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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Hello, I am a mother of a 26yr old and she as well as her 2

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Hello, I am a mother of a 26yr old and she as well as her 2 boys live with me. My daughter will not be proactive about taking care of her children. Tonight they ran up and down the hall playing and fighting. She will talk on the phone or whatever but when they get out of hand she starts screaming at them. The younger one went to sleep but the older one was upset because she was screaming at him. He was in a chair in the loft so I encourage him to sleep there or in my room. She tells him he can't sleep in my room and takes him out in the hall and hit him with a belt on his bottom. He is screaming and scratching her. I come out and say that that is enough. She accuses me for always interfering and left to "go to an homeless shelter" translation friends home. My grandson cried so hard it made me cry. She states that his behavior is my fault because I rescue him and it is my fault that they are leaving right now and now coming back. Please, give me clarity. Should I let her continue to hit her child and not interfere. I have had discipline him in anger in the past and I was afraid she would hurt him. I grew up getting hit with belts, etc. I know my grandson was disobedient but he is 7 and I guess I felt we would be able to talk with him as opposed to hitting him. I have urged her to take parenting classes and I am willing to go as well. I have to defer to her if she is present if the kids ask for anything so she won't be upset. She leaves if I try to interfere with her discipline and the last time she came back she told my eldest grandson that she was the only one he was to listen to. It was very uncomfortable. I feel back for my grandson. I decided to take the keys to my home and allow her to take care of her children and herself at this time. Can you shed some light on our situation? Thanks
Hi! I'll be glad to be of help with this issue.
I can imagine how distressing this situation must be for you. You are clearly a loving and caring person and grandmother. It must be so hurtful to see your grandson going through this abuse. You yourself experienced harsh treatment like his. Today, this type of over-punishment is called abuse. Because we recognize that it is not helpful in guiding the child to behave in better ways. Rather it is a way for the parent to let out her own hostilities and frustration. Thus, it is abusing her child.
And that puts you in a very difficult position. Because she clearly is hitting him to make herself feel better, to deal with her own problems and difficulties. She's not hitting him as a way to help him. You recognize this and it makes you feel so bad for your grandson. You're right, and I'm so sorry that both he and you are going through this.
But you're also right in sensing that you have to take a middle path here. What do I mean?
You can't try to change her so much because she will react by not letting you have any contact with your grandchildren. On the other hand, you can't let her live with you and behave that way. You are very right in not letting her live with you. That is not healthy for you and it's not helping the grandchildren. It's not helping them because it doesn't prevent any problems for them, it only increases their problems as she tries to make them not listen to you.
Therefore, you need to let her find other living arrangements and not let her live with you. You're right about this and it is the most helpful thing. And you're also right in trying to maintain contact with her and the kids. Please don't think that having contact with your grandson is not important. It's very important. You can't solve his problems living with his mom. But you can be a good person in his life and that's so valuable as he grows. I know from my private practice because people describe to me grandparents who were a stable force in their lives even though the grandparents couldn't be there all the time.
Okay, I wish you the very best!
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Dr. Mark. I needed the confirmation. I am a health Expert (Pediatric Nurse) myself but because my daughter and her friends are saying I am "trying to protect" my grandchildren, I had started to doubt what I know to be right. I will try to take care of myself and be there for them when I can. Thanks again.

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