Thanks so much for your candid reply and helping substantiate our position. We are in a very tough situation - always trying to model alternative methods, but instead of considering what might be appropriate for the child, her perspective is that we aren't respecting her "parenting" style and are overstepping our bounds when we suggest that it's "not okay" to spank a child out of frustration. She is caught up in a power struggle or sorts, responding with messages like "It's none of your business" or "It's MY child, I don't care what you think!". She takes the stance that any "house rules" are not applicable to her when it concerns how she chooses to parent/discipline.
When we explain that we've had success with other, non-violent techniques, she gets defensive and says that "...things that work for us, don't necessarily work for her because he behaves differently with her..."
We've given her a couple of parenting books with the hopes that she might be open to other sources, but she doesn't seem to be interested in seeking information or advice from anyone to assist her with the hardship of being a single parent.
We are trying to help her out by letting them live with us until she is in a position to be in our her own and provide for her child. My grandson's father is a deadbeat who abandoned them 2 years ago and has had no contact or financial contribution and lives out of state.
She threatens to move out any time we choose to confront issues (usually out of concern for the welfare of our grandson). We know she is nowhere near being in a stable financial or emotional position necessary to independently support herself and her son - she knows it too but throws out the threat of "up and leaving" whenever she disagrees with us. She uses it as a manipulation tactic, knowing we are helping her out largely because of our grandson. It's not fair that a innocent infant/toddler has to suffer because his parents don't have their act together. We've tried to at least give him a stable, loving environment, as a base, during his formidable years.
We just feel that it's immature and selfish for her to repeatedly threaten to leave - knowing she can't afford to provide the basics for her son and it stresses us out, nevering knowing if she will actually "pull the trigger" and put herself and my grandson in an unstable, struggling situation because she doesn't want anyone "telling her what to do".
It's created a draining environment is which we feel like we are always "walking on eggshells" and trying to balance providing a healthy environment for our grandson and choosing our battles and deciding when to "weigh in", if necessary.
Any further suggestions on how we might handle her threats and convey that while the ultimate goal is for her to live independently, the reality of our daughter's stage of finances doesn't responsibly or realistically present that option right now.