Breaking the enabling cycle

by Monica

I'm a recovered addict with an incredibly enabling mother. She raised my kids for a little while when I was using. She was just letting them run wild and run the house. I don't do things the way she does them so when they I took them back it took a while for the kids to adjust to rules and boundaries but they their behavior is 90% better now. Her behavior is not much better at all despite many talks and arguments about how I am trying to raise them. I've had them back for many years now and only let them stay with her a few nights out of the month. If one of them are in trouble for something they absolutely can't go over there because she will not uphold any sort of consequences that I have imposed, such as no computer and stuff like that. I almost don't want to let them spend the night over there at all. I believe my mom is a shopping addict (no joke). She buys them so much stuff that there is not enough room at my house or hers for it all so I asked her not to buy them anything at all. She buy's stuff for them anyway. If one of them does something wrong she does nothing. There's so much more but i'll spare the rest of the details. Really I let them go over there for 2 reasons. 1 my kids love my mom and step-dad, 2 it's the only break I get. I'm very frustrated and need some advice from someone besides my husband. How do I handle this when I feel I'm done talking to her.

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Sep 18, 2011
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From the other side
by: Anonymous

Monica,
I have read your post several times. I’m on the opposite side. I have a daughter and raised her child for several years, as she is an addict. I congratulate you on your recovery. It sounds like your mother loves you and your children and you and your children love her. I don’t know if it would help in your case, but with my children, I ask that I not get put in the middle with their discipline. That might make it easier on both of you – grounding them on nights you have them rather the nights she has them. Since she only sees them a couple of times a month, she probably wants them to enjoy their visits with her and not have to feel like the “bad guy”. That's how I am anyway. Good luck to you. This is only one small thing and it may or may not work for you. Glad to see you are looking for a way to work it out with your mom. It gives me hope with my own daughter.

Sep 17, 2011
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suggestion
by: Lisa

Have you tried to suggest rather than buy the kids stuff they will outgrow, put that money in a college fund. Something they will thank HER (because that is what she wants) for the rest of their lives. Or save for a family vacation that allows them to learn about the world.
I have much experience with shopper/hoarding behavior and its sad they waste money on foolish stupid things. This is a whole other topic lol

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