Fraught families - keeping talking...
Written by Jayne Triffitt on 19/10/2009
Q. My 12 year old daughter had a terrible row with my mother-in-law (her grandmother) a month ago & said some terrible things calling her names etc. She is going through a bad time, her father & I have recently separated & she had some friendship issues at school. Her grandmother now doesn’t want anything to do with her now & has written a letter criticising my parenting. What should I do, just let the dust settle or write back?
A. It’s important to keep communicating, even when relationships are not going smoothly. I suggest you write to your mother in law apologising on behalf of your daughter and explaining how difficult she is finding your recent separation. Then you could say how sorry you are that she doesn’t want to see her granddaughter at the moment. Emphasise the importance of a grandparent’s role, paticularly when parents are separating, and remind her how awkward teenagers can be, even at the best of times.
Finally I think you should state that of course you will respect her wishes but will welcome her back when she feels the time is right, wishing her well in the meantime.