Coparent Academy Podcast

Grandmother Interference

June 06, 2022 Linda VanValkenburg and Ron Gore
Coparent Academy Podcast
Grandmother Interference
Show Notes Transcript

What's a mother to do when the paternal grandmother’s hopes for a set of coparents becomes interference?

Ron and Linda discuss how the grandmother's agenda could start to confuse the 4 year old child and potentially cause trouble in mother's new romance.

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Ron Gore:

All right, so this one is titled something weird is going on with me-- 27 female, my co parent, 29 year old male and his mother, 57 year old female. The "too long didn't read" of it is that the mother in law, quote unquote, because they were never actually married, but the father's mother-- so the paternal grandmother, is telling the daughter, the child of the parties, that the father and she are in love, and gonna get married. So we have mom and dad, dad's mom is telling their child...

Linda VanValkenburg:

who's four now

Ron Gore:

who's four-- that mom and dad are in love, and they're going to get married. Problem is they're not.

Linda VanValkenburg:

And the child probably believes it. Because the mom and dad have a strangely good relationship. It sounds like because they've been mostly platonic friends, and they still enjoy spending most of their time together, with the child,

Ron Gore:

Yeah, that was really an endearing thing about this post is that the parents have 50/50 by agreement, and then they spend most of their days together. co parenting, did you see that?

Linda VanValkenburg:

Yes. And the part that was confusing about that was then she said that she has a serious boyfriend, I'm not real sure how she's finding time for the serious boyfriend if she's hanging out with the dad of her child. But you know,

Ron Gore:

she's good at organization. She's good at segmenting out in her time,

Linda VanValkenburg:

I'm wondering what the serious boyfriend is thinking about that too

Ron Gore:

Yeah, so and she's saying that she's about to

Linda VanValkenburg:

Because she says the mother in law has introduce the daughter to the boyfriend, right. And there wanted them to be married all along. So that's her agenda. But doesn't seem to be any animosity between the father of the child and the mother, even involving this boyfriend, the whole issue seems to be that-- father's mother, the paternal grandmother keeps saying to the four year old, that they're in love, and they're gonna get married, but they're not. it could also be the agenda of the child because any child I've ever seen wants their parents together, you know, at any point, even even if it wasn't good with them together, especially one that age, they're in the very literal thinking stage. And so literally, my parents are together all the time and act like parents and to each other and to me, so grandma must be right.

Ron Gore:

Grandma must be right. All right. So let's say that you have this, these folks in your office, and you're about to put the lowdown on them. What are you going to say? And No Cussing this time.

Linda VanValkenburg:

Oh, yeah. Well, the poor child is going to be very, very confused and not likely to take a stranger to the relationship coming in.

Ron Gore:

This is the mom's new boyfriend?

Linda VanValkenburg:

Yes, exactly. There are different ways you could go about it, you can have, you know, boyfriend come into the situation with Father --by them doing something active all of them together. And the father could show that he's, you know, open to and interested in getting to know, the boyfriend as well, and so forth. I think that probably would be best for this little girl as much time as they do spend together.

Ron Gore:

And from what else they say, I think they actually can figure that part out. I'm curious what you would say to paternal grandmother.

Linda VanValkenburg:

She definitely does... And probably not just in this one situation. I'm reading between the lines there, but she definitely does need to keep her agenda to herself and not try to put it off on to the child. Any kind of agenda that the adult has-- the the grandparent has, you really have to keep it to yourself. I don't know, you know why they can't figure out that it will be said at some point, a child of this age is going to go home and say Mommy, are you going to marry Daddy, you know, of course, they're going to. Grandma says you're gonna marry daddy. And so you've got to know that's gonna come back to you and probably not in a good way.

Ron Gore:

So Linda, we actually broke there for a second because she got so upset about this when you started just talking all over the place. So we were talking about grandmother's agenda and how that can really come back to hurt her later, right? I mean, because you can imagine, it's one of the situations in which she seems to really want this woman and her son to get married. And no doubt she seems like a lovely person.

Linda VanValkenburg:

It's a very positive thing and very unusual because more often than not, it would be the other way around,

Ron Gore:

But she's on a track to actually hurt that relationship. Because if she's gonna keep doing that, she clearly is heavily invested in time and emotion with this child. And she wants to spend time with her grandchild, but the more she continues to do this and confuse the child then the mother is probably going to try to limit that access.

Linda VanValkenburg:

Yes. And anytime as a grandparent that they are in any way. subverting any reality that that the child knows or that the parents want the child to know and operate under, that's a wrong thing for a grandparent to be doing they need to stick with the party line.

Ron Gore:

Right? And you know, what happens when her son meets someone else? And maybe he already has he just hasn't let that slip yet.

Linda VanValkenburg:

It could very much be the thing I guess.

Ron Gore:

Doesn't sound like it would be well received by by his mother. Well, let's hope that this little girl stops being confused and that this is a happily ever after for everybody. I mean, I'm just really happy to see a situation where the parents are just working together so well.

Linda VanValkenburg:

Yes, that is and like I say where one of their parents actually does like seeing them together. I think it's the most lovely thing that a child can experience to have both parents getting along. The only thing I worry about being a Debbie Downer here for a second is, like you said neither of them are remarried or with other people yet, that they have brought into the scene. So that will be very interesting to see how that works.