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Calling All Grandparents!

Are you a grandparent who has retired or pulled back on work hours to help with childcare or distance learning for your grandchildren due to the pandemic? Share your story today!

Periodic Contributor

Hello, I work online from home and have helped my grandchildren with their school issues and social issues over the years, as it comes with my occupation and comes easily to me. I support other grandparents and parents with a variety of issues they face in our constantly changing world. We are a new generation as our parents and grandparents worlds did not change as fast as our world does now due to technology, yet as human beings, we still have the same desires and needs as all of the humans that came before us. I am delighted to be a part of the AARP community!  My best to everyone. Mary Kay

Mary Kay Keller, MPA, PhD., CEIM, CFLE
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@AARPRachelA wrote:

Are you a grandparent who has retired or pulled back on work hours to help with childcare or distance learning for your grandchildren due to the pandemic? Share your story today!


💥@AARPRachelA awesome post 😁 Nope, not yet. Hoping soon. Angela💥

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I retired over four years ago so I could spend more time with my two little granddaughters. When my son moved with his family I moved too so I could stay close to them. However over the years my daughter in law has become very abusive toward me. She either expects me to take care of the kids whenever it suits her no matter what I need or she pulls them away and doesn’t include me. Her latest is attacking me for my political beliefs via nasty texts. She is also trying to extort a large amount of money from me. My son seems helpless to stop her behaviors. I would like support from others on this matter. My grandkids mean everything to me. Thanks.

Periodic Contributor

Hello,  I am sorry you are experiencing emotional and financial control from your daughter-in-law. Reaching out for help is the first step towards change and healing. You are not alone! Sounds like the daughter-in-law is a product of her childhood environment (family, culture, society). The disconnection between grandparents and their adult children is real and is an issue for many grandparents. As a Certified Family Life Educator, I hear from both grandparents and adult children. The first thing I share with both is it is not your fault. We learn to parent and grandparent from our observations as children. Our first relationship models are our parents and our grandparents. When we are born we learn everything about our world and how to behave by the modeling we get first primarily from our family and then the world that we enter into....essentially we all parent backward. 

None of us had perfect childhoods because the world has been practicing CHILDISM and adults do not realize (myself included) that parenting has been very adult-centered rather than child-centered. You are not alone and there are counselors that can support you through this process of learning how to manage these difficult and uncomfortable conversations. Practice makes perfect we were told, right? Why not practice with a counselor or another professional who works with Family Dynamics and Communication? 

Best, Mary Kay

Mary Kay Keller, MPA, PhD., CEIM, CFLE
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I do not see many replys here did you get any support here?

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Hi @DrsusanL793600, I'm sorry you are experiencing this abuse by your daughter-in-law. I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, but you may benefit from setting boundaries with her. Explain what your availability is to take care of your grandkids and if she tries to get you to take care of the kids outside of that availability, say no. Her other actions are more difficult to navigate - do you have someone that could help mediate a conversation with her and your son? She may be more willing to reflect and change her harmful actions if there was an objective person that could help you express your feelings of hurt and pain without placing blame or triggering her to react defensively. She likely won't take accountability for the impact of her actions if you are unable to navigate conflict resolution via meaningful and respectful conversation.

Honored Social Butterfly

I am sorry to say this, @AARPRachelA, but you should have never offered advice regarding @DrsusanL793600's situation. You are not a professional in human relations and neither are you legal counsel. Your advice could have unknown consequences and legal ramifications. You should have directed @DrsusanL793600 toward professional or legal help and left it at that.

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