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My dad over-steps his boundaries...

My husband, two year old son, and I live in a basement apt. of my parents' house. My parents are mostly great, but one problem keeps coming up... My dad acts like he is my son's father. If I tell my son to do something and he doesn't, I am patient and understanding because he is TWO. But my dad will step in and pick up my son and say, "You only need to be told once! Now go!" or something like that. Or he will get frustrated with my son's tantrums and pick him up and give him what he wants(when my strategy is to ignore them). It bugs the hell out of me, but my dad isn't easy to talk to and he is just acting the way he acted with my brothers and me when we were little, so its hard to say, "You're doing it wrong," or something. I want a non-confrontational way of telling him to back off and let me parent my son the way I see fit, but nothing is coming to mind... Any suggestions?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 4:56 PM on Oct. 2, 2009 in Relationships

Answers (12)
  • Try to get out of there. He still has the "you're under my roof" feeling maybe? OR.. you could be honest and say, Hey I really want to try this strategy on discipline, I know you are used to other ways but I just want to give this a try. ?

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 4:58 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

  • tell him just what you said here. Tell him you respect his opinion but you NEED to parent your child the way you feel is right. Tell him he is a great father but now he is in grandpa mode, so he needs to let you be the parent now.

    Answer by Mikayla_lynn at 5:00 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

  • This kid is gonna be screwed up if you dont confront him. I know from experience. Without consistency he will be so confused resulting in rebellion. My nephew had this same prob and was a mess. If dad can demean you as a parent then you need to lose the fear of confrontaion GL!!

    Answer by Steph319 at 5:05 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

  • My dad moved in with me and I had similar problems...the living situation was not positive, and I had to ask him to leave. unfortunatelym you are in HIS house...I would explain exactly what you explained to us to him, but more importantly..I would work towards getting your own place.

    Answer by yomamaporter at 5:20 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

  • We're working on getting our own place, but until DH gets a promotion we're stuck on his measly 10.75/hr income, which barely gets us by even though we aaren't paying rent! So renting/buying just isn't an option right now...

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:23 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

  • Not to be mean or anything but I don't really believe in if you live under his roof you have to follow his rules with YOUR children. I've had that discussion before with certain relatives. It's hard but be firm and direct. I understand how hard it is to make it off about $10.00 an hour. That is what my DH made when our son was born. We didn't have extra money until he got a raise but we didn't have to put up with the "you live under my roof." Good luck with the talk.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:47 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

  • Start with "Dad, you know I love you, right" and proceed to tell him he is confusing your son and you need him to trust in your parenting skills. Tell him you got it covered and although you appreciate his concern for his grandson you need to call the shots. After you say that give your dad a big squeeze and thank him.

    Answer by Emberbaby at 6:48 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

  • I had this prob when I lived with my mom. She either spoiled them or was too hard. Just try to understand he doesn't know any different. The only thing I can think of for you to say would be something like ; Dad, I really appreciate you helping me out so much, letting me live here and helping with your grandson, but i do not expect you to help with his discipline. I need to teach him to respect ME, so when he's out of line and acting like a 2 year old, please let me handle it. If you always step in to help, he will learn to listen to you, but not to me, and you're not always going to be around to do that. And you've already raised your babies so it's not your responsibility. I just want you to enjoy him.
    I really hope this helps. Tough situation.

    Answer by JackieGirl007 at 6:53 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

  • It is difficult and it could lead to hurt feelings all the way around. The best thing is to continue to find ways each day of moving to your own space so this won't be a problem. Your dad is being responsible, in his mind, by parenting his grandchild who lives there. You on the other hand recognize that there are no boundaries under this roof. Your best option perhaps: finding many activities out of the way and out of the house. Library, park, local McDonald's with an indoor playground, Mommy's groups and playdates, friends' homes to hang at. Create a regular routine of opportunities to be not in Grandpa's way. Be proactive. If you know Grandpa fusses then remove him and take him downstairs for a calm personal time/personal space. Create a routine at home where there is less time together. Situations that do come up just calmly remove your child and deal with the situation out of sight and where you are not

    Answer by frogdawg at 10:00 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

  • pressured to do it his way and ivite his corrective actions on your parenting skills. I know financially you may have limited options, or you wouldn't be there, but being proactive and thinking ahead will help some. Talking through could make it worse and a little strain on the living situation. You don't want to come across as "hey your parenting style was really shitty." Also create some good Grandpa moments. Ask you dad to help you take him to the park, have him take pictures, or more positive grampa events where he can just be the grandparent and not having to step in to enforcer role.

    Answer by frogdawg at 10:04 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

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