Grrrrr, why do I feel guilty?


#1

Okay, so I always feel guilty when I say "no" to my dad. My dad and step-mom invited to take dd (almost 6) to KY for the international equestrian competition (my dd loves horses). After hubby and I talked it over we agreed that she's not ready to go out of state overnight for a few days. I thanked them for their gracious invitation but informed them that we think she's not ready (we actually KNOW she's not ready since the one time she stayed over at mil's house without us she cried to have us pick her up). They are, of course, upset and disappointed to put it mildly. They think that it is all me, that I'm not ready to let her go, but that she's more than ready to go (my dad had no problem putting my brother on a plane by himself when he was 3). My mom also thinks that we should have let her go. When my dad is in town to visit he never just asks to take dd to the zoo for a few hours, heck, he doesn't even spend 1 on 1 time with her, he's too busy trying to visit everyone every time he's in town.

So my question, am I being a helicopter parent? I have always had anxiety when being away from those I love the most (from when I was little until I met DH I would cry when I was away from my mom too long - even in college I'd cry at least once a week) so I know this is something that I do have to fight. I guess that's why I'm questioning my view on it (though DH said no and he doesn't have separation anxiety issues, so the decision was always going to be "no").


#2

An invitation is just that. It’s in invite to do something, not a demand. You shouldn’t feel guilty since you have good reasons to turn down their offer.


#3

quote="gmarie21, post:1, topic:212766".

[/quote]

That sums it up. Your dad is irresponsible if he still holds to that judgment.

You are not being a helicopter parent. By the way, I find that most accusations of "helicopter parenting" come from people who let the world raise their kids.


#4

Remember, you are the parent. You know what is best for your child, no one else (besides God of course). Never play in other people’s “ball courts” when it comes to your children. God holds you and your husband alone responsible for your child’s parenting and it is a serious responsibility. Others may not take it so seriously, but that’s their problem. I applaud you for being firm with your family on something you feel important. :clapping: For these reasons you should not feel guilty, you did the right thing.


#5

No, you certainly shouldn't feel guilty!

Now, I'm pretty fond of "free range parenting" ideas and trying to "let go" of that helicopter dynamic that certainly can occur...
BUT, this situation hasn't proven itself out yet...
There are certain criteria levels that have to be achieved before you go ahead with something so big... you can't graduate from high school before leaving the 2nd grade. ;)
Remind your dad that it's an AWESOME idea and you can't wait until she's ready... but remind him about that overnight when she cried and had to come home. Ask him how he'd deal with that when they'd be so far away? Maybe make it a goal for next year, or the year after... but have certain criteria that she'll need to meet before that happens... like 5 successful overnights within the next year, or something like that...

Work TOWARDS that goal... and remind your dad that you love him and appreciate that he wants to spend time with his granddaughter...


#6

Stick to your guns on this one. I think your parental instincts are dead on here.


#7

[quote="Em_in_FL, post:5, topic:212766"]
No, you certainly shouldn't feel guilty!

Now, I'm pretty fond of "free range parenting" ideas and trying to "let go" of that helicopter dynamic that certainly can occur...
BUT, this situation hasn't proven itself out yet...
There are certain criteria levels that have to be achieved before you go ahead with something so big... you can't graduate from high school before leaving the 2nd grade. ;)
Remind your dad that it's an AWESOME idea and you can't wait until she's ready... but remind him about that overnight when she cried and had to come home. Ask him how he'd deal with that when they'd be so far away? Maybe make it a goal for next year, or the year after... but have certain criteria that she'll need to meet before that happens... like 5 successful overnights within the next year, or something like that...

Work TOWARDS that goal... and remind your dad that you love him and appreciate that he wants to spend time with his granddaughter...

[/quote]

Em, I think that's part of the problem. I don't trust my dad to handle things even remotely close to how I would handle things. But how does one say that directly. Heck, my dad never handled things with us kids in a decent manner (though his memory may say otherwise, and of course, we're the ones with the problem, not him). But I know I will never change my dad, so I love him as is. I also make sure DD talks to him weekly on the phone (sometimes more than weekly). When he's in town I drop any non-rare plans so that we can spend time together. But in the end, if it's not about him (or if he's not dominating the conversation) then he loses interest fast (which is sad for him because he's the one who loses out).


#8

per alexander: yup. invitations are not summons. you get to say no thank you.

per dswearing. yup again. because this is not a moral judgment, yo*u get to be wrong*, even if you are WRONG. they're your kids. you get to figure all this out for yourself.

per nec5: yup a third time. under age 6 (heck! under age 10) out of state? without you? a few nights? however you slice this, bad idea all around. whether or NOT your dd cried at another overnighter is almost irrelevant, except that is DOES demonstrate what you already know; she's too young.

and per everyone else: yups all around. you just dont need to explain yourself further, gmarie. but your dad--well **he's **got some 'splainin' to do Lucy. who gets to tell another parent how to make decisions for their own kids?

so, why do you feel guilty? (get the net; i'm going out on a limb here) is it because, in your dad's world, brow beating is the preferred form of influence?


#9

[quote="gmarie21, post:7, topic:212766"]
Em, I think that's part of the problem. I don't trust my dad to handle things even remotely close to how I would handle things. But how does one say that directly. Heck, my dad never handled things with us kids in a decent manner (though his memory may say otherwise, and of course, we're the ones with the problem, not him). But I know I will never change my dad, so I love him as is. I also make sure DD talks to him weekly on the phone (sometimes more than weekly). When he's in town I drop any non-rare plans so that we can spend time together. But in the end, if it's not about him (or if he's not dominating the conversation) then he loses interest fast (which is sad for him because he's the one who loses out).

[/quote]

I think you should just stick to your guns, like everyone else is saying...
Learn to be loving, yet direct. Direct doesn't have to be unloving, it just has to be done with total understanding of the situation.

I'd just say, "Dad, I love you and I know you're excited to spend time with DD. She just hasn't had the chance to be prepared for something like this. Let's start out small, maybe with a few overnight visits, and we'll make that trip a goal for next year."
... or something to that effect...
It reminds him that he's appreciated and loved... but that you are the parent and you need to protect your daughter with the right time-line for events like this.

Prayers for you on dealing with this!!!! :)


#10

[quote="monicatholic, post:8, topic:212766"]

so, why do you feel guilty? (get the net; i'm going out on a limb here) is it because, in your dad's world, brow beating is the preferred form of influence?

[/quote]

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. Yes, everyone gives into him because if they don't he makes life miserable.


#11

I don't trust my dad to handle things even remotely close to how I would handle things

.

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. Yes, everyone gives into him because if they don't he makes life miserable.

gmarie, let's do the math: dont trust him **PLUS **he makes life miserable **EQUALS **this will be an issue for as long as you demonstrate submission to him.

my advice: act decisive. keep every response short and DON'T defend your responses. (your defenses are an invitation for him to ramp up the offense.)

and when the going gets tough, the tough call in their husbands. my GoodHusband has more than once backed me with this line, "blame it on me. i say "no" too."


#12

[quote="monicatholic, post:11, topic:212766"]
.

gmarie, let's do the math: dont trust him **PLUS **he makes life miserable **EQUALS **this will be an issue for as long as you demonstrate submission to him.

my advice: act decisive. keep every response short and DON'T defend your responses. (your defenses are an invitation for him to ramp up the offense.)

and when the going gets tough, the tough call in their husbands. my GoodHusband has more than once backed me with this line, "blame it on me. i say "no" too."

[/quote]

:rotfl: If you could hear what DH thinks of him...:D


#13

gmarie,

You're the parent and know best. :) And you know your dd best. :)


#14

I have a four year old niece who lives in another state. I have kept her for weeks at a time on many occasions throughout her life starting when she was six months old. (We waited until my sister was finished breastfeeding). It has been wonderful for my niece, my sister and myself. I have a very close relationship with that niece and I am hoping that will continue into her older years. Kids need to find adults they can confide in who aren't their parents. That being said, I NEVER keep anything from my sister (her mother). If I need to give my neice some medicine, I call my sister. The time I forgot to buckle the straps of my nieces car seat and drove a block down the road before my niece told me I forgot to buckle her, I told my sister. And I told my niece how smart and wonderful she was for telling me.

My point is, it's OK for kids to be away from their parents for a while....if you trust the people she will be with. But if you don't trust them 100%, then I can totally understand not watning to let her go.


#15

Yeah, well, he makes life miserable if they give in, too, only he gets rewarded for it, while they feel resentment. If he keeps getting the payoff, they’re going to keep paying that freight.

Guilt is like a smoke alarm. If it goes off, investigate. If there’s no fire, ignore it. Frankly, I’d think it unusual if a 6 yo was ready for something like this, unless they were very used to the grandparent being their primary caretaker. Your parents had different opinions than you do about parenting; that’s OK. Stick to your guns.


#16

I agree with you saying no. However, I have another concern. Your original post asked if you were a helicopter mom. Whether or not you are is for you to work on, I am not here to place labels. But what struck out is when you said no to your father, he obviously got you second guessing yourself. That is my concern.

Your dad knows how to push your buttons. You already haved tons of support on this thread to say no to the invite. So you don't need mine. But what I would like to support you in as building YOUR self-esteem to not be affect by your dad. I pray that you will have the confidence in yourself and the ability to hear God's guidance

CM


#17

[quote="cmscms, post:16, topic:212766"]
I agree with you saying no. However, I have another concern. Your original post asked if you were a helicopter mom. Whether or not you are is for you to work on, I am not here to place labels. But what struck out is when you said no to your father, he obviously got you second guessing yourself. That is my concern.

Your dad knows how to push your buttons. You already haved tons of support on this thread to say no to the invite. So you don't need mine. But what I would like to support you in as building YOUR self-esteem to not be affect by your dad. I pray that you will have the confidence in yourself and the ability to hear God's guidance

CM

[/quote]

Thank you very much. I'm usually confident and don't let people push me around or get to me, but, yes, when it comes to my dad that isn't always easy.


#18

I have the answer to your problem. Send me instead!


#19

I think everyone is saying the right things to you. It doesn't sound like your daughter needs to be going by herself. But... is there anyway you could go too? If your daughter loves horses, then this is a very special event. The World Equestrain Games have never been held in the US before and it will likely not be held here again for many years (like the Olympics, they happen only every four years and places have to bid on it years in advance). This could be something special for you all to enjoy together. There are events held on a couple of the weekends too, if working is a problem.

And to "Little Me" -- do you want to come down and see the games too? :D


#20

[quote="Busymom1, post:19, topic:212766"]
I think everyone is saying the right things to you. It doesn't sound like your daughter needs to be going by herself. But... is there anyway you could go too? If your daughter loves horses, then this is a very special event. The World Equestrain Games have never been held in the US before and it will likely not be held here again for many years (like the Olympics, they happen only every four years and places have to bid on it years in advance). This could be something special for you all to enjoy together. There are events held on a couple of the weekends too, if working is a problem.

And to "Little Me" -- do you want to come down and see the games too? :D

[/quote]

My baby boy is due to make his presence in the world the week they want to bring her.


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