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being undermined by parents

(76 Posts)
smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 11:28:16

My dd is 10. I have had quite a few issues with her behaviour in the past.
During a fall out with my parents - I managed to get some form of control back.
Speaking to them again, and we are seeing changes in my dd again. Which im willing to accept, if she accepts and respects my rules, and remember that I am the mother.

A few weeks back my dd wanted somw shoes. So we spent 5 hours trailing around shoe shops. She spent most of her time looking everywhere but the shoes. Me, my oh and my other dc were showing her shoes tht she may have liked and she kept saying no.
Needless to say, we got fed up and went home. Shoeless.
Which she then moans to my parents about. As if im a bad person not buying her shoes.
I took her to asda for shool shoes as they were needed. Again she looked everywhere but. In the end i said you picn, or i pick. So she picked some yay!
Then i thought, we would get her a coat.
The same thing happened. If you dont pick, i will. So she picked.
Now its not a bad coat. She is the only one who has problems with it. My point is - you picked it!!

So she has been moaning to my mam and dad again. After repeatedly asking me to buy another.
We have had 3 bdays this month, halloween and preparing for xmas. I have 4 kids.
I dont have the funds to just buy her a coat willy nilly when her current coat is brand new!
We have had huge arguements over her refusal to wear it, and trying to go to school in the freezing cold rain. Which puts across that i wont buy her a coat - as that is her intention.
She made my parents feel sorry for her. So yesterday she came back from grandparents with a new coat.
Which just pissed me right off!

All my arguements, battles and persistence. For what!?
Now i look like the bad one for saying they shouldnt have done that!

Am i being unreasonable here?

AmberLeaf Sat 02-Nov-13 13:12:23

Your parents are unreasonable.

I wouldn't blame you if you felt you no longer wanted contact with them.

No way would I spend 5 hours shopping to find something a 10 yr old liked, particularly if that meant dragging the rest of the family around town.

puntasticusername Sat 02-Nov-13 13:26:12

Yeah, I'm not surprised if your dd favours them, sounds as if she's getting everything she wants out of them!

If things are really this bad and there's absolutely no communicating with them, I'm not sure what to suggest. Cutting them off would be an absolute last resort, but definitely it's not healthy for you all to carry on like this.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 13:44:54

Thank you punt. Sorry i have just noticed your message about explaining things to my parents.
I have been there.
They have always singled my dd out and made her special. So i have been there many times.
I had bought a bike for my sons bday and so the same day they got a bike for dd!
They are terrible for it. But pretend they dont realise what they are doing.

I just dont know why they do it

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 13:49:25

When i did cut them out for my personal reasons behond my childhood. I got some form of control over my daughter. Please bare in mind she isnt oit of control. Just difficult. Which im sure yous can see how and why with the grandparents.
Only now i am trying with them again. It feels as though im back at square one, with them and my dd!

I dont want to cut them out. But as you all state. This is not healthy and so it may have to happen.
Especially considering i seen a huge improvement in my own family during them not being there

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 14:25:27

Well my dd is now in a huff as my dad came to take the coat back. Also to take them over to play with their friends over there.

My mother avoided me, mind you. My dad deliberately dropped her off at home before heading for my house.

I just cant win and feel like a bad person!

MrsOsbourne Sat 02-Nov-13 14:41:05

They are manipulative OP-eg your mother not coming round to "punish" you
You will never win unless you do exactly as they say - this is manipulative behaviour not the behaviour of unconditionally loving parents.
They are also manipulating your DD.

Stop their "game" - step out of it .
I highly recommend Toxic Parents by Susan Forward .

mercibucket Sat 02-Nov-13 14:48:34

I imagine teenage years to be worse! tbh I would reduce contact to a minimum in case she wants to move in with them in a few years time

alcibiades Sat 02-Nov-13 14:51:25

Those people did a pretty poor job of being parents, and now they're doing a pretty poor job of being grandparents. They're not going to change for the better now, no matter how much you talk to them.

Your daughter is 10. Her behaviour improved when you were no-contact with them. When she was back under the influence of those two, her behaviour deteriorated again. Fast-foward just a few years, when she becomes a normal/stroppy teen and testing your rules even more, wanting to make her own decisions even more. If she's still under the influence of people who undermine your authority and pander to her whims and fancies, her behaviour could get far worse.

I think you do need to cut contact again, for your daughter's sake.

RhondaJean Sat 02-Nov-13 15:03:18

This sounds like my parents. I now take my daughters to visit them about once a month for two hours which still inevitably ends up in me being undermined but the contact is so minimal it has no effect.

Can I give you a tip about your daughter?

Three shops. We will find a pair of shoes in here or I will pick them. Not five hours.

Same with coat - and anything else. If she refuses to wear let her rock on. Take the coat into school and give it to the teacher and explain its there but she's refusing it.

Don't pander to her - give her limited choice so she has some control but let her see you will not be taken for a mug.

The above worked with my two! Maybe worth a go.

BlingBang Sat 02-Nov-13 15:03:54

Op - you really need to put your foot down for you, your daughter and your own families sake. No way would I put up this. Continue as you are and it could really harm your relationship and authority with your daughter as well as harm her. I too can see when she hits teens her wanting to stay with your parents.

They shouldn't have bought the coat, your father shouldn't be putting his arm round her when you are telling her off, they shouldn't have bought her the bike. I also wouldn't have danced to my 10 yr kids tune regarding five hour shoe shopping.

OP - you sound unconfident and undermined and your parents are just going to make this worse.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 15:11:27

Mrs osbourne. Me and my OH have had this talk many times. He gets frustrated as they are my parents and he feels they suck me back in at times. Which used to bring arguements between us.

As much as I understood him, at times I was still livinf with the hope that they didnt mean these things.
When i did confront them last time. They had excuses foe everything.
They used to see a new top on my younger son and say ooh thats nice, did his dad buy that. Indicating that i couldnt possibly have bought it as it is too nice.
They done this at least 3 times a week. Their reason for this was "it was a joke. You are blowing it out of proportion".
They even claimed my reasons for complaining about their behaviour was that my MH had deteriorated and i needed my meds again.
Bare in mind - i only suffer from chronic anxiety and a bit ocd.
I had also had an assessment with a MH worker a few days prior as they made me feel i was going insane.
The MH assessment stated i was very clued up and had made huge improvements and was doing very well without meds.

I also want to state that now my anxiety is at a bare minimum. Being set off at the correct times, rather than over something irrational.

I still have the self doubt - which i feel that is what they prey on. My question is why? What have i done t them that they feel the need to tryand destroy me?

I had to take time out of school to look after my mother. I have curtailed to their every need and expectation of me. I ran away once as a teen when i was getting into trouble at school for my homework not being finished and not being able to see friends because i had to look after an unconscious person every single day.

I even tried in my adult life to go to college. My mother says she would watch my two LOs (at the time) so i could better myself for mine and my kids future.
She got drunk on my enrollment day. I was devastated. t took a lot for me. Especially with my anxiety but i was determined.
I started doing childcare courses that the kids school put on, and my dad kept phoning me during them sayig he needed help with my mam. In the end, i gave up as i missed so much.

Whay have i done to deserve this? I try my best to do the best i can with myself, my kids and others. I am always polite, respectful and take others feelings and needs into consideration. Why cant they just do the same?
My oh says i have done well to get to where i am today. But i still feel like i am the bad one. Even though i can read all of this and see the true picture. They must really must be master manipulators!

hettie Sat 02-Nov-13 15:11:41

Agree with merci... what will happen when she's a teenager and she doesn't like something? She'll just more in with them won't she (which no doubt they'll love).
If it was me I'd move so far away that there would be no chance of this ever happening...

hettie Sat 02-Nov-13 15:16:30

sorry cross post.... Sounds like they will not change and you will end up putting things in your life on hold to "help" them. I'm sorry you blame yourself for their totally unacceptable behaviour. It sounds like your OH might be able to help you say no to all these unreasonable requests and and pull them up on their bad behaviour. TBH it sounds like you're better off not being in touch with them

MrsOsbourne Sat 02-Nov-13 15:19:52

You haven't done anything they are the ones with the problem.
Whatever you do, no matter how many hoops you jump through to try and please them ,you wont change them.
The only way is to concentrate on your family- your DC must be your priority.
What you posted above was me a few years ago - now I never look back.
Your DP don't have your best interests at heart and it is hard to realise this and it is a grieving process.
What comes out of it though is a stronger, happy, confident person not one who is always on eggshells waiting for the next time "you do something wrong" and their subsequent rejection of you.
Normal, loving parents don't do this.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 15:20:42

Thank you rhonda and bling for your tips and advice. I think you both have very good pointsm along with many others in this thread. Thank you ll for you help and time. Very much appreciated

BlingBang Sat 02-Nov-13 15:22:07

OP - just read your latest post. This is even more serious and damaging than buying a new coat. You really need to step away for your own health and well being. They will take you down - sounds like they have nothing at all to offer you.

MrsOsbourne Sat 02-Nov-13 15:22:52

Ps I found it easier to cope by focussing on my parenting not on my parents behaviour.
The knowledge that their toxic behaviour would not be passed down from generation to generation and I was the one who stopped it was very powerful.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 15:23:30

You are very right mrso. I went through this a few months back.
Now i find myself right back there. After i had got myself so far without them.
The biggest mistake was allowing thm back into my life

MrsOsbourne Sat 02-Nov-13 15:24:40

I suspect that as you distance yourself they will step up the offensive to try and take control .
Stand firm flowers

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 15:27:38

You are right bling. They have nothing to offer me. They bought a dog to reign me back in as i love animals. Then i became their personal dog trainer. So i taught him to speak haha. Now he yaps at them constantly.
Mrs O. I have been doing that. My other half has been helping me see clearly when my judgement has been clouded.

It is just very hard.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 15:29:45

They also keep asking me if i want their dog - i recently sadly rehomed mine as i was unable to give her te attention she required.
They also kept tellng me i should never have got a dog in the first place. Yet now they are trying to give me one.
Annoyed my oh as i have trouble saying no to animals.
Knowing it was probably a game of theirs though, i said no.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 15:30:54

Thank you mrs o. They probably will. I am going to have to gather strength and stand my ground xx

puntasticusername Sat 02-Nov-13 15:36:59


Ok. Two things:

1) there is no answer to the question "why". And there's just no point in continuing to look for one. I'd let that one go (much easier said than done, I know).

2) you have done nothing whatsoever to deserve this. This just happened to be the family you got born into. You are not responsible for how your parents conduct their lives, nor can you "fix" them. All you can do is carry on looking after yourself and your own family as best you can. All the best to you.

Clutterbugsmum Sat 02-Nov-13 15:41:57

Do you ever tell your mum the truth. When she makes statements about what she would do if dd was hers. Do you ever say no actually you was to drunk to do anything.

It's sounds like she trying to live your childhood again through you dd.

I think it's time to stop contact again.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 15:49:41

No chutterbug. I dont. We were brought up to be silent about it and pretend it never happens. My oh keeps telling me to, and i want to but a fear wshes over me when the moment arises and i cant seem to do it

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