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Issue with my grandmother

Discussion in 'Parents & Siblings' started by nayidulhan, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. nayidulhan

    nayidulhan Bronze IL'ite

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    My grandmother, parents, brother, SIL and their LO stay in the same house. My grandmother has a very dominating nature and she had troubled my mother and her other DILs a lot in the past (so much so that the other DILs do not want her in their houses). My grandmother interferes in every single thing that my mother or SIL do. She shouts/ uses stern language while talking to them which hurts them. She admonishes their every word/ action. It looks offensive even to the spectator. If anyone tries to tell her nicely not to interfere then either she makes a big hue and cry about how nobody respects her anymore or she starts sulking for days. How do we handle this?

    Also, she has this nasty habit of standing very close to anyone who is eating at the dining table. She will stand on the person's right side, very close to the person, keep her right hand on the dining table just next to the plate there and keep talking till the person has finished eating. Automatically the person feels conscious and wants to get up as soon as possible.

    And she keeps coughing unnecessarily all the time, even when she soesn't have cold or cough - sometimes it's directly in someone's face, sometimes over someone's plate or over the utensils kept on the dining table.

    How do we handle all this?
     
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  2. asuitablegirl

    asuitablegirl Gold IL'ite

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    When she hovers over somebody when they're eating, that somebody might try saying, "Grandma, could you sit down, you're making me nervous". I know that'll probably end in a huge scene, but maybe it'll make her conscious that her behavior is making others uncomfortable. Or when you are all together, your dad could say, "Mom, stop hovering over XYZ, they're trying to eat. Come sit down over here." If you keep her from getting in your face or near your food, you won't have to worry about her coughs reaching your personal space.

    About her dominating nature...... I don't think she's going to change now! She's been like this forever, soooooo, I think 'what you see is what you get'. Your mom and dad opted for a joint family, this is what a joint family is! It sucks that your mom and sil have to walk on pins and needles in their own home, but unfortunately when you cram everyone in the same house, conflict is bound to happen. And in the case of really old people, changing their behavior is often impossible 1) because they are set in their ways and 2) because they will make it a 'you don't respect me' issue.
     
  3. sruthi1981

    sruthi1981 Junior IL'ite

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    Please wait till you get older, to understand her mind better. You will only when you are in such age.

    When younger people like you cannot adjust or accomodate, how justifiable is it to expect older ones to change in their last days.
     
  4. peartree

    peartree Platinum IL'ite

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    Nayidulhan

    I feel this behavior stems from insecurity. With 2 DILs in the house and her own advancing age, she feels a compulsive need to prove to herself and others about who the boss is. Some older people graciously let the younger ones take over and enjoy their time while some people choose to react like your grandma. I think it all boils down to attention seeking. For example, my grandma lives with my aunt and uncle. She does not interfere or anything, but sometimes when we are all busy and running around, we forget to sit with her, she feels left out and we can find her crying reading my grandfather's diaries and such. We just recognized it as a call for some attention and all she needed was for someone to talk to her and tell her what was going on in the house. See if that would help granny tone down. Even if it is not the intention, ask your mom or SIL to consult with granny on every little thing, as if gaining her input is very important, whether or not they want to follow through on it. Most importantly, ask your mom to sit with her everyday for a little bit of time to exchange family news and things like that. It would probably help.


    Expecting her to change her behavior at her age is probably impossible and not fair either. So the only way is to indulge some of her whims and give her as much attention as possible, because in many ways, what they say is true. Old people do tend to act like little children sometimes!
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  5. ArchanaP

    ArchanaP Silver IL'ite

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    Older poeple are like little children. If you take things away from a little kid, he/she will cry to get it back. Your grandmom is pretty much doing the same thing. I guess your family already tried to talk to her. Well, it's very tough to expect a person to change at that age or even understand what you are trying to say. You need to deal with her, just like you deal with a small kid.
     
  6. nayidulhan

    nayidulhan Bronze IL'ite

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    Thanks for the suggestion about the dining table issue, asuitablegirl. We have tried this before albeit slightly differently. Anyway. There's no harm in trying again.

    About craming everyone in the house... it isn't exactly like that. It's my parents house and they used to stay there by themselves. Now after the birth of my bro's LO, his family has moved in and they will stay for a couple of years till the LO grows up a bit. Moreover, they have purchased a new apartment and that is taking time to get ready for possession. About my grandmother, after the demise of my grandfather, her entire family (sons/ daughters and their spouses) have abondoned her. My parents especially my Mom has a serving attitude and so she assumed that she has no choice but to take Gramma into her own household. When Grampa was living he would talk sense into her everyday despite her resistance and arguments but now she's like a free bird. It all started as sympathy towards Gramma. Everyone in the household would bend backwards to be nice with her, talk to her, give her a patient hearing etc. when we lost Grampa. But she has started taking advantage of all this now. Anyway.

    Dear Sruthi1981, the apparent venom that your words are spitting out is justified as you know neither my Gramma nor the situation well. In my opinion, one does not have to be that old to understand what old people feel. (Don't male gynaecologists feel the pain of women in labor without ever having to face the situation first hand?!) And I honestly don't think that age should be the primary factor while adjusting or accomodating. It's the person's nature and their outlook or why are peartree's and my Grammas so different despite being in the same age group? Anyway. I will stop this dicussion here as I am not much of a psychology expert.

    Peartree, insecurity could definitely be one of the reasons. The major problem is that everyone in my family (except Gramma apparently) has confrontation problems. So nobody can say anything not-so-pleasant-to-the-ears to anyone and so most of the times several issues remain unaddressed and hanging just like that. Anyway.

    ArchanaP, you are right wheou say that old people are like little children. We all love Gramma a lot but sometimes it gets really beyond tolerable limits just like yesterday and so I vented it all out here. I really wish that if not anything else Gramma could at least focus on the axiom of "live and let live." and stop unnecessary interference. Anyways.

    Thanks everyone for your valuable input. It really means a lot to me to hear from you ladies. :thumbsup
     
  7. asuitablegirl

    asuitablegirl Gold IL'ite

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    Hmmm I see. So you've already trired making your feelings known. :|

    What about..... since she hovers behind people when they're eating and coughs on them, what about everyone eating at the same time? Like, make sure she is sitting down eating when you all are sitting down eating. That way she will not be able to stand behind like that.

    I can understand your frustration. Just because sombody is old, doesn't make their annoying behavior any less annoying. The only problem is how to deal with it in a way that doesn't upset them too much. If before you told her in an indirect way, I think you should just come out and say frankly, "Can you PLEASE sit down, it makes me nervous having anyone behind me while I eat."
     
  8. sruthi1981

    sruthi1981 Junior IL'ite

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    Apparent venom that my words were spitting out is not justified for the very same reason you quoted dear friend. I neither know your Grandmom nor the situation you are in. I am sorry dear Nayidulhan. For some reason i got carried away, bad on my part. I hope the suggestions that other members have given you work out for the betterment of everybody at home. Good Luck.
     
  9. Foundlove

    Foundlove Gold IL'ite

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    Dear ND,
    I think since you are the grandchild your grandma will be close to you.Try to distract her during dinner and ask her to sit next to you.

    You can stand up for your mom and SIL.. I am sure she willlisten to you better.

    Also giving her attention and letting her know about activities will make her feel important.

    Good Luck
    FL
     
  10. shivachoubey

    shivachoubey IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear ND,

    I am sorry to hear what you are going through. How old is your grandmom???

    Its very difficult to make old people understand. In most cases older people do develop problem like Alzimer, we associate this disease with memory loss but the abusive behavior is also aggravated in such cases.

    Probably you can talk to her gently. To be honest its either gonna stay like this or will go worse, will reach a peak and then she will mellow down (probably in the last stages).

    One way to deal with this is to give her work. In most house holds older people are not asked to work which is not good for their mental health. So try engaging her in some work.

    On her standing right next to a person when the person is eating. If you have told her nicely/sternly/firmly before but no changes have happened then its a mental health issue which is very common in old age. Sad part is it is difficult to detect and correct specially if the person is old.

    I can understand your anger and frustration. My grandmom had few such symptoms, she used to upset everyone but there was no correcting her. The more we corrected she felt offended and then she will be back to do the same thing which we corrected. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer.

    If your grandmom was dominating in her young days she is gonna be like this and much more difficult now.

    I had this anger towards my grand mom that why does she behave the way she does then I read an article in RD which traced few symptoms. Being abusive, aggressive, repetitively doing one annoying thing are few of them.

    So my 2 cent here is try correcting her but if you see a repitative pattern then probably you can research on it and tell family members not to take her talks to heart.

    Hope this helps dear. Few months back there was a thread which dealt with such issue.

    Here is the link:

    http://www.indusladies.com/forums/relationship-with-in-laws/82459-issue-my-mil-need-suggestions.html

    All the best.

    regards
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010

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