Which adult should have the final say here?


#1

…Our mother thinks she can supersede the decisions made by my sister…

I let my sister’s 2 kids (also my godchildren) ages 9 & 11 know on a Thursday or Friday (when I have time off work) and I have the okay from their mother, I would take them to Chuck E Cheese for pizza & games (and quality time with me, their aunt). It was Xmas break week off school, and I would prefer quality time with the kids that doesn’t involve their grandmother.

My sister gave her okay for the outing and would meet me at the place, give me the booster seat for my niece then I would take the kids to our parents home after the outing as she had to go to work that evening after a long day for her which included a funeral/related things for a grandmother of one of her long time best friends.

Ironically, at the time my sister meets me in the parking lot of the place, I get a call from our mother demanding that I bring the older child (my nephew) to her place as he does not deserve to partake in the treat as he wasn’t always doing all his homework & turning it on time etc, and that he must spend the time working on his science project due at end of January/early February. I could treat the younger child (my niece) however.

My sister had a backbone on the phone with our parents saying I have no issue at all but she was overruled & very mad at that point. I said I have the kids & will get them to our parents later, go take care of a few things then go to work.

I went into the place with the kids in tow. I ordered the food and we all sat down for a few minutes. I got a call, this time from my dad with the same demands. I know that when my mom stands by him & tells him what to say, he can be nasty. He is easy going & nice when not under her thumb. He will not stand up to her when its needed. I think he has tried in past, but gets shot down real fast by her.

I was trying not to lose my temper talking on my cell phone in a public place but it was a losing battle with them on the other end.

I got the attention of our server then asked her nicely if she could box our pizza to go, something has come up unexceptedably, and the nice server had no issue with that. She brought out the pizza in a box for us a few minutes later. I put the game tokens in my handbag and took our drinks in to-go cups.

I hustled the kids to my car, and made sure they were buckled in properly. I drove back to my parents’ home safely, told my niece once there to stay in your seat, and instructed my nephew to take the pizza inside after I unlocked the front door to my parents’ home. During the drive back, my nephew said he’s been doing better with his homework, and I let him I will check up on you and don’t make a liar outta me please. He understood.

I drove back to the place from my parents home. My niece & I played games. I let her keep the tickets I won, and pick whatever prize(s) she wants with them. I did say, it would be nice if you maybe got a small thing for your brother as he’s at his maternal grandparents’ place not allowed to have any fun outside the home for a few hours with his aunt & sister.

I was a kid once. Ages ago. I know I tried not to do my homework but the embarrassment of signed progress reports by my teachers in junior high for a few months nipped that in the bud real fast. I hope a bit of a lecture on the way back to their grandparents’ place I gave my nephew will sink in. I did not yell or raise my voice to him
as I am sure gets that plenty from my mother.

And to think I was going to have a good few hours with the kids during their Xmas Break ALONE…

Who should have the final say here?

Some people said I should have not honored my parents’ request to bring the older kid back. That was tempting to me.

Others say, my sister gave the okay for the outing as she is the parent ( and that what our parents wanted should have been ignored, and she trusted that the kids would obey me as the adult in charge from the time she handed them to me so she could go to work as she had an evening shift.


#2

Why on EARTH would you leave the pizza place and capitulate to your mother's demands. Your sister is the parent, what she says goes. You and she made a plan. It's none of your mother's business.

YOUR mistake was in actually doing what your mother demanded. What you should have done is hang up, turn off your phone, and enjoy your outing with your niece/nephew.

Your mother will continue with her bad behavior because you allow it to give her what she wants-- control over you, your sister, and the grandkids.

Ignore her in the future. Establish boundaries and do not allow her to be rude, demanding, or manipulative. She'll like it or lump it. Her choice.


#3

Since your sister is the parent, and she said that it was okay for you to take both the children, that should have been the final result.

You are both adult children and should not have to obey the demands of your parents. This is interference with a parent’s decision and should have not occurred.

If both of you do not calmly put a stop to this it just may go on and on. The children will grow up thinking their grandparents wishes and demands come before their parents.

I am sorry you and your sister had to go through this. Perhaps you and she can have a talk about this and come to a decision about how to handle it in the future.


#4

The mother of the children (your sister) should ALWAYS have final say. They are her children, and it is unbelievable and unhealthy for your mother to reach so far into the parenting decisions of her daughter. It was absolutely not her place to decide to discipline your sister’s children all on her own for an issue only parents should deal with and go behind their mother’s back to do it. It sounds like she thinks she has has full authority over your sister as if she were still a young child, and that her complete and total power now extends to her grandchildren.

I would not have left Chuck E. Cheese to give in to your mother’s outrageous demands and ruin a night with your niece and nephew. I am very glad your sister is capable of standing up to your mother, and I hope she continues to put her in her place. She has NO authority to control the lives of her adult children or grandchildren in such a way.


#5

Your sister - is she the mother of the children? Your mother is in command of too many people including her husband, you, your sister and everyone within range, I would suppose. How sad for your nephew that he was punished by his grandmother by being taken from a fun outing with you! I would have told the old lady to take a hike, only I wouldn't have said it quite that kindly, even in a public place.

You need to read the book "Boundaries" by Henry Cloud. Read it, and get some ASAP. Tell your mother where to get off.


#6

Agreeing with others on this forum, my knee jerk reaction is that the grandmother is controlling and the aunt should have ignored her phone calls. But in all fairness, the OP didn’t give us all the relationship details between the sister and the grandparents or herself. For all we know (and I’m just saying this for the sake of argument), the sister is a loser or a drug addict and the grandparents raise the children. Or maybe the sister and the kids live with the grandparents and the grandparents do a lot more parenting than a normal grandparent would out of necessity. Or maybe the aunt isn’t completely trustworthy (I thought it was odd how she had to detail getting the kids home safely). So, I think it’s unfair to automatically say how controlling the grandmother is without knowing hte full story.


#7

Your mother needs to be told she already raised her kids and that her grandchildren parents will raise them, thank you very much and if her help, opinion, or input is wanted it will be asked for.


#8

Why on EARTH would you leave the pizza place and capitulate to your mother’s demands. Your sister is the parent, what she says goes. You and she made a plan. It’s none of your mother’s business.

YOUR mistake was in actually doing what your mother demanded. What you should have done is hang up, turn off your phone, and enjoy your outing with your niece/nephew.

Your mother will continue with her bad behavior because you allow it to give her what she wants-- control over you, your sister, and the grandkids.

Ignore her in the future. Establish boundaries and do not allow her to be rude, demanding, or manipulative. She’ll like it or lump it. Her choice.

everything about 1ke’s post is*** IT***: the message, the tone, the intensity. your father is under her thumb? your sister? you? and now the grandkids?

a coup is in order. lead the charge on this one.


#9

There is definitely a lot of odd details in this post. Why the emphasis on the booster seats and safety?

Do the grandparents spend a lot of time with these kids caring for them while the sister works? It seems that there is probably more to the story or the question wouldn’t even need to be asked.

BTW if you can take the time to write out this whole long post including the emphasis on car seat safety,which I’m still scratching my head over, could you please take the time to write out the Lords name in CHRISTmas.


#10

I made the decision years ago not to obey my mother. Had I done so, it would have ruined my life even further. That stand, knowingly, cost me an inheritance. But to date, though barely, I’ve maintained my dignity and kept my family afloat without her filthy money. she died shortly after.


#11

I would not have left the pizza place and I would not have have taken the second call. I don’t understand why as an adult you felt you had to obey your parents when they were over ruling the child’s mother? I feel sad for your nephew -it is not your parents job to raise/ discipline their grandchildren -they have already raised their children.


#12

I also would not have answered the second call, and I certainly would NOT have left the pizza place. The boy is going to (if he does not already) really resent his grandparents (and you, for cow-towing to them). His mother at least stood up to the grandparents.

Grow some, and tell give the grandparents their boundaries. They have certainly crossed the line.


#13

:thumbsup:

Yes!


#14

Ditto! I’m sure you have caller id on your phone and seen it was your parents house. You should have never answered the phone the second time and you should have never left chuckie cheese. YOU allowed your mother to trump your sister and her her authority of her kids.


#15

[quote="noclevername, post:6, topic:224583"]
Agreeing with others on this forum, my knee jerk reaction is that the grandmother is controlling and the aunt should have ignored her phone calls. But in all fairness, the OP didn't give us all the relationship details between the sister and the grandparents or herself. For all we know (and I'm just saying this for the sake of argument), the sister is a loser or a drug addict and the grandparents raise the children. Or maybe the sister and the kids live with the grandparents and the grandparents do a lot more parenting than a normal grandparent would out of necessity. Or maybe the aunt isn't completely trustworthy (I thought it was odd how she had to detail getting the kids home safely). So, I think it's unfair to automatically say how controlling the grandmother is without knowing hte full story.

[/quote]

This is some of what I'm wondering about as well. Who is the guardian of the children? Who is actually raising the children, is it the biological mother or is it the grandparents? From the OP's description, it does sound like the grandparents might be the ones raising the children with as much detail that they knew about the grandson's homework issues and whatnot. There seems to be some details missing from the scenerio. Say the grandparents are the ones raising the children, then the mother and the aunt actually are in the wrong with trying to undermine the grandparent's parenting decisions. It comes down to exactly who or whom are the legal guardians before I could say the grandparents were totally in the wrong.


#16

I have a “my house = my rules” policy (and by “my house”, I mean, my car, my outing, my whatever I’m in charge of).

Years ago, my BIL and his wife brought their kids to our house to play with my son while they went shopping. DH was outside talking to his brother while I was getting the kids settled in the house (they had five at the time and I had my son and another niece and nephew in the house as well) I noticed that one of my BIL’s boys was sitting by himself in a corner of the room. One of his siblings came over and explained that he was “on restriction” because he hadn’t completed his school work and would have to sit in the corner and not play with the rest of the kids or watch movies with them or whatever.

I called DH in and told him what was going on and he said, “ABSOLUTELY NOT!” First off, we were livid that BIL and wife hadn’t said a word to us about it. We then went out and told BIL and wife that we were NOT parole officers or jail wardens. If the child had misbehaved to the extent that he was to be excluded from having fun with his siblings and cousins, then they should take him with them or one of them should stay home with him. But we were NOT going to enforce a punishment that had nothing to do with us or the child’s behavior in our house (and this child was usually very well-behaved–his siblings often got more time-outs from me than he ever did.) If they didn’t like it, then they could take ALL the kids with them or take them back home. They didn’t like it, but BIL went in and told his son he could play with the other kids.

That has always been the rule in our home. To me, it’s like asking someone else to spank your child for you… I won’t do it! If a child is behaving well and doing nothing in my home or presence to warrant my disciplining them, then I’m not going to punish them for something they did someplace else. If a child does misbehave in my house or under my care, then I’LL impose a discipline and carry it out… I’m not going to send them home with a note saying, “Your son wouldn’t share toys with his cousins, please put him in time out for twenty minutes, thank you.”

To me, whoever is responsible for the children should be the ones making the decisions, and then be the ones to enforce them. It seems the OP was thrown in the middle of all this, since the call came in during her sister taking the kids to her, and she should have told her sister, “If you’re going to cave in to Mom’s demands, then YOU take your son to her house. I’m not going to be the bad guy here.” If the call had come while the OP was out with the kids, then she could have said to Mom and Dad, “Sorry, I don’t know anything about the situation and it doesn’t concern me. It’s between you and my sister. I’ll drop the kids off later and you can call her and work it out.” And then ignored the calls.

The OP doesn’t have a dog in this fight, in my opinion, and Mom and the grandparents should not have put her in the middle of it at all… and I think she needs to let them all know that she will not be party to their disputes and time with her niece and nephew will be between herself and the kids… everything else, they can work out when THEY have the kids.


#17

To the poster who suggested the book: thank you, and have added it to my Amazon.com list to purchase & read…

A bit of background about me and the family::

My sister is divorced, shares custody of her kids with her ex husband (they are amicable but no plans to remarry) - they each get the kids a few days per week per their custody arrangement.

My parents babysit a few days a week, mainly after school as my sister is returned to school to gain a degree in order to get a much better job & working as a waitress in addition to raising her kids. My parents do assist the kids with their homework when they are there at their home.

I am in my late 30’s. I am also single, work full time, and participate in a few volunteer things not related to my work.

My mother came from a background where her now late father was a very controlling man. He also mixed in emotional and physical abuse from time to time. She inherited those controlling traits, and knows no better to be honest. Very few people are able to stand up to her. If she ever stood up to her father and succeeded, I will never know as I barely knew him as he died when I was a toddler, and she told me all about him when I was older.

My father’s background growing up - semi-strict but loving parents with discipline only when it was needed.

Yes, I wished I had more of a back bone, and simply stayed. My sister gave the final okay on the outing as she had the kids that day. She never asked my parents’ okay on it, and trusted me to care & watch out for her kids for a few hours then get them to my parents’ home as she had to work at her job which that night was a 3rd shift/partly overnight.

Apparently, my mother takes the commandment about “Honor thy father and mother” a bit too far. Yes, I do respect my parents even as a grown up but since my sister is the mother of the kids, she should not had her decisions pushed aside.


#18

I’ll just note that in my view, the grandparents have the right (call it boundaries or my house my rule or what you will) to say we will watch the kids now but not if you want to drop them off after Chuck E Cheese.
That doesn’t mean they dictate what happens but it means they can condition their offer to watch the kids.


#19

#20

That sheds more light on the situation. The mother of the child still had the final say, but she’s using your mom for a lot of the child care. (Without those detail, it just sounded crazy.) While your sister is the mother of those kids, she’s depending on your mother for a lot of help. It sounds like your mom is very frustrated with the child who didn’t do his homework. She over-stepped the* normal* boundaries of a grandparent, but most grandparents don’t babysit their grandchildren a few days every week, including help with homework and overnight stays on a such regular basis.

It sounds to me like your mother might have some discipline problems with your nephew when he’s at her home, and perhaps some communication problems with your sister too. I wouldn’t have handled it the way your mom did, but I don’t know if your mom is the “crazy control freak” it sounded like in the first post. Your mom was expected to watch the kids that day, and she had planned to help him with his science project. If your sister hadn’t discused with her previously when they’d be coming by and if your mom’s having problems getting her grandson to co-operate and do his homework when he’s at her house, then I can see why she might have been irritated with the whole situation.


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