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To Object To My Mother Calling DS A Problem Child?

(35 Posts)
DontCallMePeanut Sat 13-Aug-11 15:13:32

Especially, when it's so far removed from the truth it's unreal. And especially when she only sees him for two weeks a year, 12 days of which are in a foreign country, with him being excited about seeing Nanny and Grandad? (The other two tend to be at family gatherings, so again, she can't make a valid observation on this)

AIB completely and utterly U?

TheFlyingOnion Sat 13-Aug-11 15:14:37

Of course yanbu

Ignore her

pjmama Sat 13-Aug-11 15:14:38

Nope. Tell her she doesn't see enough of him to be entitled to an opinion and to mind her own business.

maristella Sat 13-Aug-11 15:16:49

She sounds like a Problem Grandparent to me! Very little contact and attaching damaging labels to a young child.

Who did she say these things to?
I'd be even more angry if it was other people.

squeakytoy Sat 13-Aug-11 15:18:10

Possibly depends on what behaviour she has witnessed. Enthusiastic over-excitement is one thing.... drowning the family cat is another.. grin

SecretNutellaFix Sat 13-Aug-11 15:19:23

What sort of behaviour are we talking about?

How old is he?

DontCallMePeanut Sat 13-Aug-11 15:20:45

She said it to me, over the phone, as I was discussing my new timetable for uni. Apparently, an 8pm finish on one evening means I'm just going to create more problems where DS is concerned, and I "already have problems with him".

The fuck I do! In fact, I'm regularly told by his nursery worker and my best friend how well behaved they thiink he is.

It's just hearing that coming from my mum? Ouch.

bamboobutton Sat 13-Aug-11 15:22:22

yanbu at all

my fil decided ds had anger issues and needed to see a behavioural specialist for anger managementhmm fil had only seen him for 2 days and ds had been wound up by constant tv, blaring xbox going all day, poked and teased and kept up far too late so no wonder he was kicking off and having tantrums.
all my fault of courseangry

don't know what to suggest you can do about it. i solved it by pointing out a few home truths about fil's parenting skills and he kicked off big time and trashed the house, perhaps he should practice what he preaches, eh?.

LuceyLasstic Sat 13-Aug-11 15:23:14

depends how he is being problematic

worraliberty Sat 13-Aug-11 15:23:20

So she didn't call him a problem child then?

DontCallMePeanut Sat 13-Aug-11 15:23:25

DS is 3 and a half. The behaviour we're talking about is where he picked up the phrase "shut up" from nursery, and he found it amusing. It lasted 3 fucking days. Oh, and he went through a period of telling me "No", while we were out there (mainly when I said it's time to go to bed, or time to get out of the pool). Definitely not drowning the cat, or hitting (one incident aside whilst we were there, but that was more for attention than anything)

DontCallMePeanut Sat 13-Aug-11 15:25:11

worraliberty, it's the way she puts it across. She's called him a problem child in the past, has told me she's never seen a child act as badly as he has, and for her to come out with that just now was a kick in the teeth.

SecretNutellaFix Sat 13-Aug-11 15:27:19

So he sounds like a normal 3 year old learning his boundaries?

She is out of touch from reality. Pay no attention to what she thinks- after all thought is free. Sooner or later she will find that her attitude towards her gc will alienate them and they won't want to be around her, especially if she labels them.

bigTillyMint Sat 13-Aug-11 15:28:45

He sounds perfectly normal, but she sounds like she has a problem - either with him (did she have any sons?) or with you - jealous?

DontCallMePeanut Sat 13-Aug-11 15:32:02

She has two DS's, and DS is the second youngest of 10 GC. I have no idea why she'd be jealous of me, unless it's the fact I'm trying to better myself atm. I really don't know. I've never heard her label any of the other GC as such, so why mine? sad

mummyosaurus Sat 13-Aug-11 15:32:10


My dad is like this.

I have 4 yo DS, Dad has 4 grand daughters, all slightly older and moans that boys are much more hard work, never behaved like DS, has no patience with them, has asked me if DS has ADHD, whereas the girls can so no wrong. I have to remind him about the storming tantrums my eldest niece used to have when she was a bit older than DS, that shuts him up.

When he starts on I just leave.

xmyboys Sat 13-Aug-11 15:39:46

Lucky you don't see them anymore than this.

Well done for getting on with your studies.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 13-Aug-11 15:40:00

'Problem child' doesn't mean the same to everybody, OP. You said she called him that previously - did she actually call him it or refer to him as that? You're taking it very personally, which is understandable, but you should ask her what she means by it, which specific incident.

From your posts, your mum says that you have 'problems' with him. 'Problem' is not a derogatory term, it's a concern and she's entitled to her opinion. She sees your DS for a 'snapshot' of time as it's infrequent. She's making a judgement based on a very short timescale and possibly doesn't mean it in the emotive way that you think.

I get irritated with the concept of labels being applied to a child and oh how dreadful... I think it's perfectly acceptable to say "Don't be a naughty boy/girl" or "You are a naughty boy/girl" in the event of some happening because by the same token, the 'labels' of "You're a good boy/girl" are applied.

If you think that your mum doesn't value you as a mother then take it up with her. If you think she doesn't love you/your DS then I think you're mistaken and I don't think jealousy comes into it at all.

How often do you talk to your mother and how do you know what she refers to her other GC as? You're not being unreasonable to be upset, OP, but I think you're oversensitive to the concept of your DS's behaviour possibly presenting as a 'problem'. Talk to her.

DontCallMePeanut Sat 13-Aug-11 15:43:00

It hurts, doesn't it? I don't look at DS and see a load of problems with him, nor does anyone else I know. Yet she's so quick to describe him in such a way. sad I thought the grandparents were supposed to be the soft ones.

DontCallMePeanut Sat 13-Aug-11 15:49:35

I speak to my mum at least once a week. There's no doubt that she loves both me and him, but she doesn't seem as affectionate towards him as she does the older GC. Again, this may be my perspective and wrong, but it's just how it comes across.

Lying, thank you. Your post was very logical. smile

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 13-Aug-11 15:53:07

Do you really think that she meant DS is a 'problem child', in the way that you're referencing it? My mum used to say it to me as an affectionate thing sometimes. It really doesn't have the same impact for everybody.

To put it into context, I called my nephew a naughty boy, he's 2, he was on my lap and pulling my hair and I was laughing and calling him it, "Oh you are a naughty little boy, aren't you?". No hostility whatsoever, lots of affection. Anybody who would think I don't love my nephew would be dead wrong, but my brother was horrified... I won't do it again, but truly, nephew and I were laughing and having a whale of a time.

I say it to my own, but in affection only. I say that we 'love naughty boys in our house' and I include the dogs in it! I would never say it if they did something wrong. I would just explain firmly that 'X sort of behaviour is wrong and we don't do that because Y'. When I'm cross, there are no 'labels' whatever. Does that make any sense to you?

Soft grandparents.... what does that mean? Indulgent? I'm sure that your mum loves DS as much as she loves her other GC. However 'soft' a grandparent is, a sensible one will not excuse bad behaviour without saying something just because they don't want to hurt feelings.

Is there something that suggests to you that your mum wants anything other than the very best for you? I think it's very sad that your thought is that she might be jealous... it doesn't make sense. I think you really need to have a conversation and tell her how hurt you are. I bet she'll fall over herself to explain if you give her a chance to do that.

It sounds like you and your mum have lost touch a bit and maybe your visits and calls are on 'tenterhooks' for both of you. Is that possible?

Please don't take it to heart, you sound very sad and I'm convinced that your mum would be horrified that she'd upset you like this.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 13-Aug-11 15:55:13

x-posted with you, Don'tCallMePeanut... when you speak to your mum, do you do it over the phone only or can you have a webcam chat so that she can see you and DS and you can see her? I was thinking that that might help, maybe? Telephones can be so impersonal.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 13-Aug-11 15:58:02

Oh.. and reading back my post, I don't mean to suggest that your mum referred to DS as a 'problem child' in affection, but just not with the strength of feeling that you're attaching, maybe.

Does your mum come to visit you also? It might be easier sometimes if she can see DS on his home 'territory', with all his familiar faces and places and she'd get a completely different view because he would be at home.

I'll shush now, I feel like I'm spamming your thread. smile

SaffronCake Sat 13-Aug-11 16:00:26

She's your mum, so of course you think she knows what she means when she says he's a problem... Check it though. Check she really meant what you thought she did because if you don't you wont be able to be sure that any way in which you choose to handle this is based on the right starting point. That means you have to talk to her.

evenlessnarkypuffin Sat 13-Aug-11 16:03:28

Did/does she treat you differently to your siblings? Do her other grandchildren have a stay at home parent? Is it a judgement on you rather than him?

It sounds totally bizarre. You could talk to her directly about it eg 'I find it very upsetting that you keep refering to DS as a problem child. No-one else seems to see him that way, including the nursery key worker who sees him x hours a week.' You could try making a joke of it and highlight how silly she's being by, when she starts off, saying, 'Yes. I suspect its' only a matter of time before he starts ram raiding jewellers on his scooter.'

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