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To give her an ultimatum?

(131 Posts)
SparkleSoiree Wed 14-Sep-16 09:53:47

DD and her GM (my mother) usually enjoy a fairly nice relationship to the point DD has holidayed with her GM several times over the years in this country and abroad. DD is nearly 16 and is now fairly vocal in challenging the boundaries that have surrounded her over recent years, naturally as she develops her own ideals and beliefs and matures. We have relaxed most of these boundaries now to the point she now makes most of her own decisions, priorities her own school work (good grades), has a lovely group of friends and makes good choices for her health and wellbeing. During the drive back from a weekend away with her GM, visiting a family member, a situation developed in the car between them that has resulted in the breakdown of communication between them that neither will speak to the other. The situation in the car was that GM made a racist comment about two other drivers. DD was upset about this and called GM out on it. GM told her she could say what she wanted and this escalated into a heated situation where DD said GM called her a couple of horrible names, told her she was nothing special, laughed at her when DD cried and then refused to speak to her for the remaining 2hrs on the way home. GM says she did make the racist comments and can do so if she likes, that my DD is no angel and I haven't seen the vile, ugly side to her personality and there is no way she is ever speaking to my DD again unless DD apologies to GM. DD doesn't want anything to do with her again, such was her upset.

So, we are all going to the States for christmas this year including DM. DM is meant to be sharing hotel room with DD and DD is point blank refusing to be anywhere near her saying nobody in her family has ever hurt her in the way GM did and why should she have to katow to GM. The balance of the holiday is due in mid October and I'm not happy about GM coming if this issue is not cleared. It's christmas time, we will have paid a lot of money to go there and I don't want a horrible atmosphere because 2 members of the party aren't speaking, specifically DD not enjoying her christmas and being forced into a situation that she should have a clear choice about. My thinking is that it should be my mum that doesn't come as she is the adult and refusing to accept that she WAS being offensive with her racist comments and that she overreacted to save her own embarrassment when DD didn't play along with her.

For the record, I know the sarcastic side of my DD that DM refers to and to be honest, compared to when my son was a teen, DD is a smooth dream and I can put up with a bit of sarcasm. I think my mum's dig at DD's "vile personality" is that DD didn't comply to her usual controlling methods which made her angry. GM's belief is that she is an elder and DD should respect her and comply with what she says, regardless of DD's feelings.

AIBU to give my mum an ultimatum that she either grows up and approaches DD with a view to resolving this amicably or that we will have to travel without her at christmas time?

acasualobserver Wed 14-Sep-16 09:59:52

I agree, any rapprochement needs to come from granny: she's the adult. Hopefully she'll see sense in the next month or so.

Nocabbageinmyeye Wed 14-Sep-16 10:03:59

Your mum can make racist remarks if she chooses, is she wrong? Absolutely, it's disgusting but your wasting your time trying to change people like that and to be honest I'd be more hurt and worried about her treatment of your dd, you definitely can do something about that. I would give the ultimatum, no way would I want to speak to someone who was that nasty to my child so I wouldn't expect my child to either. If it isn't sorted Christmas would be miserable. I would expect a genuine apology and an agreement that she keeps her racist remarks in her head from now on, although I suspect you will get neither

GoblinLittleOwl Wed 14-Sep-16 10:39:31

I can't imagine either would want to share a room with the other; suggest they both pay extra and have single rooms.

Sugarcoma Wed 14-Sep-16 10:42:20

I don't really know what to suggest re the holiday but as someone with older relatives who sometimes make very un-PC remarks, the only thing you can do is tell your DD that her granny comes from a different era - not that that makes it OK! - but she's never going to change her. And the best way for her to handle it next time she makes a racist remark is to say something like 'Come on granny' without engaging further (i.e. just enough to show granny she disapproves and is not complicit in the racist comments) or even just pointedly ignore it in the way you would ignore a child that was behaving badly for attention.

JenLindleyShitMom Wed 14-Sep-16 10:49:19

Ugh! Horrible. Can't you just tell GM she isn't welcome anymore? I wouldn't want her there.

ChocolateButton15 Wed 14-Sep-16 10:58:04

I think if she doesn't go on holiday it would definitely end their relationship and would be hard to come back from.
If this was quite recent I would wait a week or so until they had both calmed down, as things that feel like the end of the world one day aren't as bad after a while.
Your mum is obviously wrong for racist remarks but as others have said your daughter won't be able to change her.
To save the peace and holiday I would get them both to apologise for hurt feelings or if not possible they will have to agree to disagree. It would be a real shame for them to never speak again or go on holiday over one argument .

SparkleSoiree Wed 14-Sep-16 11:06:04

So, to be clear, my daughter's welfare is my priority here. I've written the op in a way to be clear about the facts with the emotion either way. We have a large room booked so DD could come in with us leaving DM in her own room but that still doesn't address the silence between them. How will that pan out during days out, sitting in restaurants together, christmas morning opening presents? It just won't work in my mind because when my mother dishes out the silent treatment she does it very sharply.

I get the older generation thing but my mum is mid 60's, she still works and I always thought was quite accepting of everyone but it's gotten worse over the last couple of years and it's quite disturbing! I don't think it's anything to do with a generation thing, maybe I am wrong though..

Ultimately I don't want their relationship to end, they have enjoyed so much lovely times together but DD is struggling with the controlling side of DM's personality now, mainly because she is beginning to set her own boundaries in place of what behaviour she is prepared to accept from other people. It's been two weeks since this occurred and despite speaking to both of them separately about it, trying to smooth the way forward, both are resolute in their positions.


SparkleSoiree Wed 14-Sep-16 11:06:22


Happymac1 Wed 14-Sep-16 11:12:43

Your daughter pulled up your mum for being racist - what a great girl! You should be very proud. She might be a classic teenager at times but she knows right from wrong.

SparkleSoiree Wed 14-Sep-16 11:14:46

I am very proud of her happymac, thank you grin

JenLindleyShitMom Wed 14-Sep-16 11:14:53

It wouldn't be the racism that bothered me, that's up to your mum if she wants to be a racist. It's the way she turned on your daughter that would be making me rethink the holiday.

Wineandrosesagain Wed 14-Sep-16 11:18:51

Well done to your DD for challenging the racist remarks. I also agree with jenlindley - the attack on your daughter is unacceptable. GM apologises sincerely and tries to rebuild the relationship or stays at home.

ImAMorningPerson Wed 14-Sep-16 11:22:24

You're daughter sounds pretty cool to be honest, she's clearly got her opinions and stands by them and challenges others which is amazing.

I mean if I'm honest, just because she's essentially a child still, I'd let her have her way.
We as adults wouldn't put up with shit from someone we dislike so then why should she!

GM needs to stay home, these next few years are vital for you and your daughter, you won't have many opportunities like this often anymore as I'm
assuming she'll be flying the nest soon with uni/college or work in no time at all...

Must be a tricky one for you, but GM is the adult, she needs to let this slide now!

LabMonkey Wed 14-Sep-16 11:23:16

Your daughter sounds fantastic - standing up to racism and not backing down in the face of bullying. I say go for it with the ultimatum.

RaptorInaPorkPieHat Wed 14-Sep-16 11:23:39

It just won't work in my mind because when my mother dishes out the silent treatment she does it very sharply

So she does it often then? Out of interest, who normally backs down?

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Wed 14-Sep-16 11:28:01

Another one saying good on your DD!

I think I would probably carry on with the holiday and let the GM stew in her own juice. If she cares to carry on with the silent treatment she'll ruin her own holiday rather than yours, not least because there will be several of you to ignore her back!

I wouldn't cancel and lose the chance of enjoying the wider family holiday, especially if DD can sleep in with you.

TheLastHeatwave Wed 14-Sep-16 11:28:24

Can you say exactly what it was your Mum said to/about your DD in the car? To me, that's the real problem, not the original arguement.

Also, is this holiday just you guys or are you meeting up with friends/family there?

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 14-Sep-16 11:33:08

Frankly I think your DD was in the right of it, your mother has behaved like a spoilt princess over it and should therefore be dumped from the family holiday until she grows the fuck up.

Why SHOULD your DD have to put up with hearing racist comments? Why should she then have to accept abuse from the racist? And why in hell's name would anyone expect her to APOLOGISE for calling the racist to book?

No. Your DD is the one on the side of right here and should be supported.

ppandj Wed 14-Sep-16 11:35:20

Just want to second what others have said about your DD being very strong standing up against the racism and also the controlling behaviour.

GM is definitely in the wrong on this, not just because of what she said to your DD but what she said to you about your DD. She is the one who needs to fix this, not you and certainly not your DD. What do the rest of your close family think regarding holiday? (Your DS for example.)

SlimCheesy2 Wed 14-Sep-16 11:37:23

I agree that your DD has been the recipient of nasty bullying abuse from your mother. It is unforgiveable in my opinion to instead of saying 'agree to disagree' that she calls your DD a vile personality.Unforgiveable.

MagikarpetRide Wed 14-Sep-16 11:38:36

I've been in your DD's position when I was a similar age. However, I wasn't alone with her at the time as my DPs and sister were there. I actually left the room to stop a showdown. My GM was similar in that no one was willing to rock the boat. My DPs let her say some nasty things loudly while I was still in the house, they then forced me to apologise to her for doing what I now know was probably the only adult action taken that day. Like jen pointed out the worst thing in all that wasn't the initial racist comments, it was the turning on me that made everything worse.

Upshot is my relationship with them all suffered massively from that point onwards. You DD needs to know she did the right thing, although possibly within it she may have done wrong which is something you can address separately,, and that you have her back. I would definitely issue that ultimatum.

SlimCheesy2 Wed 14-Sep-16 11:39:38

Oh.... and I feel for you and the position you are in OP. thanks

FWIW.... my grandmother was a bit of a master at emotional manipulation and bullying. My mother kowtowed to her 100%. There are events I recall very well when my mother sided with her mother because it was easier, to my detriment. I think it is wonderful you are proud of your daughter and supportive of her. There are things I can never forgive my mother for, even though some times I sort of understand how hard things were for her.

user1471452804 Wed 14-Sep-16 11:39:58

Unfortunately, today's children are brought up with horror at the racist thing, they will have to learn when they go out into the real world (ie outside university) that this and worse is what they will have to deal with. It does not matter how much they get upset that is what people say and think, it does not matter how much they reason with them it will make no difference.

DD should not fall out with her Grandmother over this - the little 'snowflakes' have to accept people have different ideas to them it is called 'life'

SlimCheesy2 Wed 14-Sep-16 11:41:20

And if your mother is going to behave like a petulent toddler by dishing otu silent treatment over a festive period then she needs to be uninvited sharp.

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