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How do I give advice to my grown up daughter....

(19 Posts)
BarefootGma Sun 17-Jul-11 10:24:04

I'm new and have looked everywhere for the right topic, and even looked on Grans net but find it a bit condescending.
I have a very close relationship with my daughter, and absolutely love my GD, aged 1.11. BUT GD is such a handful, very wilful, very clingy with her mother and has some awesome tantrums, in short not a pleasant child, and I feel TERRIBLE for even thinking that. I find that I don't look forward to seeing them any more. sad
GD is an absolute delight with me on her own (I have her overnight quite a lot) but as soon as she is back with her mother she is petulant, won't give me a second look, glares at me, and hates me even sitting next to her mother. She is very clingy with her mother, even to the point of screaming when she leaves the room, now to the point where D is walking on egg shells. GD won't even allow SIL to bath her when D is around. D has a very structured routine with GD. D works every day and GD goes to nursery and is settled and is a delight until her mother picks her up. My heart goes out to my D when I see her trying to cope with it all.
I think 1) the routine is too structured 2) gives in too much 3) allows GD to rule the roost a bit too much.
I instinctively know when I'm skating on thin ice.....
My question is how do I talk to my D about it all without affecting our relationship and without interferring?
(sorry if the abbreviations aren't quite right still getting to grips with them)

SouthGoingZax Sun 17-Jul-11 10:34:01

I think you should let your daughter bring up her child.

Children are different with their own parents - you daughter would have been when she was little.

WHen children feel confident to let their feelings out (as your granddaughter is when she is with her mum), they do. With you and at your house your granddaughter doesn't feel confident or 'safe' enough to let rip with her true feelings - she saves her upset up for her mum.

You would be interfering if you broached this with your daughter. Toddlers are difficult. The best way to help is to be there for your daughter and support her in her choices.

BarefootGma Sun 17-Jul-11 10:46:27

Thankyour for SouthGoingZax - although it does sound a little harsh.
GD does have her moments with me, she won't get into the bath, or come away from the swings etc, and GD lets me know when she doesn't want to do anything. And also it's also about MY daughter and helping her get throught it. We often have discussions about GD and I just say that I think she is a fantastic mother (which she is) and I'm sure that it will pass, but I offer to pick GD up from nursery just to break the routine but D insists on picking her up.
We used to meet at the local park after nursery to walk my dog and let GD go on the swings, but this has now stopped because GD won't walk or go in her push chair and has a tantrum until D carries her...

KurriKurri Sun 17-Jul-11 11:06:45

Firstly your DGD is tiny, a very very little girl, tantrums etc. are quite normally at that age, and I think it is very unfair to say that a little girl displaying age appropriate behaviour is 'not very pleasant' sad

Secondly she's not your child, you've had your go when you brought up your daughter, - let her get on with parenting her own way, maybe she's tense in her parenting when you are around because she senses your disapproval.

It is completely normal for children to behave well with others and play up for their parents, because they feel safe to let their feeling out in the knowledge they won't be rejected, your GD is obviously very attached to her mum.

Just because her parenting is different from yours, doesn't make it wrong, there are lots of different ways to parent.

Toddlers test boundaries, have tantrums, cling, act up, get tired, feel under the weather, like something one day and not the next, won't walk, won't go in the pushchair. That is their nature, it is how they learn about their feelings. their relationships with others, and the world around them. Your GD sounds fine, she just a wee girl give her a break.

HappyDoll Sun 17-Jul-11 11:16:05

You cannot interfere with what she is doing or indeed pass on your opinions unsolicited. It won't be welcome no matter how close you are.

The best you can do I'm afraid to tell your DD that you are there for her no matter what, that you'll happily take DGD of her hands if she needs to, that you'll follow HER rules / parenting approach with DGD and that you love them, both, unconditionally.

They are both lucky to have you. This will pass.

BarefootGma Sun 17-Jul-11 12:27:22

Thanks for your reply KurriKurri, and I'm trying to be honest about my feelings, whether or not they are unfair, I KNOW it's unfair and it feels absolutely awful.
I suppose I now speaking from the advantage of being a Grand parent, and now realise how my own mother felt and how prickly I used to get, which is why I've asked for advice and not to be judged.
Perhaps I will try Gransnet after all...
I'm not suggesting that her parenting is wrong at all, and actually her parenting is that different from my own, and which is another reason I've come onto Mumsnet.
It would appear that now I've become a Grand mother that somehow my feelings/opinion count for nothing....

BarefootGma Sun 17-Jul-11 12:31:59

Thanks HappyDoll
I meant to say in my other reply that my DD's parenting ISN'T that different from mine.
Thank you for your reply and advice, and yes you're right. I will carry on doing what I'm already doing and thank you for your kind words, it doesn't make me feel so horrible...

VelveteenRabbit Sun 17-Jul-11 12:37:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BarefootGma Sun 17-Jul-11 12:39:16

Thank you VelveteenRabbit

KurriKurri Sun 17-Jul-11 12:41:21

BarefootGma - I'm so sorry my post upset you, - I think I reacted rather quickly and without thinking long enough to the' not very pleasant' comment. I do apologise, and would hate to think you would be driven away from a source of help by me - I am just one among many posters, and just because we have disagreed somewhat on this matter, doesn't mean that you won't find others much more helpful than me.

On consideration I do sympathise with your dilemma, you want your DD's life to be easier and obviously adore you GD an want the best for her.
I am nearer in age to being a grandma than a mum, and I'm sure when my time comes, I will have to bite my tongue on occasion and try to take a step back.

I wonder if there is any way you can model methods to your DD, I a sort 'I find she's more co-operative if I do this' sort of way rather than being seen as a criticism. I am sure things will get a bit easier once your GD is a bit older and can be reasoned with more. Does your DD post on MN? - there are loads of helpful women out there going trough similar difficulties with their toddlers who could give her tips - she might find it helpful.

Again I apologise that my post came across as judgmental, it would never be my intention to hurt anyone's feelings on here, I reacted too fast and without thought, and of course your feelings and opinions do count.

BarefootGma Sun 17-Jul-11 12:47:16

Thank you KurriKurri for you post, and apology accepted, also you advice is useful.
You're right I adore them both.

KurriKurri Sun 17-Jul-11 12:48:55


HappyDoll Sun 17-Jul-11 13:10:18

It would appear that now I've become a Grand mother that somehow my feelings/opinion count for nothing....

I wouldn't say that's the case, definately not. IME I have found that new mums are just so desperate to do it their way. It's not that your thoughts don't count, it's just she hasn't asked for them...yet.

It is different now, there are so many books and info on the subject and many are so directional. Also, new mums these days are much more bothered with their careers, relationships, image e.t.c. so an ounce of criticism/opinion feels like a tonne and said mum feels like a failure.

Socially there has been a real swing towards "I'll do it my way and that will be good enough." There is a feeling that mums just don't want to be told anymore. But when you have a very small child, it's hard to be that confident in yourself because for so long we have been 'nannyed'.

The other thing I have found is that as the child gets older and problems become more complex, and advice / opinions are welcomed. Trust me, GDG will present far more difficult problems than tantrums and sulking! You all just need to have a sense of humour about it and support your DD through her inevitable exhaustion.

It's so lovely that you care this much, I know it's hard but try to bite your tongue and be proud of your DDs resilience, she is sticking at it, you taught her well smile

BerylOfLaughs Sun 17-Jul-11 13:16:48

I'm afraid I'm going to echo the others and say you need to leave your D to it. If she asks your opinion, by all means give it, but it's very stressful feeling like you are being judged by your mother because she thinks she could do it better.

I'll bet she knows how you feel without you having to say it. Let them muddle through together and have faith that your daughter will be a good enough mother.

BarefootGma Sun 17-Jul-11 13:22:02

Thank you BerylOfLaughs.
Yes you're right, we're so close that she'll know.
Great name by the way. smile

BarefootGma Sun 17-Jul-11 13:43:00

Thank you every one for taking the time to reply and give your advice. I don't want you to think that I'm adverse to taking advice, or that I throw my teddies out of the pram just because it's not what I want to hear. But the old adage of it's not what you say but the way you say it is very true, and kind of what this thread is about.....?

cory Mon 18-Jul-11 09:23:37

Please do not assume that your dd's parenting experience will be exactly the same as yours,or that if it isn't,she is necessarily doing something wrong. All parents adapt to the children they have and if you have had only had 2 or 3 children yourself (or even just the one), your own experience is limited to what you have had to deal with and the adaptations you have made, probably without even noticing.

Another thing to remember is that now you are older your own resistance is less so you will be reacting differently to difficult behaviour. My mum felt very sorry for me when dd had tantrums, but I remember her as a younger woman dealing cheerfully and competently with my brother's far more spectacular tantrums- seems she has forgotten or can't imagine herself in that situation any more. She often says "you would ever have done such and such"- when I can quite clearly remember doing this exact thing and being punished for it in very much the same way as I punish dcs. She also claims we never used to be this noisy- unfortunately, she has left tape recordings of myself and my noisy brothers around the place... grin

daytoday Mon 18-Jul-11 10:34:19

Hi there,

Can I echo the others suggestions on here. I found that in the first few years I needed to find out what sort of parent I was and wanted to be, mostly by trial and error. I am the sort of person who has to do it alone (with dad) and doesn't like (nor want) to ask for help. I also feel like I am my child's ambassador, that I do understand their needs and are helping them enter the world. My middle daughter was ever so clingy and nervous. However, I respected her and went slowly - she needed to be near me. My MIL made lots of helpful suggestions, which seemed to me to indicate she felt there was something wrong with my daughter? She was just shy. My daughter senses the preassure from her grandma and completely backed away. However, my daughter is now the most vivacious outgoing little girl.

Some children just need more time with mum than others.

I think the best thing you can do is maintain your close relationship with your daughter. Just be good company. That's all I want.

BarefootGma Mon 18-Jul-11 21:45:08

Thank you both. You're both right, and I know that DD feels pressure from me, even when I'm trying not to. So today I stepped right back and just tried to play with DGD, and it worked. DGD even let me wash her hands under the tap, which let me tell you is a break through when her mother is around. I was chuffed!!! And DD was fine, I have her a big hug. grin

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