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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4510
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I asked my granddaughters other grandmother to help with childcare

Customer Question

I asked my granddaughter's other grandmother to help with childcare costs. We have shared these costs for the past 3 years. I have legal guardianship of our granddaughter
and care for her 24/7 with the exception of two Saturdays a month when she watches her.
In the past she has sent me schedules of when she will see Audri (around her vacations and other scheduled events.) School started and I had not heard from her so I sent an email outlining granddaughter's (age 5) plans for the year and her payment schedule.

I received a scathing letter from her accusing me of being difficult to communicate with. She also accused me of not wanting to work things out in a joint counseling session. I can honestly say the counselor saw things in a completely differ ent light from what she is claiming.

I am now upset since I received and read this letter less than an hour ago. I will be seeing this person tomorrow when she comes to pick up our grand daughter. I am upset that she is falsely accusing me of being difficult to communicate with. I am upset that she is claiming I did not want to work things out at the counselors office. ( Counselor stated to me that she was the one who did not want to work things out. she left the "door" open but there was no response from her.) Now grandmother is stating I was the problem.

She sent the letter to my husband because she said that I was difficult to communicate with and that I was difficult. Unbelievable. All I did was ask her to pay her share.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.

Dr. Z. :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z. :

I am so sorry that you are having this issue with your granddaughter's other grandmother, I can imagine how a letter like that would distress you

Dr. Z. :

May I ask, have you ever had this kind of issue with this woman before this letter?

Customer :

I do not remember receiving personal character "attacks" and definitely not the letters sent to my husband and not to me.

Dr. Z. :

Has she ever expressed issues with the payment plan or not seeing her granddaughter enough?

Customer :

The court encouraged her and her son to visit with granddaughter Friday evening through Sunday evening at 7:00.

Customer :

She however, has limited the amount of time she wishes to spend to Sat only.

Customer :

She was claiming that the granddaughter had psychological issues when she visited

Customer :

(constipated) I encouraged her to discuss with her pedicatrician

Customer :

She said it was psychological so we went to the counselor I have set up for

Customer :

my granddaughter and for dealing with this woman.

Customer :

I spoke with the pediatrician and we made adjustments in her diet.

Customer :

after that no problems

Customer :

however, this grandmother used the "problem" as an excuse to limit her visitation

Dr. Z. :

Okay, so this woman is purposely trying to find a problem with you and is upset that no one agrees with her, because the objective evidence does not support it. The letter was her lashing out and trying to get under your skin, it is not uncommon in these kind of custody cases.

Customer :

I am upset. As I have devoted my life for the past 4 years to the care and well being of my granddaughter.

Dr. Z. :

She feels if she can get under your skin, it will cause you to make a verbal attack on her in person or on paper possibly, reinforcing her original complaint that she cannot communicate with you because you have anger issues and are irrational.

Dr. Z. :

And you should be upset, but you should not fall into this trap she has set

Customer :

She is sending letters to my husband.

Customer :

That is the reason I am contacting you

Customer :

I need a voice of reason

Customer :

I am so hurt

Dr. Z. :

If you want to express your anger/frustration, I would advise you to do is assertively. Here is a good worksheet I use with patients to help them express their hurt, anger, frustration and why they are upset. It is very effective.

Customer :

She is also stating that she will be moving away and retiring and that I need to have her son over to my house for dinners.

Customer :

I want to avoid all contact with the person. I do not want to be the person to open the door.

Customer :

I do not want to talk with her in any setting other than a counselor's office.

Dr. Z. :

And she is supposed to come over tomorrow to pick up your granddaughter?

Customer :

yes

Dr. Z. :

Will your husband be home?

Customer :

Saturday morning not Friday

Customer :

My husband will be here

Customer :

I wanted him to say something to her in support of me.

Dr. Z. :

Well then have your husband handle it if you are so upset that you do not want to see her. But that will be a symbolic gesture to her that she got to you. I think if you really want to make an impact with her, show her that the letter did not bother you. Show her that she cannot bully you like this

Dr. Z. :

Will he say something in support of you if you ask?

Customer :

The false accusations should be acknowledged

Customer :

That is another reason why I contacted you.;

Customer :

I need a voice of reason

Dr. Z. :

I agree they should be acknowledged, I think that worksheet I gave you can help you practice what you want to say to her

Customer :

I need to handle this in a mature and calm manner

Dr. Z. :

Sure I am always happy to be a voice of reason

Dr. Z. :

I agree, I thinking being mature and calm, but expressing your anger assertively will give you the best possible results.

Customer :

I have tried to access the worksheet - seems to be a problem

Customer :

trying again

Dr. Z. :

Really, the link is working for me

Dr. Z. :

You want to right click it and say open in new tab

Customer :

ok

Customer :

ok I will write down the link and access it. Thank you

Dr. Z. :

Well it is just a practice technique that helps to look at things objectively. I am sorry it is not working for you. It is a pdf file, so you may have to update your adobe pdf software (it is free).

Dr. Z. :

So what exactly do you want to say on saturday?

Customer :

ok thanks

Dr. Z. :

Let me know if this attachment works at all for you

Customer :

I hope you have an enjoyable visit, Jane (not my granddaughters name) also

Customer :

I read the letter

Customer :

you sent to John (my husband)

Customer :

I am wondering why you thought that I was difficult to communicate with

Customer :

I also had a different memory of the counseling session

Customer :

as did the therapist

Dr. Z. :

Well I would first ask her the questions first on her account of why she felt you are difficult to communicate with and of the counseling session. Then wait for her response, and then give your account or help point out to her that there is a misunderstanding with her interpretation of the events.

Dr. Z. :

I would not directly say that she is wrong or blame her, as this will just cause antagonism and may make things worse.

Dr. Z. :

Oh by the way did that attachment work at all of the anger decision worksheet?

Customer :

very true, I want to avoid that. I am trying to stay calm and rational

Dr. Z. :

So far with what you are saying is calm and rational because you are asking for her opinion of the events, which shows that you are willing to listen to her side

Customer :

yes thank you - it just opened. I will work with it. I am sure this will be helpful.

Dr. Z. :

I am glad that it worked for you, sorry the link was not working well.

Customer :

Thank you - maybe I will get a few hours of sleep now

Customer :

after working on this

Dr. Z. :

I understand that you are upset, but you have done nothing wrong and you are only thinking about the welfare of your granddaughter. I think that this woman is deliberately trying to get under your skin to cause a rise in tension for her own personal benefits and not for what is in the best interest of the child.

Customer :

That is exactly the reason I sought a counselor over a year ago.

Customer :

I want to do

Customer :

what is in the best interest

Customer :

of my granddaughter

Customer :

and not to let her upset me

Customer :

She is also expecting me to take on her role when she retires and moves away

Customer :

She wants me to have her son to my house on the Saturdays

Customer :

and have him for dinner

Customer :

Unbelievable

Dr. Z. :

She is really expecting that? Wow, that is pretty brazen of her. When is she planning to retire again?

Customer :

In a year or two it sounds like from the letter

Dr. Z. :

Well then it will not happen this weekend, so you should not worry yourself with that until the time comes. But it sounds like she is trying to push and bully you, and you cannot let that happen, and so far you have been doing a good job with that.

Customer :

Ok I will see the counselor in 7 days. She is familiar with the situation and she will help me rationally deal with this irrational letter.

Customer :

I will calmly visualize myself asking the questions about "me being difficult" to communicate with

Dr. Z. :

The counselor can definitely help you with the son over for dinner issue as that is something you would not happen for some time, which give you time to address it with this woman.

Customer :

and the counseling session

Dr. Z. :

Good, and visualize the assertive responses. Do not let her bully you because that is exactly what she wants. If you state your issues assertively, it will show that you are firm and also respectful.

Customer :

ok will now go work on it. Thank you

Dr. Z. :

Anytime, I am always happy to help. I want to wish you the best of luck. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Customer :

ok thanks needed to think this through before I could sleep. Assertive responses

Customer :

Need to be strong

Customer :

not bullied by her

Dr. Z. :

I understand, I think you have a great handle on this so far and I think you will do great with your response to her

Customer :

Thanks

Customer :

Bye for Now

Dr. Z. :

You are most welcome :)

Dr. Z. :

Before you sign off though, I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

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