This topic contains 9 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  blueskies 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #81998

    Hi, not sure of the best way to deal with this. I’ve set my boundaries with my emotionally abusive parent but they clearly don’t accept or respect them. I have told said parent that we won’t be doing such and such as they want but they have now tried emotional blackmail on my child in front of me on a call so my child says yes I want to do that can we. When I’ve already discussed with my child previously and they were fine with not doing it. Do I message my parent and say please refrain from doing that again or do I leave it? Said parent may do again when they see my child. Mind you even if I say I doubt they will take any notice.

  • #81999

    The strongest message will come from simply ignoring it altogether and going all ‘broken record’ if the emotional abuser raises it again. As in, “We’ve already discussed this and my decision stands.” said calmly and firmly in identical tone and volume until the hearer gives up.

    As far as the child is concerned, a reminder that a decision has already been made and nothing has changed should do it. Avoid expressing any exasperation or annoyance as it may get back to the blackmailer via the child, alerting them that they’re getting under your skin. You could even coach the child in broken record (without naming it!) as it’s a really good technique against anyone trying to wear them down. The beauty is that the persistent person had to do all the emotional work while you don’t even need to think about what you’ll say next.

    Really useful defence against peer pressure!

    Flower x

  • #82000

    I only respond to my abusive parent when she is being nice and for everything else I ignore, I don’t step into her crazy, means she’s kind of got nowhere to take it. After a while she got it, she got that I do not want to hear her opinions or discuss anything with her that I perceive as off limits. It has left us with a functioning relationship, it’s not meaningful, our converstaions are never about anything important, but I find it’s best this way, better than stepping into the crazy for sure – as this only validates it. Took about 6 months to implement, just walked away or ignored anything I didnt wish to engage in, but we’re there now and she leaves me be nowadays.

    I would say dont get into it, just say to your child on the day we’re not going because were doing x instead and leave it at that. If this person learns that the emotional blackmail with the child doesn’t work then it will stop eventually. No words, actions are needed here x

  • #82004

    Ok I understand what you are saying. Just she is visiting soon and I know she will keep doing it and not fair on my child. I didn’t know whether it was worth reiterating where I stand before she comes or whether to just leave it. She knew exactly what she was doing but she knows I won’t say anything in front of my child as she will start going on at me. she isn’t concerned about my child hearing that but I am. So I made mistake of saying we will see quietly to my child when she was using emotional blackmail as I wasn’t sure what to say at the time.

  • #82007

    You’ve got to do what you think is best for your situation; it may well be you feel you need to let her know where the boundaries are. People who dont respect another person’s boundaries often offend repeatedly, trampling everyone’s boundaries.

    I would take the view that you can’t control what she says atm, but you can control when you and your child see her.

    I would cancel her coming if you think she’ll do it again. She will soon start to realise how she is expected to behave if this happens and she wants to be part of your lives x

  • #82009

    Had a chat with my child and they know we aren’t doing it and that my parent knew this and shouldn’t have said what they did to them to try get them to get them to say they want to do it and ask me. I think I’m angry that my parent is still doing this and I want to reiterate my boundaries but unsure whether to or not. When said parent is here there will be a few of us too so hopefully my parent won’t say anything but i don’t know. Part of me thinks what’s the point of saying to her before she comes but the other part feels it might be better for me to reiterate my boundaries. Might help me feel stronger but then I don’t want my parent to think they are getting a reaction from me as they have done this before many times.

  • #82011

    Maybe ask your child if the subject comes up just to say “mums already said no so sorry i can’t do x”.

  • #82012

    Sounds like if there’s a group of you it will be unlikely she’ll say it then. Maybe you’d feel better if you pulled her and reiterated that you’re not going and to not try and involve your child to get what she wants again. It’s great you can have a reasoned conversation with your child hey. It’s all about spelling out what the boundaries are and sticking by what you say. Respond or not respond. Good luck with it Blueskies; these relationships can feel really difficult to manage at times and utterly dreadful when it get’s bad for sure. Once you find a way to deal with it that works it does get better. It’s never how you hoped it would be, but letting go of trying to make it this way holds great value x

  • #82017
     Twisted Sister 

    Dear Blueskies

    Keep it simple and stay as detached as possible.

    Your child will learn a lot quicker that mum sticks to her word, and it will be straightforward for you both.

    Your parent will probably act out potentially quite significantly,but oh well. Eveyone knewte decision. Ignoring it doesn’t change it.

    If your parent is anything like my abusive x though they will probably turn up and take child anyway. The child wl end up doing what the scariest and most insistent voice says.

    In this instance what would you do? How far would they go?

    With x the police are not interested, but it would be different with a grandparent taking a child.

    Just keep to the script that ‘I haven’t changed my mind’

    Its abusive to the child to do this. Please dont be silenced over this in front of your child. Let them see that you can say no and stick to it even when challenged.

    Your child should perhaps be forewarned that grandparent might raise it again and push, but you will expect child to respect your decision on this and to not get involved in further discussion even if grandparent tries to force it.

    Your child will soon realise whats going on and stay out of it, learning to avoid all that drama is a very valuable lesson

    Warmest wishes


  • #82965

    Thank you ladies, really appreciate your advice and support. I’ve said nothing to my parent about what they said to my child and as far as I’m aware they didn’t say anything when they visited. We were with others too so think that helped.

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