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My adult daughter(24) for the past several years has become more and more distant towards her grandmother(my mother). My mother is in a nursing home and my daughter does not visit her very often. I am a divorced mom and my daughter and I had to live with my mother for her entire childhood from the ages of 7-19. I thought growing up with her grandmother would bring my daughter and mother close, but it caused so much distance between them. During my daughter's teen years her Grandma would ask her tons and tons of personal questions that my daughter wouldn't even feel comfortable telling me about, let alone her grandmother. Her Grandma would pry into her dating life, read her diary, listen in on her phone calls, badmouthed her father(my ex who is a good dad), and all kinds of stuff. My mother would even ask her if she had ever been sexually active. No teenager wants to discuss that with their grandmother or their mother. My mother just didn't understand that there needed to be boundaries of what she should and should not discuss with my daughter. My mother wanted to meet my daughter's friends, but my daughter was more comfortable going over to friends houses, and my mother took that to mean that my daughter hated her. I wish I could have moved my daughter out of that situation, but I couldn't. When I was financially stable when my daughter was 16 my mother developed breathing problems and had to go on oxygen. So I had to stay to take care of her. We got a live-in aide, and my daughter felt by having all these medical aides in the house that she had no privacy. She would spend hours in her bedroom and very rarely came out because of the aides. My daughter started spending more and more time with her father and stepmother, and my mother of course took that to mean that my daughter hated her. My daughter just needed some privacy which she didn't have in my mother's home.

I wish I could have changed the way my daughter grew up, but I can't. My daughter rarely visits her grandmother anymore. However she is 24 and in college and has a social life. My mother has always favored her two grandsons over my daughter. She's constantly talking about how smart they are and how successful they will be(both in law school). When my daughter does visit my mother(which is rare) my mother asks her about her dating life and how come she isn't married yet. She says why can't you meet any nice guy to marry. She then lays on the guilt trip about wanting great-grandchildren before she dies. Then she'll tell my daughter how wonderful it is that her two cousins finished college in 4 years and now attending law school, and how come she's still in college at her age. Then she implies that my daughter must be getting horrible grades if she's still in college. My mother doesn't understand that my daughter has to work through college cause of my finances I can't afford to pay for my daughter's tuition. My nephews had full college scholarships and even if they didn't my sister and brother-in-law are well off financially. I am so sick of hearing my mother say such negative things to my daughter.

My daughter lives with me while she's finishing college. We now are living in a townhouse which is mine, not my mothers. I am so glad to finally be in my own place. Because I bought a place of my own I can't afford my daughter's college. I visit my mother on the weekends at her nursing home. My mother knows my daughter lives with me and is always asking where my daughter is and why she doesn't visit. Sometimes I will get into it with my mother and tell her that she has got to stop these comparisons and negative comments towards my daughter. I tell her she shouldn't be surprised that my daughter doesn't visit because of the way she treated her as a child. But I don't want to get into a fight all the time so I just make up excuses for my daughter. I have been saying these things for years since my daughter was little. I doubt my mother will ever change, and it really hurts that my mother can be like this towards my daughter. I hate it that she openly favors her grandsons over my daughter.

I understand why my daughter does not want to visit her grandmother. Nobody wants to be around someone who is mean towards them. But on the other hand my mother is 90 years old, and won't be around forever. Should I encourage my daughter to visit her grandmother even though she's mean to her? There's been several instances where after a visit with her grandmother my daughter comes home in tears because of what her Grandma has said to her and my daughter vows to never speak to her again. I don't want my daughter to go through pain, but I also don't want my daughter to have any regrets after her grandmother has passed away.


Senior Member

Wow! What a sad situation. As you stated, you aren't going to change Grandma. When you visit her and she starts to ask questions about your daughter could you say, "Sorry Mom, but I am here to visit you. Let's talk about what you are doing." Your daughter might try the same thing or something like, "Grandma tell me what you've doing or how you have been feeling." Make the visit a time of doing something together that makes "talking" more difficult - read to her, play a game, watch a movie, etc.
There is the possibility that your daughter won't have regrets when your mom passes away. It's very sad, but may be reality.