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Dr Rossi
Dr Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  Certified Hypnotherapist, Author, 13+years of experience.
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Recently at a family gathering when Son and daughter-in law(Amanda)were

Customer Question

Recently at a family gathering when Son and daughter-in law(Amanda)were getting ready to leave, our grand-daughter(Nat) did not want to go. She asked could she stay and the mother told her she had to meet friend and her daughter would be with her and she thought(Nat) would want to see her. (Nat) said she didn't want to see her because she was mean to her . (Amada )told her in front of everyone "that she needed to stop lying,they had discussed this before that "lyers go to hell". If you want to stay here just say that and don't lie about why you don't want to leave . I was standing beside them tried to tone the conv down and make light of the stmt saying "If that's the case, then we will all go to hell because we have all lied. My son came by a few days later and quoted Bible scripture about lyers going to hell. I told him it was a knee-jerk reaction in front of everyone, but I did feel the statement is too harsh for a 6 year old. If I don't apologize to Amanda I can't see grand-kids.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr Rossi replied 7 years ago.
Good Afternoon,

What an unfortunate predicament you are in (having an ultimatum or else...)

You are right to be concerned about your 6 yol granddaughter. Children at this age are just starting to see the outcome of inappropriate behaviors. If mom does not want the child to engage in certain behaviors, threatening is not the best way to role model how to act.

You are also in a tight corner with your son not supporting you and as you mentioned quoting scriptures. If the family is quite religious, (I do not know where you stand in this, but you can remind them that

"Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
(Bible, part 1 Cor 13)" And that this applies to how one interacts with others including their own mother and daughter.

Here I attached a link to the moral stages of development and Nan, based on her age will fall into the fist one.'s_stages_of_moral_development
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

We are a religious family and I did not disagree what the scripture said, I just felt it is being taken out-of-context and used on a 6 year old child who will grow up afraid and with low self esteem. She has told several exagerations of stories lately and they say they are having a lot of trouble with her lying to them. I think they punish her too severly and this causes her to lie to them.

Should I apologize for the sake of seeing my grandchildren or hold fast and hope he will re-think his position? When we asked to see them yesterday since we are going out-of-town for a month, he said he thought they need to take a break from the grand parents. My husband then got into a 3 hour conversation that lead to his yelling and screaming and telling me it was my fault I couldn't see the kids and I would have to live with that.

Expert:  Dr Rossi replied 7 years ago.
I do not think it is right for you to be held responsible both by your husband and your son. As far as the apology, this is something you would have to decide/it is not my place to tell you how to go about it. If you decide to apologize, surely you would remember this incident and how your son and husband were not supportive (the only concern here is if you would be able to go past that. If you do, then the grand child will be the one who benefits from your decision.
You are right, the child should not be punished severely for something they are learning (surely there are kinder ways to discipline and wiser ways to consequent her)
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I didn't mean my husband was yelling and screaming, it was my son. I told my son if a psychiatrist said I was wrong and I should apologize, I would do it. I don't want to do it just because he is blackmailing me. I just wanted a third party opinion.

I don't want this to be a way of life from now on.

Expert:  Dr Rossi replied 7 years ago.
You are correct. There are other ways to handle something without afflicting another person by ultimatus and yelling.

Edited by Dr Rossi on 9/21/2009 at 9:58 PM EST