sharing with you guys knowledge about topics I'm experienced in.
Identifying A Toxic Grandparent
One of the first signs that you are dealing with a toxic grandparent, is when you send your children to their house for a visit or outing, your kids come back behaving differently to how they normally would do. If you feel like the issue is creating problems in your marriage and day to day life. It is something that really needs to be addressed.
Grandparents are extended members of the family and they are there to help us as parents with our kids. They are not supposed to interfere with issues that pertain to the upbringing of your child. After all, they were your parents, or your spouses parents. It's not for them to forcefully administer their methods of parenting to your kids. That is why they were parents once upon a time right?
When you feel your wishes and rules and regulations inside your home are not being respected by your children's grandparent this is a major red flag. They are also not there to create issues in your marriage and to discourage your children from respecting you.
Examples Of A Toxic Grandparent
It's very hard to address the topic of any toxicity within a family, let alone elders. It can therefore be brushed off as love or care. It's a very fragile topic to address as many of us feel bad to do so. It does however need to be brought up if any of the below issues occur.
The Toxic Grandparent Bypasses You For All Communication With The Kids
This is a very extreme step, that you wouldn't imagine people could possibly think of doing. Some family members can be so toxic and adhere to the ringleaders. They even go as far as to create wasap groups to communicate with your kids. This is to avoid having to deal with you directly. The toxic grandparent is the ringleader and main encourager of the groups. The objective is to manipulate and include a party of family members that are against you.
Recruiting Other Family Members To Contact Your Kids When You Are There
They will try to bypass you and get to your kids to arrange things without consulting with you as a parent first. This is done with the full knowledge that they would never have accepted this behavior back in the day when they were raising kids. Nor, would they like this for their own kids. The matter of the fact is that the toxic grandparent is not just toxic waste to the grandkids, he or she is also playing a major role of dragging their kids along with this game. A very common technique to hurt you and show that they are in control, is to recruit their own kids, your spouse siblings to call your kids on their behalf with instructions to meet about invitations or events. This will be done by their cocky offspring at times that they know you are present, but they will call your childs phone and not you. If you mention this to your spouse be sure that they have already premediated this and notified your spouse. It is all "perfectly innocent" and you were "not available", or "your phone is always never answered", they "didn't want to disturb you" If your spouse is weak they can even try to make you look like you did something bad to them.
They Recruit Other Members To Wage War Against You-The Parent!
It can become a whole new game when siblings are recruited and everyone can turn on the innocent victim. This is usually a wife or husband that is not favored in their "group" Guys, you thought that playground bullying and peer pressure stopped back in the playground right? Not nowadays in the age of toxic grandparenting!
The Toxic Grandparent Bad Mouths Your Spouse To Your Child
A primary example of this would be when you send your child for a visit, you come to find out that bad words have been directly or indirectly been spoken about you or your spouse. This can be done in way that your child will not really understand what has happened directly. It's done with an intention to get the word back to you and hurt you. No you really are not paranoid. There are such grandparents out there.
Sends Indirect Messages To You To Deliberately Hurt You Via Your Child
The toxic grandparent knows full well that your child will tell you or you will ask about their time there. Therefore they drop things to anger you. So, when you do go to tell your spouse that a certain remark was made, it is considered to be insulting, rude, or provoking. It will look like you are the mad crazy one. After all the toxic grandparent was merely being a sweet old aged pensioner and could not possibly do any harm, correct?. Toxic grandparents are professional emotional manipulators. They know just how to play the victim and make you look like the enemy. It's their prerogative to make you feel bad and to make your life a nightmare. Why? because you married their son or daughter and you are not perfect material.
Racist Advise To Your Child Via A Pep Talk From The Toxic Grandparent
For example, if you are in a mixed race marriage and you married from outside. If a grandparent was to advise your child not to marry someone from the country of origin that their father or mother was from. You can consider this as toxic. When such situations occur if can be very hard to deal with. As a wife you may find it hard to bring the topic up with your husband. As a man it can be equally as difficult to bring the issue up with your significant other. It's very sensitive ground to walk on.
The reason being is that we can tread on eggshells to keep things mutual. You do however need to understand that topics like this are not healthy to be kept inside. They can escalate to matters much worse. It's a deliberate attack and lack of respect on a parent. As much as we would like to visualize grandparents as being sweet elders that walk around with walking sticks and sit all day knitting in rocking chairs. Sadly, the reality of modern day life means that many actually compete with their daughter or son in law.
They Send Your Child Out In Clothing You Would Not Approve Of
As a parent it is very important to have rules set into place. Your kids should understand that you have regulations that you have laid the law down to be able to protect them. If you have girls and you have a rule about the length of skirts they can go out in. Perhaps how tight fitting their clothing can be in a public place. Normally grandparents will agree and admire your strict regulations with regard to attire.
Toxic grandparents however, totally disregard and disrespect your decisions as a parent. They tap into the fact that you do not like something and they purposely do that and train your child that it is okay to do that, while they are at their home. Sadly, they do not view your spouse (their child) as the golden child as he or she has married you. They sadly have no boundaries. Actually what they do is make their own child look silly with their attempts to anger you.
Warning Signs A Toxic Grandparent Is Bypassing Your Rules
If you notice that you send your child to their home, they go to the store and purchase your child clothing that you would defiantly not consider appropriate in your own home. This is a major flag. It could be the length of a skirt, a low cut top. If they do not respect your choices as a parent and undermines your rules. They are effectively trying to evade your parenting techniques and it's extremely toxic. The repercussions of such an act can be damaging for life. When you raise kids' they should always follow your rules, and know that even outside the home that they should not undermine your authority.
Ignoring Your Curfew Rules
This sounds nuts right? It is a specialty of toxic grandparents. What they do is send your kids out whilst they are sleeping at their house. Next, turning a blind eye to the time they come back in at. In-fact, if you are very unlucky you can have a toxic grandparent that can send your kid out way past midnight. The way they get around this is to tell their child that they were sleeping and that you in-fact are the one that taught your child to disrespect them. They will then twist this to make you look like a bad parent and warn their child of your bad methods of raising kids. Highlighting on how good parents they were.
Major Red Flag- One Rule For Your Kids- One For Their Own Kids
Say what! OK, here we go how do I even begin to explain this in an article. If you have nieces and nephews that are the offspring of the toxic grandparents own kids. Despite your kids being their grandkids as well, some grandparents are so toxic, that they deliberately try to segregate their other grandkids from your own kids. They do this by trying to make their other daughter or sons kids look better and more disciplined than your own.
Why the hell would they do this you ask? They do this because they are not only toxic as a grandparent they are mentally ill. Your kids are your offspring more than they are their son or daughters and because you, the disliked family member has tried to set perfectly reasonable ground rules in place and your kids are disciplined. It makes them look bad. How could this make them look bad you ask? Well, they see you as the competition. They feel that you have different parenting skills and methods to bring to the table.
They fear that you are in-fact a better parent than their own offspring. See they are very controlling individuals and usually are also narcissist's. You will be victimized because you are not easily molded, into what they have in their head as the ideal son or daughter in law. Other daughter and son in laws may be more susceptible to wanting to please them. Or, they could fear the parents of their other daughters or son in laws. Perhaps they are friends and have formed an alliance with their parents. It's very hard to get inside the brain of the toxic grandparent fully. It's difficult to comprehend how crazy they think and sometimes you really do not wish to as it can upset you more.
See if you think in a normal way this is not the case but you need to understand that some grandparents favorite certain grandkids over others. It is usually the case when a toxic grandmother gets a daughter in law the she considers not her idealistic one. See, some toxic grand parents are so toxic that they have to ensure that their daughters kids look a lot better than your own kids. Their eagle eye will have noted that you have different parenting skills to bring to the table. Of course, try addressing this with your spouse and watch as the crap hits the fan!
The Toxic Grandparent Lies To Their Child About An Event
What kind of parent lies to their children? Okay, to get this straight the grandparent tells their child that they wish to take your kids, their grandkids to a special outing. Your spouse thinks that it is a very cute idea. In their head they are still reminiscing about their own grandparent experience that was probably old school and cute. However the toxic grandparent has actually staged the time that they want to spend with your child. For, they have other plans for you. Much darker plans, their motive is to hurt you!
They will take your child on the pretense that they are going to one event. Then, they will have the child with them and deliberately take your child to an event that you are not invited to. An event where their other grandkids AND their kids are invited to. However, they have chopped you and their own child out just to back stab you. It is a very confusing state of affairs' and it can take the most sane people years upon years to understand. You will not fully understand this until you actually talk to other people and start to recall that this type of behavior is in-fact not considered normal protocol for grandparents.
If you're faced with a toxic grandparent or have been feeling like you have and reading this helped you some. Please drop a comment below and let me know about your experience. Remember, you are not alone and it is certainly not your fault.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Freelance Queen