's a well behaved girl.. If I say anything she knows best! She will get upset because she doesn't like to think she is in the wrong. She doesn't have many friends, my son says she has a good heart and means well but it's getting to the point where I don't want her at my house because I cannot bear to hear her niggle at my grandaughter, she has no right surely. I find it difficult because I have been there from day 1....she has no children herself and knows it all. O dear I sound awful moaning on but I am so upset about it all.

BradfordLass72 Sun 02-Jun-19 04:27:32

I did answer on another thread but here goes

I don't subscribe to the idea that you should stand back and let them work it out themselves. Would you stand back if this woman was physically beating your grand-daughter? No, of course not. Constant verbal picking is just as damaging, as you know to your cost.

She is not this wee girl's mother, so your son should stop this constant criticism and not make specious excuses such as 'she's got a good heart'.

No, she hasn't, she would not be constantly carping at a little child if she had.

She's going to damage this wee girl just as someone damaged you.

This woman may do good things occasionally but so what? If she believes she is never wrong, then she needs to be told in no uncertain terms that she is constantly wrong when she is hurting a 5 year old with her tongue.

If you have to scare your son into action by telling him exactly what was done and said to you, and its consequences, do it.

You may be the only chance your grand-daughter has.

Sara65 Sun 02-Jun-19 08:26:14

I agree with Bradfordlass

Your responsibility is to your granddaughter, you may be the only one fighting her corner, so you need to say something to your son , before real damage is done

Grammaretto Sun 02-Jun-19 08:30:27

Stop being meek. Someone has to stand up for this little girl. One day she will be big and strong but not yet. You must stop this awful bully now.

Luckygirl Sun 02-Jun-19 08:43:18

Is the GD her child or a step-child (i.e. child of your son's)?

One way you could help here is to teach by example - use your methods in the presence of your son's partner - e.g. praise and positive reinforcements; distraction etc. - the tools we all have in our box to help children grow up confident.

Hopefully your presence is a positive influence and one of the aims of your actions should be to do nothing that might precipitate a split, so that you no longer feature in your GD's life at all. People are very touchy about criticism of their parenting style - I know that I would have been.

SpringyChicken Sun 02-Jun-19 08:57:27

Speak to your son, he's had ample opportunity to witness the picking and should do something about it before you have to step in. He should be standing up for his daughter. Does your granddaughter share her time between your son and her mother?

March Sun 02-Jun-19 09:50:20

Where's your son?

Speak to him about it, I'd find it very hard to keep my mouth shut if anyone was acting like that towards my 5 year old!

Septimia Sun 02-Jun-19 09:52:31

If your GD's mother is still caring for her part of the time it might be extra hard for your son's girlfriend. I've seen it happen in my family. Your GD might come back from her mother's saying things that are upsetting and the girlfriend may still feel that her position isn't secure. It's much harder for the girlfriend than many of us realise and it all causes friction which might make her more prickly.

Having said that, it is probably best if you have a word with your son and explain why you're concerned - tell him about your childhood. Really, your son should be taking responsibility for your GD's upbringing, not his partner, and they need to work out how they're going to manage it. Should she always step back and leave it to him or should she deal with things that affect her directly, etc.?

Meanwhile keep giving your GD the love and attention she needs because, in the long run, she'll learn a lot from your influence.

Sara65 Sun 02-Jun-19 10:09:01


I agree it’s not an easy situation for the dads girlfriend, but the little girl is more important , I also wonder where her mummy is, and if you’ve shared your concerns with her

Davida1968 Sun 02-Jun-19 10:11:32

I agree with March and Septimia. Where's your DS in all this? Can you possibly meet him somewhere neutral (like a cafe) for a quiet chat, to raise your concerns? Maybe he is already aware of the situation but if he isn't, then you need to raise it. It's great that you care for your DGD in this way, and I hope you can help here.

EllanVannin Sun 02-Jun-19 10:33:42

A real Jekyll and Hyde character here !! Horrible.

4allweknow Sun 02-Jun-19 10:57:38

Isn't this sort of behaviour now classed as psychological a use. The
verbal harm being inflicted on your GD can be doing untold damage, as you know by your own experience which is perhaps holding you back from doing or saying anything to your son. If you want to try to change the situation you need to do something now, eg speak with your son, don't let his partner's remarks pass without comment. It is your GC's mental health.

Gonegirl Sun 02-Jun-19 11:01:18

Does your GD seem to be unhappy because of it? How does her relationship with her stepmum seem? Is she unhappy to go home after visiting you?

We don't really know enough background here. She might just have a different way of bringing up a child. Do they intend to have a child of their own? That could make a difference. Might take the pressure off your GD.

I certainly wouldn't stop the stepmum coming to your house. Neither would I do any criticising in front of the child.

jaylucy Sun 02-Jun-19 11:05:14

Like others say - it is not her child, so really, unless your GC is about to come to harm, she really should keep quiet!
My mother was pretty good at letting her feelings known when she thought that someone was being too hard with one of her grandchildren (even if it was a parent) by just saying "Oh don't say that! He/she is only a child" If the adult said anything she didn't often say anything at all, just give them a look (we can all do it) and that was usually the end of the conversation - I can't remember the reason why she remonstrated happening a second time! Either that or take her on one side and quietly say that you preferred if she wasn't so critical of the child while at your house.
No doubt she will sulk for a bit, but if you just carry on and treat her as you have always done, she will hopefully she will keep quiet.

GrandmaJan Sun 02-Jun-19 11:05:42

Emotional abuse is so damaging and it’s something that even as adults it still affects you. The well being of a child is everyone’s responsibility, that’s what I drummed into hospital and community staff when training. If you find it upsetting just think how your GD feels.

Tergly Sun 02-Jun-19 11:06:31

For me, the welfare of the little girl is the most important thing here. Partner is an adult and needs to deal with any problems without it impacting on the child.

Dillyduck Sun 02-Jun-19 11:11:50

I would try to see grand daughter on her own - she will soon be of an age to stay with you overnight - and then do everything possible to boost her confidence and self esteem. I do this for my grandson when he visits, for example I call him "The Best Grandson in the World". At 6 years old, he can make chocolate cakes by himself (with a little help from Magimix!) all I need to do is pour the mixture into the tins, if it's going to be a big cake. His mum doesn't bake at all. Otherwise he can put mixture in muffin cases himself. He loves lighting my wood burner (under strict supervision of course) and doing other little "jobs" with me. I used to run a Brownie pack, and can make almost anything a bit of fun. Make sure "going to Nanny's" is something she always looks forward to. Taking on someone else's child, especially when you don't have any of your own that you have "practiced on" must be really difficult, but don't interfere in the relationship between her or your son. I had the best mum in law in the world, we never argued, ever. Try to lead by example, and help by having your grand daughter at your place overnight so they can have some quality time together.

Coconut Sun 02-Jun-19 11:11:54

Personally I would be chatting to DS about this. He should be aware of the impact of emotional abuse and deal with it firmly and tactfully himself. Do you think that she resents the child ?

Dinahmo Sun 02-Jun-19 11:12:45

Your son's partner obviously has little or no feeling for your DGD and could indeed be jealous of her. there could be any number of reasons why that should the case. Is she hoping for a child of her own for example.
You haven't said what has happened to the child's mother, Are there the other grandparents around? Can you talk to them. It's your son but you do have a responsibility for the child's well being. Finally, make sure your GD knows that you will always be there for her and h ow much you love her.

Jishere Sun 02-Jun-19 11:15:15

I would say be careful because if your son believes she is doing no wrong then you could come out worse with them stopping visits. It sounds like she is jealous maybe resentful of your son's relationship with his daughter. Or simply she hasn't got a clue how good or bad kids behave. Carry on being diplomatic and nicely respond when she berates your gd even if u are seething.

Gonegirl Sun 02-Jun-19 11:15:16

Are we sure this is "emotional abuse"?!

Gonegirl Sun 02-Jun-19 11:18:17

Is she calling the child ugly? Stupid? Telling her no one loves her?

That's "emotional abuse". Doesn't sound like that's going on here. Just too much telling off. Maybe it's no biggie.

Jackiesue Sun 02-Jun-19 11:18:45

Hi, you need to tread carefully here. Your son will most probably side with her if you say anything to her or about her to him. So, as much as its upsetting to see this going on, I would be very subtle and let your son see how its done properly. He's not daft and will be being bullied by her too. Keep him onside. The child has the best care at your home and you wouldn't want to lose that im sure. Id just keep doing your best and keep tight lipped (bloody difficult) Children grow up and you want to be part of that and she'll have built the proper foundations through you. Dont forget your importance in her path to adulthood..x

Sara65 Sun 02-Jun-19 11:21:46

Well maybe not Gonegirl, we also don’t know if the girlfriend reacts badly with Rolypoly around, she may possibly think she undermines her

But nevertheless, it’s a cause for concern, and needs sorting out

Gonegirl Sun 02-Jun-19 11:23:16

We need to know if the little girl is happy generally. No point in making waves unnecessarily.