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Family Relations/limit time with grandparent


As a newer parent, I want to know if it is wise to limit the amount of time a grandmother sees her young grandchildren (2.5 yrs old and a baby)...
This grandmother has been caught in many lies and has a tendency to tell people different stories to get things she wants, such as money, etc.
She has a history of making poor decisions throughout her life – which has resulted in her not having enough money to pay her bills, she does not have a working car at the moment that she can pay to repair, she has no ‘home of her own’, nothing else to show for herself.  She also appears to be in an unhappy marriage (married a man quickly after her previous husband left her).
She has become very lazy in her life… does not clean up after herself.   She doesn’t want to participate in any activities, such as working or volunteering which could boost her spirits.  She has displayed a lack of self-control by having ‘tantrums’ when she has disagreed with something someone is doing.
She has a history of depression…and has been prescribed anti-depressants in the past.  She is always down and very negative, but yet she has sporadic moments of laughing and excited behavior (she has not been officially diagnosed with anything other than depression but yet she is not currently seeking the help of a therapist).  She also recently talked about having thoughts of suicide, which I am not sure if she is serious (we are handling it as though she is), or if she is using that as the ultimate way of squeezing the very last things she can from a family that is growing tired of it all.  
At this point, I do not want her to see my children at all – but my husband sometimes feels bad and tries to arrange time for visits.  I am not saying she should never visit.  But, I feel like there are very good reasons to have as little visiting as possible with this woman.  Even if she gets some help, I just don’t know if she will break from all of these issues and I do not want my children picking up or learning these behaviors.


I would strongly suggest that any visitation should be supervised at all times. Your husbands goal in life should be to protect his children not try to ease his guilt over his mother's situation. What should be done is that he should be spending time with her and perhaps sometimes bring the kids along. I understand he feels badly for her, but from your description it sounds like she might have an undiagnosed mental health issue.


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Dr. David Simonsen


I am a licensed Marriage & Family therapist with a Ph.D. in Psychology. I work primarily with teens and families on a weekly basis. You will get the straight truth. I will not pull punches.


I have been working daily with teens and families for the last 10 years.


M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy; Ph.D. Psychology

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