We were celebrating my daughter's birthday at her house. My grandchildren were upstairs playing, my daughter's two children and a friend. The children began arguing and they called my youngest granddaughter out of her name and began teasing her. She came down stairs crying and I saw her first. Her dad heard her and asked what was wrong. She began to tell him and he (the dad) asked if her brother was also taunting her. She said yes. The father called the brother downstairs and began yelling loudly about what he had told him at another time about taking up for his sister and not joining in with others when someone is talking about her. Well, it [end up] in a "WOW" situation. The father took the son outside in the front and began yelling and telling him he should stand up and not be a sissy. I came outside and began listening. I did not interfere. After a while, I went inside to get my daughter who was still upstairs trying to console the daughter. She went outside and my grandson was crying profusely. She tried to talk to her husband and he refused to listen and she could hardly get a word in. Finally, she said, "If you don't stop, I am going to call the police. He said, "Call the damn police, I don't care." I motioned for my grandson to come inside. They continued to talk. Finally, I asked my other daughter to go outside and try to get him (them) to stop. It was getting terrible and I didn't want her neighbors to see any disturbance. They finally came inside and he was still very angry. The two of them went upstairs and continued to talk. My son-in-law kept saying, "I guess you (my daughter) just want him to grow up and be a sissy."
He made my grandson cry and cry, it hurt him so bad. Long story short. Will I, a grandparent, be out of place to talk to my daughter and or my son-in-law about how I feel about what happened or should I just let it pass over and pray for the best? Please help me because I haven't slept in two nights.
From: Yawyer, Atlanta
This is a little out of my area but, luckily, I knew just who to contact. Ruth Nemzoff, a resident scholar who specializes in family dynamics at Brandeis University, is the author of, "Don't Bite Your Tongue, How to foster rewarding relationships with your adult children." Here are her thoughts:
"If you start by expressing your opinion on what happened, it is possible that your daughter will feel she must defend her husband. Instead, in a calm moment when you and your daughter are together, mention that you noticed she was quite upset by her husband's disciplining of their son. See if she is willing to talk to you about it. If she is, perhaps you could ask if this has happened before and if she is worried about the relationship between her husband and her son and, together, brainstorm ways she might get help with the situation. If not, let her know you are available to listen, and that if she does not feel comfortable talking with you , perhaps she could talk with the school counselor or her pediatrician."