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Grandparenting

Fractured family

(17 Posts)
1967roz Mon 11-Jan-21 21:38:20

Hi, how to heal a family that has been fractured through my actions? Was a very young mother, and was raised being slapped here there and everywhere, I didnt have much access to normality, upshot is i thought slapping was discipline.to cut a long story short, I apologised for all mistakes made several times since they are adults and now have 3 grandchildren, one of whom is 5 and loves to punch and slap me if doesn't get own way, me, no one else, anyway I snapped after asking for help from his mother, ( in the moment) she told ne he was in a bad mood before she dropped him at mine and told me to get on with it.and he carried on hitting i snapped and slapped him back, and now? Iv lost the respect of all of my children gutted I know I'm wrong, I know its unforgivable, I dont want pardoning, I want to know what I can do

EllanVannin Mon 11-Jan-21 21:48:55

Divert the child's attention from the act of hitting. Suggest playing with toys, games or reading a book. The child is only 5 and obviously bored but will be waiting for a reaction. Ignore the hitting/ slapping, he'll soon give up.

welbeck Mon 11-Jan-21 21:49:47

are you in england. if so,did you slap him in a way that is allowable under law. i think this makes a difference, esp as presumably his mother knew he was already hitting you, and you had specifically asked for help about it.
but, it doesn't really matter what i think, does it.
so is the situation now that you are not allowed contact with GC ?
maybe if you lashed out with your own children they carry resentment about that, so everything is magnified. but they still made use of you when it suited them for babysitting...

ElaineI Mon 11-Jan-21 22:21:12

If you are in Scotland it's against the law full stop. Perhaps think of a strategy to deal with the child and explain to your family and ask for help. It is very difficult not to snap sometimes. I had a moment with 2DGC yesterday and ended up removing myself to the toilet. After 5 minutes they got worried and started calling for me. I think they thought I had left them. DD was furious with them and both were made to apologise to me. DGD (nearly 4) grunts and goes in the huff arms crossed and back towards you. Her brother never did this. Must be a girl thing! Youngest DGS (2 ½ ) is learning about hitting (not meaning to hurt) and pushing and both DD2 and us are consistent with saying no .... and putting him down.

welbeck Mon 11-Jan-21 22:27:14

do you think the parent allowed it to go on as a way of punishing you, OP.

welbeck Mon 11-Jan-21 22:30:21

i think you are taking on too much guilt for this whole family dynamic.
it is not all your fault.
and fault is often not a useful concept anyway.
who cared about you getting bashed repeatedly. well i do.

AmberSpyglass Mon 11-Jan-21 22:48:23

You slapped your children regularly and now you’ve slapped one of your grandchildren after losing your temper. You cared for a fractious child despite knowing that you have a history of lashing out physically.

I genuinely believe you’re sorry, but I don’t think there’s anything you can do to regain your children’s trust as a caregiver now. In their position I certainly wouldn’t leave my child alone with you again. I appreciate that’s hard to hear, but this is no small action and there’s a reason it’s illegal in Scotland.

AmberSpyglass Mon 11-Jan-21 22:49:34

In terms of what you can do, I think therapy and some sort of anger management course would be beneficial whether or not your children decide to let your gc have a relationship with you again.

Smileless2012 Mon 11-Jan-21 23:17:33

AmberSpyglass the OP had her GC left in her care by her D, who knew her mother had slapped her and her siblings when they were children; knew the child was slapping and punching the OP, and when asked for help from the OP was told to get on with it because the child was in a bad mood.

You're clearly upset by what's happened 1967roz and regret what has happened. I agree with Welbeck that "you are taking on too much responsibility for this whole family dynamic". Despite your D's experiences from her own childhood she's quite happy for you to look after your GC when it it suits her.

I think anger management and therapy is a great idea as it will help you and hopefully reassure your children that it's OK for you to see your GC. I also think you should tell your D if she asks you too, that you wont look after her child until she has got his bad behaviour under control.

silverlining48 Mon 11-Jan-21 23:38:40

It not ideal is it but it sounds as if you really regret what happened . If you are still able to visit do so when your daughter is present. I hope that in time you will forgive yourself and be forgiven for your lapse. We are only human, and make mistakes and he also needs to know that he should not be slapping you either.

Lolo81 Tue 12-Jan-21 04:47:22

All you can do is apologise. Maybe look at anger management as other have said - you acknowledge that your ingrained response to frustration and anger is to lash out physically. That won’t change until you make an effort to change it by learning and practicing coping strategies.
Even though you’ve apologised for the slapping of your own children, the damage has been done. It’s like smashing a plate and gluing it back together, the crack will always be there. I don’t say this to make you feel worse or bad, but instead to maybe appreciate that the issue won’t just be forgotten.
Can you ask your AC what would make them comfortable seeing you again? Do they want you to seek help? This may take time, so be patient and try not to beat yourself up too much, you can’t change the past - but you know where the issue lies, so you have the power to find a way to change your behaviour and reactions moving forward.

nadateturbe Tue 12-Jan-21 05:20:53

1967roz I think it was good that you apologised to your children for hitting them when they were young. Many were raised years ago thinking corporal punishment was acceptable. Indeed many still believe it's ok to hit children.
You need to learn a different way to cope in these situations and manage anger as Lolo81 has suggested. Perhaps some counselling would be a good idea.
I don't think you should ignore your gc punching and slapping you. He shouldnt be doing this and your D shouldn't have ignored you asking for help to stop it. You can't have been that bad if they felt safe leaving the children with you.
Perhaps tell your children you are having some counselling and are sorry.

sodapop Tue 12-Jan-21 08:59:55

You clearly understand what went wrong 1967roz and its to your credit you want to change things. I agree with Smileless and Welbeck don't assume too much guilt over this. Talk openly to your family about the problems and get some help with anger management and counselling,. Your daughter could use some help too in dealing with her son's behaviour. I hope you and your family can sort this out.

eazybee Tue 12-Jan-21 09:32:44

You are assuming all the guilt for a fractured family, because you slapped your children. At the time when your children were young slapping was an acceptable form of punishment, and you are now punishing your self too much.

As for dealing with your naughty grandchild who likes to slap and punch others, don't tolerate it; it certainly won't be tolerated at school. The next time it starts intervene swiftly; tell him to stop and if he doesn't, hold his arms firmly at his side, and crouch down so you are at eye level ; repeat firmly and calmly, No, until he stops.
You may have to do this many times, but this behaviour is not excusable even if he is in a bad mood, and you must not tolerate it.
Whatever you do, don't lose your temper, which is the hardest thing, but equally, don't assume all the guilt for family failures.

PECS Tue 12-Jan-21 09:33:36

Everyone makes mistakes..not everyone can admit it..but you have. That is a step in the right direction.
Apologise again, maybe in writing, and if possible to the child concerned and ask to be forgiven for your mistake. You cannot do anything else to make others change their mind.
You are trying to break a behaviour habit, and you can do it. If you are in UK it is harder at this time to access counselling or support to change your immediate response to poor behaviour of children. There may be online helo.
My practical advice, if you are in that situation again, is to go to the toilet & wait in there until you feel calmer. Flush the chain , walk out with a smile and get on with any job ignoring the hitting child. Then make a drink/ snack for both of you and see if the child comes. The time to talk about the hitting is much later.

Kandinsky Tue 12-Jan-21 09:37:31

Smacking your own children, because that’s how you were brought up, is ( somewhat ) understandable. You recognise it was wrong and are trying your best to put it right,
So you know it’s wrong yet you smacked your GC?
Why?
Smacking children 20/30 years ago wasn’t against the law and many ( too many ) of us were brought up that way.
But you must know by now it’s wrong to smack a child - morally and legally.
Apologise to your family and suggest they look for a childminder or nursery.
I don’t mean to sound harsh as you do sound racked with guilt, but you really shouldn’t be caring for young children if you can’t control your temper.

Shropshirelass Tue 12-Jan-21 09:40:38

A lot of moods and aggression with children is down to their diet. They have far too much sugar and too many carbohydrates, reducing these has the effect of calming a child and reducing behavioural issues. I wish I had known this when my DS was little, he was a nightmare! Watch ‘The Magic Pill’ it is very enlightening. Don’t be too hard on yourself, you are doing your best and we all have our breaking point. A slap isn’t the end of the world.