Daughter Is Being Really Mean to My Mom

Updated on August 09, 2009
K.L. asks from Jacksonville, FL
5 answers

Hi Ladies,

I need some advice. My Mom lost her job in NY in Jan. and came down to see if she'd like Jax and wanted to move here... she was here at first living with us from Feb. through May, then went back to NY for 5 weeks to close on her condo, pack her stuff and move down. She's been living with us since June 17 and looking for a job. For me, a single mom, it's been great to have help with my 3 1/2 year old daughter and around the house! But since my Mom has come back this time, my daughter has become very rude... won't kiss her good morning or goodnight or goodbye sometimes, has told my Mom she wants her to go back to NY (or to outerspace, or to her friends house to stay!). I have tried several things, talking to her about why she does this, what she's feeling to see what's behind it, and I get answers like "Mema's stinky" and "I won't miss her if she's gone." My mom is not being all that mature and taking all this very personally, even as I've tried to explain that it's a transition for all of us and she has to be the adult and not "buy in" to every perceived insult my daughter sends her way... they also have a great time together when I am not around and she is very good for my mom when she babysits and I'm not home (listens to her well, does not misbehave, goes right to bed, etc. although she may say something rude as I've mentioned above). I returned late last night from a grueling business trip, only to have my mom tell me there's "nothing she can do" as if my little one will never love her... and then get mad at me when I tried to tell her to not take it so personally, even as I understood it's upsetting to her. I've told my little one that she is not allowed to be rude and say mean things to anyone (as part of her manners) and have made her greet my mom every morning, etc. Today, my mom left for a long weekend in tears, I was in tears because this is definitely upsetting being torn between them and my daughter is happy she's gone for now and I'm home. Anyone been here? Any ideas or strategies to ease the pain? I'm a Christian mom who prays every day with her little one, so that's covered... looking more for real ideas I can implement to make my mom feel better or help unlock the feelings my daughter is having that are causing this. BTW, she does not do this with other relatives. And she's definitely in a new, separation anxiety mode with me in general lately (last month or so) so I know that's also a factor. In addition, she has regressed back to pullups at night and began to wet her bed nightly after we returned from vacation in mid July, after being completely potty trained, so I'm wondering what's up.

Thanks in advance!

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers


answers from Jacksonville on

Lola is spot on. Your daughter is not happy that you have been absent (has there been more than just the one business trip?) and that grandma has been in charge of her. Some of the acting out and unhappiness is inevitable as she tries to adjust. Some of it could be exacerbated by perhaps Grandma having different rules than you do when you're not there. From experience with my own daughter (who is a rule follower and does NOT like to get into trouble of any kind), know that, just because she does what Grandma tells her without backtalk, etc.. doesn't mean that she LIKES what she is expected to do. She may also very much resent Grandma doing things with her that YOU used to do with her. Are there "special" things that you once shared that now Grandma does with her instead? Of course there are. You may not think of them as "special".. but that is how it is perceived by your daughter, particularly now that it isn't just you and her. Grandma (in your daughter's perspective) is interfering in your relationship.
Please be sure (if you aren't already) that you take time to spend alone with your daughter daily. Have time that is just you and her, no grandma. Bedtime is a great time for this. Have her say goodnight to grandma out in the living area (not grandma coming into "her" bedroom)... then you and she go snuggle up with a book for her bedtime ritual... just you and her.
Also... if Grandma is now her caregiver (and is unemployed)... she probably isn't spoiling her like grandmas tend to do, and your daughter is probably accustomed to from her grandma.
I know that my kids' attitudes toward my parents changes when I have left them in their care for a day... totally different than when they are visiting only and aren't the "authority" in charge of them. And actually, so does my parents'! (They are less tolerant).
Perhaps you and your mom need to sit down (privately) and discuss "parenting" strategies and routines. Make sure Gram isn't being more strict than you think. No matter how much we love our kids (and grandkids) I think our tolerance for them is used up faster as we age.. unless your mother is a TOTAL and COMPLETE SAINT!
I am only 40, and I have less patience with 3 & 4 yr olds, even 5 & 6 year olds than I did when MINE were those ages... and it wasn't that long ago.... mine are only 8 & 11 now. So perhaps letting Grandma have a breather from childcare (when you aren't around) - if it's possible - might help some too. Be sure that your daughter gets to participate in playdates and other fun activities that she was doing before Grandma arrived.
And keep praying.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

"grandma moved in and everything changed"-that is what your daughter is thinking.
you need to set some rules that you and your mom will go by. for example if your daughter disrespects her she is to be sent to her room. then she needs to apologize etc.
this is only if you want mom to stay with you until she finds a place for herself. remember, she is helping you by taking care of your daughter when you're not around.
so sit everyone at the table and set the rules. explain to your daughter that she is your mom and that she is not allowed to 'act out.' and if she acts out there will be consequences, like take away fav. toy, get time out etc., just as if she were saying these things to you.
you also need to understand that your daughter needs to adjust to the new living arrangements.
you said she doesn't treat other relatives like this. this is easily explained: the others don't live with you
good luck

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pensacola on

Lola and Victoria are right. This is good advice.



answers from Miami on

They get along while you are away? I doubt it. There's more to this than you are being told.
Talk with your pediatrician; get a monitor; and ask your neighbors to keep watch.



answers from Tampa on

childrensbehaviorhelp.com- and yoka Reader too, right away
keep talking to both of them- you are doing a good job- really you are-k

Next question: Adapting to House Rules