What To Do When The Grandparent Oversteps Boundaries

Many times I will hear from clients that state how frustrated they are about their co-parent’s mom or dad overstepping  boundaries related to issues between the co-parents. I even had a client tell me one time how the paternal grandmother would call her phone and make demands that she bring her grandchild to see her.

In some of these cases, the other co-parent is not involved in the child’s life,  and in others, there is a history of abuse between the co-parents. These clients often ask me the following questions: “What do I say or do when the grandmother calls my phone demanding to see my child?” “What do I do if she calls my phone and starts to get involved in our co-parenting issues?” “Should I tell her to mind her business?” “Should I still let my child go over there to her house?” 

When these questions come up, I often ask a few follow up questions in order to gain more clarity about the situation. No two cases are the same, so I really take the time to evaluate the situation and ask the clarifying questions before giving advice. What I would suggest to you if you find yourself in this situation is to ask yourself the following questions before deciding how to best address this issue:

1) What is my relationship like with the grandparent?

2) How is the grandparent expressing his/her concerns?

3) Have I expressed this issue to my co-parent and given him/her an opportunity to address the situation?

4) How is this affecting me emotionally?

5) What impact does this have on my child?

After spending some time asking yourself these questions, you may get insight about how to best address this issue. If after asking yourself these questions, you are still unsure how to proceed, then you may benefit from a coaching session in order to talk through these questions with someone.

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