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Boundaries with non-home-school-supporting grandparents?


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#1 Moonhawk

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 11:32 PM

How do you handle boundaries with loving, overly involved grandparents who don't support home school?

 
They are not bad people. They truly want the best for me, and for my kids. They just can’t handle not being able to bend me to their will and their view of the best.
 
My parents are unhappy about homeschool. Extremely. Crying, stomping feet, dire threats of kids outcomes. Constant offers to take the kids to school — any school within 50 miles — and pay for it. Saying I could drop them off at 7am and pick them up at 6pm if I am "too lazy to get them ready for school”, anything but home school.
 
This has not gone down with the “By the fruits they will know” approach. They can brag about how good the kids are and in the same breath say “but you are ruining them with home school.”
 
I have become fairly successful at letting this slide off my back. Its been 3 years, almost 4. The kids LOVE home school. I LOVE home school.
 
The problem comes in that the grandparents ARE involved in our daily lives. We live 6 miles away. They see them 4 days a week. They pay for TKD. They keep the kids one night a week. They pout if they don’t get their "allotted time" (which, ironically, is only possible because of homeschool).
 
But they see their involvement and help as obliging me to do what they want, even down to trying to dictate the kids’ activities and schedule. That, I can handle politely and firmly. But the Big Demand of no homeschool is getting Bigger. 
 
They wanted to “sit down and have a conversation”; it came across as a strong arm tactic and more you’ve-ruined-your-life-already-don’t ruin-theirs-too vibe.  I said no, which has not gone over well. They implied my kids are being neglected. It was shocking and very upsetting. Is this what they really think, was it heat of the moment, or manipulation?
 
I’ve been putting distance between us this past month, since the conversation, to give me time to figure out how to deal with this once and for all.
 
Do I just ignore them as I’ve done to this point, pretending this issue doesn’t exist? Do I have a blow out where I tell them to back off (I don’t “blow up” convincingly, unfortunately, and my mom is the expert at it)? Calmly inform them that I’m excited to be doing XYZ this year with the kids and so they won’t have as much time over there? Threaten no kid involvement if they persist (this gives me a bad taste in my mouth, the kids shouldn’t be pawns, but OTOH...)? Move and tell them when the house is sold? Heart to hearts don’t work, I tried that for the first 2 years. 
 
TL;DR: How do you set boundaries with well-meaning family members who actively try to stop you from home schooling, without cutting them off completely?
 

I promise, I’m not a dramatic person, I just seem to have a run of bad luck lately.  I promise, I’ll start to post happier thread topics, like “Best way to bake a potato” and “What to do with a soiled mattress”, lol. 


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#2 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 11:45 PM

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Well, if you really want to preserve the relationship, have you considered trying to take them to a Homeschool convention or some sort of well organized homeschool group activity so they can see that you aren't living in a cave doing this all by yourselves?  I'm just thinking they might be less intensely negative if they were to realize through first hand observation that this is not really a fringe thing done by reclusive weirdos.  Maybe they could sit in on a seminar or something.  Are there any conventions or homeschool organizations in your area?

 

Or maybe you know some local homeschoolers that successfully homeschooled through High School that might be willing to come talk with them?

 

Have you asked them to share with you EXACTLY, point for point, what it is they are concerned about?

 

But in the long run if they continue to get more aggressive about this you may have to distance yourselves from them for a time.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:


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#3 justasque

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:06 AM

I found that it helped to identify the feeling behind the criticism, and also to recognize that the root of the issue was that the relatives love the children very much and care deeply about their education and their future.  And it also helped to be open about the pros and cons of homeschooling, as opposed to a homeschool evangelist.  So something like "I know you love Sally very much.  She is so lucky to have you in her life.   You're worried that she may be behind her peers in math / missing out on socialization / learning everything from just one teacher / etc.  It *is* important to me to be aware of how she's doing in math / whether she's getting enough time with peers / getting perspectives from others / etc.  That's why I test annually (or whatever) / love that she's doing TKD, as she's making some friends there / take her to co-op classes / etc.  She's young yet, and I'm keeping a sharp eye on her needs.  We plan to take it a year at a time, and if we weigh the pros and cons of homeschooling vs. that fancy private school you want to pay for and think that school is the best place for her, we'll enroll her.  For right now though, we're enjoying that she has the flexibility to spend so much time with you.

 

It's also helpful to make sure the grandparents have the language/lingo/overview and enough details/knowledge to manage their way through conversations with their friends about the homeschooling.  In the same vein, make sure you feed them assorted tid-bits about how each child is doing, especially times when they shine, so that the grandparents can have something to share with friends when the conversation comes around to grandkids.  Don't underestimate how much this type of thing can matter!


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#4 MommyLiberty5013

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:20 AM

Ask why they are opposed to home schooling.

When I was in sales we were taught to see any objection as really just an unanswered question in most cases. You're selling home school. Right now, your parents aren't buying. Why? To what do they object?

Find that out and provide fact based, non emotional answers.

On a personal aside, there's an older lady at my church, who when she found ought we home school, always asks me questions, "and you teach math???" As if to say she's shocked I can do that. Mostly I just smile and nod. But it's very much a generational thing in many places to just follow the "normal" route. As home schoolers, we aren't, so we have to bring others along and help them understand.
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#5 Tanaqui

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:33 AM

I don't want to be impolite, but could you please not use formatting? The font is so small, it's hard to read! I already browse WTM with my screen at 133% zoom, so....

 

With that said, I copied the text and read it elsewhere. A few things jumped out at me.

 

They are not bad people. They truly want the best for me, and for my kids. They just can’t handle not being able to bend me to their will and their view of the best.

 

These two statements are contradictory. If they're "not bad people" and "truly want the best", then they're not going to care whether the best is what THEY would do or not. At this point they ought to have ample evidence that you haven't ruined your kids. (And is it that they want the best, or that they want you to do what they say?)

 

My parents are unhappy about homeschool. Extremely. Crying, stomping feet, dire threats of kids outcomes. Constant offers to take the kids to school — any school within 50 miles — and pay for it. Saying I could drop them off at 7am and pick them up at 6pm if I am "too lazy to get them ready for school”, anything but homeschool.

 

This is not reasonable behavior. Are they really stomping their feet and crying, or is that hyperbole? Either way, it's out of line - calling you lazy? Saying they'll be glad to basically raise your kids for you? Oh, hell no. There is nothing good or right about this, whether their concern is your children's education or the fact that you're making independent decisions without consulting them.

 

They wanted to “sit down and have a conversation”; it came across as a strong arm tactic and more you’ve-ruined-your-life-already-don’t ruin-theirs-too vibe. I said no, which has not gone over well. They implied my kids are being neglected. It was shocking and very upsetting. Is this what they really think, was it heat of the moment, or manipulation?

 

If you think manipulation is a possibility, you're probably right. You know them a lot better than I do, and what you've described, not just this section, sounds passive-aggressive and manipulative to me.

 

I can give you some advice. You're not going to like it. First, I'd suggest you stop having the kids over at their house so often, and never without you, and stop having the grandparents pay for TKD. If they respond to this involvement by acting as though they're in charge of your kids, that price is too high to pay. Supervised visits, you don't discuss education or any kid's activity that you've vetoed (or cancelling an activity that you okayed), and you leave the very minute they criticize you and your choices, even implicitly. Second, I'd keep that a firm rule - if they're on the phone and start criticizing your parenting or bringing up education, say "I don't want to discuss this with you, talk to you later" and hang up. If you're out at a park and they say that they think Johnny should play the piano, even though you already told them that Johnny wants to play the drums, pack up the kids and go. (And make this easy - don't put yourself in any situation where you're not going to want to follow this rule. The key is consistency, just like when you were dealing with toddlers.)

 

When you allow them to discuss your choices, you're sending the message that this is up for discussion. And it's not. So don't do it.

 

You've had your honest, open discussions, it hasn't worked, so stop. And you say "kids shouldn't be pawns", but it sounds to me like your parents are the ones putting you in this position.


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#6 Patty Joanna

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:33 AM

I second asking why they are opposed.  I had to do this with my dad, and his big worry was that I wouldn't get in 180 days of school.  It was totally in his wheelhouse to find the rules.   I explained to him that 180 days is a number derived from a teacher's union contract which must state in very specific terms exactly what is going to happen related to PAY and PERFORMANCE, not at all related to the education of the children.  Oh.  OK.  

 

And may I most kindly and gently say that they might be concerned about issues that you have expressed in a fairly recent long thread.  They might actually be worried about YOU, about what YOU need to do in case the last thing you want to happen...happens.  They might be concerned that you are taking care of making sure that you yourself can sustain life with your children if things go seriously south.  

 

I know that a lot has stabilized, at least for the time being, and please God, may "the time being" be 92 years.  But parents never ever stop worrying about their children...even if it looks like things are OK.  And things haven't looked OK for you fairly recently.  So please don't be too harsh with your parents--anticipate that they are truly concerned, not just crabby nay-sayers, and make the effort to hear what they have to say even as you wish they would hear what YOU have to say. 

 

OK?

 

Said with all the kindness in the world.  I'm not picking at you...just putting pieces together as an older woman.  (((You)))

 


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#7 Moonhawk

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 01:04 AM

Hmm. I've done most of what's been advised, short of the pull farther back and stop TKD payment advice. Sigh, yes I do see that scenario as the most probable. And yes, I don't like it, but I do see it.

 

The first two years I definitely took on a more ask questions/give reasoned answers approach (what I meant by heart to hearts, sorry I was unclear before). This was ineffective at best. After they stopped having objections they could reasonably argue, and I had calm responses for the ones they did bring up, it devolved into accusing me of not wanting to get up to go to the bus stop, etc. 

 

That's why I have been hoping the "proof in the pudding" approach would work, but not so. 

 

Also inviting them to homeschool group meetups at the park, home school convention. The Park meet ups my mom voiced disgust for the people and insisted I shouldn't take the kids there, but couldn't give a concrete reason why. They flatly rejected going to the convention. 

 

I've thought long and hard about if the "other issues" of the other very long thread are influencing this. But, this no-homeschool thing way predates the last 4 months, and I remember even as a teenager my mom in particular voicing disgust at home schoolers. So I don't think the other thread has bearing in this case. 

 

I am completely not trying to be harsh with them. I have trouble letting my kids make mistakes during piano practice. They think I'm destroying the grandkids' lives. So I try to have grace and understanding about how they are acting. But, I also think there is a line and we have crossed it.

 

Sorry about the formatting of the first one, I'm not sure what I did.

 

edit to take out unnecessary detail.


Edited by Moonhawk, 17 July 2017 - 01:11 AM.

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#8 MistyMountain

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 01:17 AM

Honestly that does sound like they are very manipulative and controlling in an unhealthy way. As you said the suggestions to have heart to hearts and really explain your reasoning for homeschooling really nicely did not work at all. They are trying to get you to do what they want and they are manipulating you emotionally. You are going through enough already and they are doing the opposite of helping and being supportive. The nice things they are doing come with strings. That is not nice or supportive. They are not the support system you need. I would worry about what they are telling the kids when they have the overnights too. I agree with the advice to pull back and do not let them pay for TKD. I also agree to set boundaries and stop the conversation when it is brought up.

Edited by MistyMountain, 17 July 2017 - 01:19 AM.

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#9 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 01:17 AM

Are they pretty controlling in general?


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#10 mathnerd

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 01:21 AM

Teaching your child well is so much more difficult than walking to the bus stop with them or driving them to the private school. Tell them that. Also, if you are so inclined, show them any of the standardized test results that you might have. This is not necessary, but, if you want them to understand what is going on, this is one way to change their opinions.

I have ILs who do not approve of the way I bring up my son (religion is a major issue for them) - I used to try to explain that my child will be raised by me in the way I think is best. It did not work - they would come over and start telling me what needs to be done because they are "family". I cannot throw them out of my house. I cannot be harsh with them either because my DH wants to "honor his parents" no matter what. So, I refuse to reply when these conversations happen. I walk to another room though they are known to follow me around because they get very worked up and emotional. They do not give up and the older they get, the more intrusive they get. I refuse to say anything to them when they tell me what to do. Eventually the conversation subsides. And then I go on like nothing happened. I can not respond any other way because they are pretty old and not physically fit. So, if your situation is like mine, just bear with it. Don't try to feed the conversation and let it be a monologue.


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#11 displace

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:53 AM

(Hugs)

Every time the topic is broached I think you need to say I'm not discussing it with you. The first time you can expand a bit and state how you've been very rational, have tried hard to educate them, but the decision is made and you're tired of having stressful discussions with them most days. You can mention that when they are open minded and willing to have an open, non judgmental conversation about it in the future, you can talk about it then (if you're willing).

If they won't stop talking or change the subject I would consider leaving too when the topic comes up. When politics are brought up in my house I say I'm not going to discuss it and we don't.

It sounds like your mom may have a one person case study of why not to homeschool. And we know it's hard to differentiate personal experience from averages.

I heard a comment about regret from my parents that I'm not working with my degree because we homeschool. It seems like wasted potential to them. But they have to let go of their dreams so my goal of doing the best I can for DS is realized. And homeschooling is hard for me. So I have to make sure I'm not complaining much to them so they don't grab onto that.

Edited by displace, 17 July 2017 - 04:36 AM.

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#12 Ellie

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 04:44 AM

Honestly that does sound like they are very manipulative and controlling in an unhealthy way. As you said the suggestions to have heart to hearts and really explain your reasoning for homeschooling really nicely did not work at all. They are trying to get you to do what they want and they are manipulating you emotionally. You are going through enough already and they are doing the opposite of helping and being supportive. The nice things they are doing come with strings. That is not nice or supportive. They are not the support system you need. I would worry about what they are telling the kids when they have the overnights too. I agree with the advice to pull back and do not let them pay for TKD. I also agree to set boundaries and stop the conversation when it is brought up.

 

:iagree: :iagree: :iagree: ...especially the bolded.


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#13 texasmom33

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:45 AM

(Hugs)

Every time the topic is broached I think you need to say I'm not discussing it with you. The first time you can expand a bit and state how you've been very rational, have tried hard to educate them, but the decision is made and you're tired of having stressful discussions with them most days. You can mention that when they are open minded and willing to have an open, non judgmental conversation about it in the future, you can talk about it then (if you're willing).

If they won't stop talking or change the subject I would consider leaving too when the topic comes up. When politics are brought up in my house I say I'm not going to discuss it and we don't.

It sounds like your mom may have a one person case study of why not to homeschool. And we know it's hard to differentiate personal experience from averages.

I heard a comment about regret from my parents that I'm not working with my degree because we homeschool. It seems like wasted potential to them. But they have to let go of their dreams so my goal of doing the best I can for DS is realized. And homeschooling is hard for me. So I have to make sure I'm not complaining much to them so they don't grab onto that.


I could not agree with this comment more. My Mother isn't quite as extreme as your parents, but she's not too distant second. I've struggled with the boundary thing my whole life. It might not be what you want to hear but you are probably going to have to develop a less open, more formal relationship with them. Don't provide details. Don't talk about school. Don't talk about your day. Keep conversations short and if you feel the urge come to start talking about anything difficult, not going well, or homeschool related, bite your tongue. Wait and call a friend. You have to manage the conversation. Set boundaries however you need to do this. I had to go talk to a therapist I was so upset over my Mom's behavior and criticism. Yes, the offers of paying for private school or whatever- as if that were the point. The only time she sees homeschooling in a positive light is if someone else asks about my kids and then suddenly it's sunshine and roses. Can't show a rift in public!!! Anyway, it's hard, but you have to look at talking to them as complete management and boundaries. It is hard and awkward at first, but it does get a little easier with time.

One last thing. You've mentioned before they've insinuated they would try for custody. I would make sure to be a member of your state homeschool group or HSLDA. I would want the idea of legal support in the back of my head. Most of those who need it never saw it coming. Grandparents and custody issues do happen.
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#14 Spudater

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:03 AM

If any of this is happening in the kids' hearing, that would be the last straw for me, personally, and I would draw back significantly like other pps advised.

When we were first married and on an extremely tight budget, dh's parents volunteered a lot of financial help. We soon learned that this had strings and just generally meant that they would still treat us like children. So we stopped taking anything, withdrew a bit, and they eventually learned to treat us like adults. Tbh though, I think it may be a lot harder and uglier bc your parents seem to be controlling to a downright unhealthy degree. Who threatens to take the kids except in cases of real abuse? Yeesh.

Hugs.
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#15 HomeAgain

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:08 AM

How does all this affect your kids?

 

 

I think that's the point of view you have to start with.  Put on your mama bear suit. 

 

In my case, I think I'd come at this like a principal.  I'm not going to get emotionally involved with this.  I will take the tactics in only dealing with the facts.

First time "So what I'm hearing is that you are worried about x,y, and z.  Here is information on x, a scope/sequence of y, and the year's results for z. I appreciate your concern." 

Second time "We've already discussed this.  Have you looked at the information I've given you?"
Third time "This isn't something that is up for further discussion.  Let's talk about something else."

 

If it is to the kids, automatic removal.  You will go home.  You will ask your parents to leave.  You will remove your children from the situation.

 

When you take help from people, it is assumed that they have the right to offer advice.  Whether or not they do doesn't seem to matter.  They assume they do.  You need to cut off the help.  No TKD.  No overnights.  You are done until you can have a respectful relationship.


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#16 texasmom33

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:13 AM

I wanted to mention something else, knowing from your other situation here that you approach things in a Christian mindset. Sometimes, it's hard to set boundaries because it feels "non-Christian". At least that was the case for me. I felt like I was in someway being unkind. I still struggle with that- for some reason the older I am getting the more trouble I am having being assertive. I think perhaps because as I get older I realize that words are harder to take back, so I err on the side of NOT overstepping there........I would come here for advice and people would give what was in some cases, very aggressive advice. Cut them off, kick them out, stop talking to them.......but at the end of it, there was a kernel of helpfulness there, even if I would never actually do something so extreme. They were talking about setting boundaries and NOT coming up with excuses not to. All that to say, you CAN be firm with them, and still maintain a Christian mindset. You don't have to be unkind. You have to be firm though. You can do it without threats, or ultimatums (which I do not feel to often be a Christian response). A lot of it for me came from paying a lot of attention to what I was saying. Am I complaining? Is there some way they're going to find fault in our situation by my response, or by our situation. Not to say you are to blame for their reaction at all- but sometimes, for me, I noticed that I was in fact setting myself up for it. I'm not justifying their behavior. But you aren't dealing with rational, caring, Christian minded people at this point. You are dealing with antagonistic people who want to control you. You have to realize that. And they're looking for ammunition to fuel their case.  If I was frazzled when they came by, I was going to invite comment. If I was short with the kids, I was going to invite comment. In those cases and days, it was easier to say someone was sick, or something else and avoid the visit all together than give them an opening because of my attitude. I had to find different people to vent to about it. I had to develop a more "professional" relationship with my Mother. An impersonal, professional relationship. 

 

You aren't dealing with close friends you can unload to in their case. Sometimes in those cases a front is helpful. It sucks to have to put on a front with one's parents, but it can be useful. I might get slammed for that, but sometimes, it's necessary to smooth the waters enough to let them pass on by and go on with your own business, if they're going to continue being part of your regular life. If they insist on the comments, then you be firm. But sometimes it's better to avoid the conflict in general if at all possible. 

 

I did have to cut back how often we saw them though. I couldn't do 4 days a week with my Mother like you are. Sometimes distance helps, when you are in a situation (not sure if you're there yet) where you can pull back from them a little. 

 

I do still struggle with it though, and I have so many hugs for you. I still need to make a date with the Boundaries book everyone suggests here. If you want a reading group of 2, let me know and we can read it together. ;) Just last week, my Mom was here and saw my youngest copy of Singapore Math sitting on the table. And yes, did that invite comment. Why? I don't know. She just HAS to comment something snarky with an eyeroll. Like I had just found some crackpot version of math and now the children wouldn't even be able to get a job at McDonald's. I started to launch into my whole, "it's actually a fantastic program..." blah blah. I stopped myself. And said, "yeah, it's interesting. You should look it up," and then changed the subject. It's taken me FOUR YEARS to get to that point. And I don't always get to it. So huge hugs to you. It's hard.  :grouphug:


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#17 mom2scouts

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:23 AM

Your parents have already stepped way over the boundary line. Every single time they bring it up, you need to tell them you've heard their opinion, you've made your decision, you're happy with that decision, and you refuse to discuss it with them anymore. If they want to continue to have regular interactions with your children, then they need to agree to disagree and stop commenting. Some of the things they've said to you (too lazy?) are just NOT acceptable! I would also be worried about what they are telling your children on those overnight visits.

 

It seems you've tried to understand and counter their objections and they are just being controlling. I understand about having a controlling parent and many of my regrets in life are related to doing things I didn't want to do because it was easier than arguing. You have no idea how good it will be for you to stand up, let them know you are an adult making the best decision for your children and family, and they need to accept it or back off. 


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#18 snowbeltmom

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:24 AM

:grouphug:

 

What type of questions are your parents asking your kids?  Are they the type of questions that will cause your kids to question your decision to homeschool them?  If the answer is yes, I would definitely stop the overnights.  I would not want my kids to miss out of TKD, but I would tag along with your parents to make sure nothing inappropriate was discussed with your kids.

 

:grouphug:


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#19 Danestress

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:27 AM

Sometimes you have to be very direct with people even if it makes them mad. Let them be mad. They love you and the kids and will likely get over it.

I would tell them that I think I'm a good mother, that I think I make pretty good decisions, and that my decision is to homeschool. I would tell them this is not a topic that is open for further discussion.

I would tell them that they are marvelous grandparents, that the children love them, that I love them, but that it's inappropriate for them to continue to question and criticize this choice. I would tell them that you have heard their opinion, that you care about what they think, But that ultimately you and their father make the decisions.

Your parents are not respecting you and how you feel, but it seems that you're trying to find all kinds of ways to manage the situation without hurting their feelings. I think you can express to them a great deal of love, gratitude, and respect, and still tell them that as an adult and parent you expect them to respect your choices.
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#20 Farrar

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:33 AM

Nice and gentle hasn't worked. I agree with what Tanaqui wrote - you want to see them as good people who are being a little misguided but the reality is that they have made it clear that they have zero respect for you, your decisions, or your authority. And they'll manipulate and be unreasonable as a result. Even if you happen to agree on other issues, there's nothing more "bad" than that behavior.

I think you need to start cutting off access.
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#21 carriede

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:33 AM

I dunno, I think it maybe be related to your other thread. Maybe they think the kids being a part of the tense environment is just the last straw. How much of the other situation did you tell them?

From their perspective: They've never liked homeschooling. Now they find out that the home part may not be so nice. I can understand why they are fighting the homeschool more forcefully all the sudden - though there are certainly more supportive ways to assist you and help the kids as you guys figure out the other problem.

As the other posters have said, try to get specific complaints from them. You're not gonna convince them that homeschooling is a good thing. But if you find out what their biggest concerns are, you can address those.

And I can see why this is especially difficult for you because you need their help with the children in order to give some focus to the other problem. I'll pray for you and your family, and pray that God can transform their negative energy into a positive help for you.
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#22 snowbeltmom

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:43 AM

Sometimes you have to be very direct with people even if it makes them mad. Let them be mad. They love you and the kids and will likely get over it.

I would tell them that I think I'm a good mother, that I think I make pretty good decisions, and that my decision is to homeschool. I would tell them this is not a topic that is open for further discussion.

I would tell them that they are marvelous grandparents, that the children love them, that I love them, but that it's inappropriate for them to continue to question and criticize this choice. I would tell them that you have heard their opinion, that you care about what they think, But that ultimately you and their father make the decisions.

Your parents are not respecting you and how you feel, but it seems that you're trying to find all kinds of ways to manage the situation without hurting their feelings. I think you can express to them a great deal of love, gratitude, and respect, and still tell them that as an adult and parent you expect them to respect your choices.

This approach works with mentally healthy, non-controlling people.  I don't think the OP's parents fit this category.  The direct approach, in the OP's case, may make the situation worse.


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#23 texasmom33

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:11 AM

This approach works with mentally healthy, non-controlling people.  I don't think the OP's parents fit this category.  The direct approach, in the OP's case, may make the situation worse.

 

Agreed. Especially if they have money and a tendency towards litigation, since they've mentioned custody. Money talks. Particularly in court. I would tread carefully on being overly direct. 


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#24 Moonhawk

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:24 AM

Are they pretty controlling in general?

I didn't use to think so. This idea is a mindshift. But, I can certainly say that they are happiest when I do what they say, lol. I was a late in life baby, born to strict parents. I think my normal is a bit skewed. My sisters have agreed that mom's rigidity is getting worse with age.

 

One last thing. You've mentioned before they've insinuated they would try for custody. I would make sure to be a member of your state homeschool group or HSLDA. I would want the idea of legal support in the back of my head. Most of those who need it never saw it coming. Grandparents and custody issues do happen.

I think that threat was bluster, and trying to impress upon me how serious they see the home school thing, but it was made, yeah. 

 

How does all this affect your kids?

They love grandparents and want to go over there after a few days of not visiting. They are given junk food and no chores, lol, it's a paradise. But DD8 has started to butt heads with my mom (my daughter is much more strong willed than I was), and has started to cool off a bit. The 3yo would be devastated at loss of time over there though.

 

 

What type of questions are your parents asking your kids?  Are they the type of questions that will cause your kids to question your decision to homeschool them?  If the answer is yes, I would definitely stop the overnights.  I would not want my kids to miss out of TKD, but I would tag along with your parents to make sure nothing inappropriate was discussed with your kids.

They have told me they don't bring up the home school thing with the kids at all. For the most part I believe them, but I think I'm underestimating how many indirect cues they may be willing to give, or just unconsciously.

 

I dunno, I think it maybe be related to your other thread. Maybe they think the kids being a part of the tense environment is just the last straw. How much of the other situation did you tell them?

From their perspective: They've never liked homeschooling. Now they find out that the home part may not be so nice. I can understand why they are fighting the homeschool more forcefully all the sudden - though there are certainly more supportive ways to assist you and help the kids as you guys figure out the other problem.

As the other posters have said, try to get specific complaints from them. You're not gonna convince them that homeschooling is a good thing. But if you find out what their biggest concerns are, you can address those.

 

They have been told nothing.

 

The "all of a sudden" rolls around every year in the summer when its time to enroll at schools. In the past the intensity starts to dissipate in Oct and begins to build again in April.

 

Main concern is social. Both parents are/were teachers, but the concern about my ability to actually teach is pretty minor. The social aspect of what they are missing at school is the thing. My mom has often said that the best time of her life was high school. I think she sees me as depriving them of a great experience. Part of the reason why the kids are in so many activities, to allay their concerns on this side. Cutting TKD at the same time as pulling away from them would be an even unhappier situation for them. 



#25 zoobie

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:31 AM

People who threaten to take away your children are NOT good people. Parents who act ridiculous to intimidate and harass their grown daughter are NOT good people. You need to reframe how you think of them. This is not a healthy relationship at all. They are beyond overstepping boundaries.
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#26 MysteryJen

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:36 AM

I had some problems with my teacher mom when we started homeschooling and it got particularly bad once my oldest hit 3rd or 4th grade. I weathered it by first saying, "well, we will think about high school when the time comes." And playing to my mom's personal prejudices, I said we were considering the Catholic high school and we would welcome tuition assistance when the time came.  She opted out of that conversation very quickly :glare:  :lol:

 

But mostly, I stopped trying to convince her because there was no point. Nothing I said, nothing my kids did, no amount of achievement would change her mind. And I gradually limited visits, especially during the day, because we were busy with school. I kept to a very strict schedule, Wednesdays were swim lessons and they watched the littles during it, we had dinner together and I took the kids home. That was it. Occasional overnights if we had scheduling problems, but my mom learned that homeschooling was not a topic I was going to discuss. Politics, religion, and homeschooling-all off limits with my mom. Forever.

I must have said a thousand times, "homeschooling is working well for us now. How is Uncle?"


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#27 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:42 AM

The social concern is common but being in lots of activities does not seem to affect their feelings.  Not sure how to combat that.  And I bet this will get worse and worse as the kids get older.  The grandparents don't seem terribly flexible and now you say that your siblings feel your mother is getting even more rigid.  Honestly, they could make your life very, very challenging.  Limiting contact and absolutely not letting homeschooling be a topic of discussion AT ALL, EVER may become necessary.  100%

 

I do worry about parents that would actually verbally talk about seeking custody of your children.  That is some pretty intense "blustering".  You know them better than we do, obviously, but sometimes people are too close and cannot accurately analyze those that have raised us.  I would honestly take that as more than just blustering.  There is a threat there.  Not because they are evil people out to get you just to be mean.  There is a threat there because they are set in their ways, seem to be pretty rigid and controlling in their thinking, and may truly convince themselves that they are "saving" their grandchildren from a horrible life.  Be ware the grandparent who believes they are the Knight in Shining Armor, come to save the poor suffering grandkids from the irresponsible parent.

 

FWIW, my parents and I have disagreed on many things but they would never, ever have even casually mentioned something like that.  At least not unless they genuinely felt they should consider that a possibility.  The fact that they are also saying the reason you homeschool is because you are too lazy to get them to the bus is also rather disconcerting.  Wow.  Do they say things like that to you a lot?  Was this how they treated you as a child?


Edited by OneStepAtATime, 17 July 2017 - 09:43 AM.

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#28 Word Nerd

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:46 AM

Mean-spirited jabs about laziness and attempts to shame you into compliance with their way of thinking are beyond the pale. I would limit all unsupervised contact between them and the kids and shut down the conversation every time they start in on you, even if that means leaving or asking them to go. Don't allow homeschooling to be up for discussion, period.

Edited by Word Nerd, 17 July 2017 - 09:47 AM.

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#29 cave canem

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:09 AM

Saying I could drop them off at 7am and pick them up at 6pm if I am "too lazy to get them ready for school”, anything but home school.

Wow.  I think that would be the straw that ended all homeschooling discussions for me.


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#30 MommyLiberty5013

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:12 AM

I agree with PPs. However, my one caveat is to be very careful with the removing kids and withdrawing especally since it seems like your parents have threathened custody, or legal stuff. You withdrawing will appear to them as you isolating children from family and will heighten their resolve to fight this - maybe in even uglier ways. You being belligerent will also heightened their resolve.

 

I agree with Texasmom33 about HSLDA and possibly paying to be a member if you aren't already. It seems like a good thing to have in your back pocket.

 

Has your mom and/or dad expressly told you about their bad experience long ago with that home schooler? Why the long-standing disgust? It seems pretty severe. Like, unhealthily severe to carry such disgust for so long.

 

Also, there may be ways to beat around the bush with your kids and find out what, if anything, your parents have remarked or asked them. Something like, "Do you and Grandma/pa ever talk about our home school?" Or, "When you and Grandma/pa chat about home school, what do you talk about?" But make these questions part of an overall conversation about their time with your parents, blend them in to the regular discourse about their time.

 

 

 

 


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#31 justasque

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:18 AM

"Don't worry, high school is a long way off.  I know you loved your high school years!  I want my kids to love theirs too, where ever they do school.  We're taking this one year at a time.  Homeschool is the right setting for the coming year, but we're open to change if another setting will meet their needs better.  Hey, did you try this bean dip!  It's really good."

...

Main concern is social. Both parents are/were teachers, but the concern about my ability to actually teach is pretty minor. The social aspect of what they are missing at school is the thing. My mom has often said that the best time of her life was high school. I think she sees me as depriving them of a great experience. Part of the reason why the kids are in so many activities, to allay their concerns on this side. Cutting TKD at the same time as pulling away from them would be an even unhappier situation for them. 

 

(Hugs)

Every time the topic is broached I think you need to say I'm not discussing it with you. ...

 

"I know you love the kids and me so much mom.  I appreciate your concern."  
<Stop talking or change the subject>
<if she continues> "You're worried about me/the kids.  I know you love us.  Thanks for being a part of our lives."
<Stop talking.  Let that empty pause happen.> 
"I'm so glad you are close to the kids.  They are lucky to have such loving grandparents."
 <Stop talking.  Hug, if you are hugging people.>

Repeat, over and over again.  
 

...
One last thing. You've mentioned before they've insinuated they would try for custody. I would make sure to be a member of your state homeschool group or HSLDA. I would want the idea of legal support in the back of my head. Most of those who need it never saw it coming. Grandparents and custody issues do happen.

 

Last I checked, HSLDA (wisely, IMHO), does not generally get involved in custody issues.  If that's a potential concern, I'd save the money to put towards a lawyer who specializes in custody issues.
And I'd keep good records of your schoolwork, and seriously consider standardized testing every year.

 

 

All that said, I have found it useful to listen carefully to concerns raised and weigh them to see if there is a kernel of truth there.  Sometimes there is, and I can tweak or change course accordingly.  The key is to weigh the input objectively, without getting emotionally wrapped up in the experience of being criticized.  Hard, I know!


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#32 ktgrok

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:20 AM

My parents can be similar...in the "we want what's best for you and surely we know what that is" thing. You have to be firm. 

 

Mom and Dad, you know I love you and respect your opinions. But I'm an adult, and raising my own family, and sometimes we will disagree and as an adult I have to do what I think is right, even if you disagree. It doesn't mean I don't love and respect you, just that we have a different opinion. I know you don't like homeschooling. And I know you did a great job making sure I got a good education and you want that for the grandkids. But I am their mother, and right now I think homeschooling is what is best for them. I need you to respect that, because I'm their mother. Bringing it up over and over and going against my wishes is disrespectful. If you do it again, I'll leave. Not because I don't love you, but because I love my kids and I have to do what I think is best. That's my job. You are their grandparents, and your job is to love them, not parent them, Ok? 

 

And then if they bring it up, you remind them it isn't up for discussion, and if they don't drop it you do leave. After a few times, they will drop it. 


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#33 MommyLiberty5013

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:22 AM

"Don't worry, high school is a long way off.  I know you loved your high school years!  I want my kids to love theirs too, where ever they do school.  We're taking this one year at a time.  Homeschool is the right setting for the coming year, but we're open to change if another setting will meet their needs better.  Hey, did you try this bean dip!  It's really good."

...

Main concern is social. Both parents are/were teachers, but the concern about my ability to actually teach is pretty minor. The social aspect of what they are missing at school is the thing. My mom has often said that the best time of her life was high school. I think she sees me as depriving them of a great experience. Part of the reason why the kids are in so many activities, to allay their concerns on this side. Cutting TKD at the same time as pulling away from them would be an even unhappier situation for them. 

 

 

"I know you love the kids and me so much mom.  I appreciate your concern."  
<Stop talking or change the subject>
<if she continues> "You're worried about me/the kids.  I know you love us.  Thanks for being a part of our lives."
<Stop talking.  Let that empty pause happen.> 
"I'm so glad you are close to the kids.  They are lucky to have such loving grandparents."
 <Stop talking.  Hug, if you are hugging people.>

Repeat, over and over again.  
 

 

Last I checked, HSLDA (wisely, IMHO), does not generally get involved in custody issues.  If that's a potential concern, I'd save the money to put towards a lawyer who specializes in custody issues.
And I'd keep good records of your schoolwork, and seriously consider standardized testing every year.

 

 

All that said, I have found it useful to listen carefully to concerns raised and weigh them to see if there is a kernel of truth there.  Sometimes there is, and I can tweak or change course accordingly.  The key is to weigh the input objectively, without getting emotionally wrapped up in the experience of being criticized.  Hard, I know!

Bolded. I agree with you. However, if OP's parents called CPS or the school district to "inform" them of a situation gone awry, HSLDA can get involved. If the issue that sends the "authorities" to OP's house is home-school related, I think HSLDA can get involved. What I have read of their materials, is you call them IF any "authority" person comes to the door about home schooling.


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#34 Seasider

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:25 AM

I don't want to be impolite, but could you please not use formatting? The font is so small, it's hard to read! I already browse WTM with my screen at 133% zoom, so....

With that said, I copied the text and read it elsewhere. A few things jumped out at me.


These two statements are contradictory. If they're "not bad people" and "truly want the best", then they're not going to care whether the best is what THEY would do or not. At this point they ought to have ample evidence that you haven't ruined your kids. (And is it that they want the best, or that they want you to do what they say?)


This is not reasonable behavior. Are they really stomping their feet and crying, or is that hyperbole? Either way, it's out of line - calling you lazy? Saying they'll be glad to basically raise your kids for you? Oh, hell no. There is nothing good or right about this, whether their concern is your children's education or the fact that you're making independent decisions without consulting them.


If you think manipulation is a possibility, you're probably right. You know them a lot better than I do, and what you've described, not just this section, sounds passive-aggressive and manipulative to me.

I can give you some advice. You're not going to like it. First, I'd suggest you stop having the kids over at their house so often, and never without you, and stop having the grandparents pay for TKD. If they respond to this involvement by acting as though they're in charge of your kids, that price is too high to pay. Supervised visits, you don't discuss education or any kid's activity that you've vetoed (or cancelling an activity that you okayed), and you leave the very minute they criticize you and your choices, even implicitly. Second, I'd keep that a firm rule - if they're on the phone and start criticizing your parenting or bringing up education, say "I don't want to discuss this with you, talk to you later" and hang up. If you're out at a park and they say that they think Johnny should play the piano, even though you already told them that Johnny wants to play the drums, pack up the kids and go. (And make this easy - don't put yourself in any situation where you're not going to want to follow this rule. The key is consistency, just like when you were dealing with toddlers.)

When you allow them to discuss your choices, you're sending the message that this is up for discussion. And it's not. So don't do it.

You've had your honest, open discussions, it hasn't worked, so stop. And you say "kids shouldn't be pawns", but it sounds to me like your parents are the ones putting you in this position.


ETA I responded below, then hit Patty Joanna's post, and the light bulb came on. My reply below is based on a typical stable home setting. Moonhawk, I think you are a strong and remarkably reasonable person. However, based on what you've shared these last few months, I think your parents have valid reasons for suggesting an alternative school situation for your kids. That doesn't mean it's the right one, or that it's okay that they manipulate you with money or tantrums, but your circumstances are atypical. If you have great support from your inlaws, you can more successfully institute boundaries with your own family. But this may not be a good time to completely chop out a viable support resource.

Leaving my original response below.

=========

I'd say I agree with all the logical "sell them with reason" suggestions, but it sounds like you've been at this 3 years already. So, I agree with what's quoted above.

As homeschoolers, the right to choose our own curricula and schedules comes with the loss of public funding for our educational choices. We like that, because it means "the government" can't heavily influence our choices. Time to stop taking money from the grandparents if they think it's a bargaining chip. Their paying for things isn't a gift - gifts do not come with strings attached.

Do they express all this displeasure in front of your children? Because that would also have me worried about the amount of unsupervised time they spend with the kids.

IME, grandparents acting this way are frustrated that they don't have equal footing in the grandparent brag circle - there's no way baseline for comparing their grandkids to those of their friends.

Edited by Seasider, 17 July 2017 - 10:52 AM.


#35 unsinkable

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:40 AM

I don't want to be impolite, but could you please not use formatting? The font is so small, it's hard to read! I already browse WTM with my screen at 133% zoom, so....

With that said, I copied the text and read it elsewhere. A few things jumped out at me.


These two statements are contradictory. If they're "not bad people" and "truly want the best", then they're not going to care whether the best is what THEY would do or not. At this point they ought to have ample evidence that you haven't ruined your kids. (And is it that they want the best, or that they want you to do what they say?)


This is not reasonable behavior. Are they really stomping their feet and crying, or is that hyperbole? Either way, it's out of line - calling you lazy? Saying they'll be glad to basically raise your kids for you? Oh, hell no. There is nothing good or right about this, whether their concern is your children's education or the fact that you're making independent decisions without consulting them.


If you think manipulation is a possibility, you're probably right. You know them a lot better than I do, and what you've described, not just this section, sounds passive-aggressive and manipulative to me.

I can give you some advice. You're not going to like it. First, I'd suggest you stop having the kids over at their house so often, and never without you, and stop having the grandparents pay for TKD. If they respond to this involvement by acting as though they're in charge of your kids, that price is too high to pay. Supervised visits, you don't discuss education or any kid's activity that you've vetoed (or cancelling an activity that you okayed), and you leave the very minute they criticize you and your choices, even implicitly. Second, I'd keep that a firm rule - if they're on the phone and start criticizing your parenting or bringing up education, say "I don't want to discuss this with you, talk to you later" and hang up. If you're out at a park and they say that they think Johnny should play the piano, even though you already told them that Johnny wants to play the drums, pack up the kids and go. (And make this easy - don't put yourself in any situation where you're not going to want to follow this rule. The key is consistency, just like when you were dealing with toddlers.)

When you allow them to discuss your choices, you're sending the message that this is up for discussion. And it's not. So don't do it.

You've had your honest, open discussions, it hasn't worked, so stop. And you say "kids shouldn't be pawns", but it sounds to me like your parents are the ones putting you in this position.


You've been asked politely to please quote people so their names show up in the quotes. The reason for that request was to make it easier for people to follow the conversation. You've absolutely refused for years.

But now you want a similar courtesy extended to you.

#36 Mimm

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:52 AM

Hmm. I've done most of what's been advised, short of the pull farther back and stop TKD payment advice. Sigh, yes I do see that scenario as the most probable. And yes, I don't like it, but I do see it.

 

The first two years I definitely took on a more ask questions/give reasoned answers approach (what I meant by heart to hearts, sorry I was unclear before). This was ineffective at best. After they stopped having objections they could reasonably argue, and I had calm responses for the ones they did bring up, it devolved into accusing me of not wanting to get up to go to the bus stop, etc. 

 

That's why I have been hoping the "proof in the pudding" approach would work, but not so. 

 

Also inviting them to homeschool group meetups at the park, home school convention. The Park meet ups my mom voiced disgust for the people and insisted I shouldn't take the kids there, but couldn't give a concrete reason why. They flatly rejected going to the convention. 

 

I've thought long and hard about if the "other issues" of the other very long thread are influencing this. But, this no-homeschool thing way predates the last 4 months, and I remember even as a teenager my mom in particular voicing disgust at home schoolers. So I don't think the other thread has bearing in this case. 

 

I am completely not trying to be harsh with them. I have trouble letting my kids make mistakes during piano practice. They think I'm destroying the grandkids' lives. So I try to have grace and understanding about how they are acting. But, I also think there is a line and we have crossed it.

 

Sorry about the formatting of the first one, I'm not sure what I did.

 

edit to take out unnecessary detail.

 

 

You've done all the nice things. Now it's time to set firm boundaries. I would tell them you've done everything you can to listen to their concerns but you are done discussing this. Then follow that up with action on your part. They bring it up, you repeat that you aren't discussing it. They won't drop it, you leave, hang up, whatever. They hold TKD over your head? Tell them to stop paying for it. Don't explain, don't defend, don't discuss. And don't bring it up.

 

If these are the parents who have threatened you with legal action regarding custody of your kids... well, personally, I would never have them in my life after that.


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#37 Tanaqui

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:53 AM

Or we could stay on topic, how about that?
 


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#38 Mimm

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:57 AM

Or we could stay on topic, how about that?
 

 

To be fair... that was a topic you introduced... Formatting of posts. :)


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#39 unsinkable

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:58 AM

Or we could stay on topic, how about that?


You brought up the topic of needing someone to adjust their posting style to make your viewing easier. I responded to that.

You want to be treated in a way you refuse to treat other people.
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#40 Tanaqui

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:06 AM

I made a one sentence aside, to the OP, and then I addressed her post. And if she's said "tough toenails" then I would've dropped it. (Might not have ever read anything she wrote again, but I would've dropped it.)

 

By contrast, you're attempting to derail this thread, and haven't, as near as I can see, addressed the OP's posts at all. It's not quite the same thing, and I'm not discussing this with you further.



#41 unsinkable

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:08 AM

I made a one sentence aside, to the OP, and then I addressed her post. And if she's said "tough toenails" then I would've dropped it. (Might not have ever read anything she wrote again, but I would've dropped it.)

By contrast, you're attempting to derail this thread, and haven't, as near as I can see, addressed the OP's posts at all. It's not quite the same thing, and I'm not discussing this with you further.


You do you.

#42 Seasider

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:11 AM

Sigh. Seriously?
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#43 texasmom33

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:36 AM

"Don't worry, high school is a long way off.  I know you loved your high school years!  I want my kids to love theirs too, where ever they do school.  We're taking this one year at a time.  Homeschool is the right setting for the coming year, but we're open to change if another setting will meet their needs better.  Hey, did you try this bean dip!  It's really good."

...

Main concern is social. Both parents are/were teachers, but the concern about my ability to actually teach is pretty minor. The social aspect of what they are missing at school is the thing. My mom has often said that the best time of her life was high school. I think she sees me as depriving them of a great experience. Part of the reason why the kids are in so many activities, to allay their concerns on this side. Cutting TKD at the same time as pulling away from them would be an even unhappier situation for them. 

 

 

"I know you love the kids and me so much mom.  I appreciate your concern."  
<Stop talking or change the subject>
<if she continues> "You're worried about me/the kids.  I know you love us.  Thanks for being a part of our lives."
<Stop talking.  Let that empty pause happen.> 
"I'm so glad you are close to the kids.  They are lucky to have such loving grandparents."
 <Stop talking.  Hug, if you are hugging people.>

Repeat, over and over again.  
 

 

Last I checked, HSLDA (wisely, IMHO), does not generally get involved in custody issues.  If that's a potential concern, I'd save the money to put towards a lawyer who specializes in custody issues.
And I'd keep good records of your schoolwork, and seriously consider standardized testing every year.

 

 

All that said, I have found it useful to listen carefully to concerns raised and weigh them to see if there is a kernel of truth there.  Sometimes there is, and I can tweak or change course accordingly.  The key is to weigh the input objectively, without getting emotionally wrapped up in the experience of being criticized.  Hard, I know!

 

They don't get invovled in parental custody issues-between parents, but they do when it is a parental rights issue, which Grandparents attempting to gain custody is. 

 

https://www.hslda.org/docs/faqs/


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#44 Indigo Blue

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:53 AM

I agree with Tanaqui and others who posted similar responses. You could also try to gray rock them. If all the other things you have tried don't work (including giving them sound evidence and assurance that homeschooling is not harming them), then you could just say things like "I'm sorry you feel that way", any time it comes up in discussion. Simply refuse to discuss it. Be completely emotionless. Each time say this without showing any emotion and be VERY consistent. Leave if you need to. If this doesn't work, you may need to limit contact. I know this is much easier said than done.

 

Also I'm wondering...are they like this with other important issues regarding your kids (or anything else) or just only with homeschooling? IF there are other manipulative behaviors, it would be best to start setting these boundaries, IMO.


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#45 Farrar

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:42 PM

Whoa, somehow I missed that they had threatened to call CPS and try to have the children taken away. I'm just floored. That's so threatening and cruel. That really just reinforces the need to cut contact - perhaps slowly, but still, to start backing away.

 

I often think that in threads like these on this board that people are a bit unfair - it's often better to attract more flies with honey and all that - to answer questions, to be conciliatory, to let things go for the sake of just keeping things sane. Often the advice here is to refuse to answer any questions and just pass the bean dip - which is great advice much of the time, but sometimes with close family members, it is better to try and work things out at the right time. But this is nothing like that. That's already all been tried. And they're still talking about taking your children from you. What a nightmare.


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#46 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:49 PM

Whoa, somehow I missed that they had threatened to call CPS and try to have the children taken away. I'm just floored. That's so threatening and cruel. That really just reinforces the need to cut contact - perhaps slowly, but still, to start backing away.

 

I often think that in threads like these on this board that people are a bit unfair - it's often better to attract more flies with honey and all that - to answer questions, to be conciliatory, to let things go for the sake of just keeping things sane. Often the advice here is to refuse to answer any questions and just pass the bean dip - which is great advice much of the time, but sometimes with close family members, it is better to try and work things out at the right time. But this is nothing like that. That's already all been tried. And they're still talking about taking your children from you. What a nightmare.

I agree.

 

I had family members that were vehemently opposed to homeschooling.  My relationship with them mattered and I wanted to at least TRY to open up a positive dialogue.  I was honest with my concerns and how I was planning to address them, did a lot of back and forth discussion where I listened to what they had to say and did not immediately dismiss their concerns, and eventually we ended up on much better footing.  They still have concerns but never voice those anymore unless I specifically bring up concerns of my own.  And they absolutely see that there have been some benefits.

 

But OP is in a vastly different scenario.  I would be concerned.


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#47 Tanaqui

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 01:20 PM

Yeah, I know I tend to jump to "limit contact" because I have a lot of friends, close friends, who come from controlling or even abusive families. So if I'm the only one recommending it, I might well be wrong!

 

But here, I'm not. And when the OP says that she thinks her parents might be manipulative - to me, that's like asking if your husband might be abusive. If you have to ask....

 

I also missed the part about the CPS threat. I don't know if the OP is in a state where grandparent's rights are a thing. If they are, though, then you may need to start documenting all this very carefully, and breaking off carefully. Grandparent's rights, when they apply, actually apply in situations that look from the outside like this one - where the grandparents had a lot of access to the kids and did a lot of the caregiving, and suddenly the parents decided to cut it off. (Frequently, the situation is that the parents are actually abusive or neglectful and they stopped contacting the grandparents because Grandma threatened to tattle.) Superficially, it looks like your case. So whoever said you should be careful is exactly right if this is a concern in your state.


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#48 Zebra

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 01:23 PM

This approach works with mentally healthy, non-controlling people.  I don't think the OP's parents fit this category.  The direct approach, in the OP's case, may make the situation worse.

 

This.

 

You learn about healthy boundaries and you think, "Oh, if I just say the correct thing we will be able to work through this situation like adults" but that does not work if the other party has beyond normal problems.  

 

My guess is that you are at an impasse.   You are going to homeschool, your parents are going to oppose it.   So, you can either stop homeschooling or severely limit contact with them.

 

Hopefully I am wrong.


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#49 BarbecueMom

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 02:16 PM

Setting aside all the demands and threats and custody stuff for a minute, the comment about high school being the "best years of their lives" would give me pause. That, IMO, translates to things like, "I want my grandkids to be cool and popular," and, "I don't want you raising kids that are nerdy or geeky or quirky." I'm not confrontational at all, but I'd be figuring out what exactly they meant by that. If they were pressuring me to fit my kids in a certain unnecessary social mold, at the cost of their own education and happiness, I'd stop encouraging closeness. It's hard enough to grow into an interesting person with peers stomping on you at every turn, they definitely don't need that kind of attitude from their "beloved" grandparents.

There are a lot of wonderful, encouraging teachers out there who try to give kids what they need to run with their interests. I had some, and I am forever grateful for them. And there are others (including ones I'm related to) who picked teaching because sitting on top of the school social hierarchy was the Thing They Were Good At. Given all you've said, it wouldn't surprise me if they were among the latter group.
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#50 nixpix5

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:53 PM

Whoa, somehow I missed that they had threatened to call CPS and try to have the children taken away. I'm just floored. That's so threatening and cruel. That really just reinforces the need to cut contact - perhaps slowly, but still, to start backing away.

I often think that in threads like these on this board that people are a bit unfair - it's often better to attract more flies with honey and all that - to answer questions, to be conciliatory, to let things go for the sake of just keeping things sane. Often the advice here is to refuse to answer any questions and just pass the bean dip - which is great advice much of the time, but sometimes with close family members, it is better to try and work things out at the right time. But this is nothing like that. That's already all been tried. And they're still talking about taking your children from you. What a nightmare.

Agree. Could not have said it better.

I would first get out from under any money they provide. It is too hard to hold lines when one feels like they owe someone. I might even consult an attorney just to make sure I am clear in what might happen if they frantically begin to try to regain control. It might be good just to have some pre-documentation. I might have missed this because I didn't read through all of the posts but do you have siblings? Anyone who could be on your side?

I do not recommend doing this but there is this snarky response that bubbled up inside of me reading your original post. "Well mom and dad, if you think I ruined my life and you raised me then I guess the best course of action is to continue doing the opposite of what you did right?"
Of course I have my own issues with my mom and I cannot seem to set much needed boundaries with her so easier said than done.

Edited by nixpix5, 17 July 2017 - 03:54 PM.

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