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Author Topic: How to act?  (Read 19222 times)

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johelenc1

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Re: How to act?
« Reply #60 on: September 02, 2015, 07:56:00 PM »
Oh your mom totally said it.  Why in the world would your son make that up?  How would he even know it would be a thing?  I would start having little conversations about how he should always tell mommy and daddy everything even if another adult tells him not to.  Next time Grandma is just going to be smarter and tell him not to tell mommy.

shygirl

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Re: How to act?
« Reply #61 on: September 02, 2015, 08:17:18 PM »
Oh your mom totally said it.  Why in the world would your son make that up?  How would he even know it would be a thing?  I would start having little conversations about how he should always tell mommy and daddy everything even if another adult tells him not to.  Next time Grandma is just going to be smarter and tell him not to tell mommy.

Yeah, I know, all signs point to my mom said it.  Actually, it's possible she didn't say exactly that, but that's how my son interpreted it.  Either way, that's why I'm not leaving him with my parents in the foreseeable future at all.

I had the same thought - that next time she will say "don't tell Mommy".  Another reason he won't be staying with them.  And I definitely plan to start having the conversation with him - that if anyone ever says "don't tell Mommy", he should still tell me.

I'm incredibly disappointed that I am doing this because of my own parents.  The other extremely sad thing about this is that my mom is (or was, since she quit her job) a daycare teacher.  You would think she would know how wrong that is.

catwhiskers

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Re: How to act?
« Reply #62 on: September 02, 2015, 08:29:54 PM »
I know you want to believe your mom, but why would your son say that?  It's not something he would make up on his own.  It's also beyond the pale that she would attempt to sabotage you like that and confuse him about how to behave or what is truth.

Your decision to supervise visits is a good one.

I agree. It sounds like something that's both too specific to the situation and frankly, kind of bizarre, for a young child to simply make up. I'd believe my son over my mother in a situation where she has shown clear bias against the subject matter (haircut).

I'll be honest OP. From the update it sounds your mother was more interested in her own well being than understanding your POV, and in understanding that you and your DH are the parents here, and that your parenting decisions do not have to meet with her approval.  She also basically called your son a liar over the scream comment. That's the type of thing I would never forgive or forget.

OP, not only has she basically called your son a liar, if I've understood your posts correctly she has also been indirectly responsible for making him cry twice now when you've talked to him about things she has said. He's clearly already having issues with divided loyalty here, and she should not be putting him in this position. It's cruel.

Edited to clarify.

JenJay

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Re: How to act?
« Reply #63 on: September 02, 2015, 08:46:41 PM »
Think of it this way - If your mom is telling the truth, and your son is making up stories that portray his grandma so terribly, there must be a reason. Personally I believe your son but I'd be distancing him from his grandparents and if they want to deny saying these things, that would be my spin. "I don't know what to tell you, Kiddo is adamant that you said this stuff. If you didn't and he's lying about you, well that's just bizarre and concerning. I'm going to put some space between you while I figure out what's going on."

zyrs

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Re: How to act?
« Reply #64 on: September 02, 2015, 08:49:04 PM »
  However, on the last day, my son and I were packing up our stuff, and he said that "Grandma told me to scream the next time Daddy takes me for a haircut."

I was silent for a few seconds, and asked if he was sure.  He seemed kind of uncertain about how to respond, but hesitantly said yes.  My anger level peaked again.  I stayed calm though, and just said that first, he should listen to Mommy and Daddy.  He should always tell me the truth.  He started to cry, and I just couldn't figure out why.  I'm inclined to believe him, or at least that he thinks his grandmother told him that.


Were you talking about his hair while you were packing or did it just come up out of the blue?

You know your own son and whether or not he and the truth have a tight or loose relationship.  So far, your son has told you about two things his grandmother has said about his hair and both times you have asked him if he is sure and he should always tell daddy and mommy the truth.  I know you probably don't mean it to sound so, but I think he might be crying because you may be giving him the impression you think he is a liar.

You have already caught your mother pretending your son is a liar.  I don't think it's much of a stretch to think she might be lying about the second one as well.

 

shygirl

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Re: How to act?
« Reply #65 on: September 02, 2015, 08:56:36 PM »
We were not talking about his hair.  Actually, my son brought up his hair on his own.  We were just standing in front on a mirror and smiling at each other.  Then he touched his hair and said something like he liked his curly hair better.  I said "well, I still think you're handsome with this haircut, and sometimes it's nice to have a different haircut, and besides your hair is growing back".  That was when he said that his grandmother told him to scream.

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, he's had this haircut at least 3 or 4 times, and this is the only time he's even noticed there was a difference in his appearance after the haircut.  It could be because he's older but it seems like since my mom made such a huge stink about it at first that he's taking notice.

catwhiskers

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Re: How to act?
« Reply #66 on: September 02, 2015, 09:00:41 PM »
Or it could be because your mother is putting words in his mouth, either deliberately by telling him to say that or by harping on about how much she preferred his hair before it was cut.

doodlemor

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Re: How to act?
« Reply #67 on: September 02, 2015, 10:43:47 PM »
Believe your son about the screaming comment.  Your mother is gaslighting.  Of course she said that - I can't think of any logical reason why a little child would think to make that up.

If I were you, I'd not want your parents to ever be with your son without your or DH's supervision.

Maude

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Re: How to act?
« Reply #68 on: September 03, 2015, 05:28:14 AM »
Who here is not telling the truth?
1. She denied it.
2. She apologised twice.
3.She said it won't happen again.

If you want your son to have contact with your parents, I would suggest that you only have
phone contact.If you use Skype they can see his hair and will get in a quick jab before you even realise it.

Your parents are treating you with disrespect.Do not concern yourself with their "hurt feelings ". They are playing on your  emotions and your respect for them.

I wish you all the best.

Lynn2000

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Re: How to act?
« Reply #69 on: September 03, 2015, 09:43:03 AM »
The thing that bothers me, is that your mom is doing/saying things that really confuse your son. He's at a tough age where he's learning to separate fantasy from reality, reasonable behavior from not, and she's doing these really confusing things like acting like someone died over a haircut, and flat-out making him feel like a liar (or confused). It basically feels like she's just doing whatever she wants without regard for how he's going to perceive her or internalize her behavior/comments. Best case scenario I could say that's the transition from him being a little kid who really is oblivious, to being older and more observant of the world, and she hasn't quite realized that yet. And even if it's only that I would still think that's worth a chat--like telling someone, "Okay, no more swearing around the kid, he's older now and can pick up on those words and repeat them."

The other thing is, the conversation as relayed between you and your mom is fairly vague. It seems like she never actually takes responsibility for anything in a sincere way. Just a blanket "Oh yeah, I'm sorry, I feel bad, I'll never do it again," without actually acknowledging what, specifically, was wrong and what motivated her. Would it be possible to write to her instead of talking on the phone? Maybe it would help you to get your thoughts down, organized, unemotional, and then she could respond in kind--if you think she would. Maybe she would feel more prepared and less put on the spot (a charitable interpretation of her reaction).

As it stands, I agree with you, I don't feel like anything has been resolved or they have redeemed themselves in any way. It stinks. :( But I think it's important to think of your son first, and the mixed messages he's getting from them.
~Lynn2000

weeblewobble

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Re: How to act?
« Reply #70 on: September 03, 2015, 11:22:14 AM »
I know you want to believe your mom, but why would your son say that?  It's not something he would make up on his own.  It's also beyond the pale that she would attempt to sabotage you like that and confuse him about how to behave or what is truth.

Your decision to supervise visits is a good one.

I agree. It sounds like something that's both too specific to the situation and frankly, kind of bizarre, for a young child to simply make up. I'd believe my son over my mother in a situation where she has shown clear bias against the subject matter (haircut).

I'll be honest OP. From the update it sounds your mother was more interested in her own well being than understanding your POV, and in understanding that you and your DH are the parents here, and that your parenting decisions do not have to meet with her approval.  She also basically called your son a liar over the scream comment. That's the type of thing I would never forgive or forget.

Especially if the haircut wasn't something discussed in a few days. Kids that age rarely just bring up subjects that have been "settled."

I agree that your mom sounds way more interested in maintaining her interests (seeing your son when she wants, getting her way) than respecting your feelings.

artk2002

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Re: How to act?
« Reply #71 on: September 03, 2015, 11:56:06 AM »
I do not like your mom. I don't see her as a good person at all. I completely believe your son about the "screaming" remark, because he has no good reason to make that up, but she has very good reasons to lie about it. Qui bono? She's putting him in an impossible situation.

I stayed calm though, and just said that first, he should listen to Mommy and Daddy.  He should always tell me the truth.  He started to cry, and I just couldn't figure out why.

This actually worries me a great deal. I wonder what other things she has told him and said "don't tell Mommy and Daddy." That would produce that kind of reaction in a child.

Quote
At the "you guys know everything" comment, I got angry again because really?  Was she being passive aggressive?

Yes, she was. Another thing against her in my book. She's not-so-subtly denying your authority over your own child.

I also agree with LadyJaneinMD about her making him feel bad about the way that he looks. We're more aware of body issues with girls but boys can feel the pressure, too. He's far too young to have to deal with that and it can leave permanent scars.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

mmswm

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Re: How to act?
« Reply #72 on: September 03, 2015, 12:58:34 PM »
There are two instances where "Don't Tell Mommy" is okay:

1.  You've bought a gift for Mommy and don't want the kid to spill the beans.
2. It's not really a "Don't Tell Mommy", but a "Let me tell Mommy", like in the case of very bad news or other situation that needs to be handled delicately.

Anything else is out of line, and based on him bursting out into tears when you told him honesty was the most important thing, I'd suspect there's a lot more going on than you know of.  I think you're being very wise to limit contact for the foreseeable future.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

MommyPenguin

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Re: How to act?
« Reply #73 on: September 03, 2015, 02:09:50 PM »
She's causing confusion in your poor kid that is setting him up for hiding things from parents/hiding abuse.  This is *really* concerning.  First I'd have lots of talks about people who will try to do things they shouldn't, then say, "Don't tell your parents," or "I'll hurt your parents/little sister if you tell them," etc., and how they are lying and they do *not* have the power to hurt you, etc.  Then that if anybody ever says that, the first thing he should do is go to you and tell you.  You can explain the difference between a "surprise" and a "secret"--a surprise is something that you'll be *happy* to find out about when it's the right time, a secret is something you would be upset to find out about.  I'd also praise him repeatedly for telling you what your mother said, tell him that he did just the right thing, etc.  Tell him that if anybody ever says something that makes him uncomfortable or feel bad, even if they don't say it's a secret, that he can always talk to you about it.

Then I would *definitely* not allow him to see or talk to your parents at all unless you are witnessing the conversation (both sides of it--if he's talking on the phone, listen on another extension).  If things are going okay, then I'd let him continue (under your supervision *every* time) a phone relationship with them.  But if they get into anything again that they shouldn't, I'd cut off communication between them and him for a while, maybe six months, and let them try to mature a little.  Then you can reevaluate whether you think they've improved or whether it's best to just keep things cool.
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daen

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Re: How to act?
« Reply #74 on: September 03, 2015, 04:45:08 PM »
Regarding the "don't tell Mommy" thing:

I think it's the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization that has a policy about children and secrets. Basically, you never ask/tell your Little to keep a secret. Surprises are okay - you can ask them not to talk about something for a determined length of time, in the sense of "Don't tell your sister what we got her for her birthday, so it will be a surprise when she finds out." But not-telling for an indefinite length of time, or not ever, is right out.

That's been my benchmark since I heard about it. Sure, as an adult, I've made the decision that I will never tell certain things to certain people, but I will not ask someone to keep information to themselves indefinitely, and especially not a child. Children and secrets is a combination with far too many possible bad outcomes.