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Ask Rene: How Do I “Un-Create” THIS Monster?

Mature grandmother and young mother with baby having quarrel at home

Ask Rene:
How Do I “Un-Create” THIS Monster?

 

Hi Rene:

I have supported my 30-year-old daughter—and her two sons, ages 2 and 4—pretty much all her life. She recently moved out of my house, but she doesn’t have a car so we end up sharing my vehicle. Do you know how difficult it is to share a car with someone who lives 10 miles away? I know I’ve created a monster. I’m exhausted emotionally and financially from all that I’ve given her and I’m ready to financially cut her off. But I’m worried that doing so means my grandsons will lose out. Two weeks ago, I paid her power bill because she was days from having it disconnected. I thought about not paying it, but I didn’t want my grandsons to suffer. How can I stop giving my daughter money and still contribute to my grandson’s lives?

Signed: 

Miserable Granny in Grand Rapids

 

Dear Miserable:

Uh.Oh. So here’s the thing. Solving any problem first begins with identifying what that problem is. You have gone one step further; not only have you identified WHAT it is, you know who caused it. You. The 3rd and final part of the puzzle is figuring out what to do about it now. Fair warning: This is not going to be easy, for you or her. The tricky part is going to be minimizing the discomfort for the innocent parties: your grandsons. To that end, here’s what I would do if I were you.

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 ESTABLISH A PLAN
AND BOUNDARIES

A person walking alone in thick fog.

 

You know what caused the behavior, now you have to change it or at least how much you’re willing to put up with. Come up with a plan (write it down if you have to) and make sure it’s one that will work for you. Example: If sharing the car works with your schedule, then great. But you should not be put out so that your daughter is not inconvenienced.

Read more: Monday Morning Motivation: Trying To Reinvent? The Three Things You MUST Do On The Path To Success

FOLLOW THROUGH!

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The place where many good intentions (and behavior-correcting) fall flat is in the follow-through. Don’t lay out a plan that you can’t or don’t intend to follow. You may hear sob stories, your daughter may present reasons as to why your plan should be changed; she might pull out all the stops with the tales of “woe is me.” Stand firm and stick to the plan. She will figure it out. So let her.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Lessons To Teach Kids Of All Ages

 HELP WHERE YOU CAN

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Here’s where I hear your heart and where the situation gets complicated. Your grandsons did not ask to be in that situation and they shouldn’t have to suffer. So I think you can offer to help where you can with regard to them (make sure they are clothed and fed and the like) but beyond that, I would be careful not to further enable your daughter. She’s got to make some tough choices; she needs to learn to be fully-vested in her own life. Right now, she doesn’t need to worry. Why? Because she has YOU! She’s going to have to suffer a little to learn what to do and what not to do in the future.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 “Notes To Self” To Remember Every Day

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This is a very slippery slope and it’s one you’re already half down and trust me when I say, this is going to get worse before it gets better. But it will get better, once your daughter understands that you are not going to be there to save her all the time.

One other thing.. I know you want to help but you cannot do it at the expense of your own health. It’s okay to be as good to yourself as you are to others. In fact, it’s imperative.

Good luck grandmom!

That’s my advice.. what say you GEMNation?

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