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to expect my dad to be a good grandparent

(37 Posts)
cheesespread Fri 10-Jun-11 11:04:50

i havnt slept for 2 nights now worrying about this,i have had problems with my dad all of my life,he has a Jeckyl and Hyde personality nice one minute then in a foul mood the next,when i lived at home we constantly walked on eggshells,in the past he has been abusive towards me my mum and older brother

he has mellowed the past few years and when i found out i was pregnant i worried what he would be like with my child,my parents look after my son 2 days a week while i work my OH works full time so we have no one else to look after him

things have been fine till this week,my son is 14 months now and had 3 needles a few days ago,i went to my parents when i finished work and my son started crying he was basically having a paddy,my dad picked him up and sat him on his knee and cuddled him and he rubbed his leg,all i said was be careful dad where he had his needles its sore

he handed my son back to me and stomped away shouting,nasty grandad,arsehole grandad,wanker grandad,shithead grandad

he then sulked upstairs till we had our tea,he came down and sat in silence,when he did talk he said my son is spoilt,i asked him what his problem was and he didnt answer

now im worrying about how things are going to be as my son gets older,one of my brothers sons used to come for tea once a week and my dad had him crying everytime calling him a baby and was nasty to him,he was only 4 at the time and i used to go mental saying u cant act like that towards a 4 year old

my brother is my dads stepson and was like this with him while we were growing up,i just didnt think he would be like this with my kids,

i dont want to fall out with my parents but i cant have him going on like this,i dont no what to do,my OH said he gets one chance and ill have to pack in work if things arnt working out?

BooyHoo Fri 10-Jun-11 11:06:56

use a CMer or a nursery.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 10-Jun-11 11:13:22

Would you like somebody telling you how to parent your children? Perhaps this is how your dad sees your instruction. He knew about the needles but your son was just having a 'paddy'. You've offended your dad and I can understand his annoyance with you.

If it bothers you that much, that you think your son is at risk, don't take him there. It's a simple decision but you cannot micro-manage your dad to behave in the way that you want on every little thing.

It's not up to your OH either to say 'one chance'... it's not as if your dad is employed to look after your son. You presumably knew that your nephew cried because of 'names' your dad called him at age 4... and been 'abusive' yet you still decided to let your son be cared for by your dad. Why is this?

Each person handles things differently and your dad's personality is his personality; you're not going to change him. It could be that he'd be very good for your son but you have to step back and let him. Either that or decide at the outset that it won't work and keep your dad away from your son.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 10-Jun-11 11:32:00

If you expect free childcare then you cant rule that childcare with an iron fist neither can you expect people to change to live upto your required personality.

If you want to micro manage it, then pay a nursery or childminder.

brass Fri 10-Jun-11 12:09:31

tbh if I'd had that history with a person no way would they be looking after my child.

You should be able to sort some other childcare with a bit of effort.

KatieWatie Fri 10-Jun-11 12:53:11

Your dad sounds quite a lot like mine, so i empathise - I have similar worries about my dad generally around my child without the added "2 day a week sole carer" thing

I live so far away that he couldn't babysit for me, and nor would I want him to even if I lived next door... we'll have to manage childcare arrangements between ourselves and a childminder, and I think you will need to do the same. Does it really mean you'd have to pack in work? Could you not get a CM or nursery, even if it means you're working for nothing for a bit it's not forever as he'll be at school in a couple of years.

I'm not sure how you'll manage to explain at this stage that you no longer want him to look after your son though :S especially if he's a 'sulker', it could end up leading to total breakdown of your relationship with him unless you manage it carefully

cheesespread Fri 10-Jun-11 13:13:34

yes katie he s a sulker and acts like a spoilt child most of the time,my gran his mum has an excuse for his behaviour all the time even if she s visiting and he s calling my mum an idiot and puttin her down in front of people

my mum is brilliant with my son and i have no worries about the way she looks after him,my dad has showed none of this behaviour towards my son until the other day, ,my mum mainly looks after him anyway as my dad spends most of his day on his pc

we appriciate completely that im able to work thru my parents lookin after our son

it just really upset me the way he went on the other day,i wasnt nasty towards him i just simply said be careful with his leg please,the outburst i reicived from him in my eyes was totally uncalled for

there would be no point in me workin and payin for a nursey as im only on min wage

maybe im just been oversensitive

valiumredhead Fri 10-Jun-11 13:16:15

If he was like this as a father when you were growing up, what on earth makes you think he will change as a grand parent? confused

cheesespread Fri 10-Jun-11 13:18:21

coz im daft , i really thought he would be different

i always think people will change for the better

my OH tells me all the time that i cant change other people,i do get this,i just dont get why people behave the way they do

LoonyRationalist Fri 10-Jun-11 13:24:51

I would not be comfortable with some one who can behave like this being in the same house as my children. Less still when I or DH were not there in person to supervise. Are you confident that your mum would stand up for your son to your dad when you are not there???

Your OH is right you need to seriously consider alternative childcare arrangements. Could your mum care for DS in your home so your dad wouldn't be there? At the very least you need a full and frank discussion with your mum on these issues.

BootyMum Fri 10-Jun-11 13:28:30

I don't think you are being oversensitive nor do I think you are attempting to micro manage. How is reminding your father to be careful with your son's sore leg in any way undermining or offending him? It sounds as if he needs to be treated with kid gloves and that is worrying in a person who is dealing with little ones. How will he react when your son starts to defy him around age 2? What might he do if your son has a massive tantrum or yells no at him?

And I think this is the issue with your father, it sounds as if he makes situations into dramas about him. So all he can think about are his own hurt feelings. It is quite an infantile, 'toddler-ish' way of behaving.
This would be my concern, your father's inability to regulate his own emotions like an adult and so becomes aggressive or abusive.
I do not think I would want my child looked after by him, not without close supervision and not without another responsible adult who could step in and defuse the situation and defend your son [as you had to do with your 4 year old nephew].

I was wondering, does your mother have any thoughts about this or is she so used to your father's behaviour that she is immune to it?

MixedClassBaby Fri 10-Jun-11 13:35:07

This would worry me. Agree that you should talk to your mum and I like Loony's idea that she maybe care for DS in your home.

Eglu Fri 10-Jun-11 13:41:06

You need to find proper childcare. And if you are only on min wage then taxcredits should help towards cost of childcare so it would still be worth your while working.

cheesespread Fri 10-Jun-11 13:45:15


u hit the nail right on the head that is exactly what he is like !

i dont think im trying to micro manage either

this exactly what is worrying me about what will he be like when my son has a voice of his own ?

my dad always turns the tables to himself and likes people to feel sorry for him,making comments all the time like "you ll all be glad when im in my wooden box "

he quickly flies off the handle over silly little things,my mum has been married to him for 33 years and lets things go over her head,ill be seeing her tomorrow and having words with her

i have asked my mum before if she would look after my son in our home,she said she d find it easier in her home,but that might have to change if she s willing,how is she supposed to explain that to me dad tho

BooyHoo Fri 10-Jun-11 16:29:33

you send your son to someone who calls his wife and idiot?

seriously, why are you being so wishy washy. do you want your son in that environment or not. if not then you are going to have to stand up for him and put him in registered childcare. you will be entitled to tax credits if on minimum wage.

i really cant stand people who moan about their situation and do nothing about it. of course good childcare costs money, and so it bloody should. you get what you pay for and if you pay nothing for childcare then you will get nothing like childcare!! yes it is easy and convenient to have your mum do it but if it isn't right for your child then you are losing out in the long run because your dad's attitudes will be picked up by your son.

IloveJudgeJudy Fri 10-Jun-11 18:01:54

Don't let your son be looked after by your father. I made this mistake, asked my dad just to pick up two DC after school once a week for about an hour. He was nasty to my DS and it has caused a big rift between us. My DM is lovely, but puts up with a lot from my dad. It wasn't just this childcare situation that put a rift between us, it was the culmination of a lot of things. It would have been better if he hadn't picked my DC up from school, ever.

cheesespread Fri 10-Jun-11 19:30:19

i wasnt moaning i was asking for advice,and its what ive seen all my life my dad calling my mother an idiot and many more names so its pretty normal to me
i agreed to my parents looking after my child as i thought my dad would behave himself oviously not

DuelingFanjo Fri 10-Jun-11 19:35:57

you will get benefits to help with childcare and presumably your husband will pay half the cost?

cheesespread Fri 10-Jun-11 19:47:24

ill probably lend up packing work in be the easiest thing

BooyHoo Sun 12-Jun-11 13:34:26

why the 'woe is me' attitude?

dont you want to work?

saffy85 Sun 12-Jun-11 15:12:06

As others have said, you need to find different childcare for your DS if you don't like how your dad behaves. I sympathise- my own dad has no patience with small children his own or other peoples' so I would never leave my DC to be looked after by him. I would never leave my DC with DP's aunty no matter how much she begs because I don't like how she does things. And she regualrly goes shoplifting and I know that's why she wants to take my DD in her buggy to the shops (but that's a thread for another day...)

In short if relatives are taking care of your DC regularly for free and doing a massive favour by doing so you can work/study you need to accept they might do things differently.

bluebobbin Sun 12-Jun-11 15:21:20


This isn't an issue about grandparents providing free childcare and doing things their way rather than your way as some posts above suggest. It isn't an argument over a nap time etc.

The very serious issue is that your defenceless 14 month old child is in the care of an abuser. I know exactly what this is like - my dad is Jeckyll and Hyde as well and I am a few more years down the line with my kids than you. So on the occasions my dad is abusive, he has called my DS a little bastard etc...(for ridiculous things when he was less than 18m old). I have learned the hard way that I must restrict my dad's contact with him. I try to see my dad when DS is at school now and if I take DS with me, I make very sure that it is a gathering with lots of people and I keep my DS virtually glued to me to protect him. You must not let your dad take care of your child and if that means giving up work, you will have to do that. sad

PlanetEarth Sun 12-Jun-11 15:46:01

I have to say I wouldn't be happy if this were my child. Sounds like your dad is not likely to change, so your only option is not to have him look after your child. I can't see how it would work to have only your mum look after your child, even if that were logistically possible it would surely make your relationship with your dad even worse. So... it comes down to finding other childcare or not working. (I suspect this is what you are thinking already.)

If finding other childcare spoils your relationship with your parents, I think you have to ask yourself what to prioritise - your relationship with them, or the care of your son.

cheesespread Sun 12-Jun-11 17:23:08

whats your problem booyhoo?

cheesespread Sun 12-Jun-11 17:25:56

i have been to my parents today and my dad has been really nice,nicer than usual,this is how he acts when he s gone too far

i spoke to my mum yesterday about it all and she said my dad would never be nasty to my son,i told her if anything like this happens again ill be packing in work and lookin after him myself

thankyou for the advice ladies x

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