GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 24

ask grand Not so grand By LiLLian CarsOn What advice can you give your daughter about her difficult mother-in-law? Q A The life of my daughter, Kelly, has become very difficult since the birth of her daughter, Rose, my granddaughter. For seven years, Kelly has catered to her overly dramatic and overly sensitive mother-in-law, and it hasn’t caused too much of a problem. But now, Kelly’s mothering abilities are being criticized and judged by the Other Grandmother. If the OG isn’t holding Rose, she makes it clear how unhappy she is by pouting. When Kelly needs to take Rose for breastfeeding, the OG says, “Oh, your mommy thinks you’re hungry, but you are really fine and love your Nana holding you, right?” She took this to a new level recently, insisting on visiting in the evening, when Rose is tired and fussy. When Rose started crying and my daughter put her to bed, the OG was furious, saying that the baby was crying because she didn’t get to hold her enough, that the baby’s “heart was broken.” Also, when Kelly asked the OG to wash her hands before touching Rose, the OG said maybe my daughter should keep Rose “in a bubble.” Then, the e-mails! “What happened to the happy baby I saw in the hospital?” My daughter had been excited to share these early childhood years with her motherin-law, but now she has told the OG that, until she can be positive and supportive, she cannot visit their house. The OG says she has been “forbidden to see her granddaughter” and refuses to apologize. How can I help my daughter and her husband resolve this dilemma? serious attack. This cluster of behaviors describes a Borderline Personality Disorder according to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. People with this disorder are incredibly adept at making excuses that continue to exonerate them while making it seem as though everyone else is the problem. Generally, these lifelong patterns of behavior are a result of emotional deprivation or trauma experienced as a child. The OG’s temper tantrums elicit the attention she seeks and express her sense of deprivation and envy. The OG’s motto is “It’s all about me”—which, to her, justifies devaluing others when they don’t gratify her needs or allow her the special treatment she wants. 24 GRAND NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2008 phOtO By “you can love the queen without becoming her subject.” The OTher GrandmOTher is behaving like a child having a tantrum. Obviously, her primary interest is in meeting her own needs while projecting blame on your daughter when she doesn’t get her own way. Evidently your daughter has been able to grant her wishes in the past because she could overlook the consequences. But it’s different now that Rose’s welfare and Kelly’s self-esteem as a mother are at stake. The OG’s attempts to make Kelly feel guilty for not meeting her expectations are just plain mean. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the OG’s behavior is her complete inability to be distressed by her own behavior. This became clear when she was confronted her with her unreasonable behavior: Unable to see a problem, she treated the confrontation as a MARC DiEtRiCh

GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008

Grand Magazine - November/December 2008
Grand View
Contents
Isn't It Grand?
Grand Central
Ask Grand
Grand Gestures
Just So We Know
Full House-Full Heart-Full Time
First, Serve
On the Cover: Vice President-Elect Joe Biden
Incredibly Hip High-Tech Gifts
Foreign Exchange
Home (and Hungry!) for the Holidays
Being the Peace
Reunions
Together Time
Read Aloud
Grand Bazaar
Resources
Grand Finale
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Grand Magazine - November/December 2008
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Cover2
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 1
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Grand View
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 3
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Contents
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 5
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 6
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 7
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 8
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 9
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 10
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 11
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Isn't It Grand?
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 13
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 14
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Grand Central
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 16
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 17
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 18
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 19
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 20
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 21
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 22
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 23
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Ask Grand
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 25
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Grand Gestures
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 27
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Just So We Know
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 29
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 30
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 31
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Full House-Full Heart-Full Time
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 33
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 34
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 35
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - First, Serve
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 37
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 38
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 39
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - On the Cover: Vice President-Elect Joe Biden
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 41
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 42
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 43
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Incredibly Hip High-Tech Gifts
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 45
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 46
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 47
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Foreign Exchange
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 49
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 50
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 51
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Home (and Hungry!) for the Holidays
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 53
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 54
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 55
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 56
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 57
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Being the Peace
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 59
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Reunions
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 61
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 62
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 63
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 64
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 65
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Together Time
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 67
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Read Aloud
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 69
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 70
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 71
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Grand Bazaar
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 73
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 74
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 75
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Resources
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 77
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 78
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 79
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Grand Finale
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 81
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 82
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Cover3
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Cover4
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