Dear Cathy I have a 3 year old daughter and I am happy with her behaviour. My father is very strict and doesn’t have much patience with young children. When we visit him he calls her naughty and shouts at her which leads to me arguing with him and saying “no she’s not naughty she’s 3”. I used to get hard smacks as a child and have memories of hiding from my dad behind the cupboard door. All my life I have lacked confidence and have very low self esteem. I don’t want her to have the type of upbringing I had as she is a confident happy little girl and I don’t want to destroy that. At the same time I don’t want to stop visiting my dad.
CG: Dear J, You are not alone in this situation, so many parents have to deal with their parents attitude to child-rearing. I fully appreciate your concerns and of course you are right in all you say. Your daughter is only doing what normal 3 year olds do. You don’t say how often you visit your father but I am guessing it is quite frequent. I think you need to explain to your father (again) that you are bringing up your daughter to be a confident happy child and the boundaries for good behaviour that your daughter respects are the correct ones. If he persists in interfering then I suggest you reduce your visits or even stop them for a while. This will give him the wake up call he needs. Clearly he loves you and his granddaughter but cannot see the damage he is doing. Let me know how it goes.