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My daughter can’t say no to her young children. How can I help?

by Ace Damon
My daughter can’t say no to her young children. How can I help?

We have two granddaughters, aged nine and five. The nine-year-old boy is bright and adorable most of the time. However, if she doesn't get what she wants, it can be awful. She recently came to stay, with her mother and younger sister. The first day was good, but the next day we had planned several attractions and booked tickets, but the nine-year-old didn't want to go. We went anyway, like her sister, and my daughter had to work. Then it started – it was nasty, rude and disobedient.

We got home early and tried to stay positive, cheer everyone up and distract her, but nothing worked. As a punishment, I didn't let her use her tablet. (My daughter supported me, but she usually doesn't take it away.) I gave it back before I went to sleep, while my daughter says it leaves her. (It keeps her quiet.) At home, she stays on the tablet almost all day and doesn't want to go anywhere.

I also feel that she is not allowing the five year old to grow up. It is very sticky when the mother is around, but well when it is not. She will not sleep without her mother; my daughter goes to bed with her and hasn't slept in the same bed as her husband for years.

I worry, seeing my daughter so tired; she also has no time for herself. How can I help you?

It would be easy to just focus on the nine-year-old girl and dismiss her as “badly behaved”, but I think she is the one who shows most clearly what is happening: this is a very disordered family and in desperate need of limits. And where is the father? All I know about your letter is that it snores. Meanwhile, her daughter seems to have to deal with work and children (with her help) while on vacation. Why?

I consulted Dr. Alexandra de Rementeria (childpsychotherapy.org.uk) She talked about the father's absence and wondered if the fact that he left the marital bed was a consequence or the cause of the five-year-old sleeping with his mother. I am an advocate for attachment parents; I let my children sleep with me when they needed extra comfort and I see nothing wrong with responding to their needs. However, in doing so, it is also really important, as a family support point, to understand and meet their own needs. De Rementeria explained that although his daughter seems to be available all the time to her children, she is not really. “If we do that, we are not really responsible for ourselves. We lose our ability to distinguish ourselves, we lose our backbone, exactly what makes us interested and interesting. "

Simply put, your daughter is exhausting and tormenting herself; she doesn't seem to know where it ends and the children start. This is neither healthy nor desirable in the long run. I wonder where her idea of ​​motherhood comes from. Does she think she should be constantly available to her children? Is she afraid to say no, and does she equate that with a “bad mother”? I wonder why she feels guilty and if that makes her unable to be authoritarian.

The nine-year-old seems to feel, as De Rementeria says, "a power vacuum" and is trying to fill it. Your daughter needs to do something equally powerful on the back, get into the driver's seat and take control. Her daughter's over-reliance on the screen is telling. De Rementeria explains: "The canvas gives the illusion that it can meet your needs, that it does not need adult attention. But it cannot and does, hence the angry terror when it is taken away."

I feel for your oldest granddaughter. The unity of the mother and the little sister is quite impenetrable – where does it fit? Does her mother make room just for her? How is bedtime: does a screen really put you to bed? De Rementeria found it gratifying that she seemed to respond to his authority – finally a limit.

While it is tempting to ignore or distract her behavior, as you did on a daily basis, it is important to recognize and contain her feelings. Imagine if you were really angry and someone tried to distract you? Wouldn't it drive you even crazier? Try saying, "You look really angry"; This way, you are recognizing your feelings, but without giving up control or giving in.

If the father is unable to help and set boundaries, ask if you can help your daughter do this. This will not happen overnight, because many needs are not met in her family

● Submit your problem to annalisa.barbieri@mac.com. Annalisa regrets not being able to enter personal correspondence.

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. (tagsToTranslate) Family (t) Life and style (t) Parents and parents (t) Grandparents and grandparents (t) Marriage

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