I am a mom working full time. Do you know how to build relationship with my 13-year daugther when grandma is living with us? They always spend time together.
Eg. After dinner, they always go to park together. My daughter seldom talks to me but talk a lot with my mom. My husband is not very happy that Grandma has replaced my role of building relationship with my dauther. My husband wants Grandma to live in senior apartment, but Grandma said my daughter did not want her to leave our house. I do not know what to do.
Hello and Thank You very much for responding. Grandma is virtually the "mom" to your daughter. Your daughter is probably the only close relationship that Grandma has in her life right now. She lives and breathes for your daughter and probably does everything and anything that she wants. If you decide to have Grandma move out, she will probably become extremely depressed. Your daughter will also become very angry as she is a teen ager with raging hormones. Having Grandma move out would be the best situation but not the easiest. She claims that she will move out when your daughter goes to college but I fear that she will want to stay until the twins go to college as well.
What can be done now is for you and your husband to have another open and honest talk with your mom when your daughter is nowhere around. Tell your mom exactly how you feel. Tell her that you would like to build a relationship with your daughter before she goes off to college because you feel that their is not much of a connection. Try not to blame Grandma. Tell her that you appreciate all that she has done. Tell grandma that you would like to spend more time with your daughter doing mother daughter things to rebuild that relationship. The daily after dinner park visits need to be curtailed to maybe only on the weekends. Can you take all of the kids to the park some days during the week?
Try to get your daughter involved in other activities in which you can take her so that she spends less time with Grandma depending on your work schedule. Make the time to talk with your daughter every day about how her day went. Take her shopping for new school clothes, take her out to lunch a few times a month along with the other kids if desired but not with Grandma. Have your daughter invite her friends over so that they can do girly things that does not include Grandma. Your goal is to gradually wean your daughter away from relying so much on Grandma.
If these suggestions are not possible, then I would suggest family counseling for you and your daughter. Maybe your daughter is resentful that you were not there enough as she was growing up and is not happy with you. Maybe she is jealous that you have a better relationship with her siblings. Counseling would be beneficial because all feelings could be presented to a neutral source. Then you and your daughter could receive coping and intervention strategies to rebuild your relationship.
Additionally, the relationship between you and your husband may suffer because he wants Grandma to move out as well. If Grandma does stay, who would you be pleasing? Grandma and your daughter would have their way as they have had for so many years. The decision is ultimately up to you so weigh all the negative and positive consequences. But it appears that Grandma's presence is now doing more damage to your family's cohesiveness than good. She has played the nurturing/ parenting role and now you would like to step in and releive her of those duties and be the mother to your daughter. If more advice is needed, please ask.
Have a great day.
Thanks for your reply. You suggestions makes sense to me. I have already tried some of the suggestions listed in your email before. It does not help for this case.
"The daily after dinner park visits need to be curtailed to maybe only on the weekends. Can you take all of the kids to the park some days during the week?"
I tried this before. My daughter does not want to go to the park with me and other kids. She only wants to go out with Grandma.
"Make the time to talk with your daughter every day about how her day went. Take her shopping for new school clothes"
She does not want to talk with me and go out shopping with me. She only cares about grandma and shares her feeling with grandma. This becomes worse and worse when she grew up as teenagers. That makes me so sad.
"Maybe your daughter is resentful that you were not there enough as she was growing up and is not happy with you. Maybe she is jealous that you have a better relationship with her siblings. "
I do not think she is resentful to me. She does not hate me at all. She is very polite to me. But she just kept distance from me and shuts off her communication with me . I took her to activities with other kids (such as play mini golf and playing tennis) But she does not participate in our activities. She just reads book by herself.
"She claims that she will move out when your daughter goes to college but I fear that she will want to stay until the twins go to college as well."
Why do you think this way? My husband thinks the same as you. My husband thinks my mom just wants to stay in our house desperately forever. My husband thought Grandma was trying to stay here by building good relationship with my kids so that it is hard to ask her to leave. I hope this is not true since I believe the relationship between my mom and my daughter is pure and sincere. I love my mom, my daughter and my husband. I do not hurt any of their feelings.