Neither of my parents were fond of their mothers-in-law. Daddy said Mama’s mother (who I called Grandma) was selfish and he rolled his eyes when she talked about her flowers and cats. I don’t remember Daddy and Grandma ever agreeing on anything much and most of the time they got into heated arguments about theology.
My mother was even less tolerant of her mother in law. She called her moody and “not clean” because she didn’t scrub her fruit and vegetables as well as my mom did. She didn’t trust her to feed us so if that grandmother offered us cookies, we were to pretend to eat it, stick it in a napkin and then sneak to the bathroom and flush the cookie down the toilet. This was a complicated procedure when you are only nine and seven, but my sister and I pulled it off over and over.
I have gotten a fair bit of mail about grandparents and No Contact. Sometimes grandparents write to say their adult children are keeping their grandchildren away from them. Other times, young families wonder how much time to allow with their narc parents. I hardly know what to say because I don’t know these people, I have no way of knowing who the real narcissist is because No Contact and Narc Shunning can look a lot alike, but here are a couple thoughts on no contact and keeping grandchildren away from their grandparents.
There are many narcissistic parents who will do all they can to keep their children separated from their ex or the child’s grandparents. This is called parental alienation and there have been tons of court cases over such situations and sadly it is always the child who loses. It’s never fair to put a child in the middle of a divorce or family separation. So if you try to keep your child from an adult they are related to please make sure it’s because you fear for the child’s safety and not just because you are irritated by their grandparent or an ex.
Healthy grandparents and parents are very important to little people and everyone deserves the right to know their parents and grandparents. What you might find annoying about the ex or grandparent, your child might not mind. There may also be many other good qualities in this person that your child can benefit from. There may also come a time when you need the support of these other adults in the child’s life. Remember a loving grandparent might be the best encouragement for a teenager going through a rough time.
Of course it should also go without saying when a grandparent is violent or sexually abusive or vindictive and working against your family values, it’s better to keep them away. It’s not unchristian to go No Contact if there is a real issue and threat to someone’s health and safety. Just make sure you aren’t cheating your child out of a loving parent or grandparent because of your own personal issues.