Dealing with Adult Children
Needing some helpful advise. My counselor tells me that I have to be firmer with my adult children and draw some boundaries which I have tried and been partly successful with. Problem is my 31 year old bio daughter. Love her and her family and I have tried to do what I can for them but I have my limits too. I recently went thru a divorce and moved to another state to be closer to them and help my youngest get started in college. I set up the spare bedroom for my 31 year old to use while here with her two sons and husband. Her husband travels with work, sometimes they go with him and sometimes they do not. Since moving here 4 months ago they would come here and stay 7-10 days, then go on the road with her husband for a week and then back here another week. I have very much enjoyed being close to family once again. My 3 year old grandson is getting to know me and me, him....it has been special.
Problem- daughter does not make breakfast for the children so they get up and when they are hungry they start snacking on chips which my daughter allows. The older boy is being home schooled so they can be mobile and partly because he was bullied in school but my daughter is not consistent about the schooling and expects my grandson to just go do his work while she sits on the cell phone. The 3 year old is still nursing and my daughter takes showers with him which I am not comfortable with either. I raised 3 daughters and never showered with them. Grandson talks well and is now asking his mom why she has nipples and puts his hands down her shirt. She has not start potty training even though the 3 year old will say he has to go to the bathroom. My daughter is not taking care of herself, is on antidepressants. The youngest has been a handful. he throws tantrums and basically the family all do whatever it takes to make him happy so if that means he wants his older brothers toy the older boy is expected to give him the toy to keep him happy. The older boy is learning that he has to make his little brother happy and I see that he is trying to do the same with both his mom and dad. His dad will get goofy or demanding and yell for someone rather than going to them to talk. Oldest grandson imitates dad and dad doesn't like it and tells him to grow up or to stop. Even though I bought a king sized bed for the family my son-in-law sleeps on the couch and then leaves the TV and lights on until way late and I have trouble sleeping. The boys have broken several things in the house. Their dog peed on every rug I have. I planted grass seed and was getting it to grow and grandson came thru with a stick and ripped it up with mom watching and then asked me if it was okay.
I am trying to pick up the slack and started making sure the kids got breakfast, trying to make meals and give them healthier snacks. I do try to correct the kids gently and they do listen to me. I have helped the older boy with some of his school work and I have tried to relieve my daughter of some of the responsibility by doing projects with the boys. I have asked the boys to not turn on the TV until everyone is awake and to be quiet until everyone is wake and they do well with that when asked. Both boys have shown respect for me and have done as I have requested.
My daughter is losing the house they have been living in, partly why they travel with his job. They are extremely indebted and cannot afford a place to rent until they pay down their credit cards so they are planning on being on the road living in hotels for the next 1-2 years. His work pays for the hotel stays. They are all very stressed out, tired, daughter and her husband have gained weight. My daughter really has no time to herself except to sit on her cell phone, she is becoming overwhelmed easy, daughter and husband squabble and then they are all lovey to each other.
I mentioned my concern for them being on the road but they did not want to consider renting and putting the older boy in school. I told them I had some concern for the younger boy screaming and getting his way and everyone catering to him. They were very aware of what they were doing but said it was just easier. I told them that I felt oldest grandson didn't need to be responsible to make his brother happy or even to share and told them what I saw was grandson was trying to please everyone. I mentioned none of the other stuff. There was no fighting or raised voices. Daughter broke down in tears and then they left.
This morning I got a text from daughter telling me that unless I have something positive to say about her family to say nothing at all, that I hurt her with my "critiquing" of her parenting and was disappointed that I did not approve of how they were raising the boys.
I text her back and only said, "I understand."
Please give me some input. Should I have said nothing? Did I over-step as a grandmother?