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My mum keeps asking me if my 4yo DD 'likes' her?!

(9 Posts)
TwoPeasOnePod Mon 24-Oct-11 21:32:15

I'll try and make this explanation quick- my Dmum is one of the most important people in my DD's life, she utterly loves her nanna and it is very obvious...Or so I thought. Because (aged 4) my DD is a bossy and fickle little madam half the time, my Dmum keeps asking me if DD 'likes' her still, and worrying that she will "go off her"

So, wtf?! I keep repeating to my Dmum that as the main adults in her life (along with DD's dad) it is utterly irrelevant if DD temporarily dislikes us, maybe for being strict/not letting her do exactly as she pleases etc. Because we must be consistent with her, we are here to shape and guide her, not be her effing friend!! (All the while being positive/kind to her obviously)

I just find it very upsetting to hear my mum saying it, she said to DD once "ah glad you're in a better mood today, I thought you had gone off me and didn't love me any more"

I cut her short and said don't be bloody daft and don't say things that are emotionally blackmailing to a 4-yo..

Anyone got any fresh approaches I could try? Don't want to upset my mum, as she had a crap childhood with extremely emotionally distant parents, and felt unwanted by them her whole life.

MigratingCoconuts Mon 24-Oct-11 21:45:52

sounds very upsetting for you, i don't have much to offer really.

Do they have a common interest? I'm just wondering if they had their 'thing' they did if your mum would be happier??

MigratingCoconuts Mon 24-Oct-11 21:46:29

was she like this with you as a child??

cyb Mon 24-Oct-11 22:09:04

She needs to grow up. Tell her she could really mess her grand daughter up if she keeps up this emotional neediness

ItsMeAndMyPumpkinNow Mon 24-Oct-11 22:16:37

I'm sorry she had an unhappy childhood, but by saying such things to your DD she's just handing on her issues to the next generation. It's not fair on your DD. She's the adult, so she can learn to display appropriate behaviour to a child, or stay away from her.

You could try saying this^ to her if you think it has any chance of having an impact. But your DD can be fucked up by emotional manipulation like that from a revered adult. You are doing well to be aware of this. And I echo the question above: was she like this with you when you were growing up?

TwoPeasOnePod Mon 24-Oct-11 22:58:10

itsmeandmypumpkinnow this is what I was worrying about, it fucking her up, because even innocuous comments can linger in your memory can't they, don't want DD thinking she's the kind of person who makes people think she dislikes them when she clearly doesn't! Leaving her thinking she isn't 'giving' enough.

My mum was like this with me, giving me too much leeway and not setting firm rules, hence my horrendous misspent teenage years.. She didn't want to be the Big Bad Single Mum who made harsh rules and couldn't afford to do anything fun.. Luckily for DD I'm trying desperately not to follow suit.

How can you increase your own parents self esteem? maybe she feels like noone likes her because shes prone to feeling worthless sad

ItsMeAndMyPumpkinNow Mon 24-Oct-11 23:09:52

Only she can fundamentally boost her own self-esteem. A stream of ego-boosting praise from external sources is unlikely to plug the hole created by her childhood experience. Look at it this way: even if you or you DD told her you love her every time she fishes for approval and beyond, would her remarks stop? (the ones like: "I thought you didn't love me anymore"). I'll bet that she has received plenty of ego-boosting statements of approval (because she goes fishing for them), but that hasn't solved her self-esteem problem, has it?

izzywhizzysfritenite Tue 25-Oct-11 05:35:50

Have you considered that you may be a tad pfb about this 'issue'?

It seems that you heard your mum say 'ah glad you're in a better mood today, I thought you had gone off me and didn't love me any more' on one occasion, and I don't you think need to fear that this remark will linger in your dd's memory or make her believe that people think she dislkes them when she doesn't.

I appreciate that you want the significant adults in your dd's life to be consistent, but that doesn't mean they all have to sing from the same hymnbook all of the time.

Children need to be able to recognise and process differences in the way others react to them otherwise their social skills will be limited and they maybe ill-equipped to handle rejection in later life.

I find it interesting that you've described your dd as 'a bossy and fickle little madam half of the time'. Do you recognise any of her traits in yourself? How do you think you would have reacted if your dm had laid down the law when you were a teenager - and are you being entirely honest with yourself if you say that you would have unquestioningly obeyed the rules or never broken them?

As caricatured in Ab Fab, it's a common phenomena for a lax and permissive parent to produce a strait-laced disapproving offspring. Have you morphed into a bit of a Saffy after your 'horrendous misspent teenage years'? How horrendous were they, I wonder. Did you end up on smack or in Holloway - if so, do tell.

Parents have a duty of care to guide their offspring to adulthood but I don't believe that parents should 'shape' their progeny in the sense that they have the right to 'mould' them into their (the parents) expectations of what they believe their children should be, rather than what the individual child's inherent gifts and talents inclines them to be.

As for not being your dd's 'effing friend', it would be inappropriate for you to burden your child with adult matters until she becomes an adult herself, but you should be her friend in the sense that you are always 'there' for her to support her through all of the trials and tribulations of childhood and beyond.

I'm so sorry that your mum 'had a crap childhood'. It's tragic that so many have never felt wanted or loved by those who brought them into this world and I want to give your mum, and others who've also suffered deep feelings of rejection in their childhoods that have conflicted their adult lives, a very big unmumsnet cuddle.

Why not try giving your mum the reassurance she craves before she asks for it? Never fail to tell her you love her every time you speak to her. Put your arms around her, tell her she's wonderful, organise little treats for her, take her out to lunch 'just because' and above all, relax - you're a great parent and you can afford to take your foot off the brake now and again and let granny do it her way.

MigratingCoconuts Tue 25-Oct-11 09:56:05

its also worth sayying that a granny relationship is different from a parent one. Whilst they are discipline figures your DD main discipline figure is you and so she won't be given the free reign you were. I also don't think there will be anything like the intense relationship you had...it is most likely water off a duck's back to your DD. I think you might be putting too much of your own feelings about your relationship with your mum onto this?

Grannies are supposed to spoil their grandchildren!

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