Ideas for Handling Grandparents Who Are Toxic.

Ideas for Handling Grandparents Who Are Toxic.Dysfunction is never fun, especially when Grandma is bringing it along.My mom was told by her maternal grandparents that her husky family would not be permitted to sit on the dining room furnitu...

Oct 29, 2023 - 01:00
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Ideas for Handling Grandparents Who Are Toxic.

Ideas for Handling Grandparents Who Are Toxic.


Dysfunction is never fun, especially when Grandma is bringing it along.


My mom was told by her maternal grandparents that her husky family would not be permitted to sit on the dining room furniture because of our weight, and I will never forget that comment. In response, my mother hung up the phone, and for the rest of my adolescence, we were at odds with our family.


During my childhood, my grandparents mistreated and degraded my family, provoking conflict between relatives, showing partiality, manipulating our emotions, and using hurtful language. This particular incident marked the beginning of their reckless and harmful behavior. I never understood how my mother was impacted by my grandparents' toxic behavior until I became a parent, even though it seemed strange that I couldn't talk to them on holidays and birthdays.


Licensed marriage and family therapist Stephanie Saari Macadaan, owner of Renewed Relationships Counseling Group, says, "It's tricky with grandparents because normally, we can feel when something's not healthy in a relationship.". However, if we experience it as children, it may seem normal and be difficult to recognize. There have previously been unfavorable dynamics. However, mental health problems may also influence an individual's behavior. ".


Before you break up with them, let's go over some solutions for dealing with toxic behavior from grandparents.


Communicate your feelings to your partner.


We presume grandparents are always correct, or at least knowledgeable enough to give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their actions, because of their years of experience raising you or your spouse. On the other hand, emotional blind spots may make it difficult for you or your partner to recognize when something feels off or has the potential to be abusive or manipulative.


Discuss your observations with each other, but if you're worried that familial bias might be at work, Macadaan advises getting input from people who are close to you in order to gain additional understanding of the circumstances. Have a conversation with an expert.


"Unlike a spouse or other family member, a therapist can assist you in sorting through dynamics and have a more neutral view," the woman claims. You can sort through a lot of contradictory emotions and gain clarity about what's going on. ".


Put limits in place calmly.


Your parents undoubtedly taught you as a child that you had to abide by their rules if you were to live in their home. They have to abide by your rules when they are with your kids in your home now that you are an adult. These restrictions can include anything from discussing politics to allowing them to watch particular shows or limiting the amount of candy they can give your children. Whatever you decide, Macadaan says, make sure it's clear, firm, and not based on rage.


She claims that "boundaries can often be easily dismissed if we try to set them in a reactive way with a lot of anger.". Most individuals enjoy pushing boundaries back. Holding your ground when they try to retreat will be simpler if you are more coherent. ".


Arrange yourself so that unexpected visits go well.


Grandparents occasionally like to drop by unexpectedly, which can be awkward for you and your partner and lead to a lot of needless anxiety. Plan ahead for these situations and make sure your uninvited guests are aware of it.


Macadaan says, "I always advise people to take the initiative a little bit.". For example, you could decide to meet in a location that is most comfortable for you or set time limits on how much time you spend together. The more worn out and stressed out we become from the situation, the more difficult it is to maintain boundaries. ".


Radio silence now.


Every time your child's grandparents come to visit, despite your best efforts to set boundaries and create a plan, you can't help but feel nervous, angry, or depressed. Sadly, Macadaan adds, cutting off communication or ending the relationship could be the next course of action.


According to her, "things might have gotten to the point where the relationship is too toxic even to permit minimal contact.". Because ending a relationship is difficult, I believe that issue needs to be resolved. That elicits a completely different range of emotions, including grief and loss. ".


Recognize and extend forgiveness.


I mentioned at the beginning of the piece that I missed growing up and being close to my grandparents. But in the end, things worked out, and I had a fulfilling relationship with her for the most of my adult life. Macadaan advises going one step at a time when you're prepared to put the hatchet down.


"Otherwise, we can easily recreate those old dynamics rather than starting fresh," she warns. ".


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