Grandmother Says She Was 'Just Teasing' After Pinching Girl Hard & Doesn't Get Why Parent Freaks Out

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grandma and granddaughter
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Plenty of parents don't see eye to eye with grandparents when it comes to the best ways to connect with kids. And a grandparent's behavior with a grandkid can easily trigger a parent who recalls what it was like to have to deal with that behavior as a child. That was the case for a Redditor who took to the Parenting subreddit to share the details of a troubling incident involving her mom and her daughter. The original poster wanted validation or perspective from the community.

  • The OP explained that their mom had come for a weekend visit and was playing dress-up with their 4 1/2-year-old daughter.

    "I heard my mom say say in a sneaky kind of teasing voice, 'Do you want a massage?'" wrote the OP. "She then pinched my daughter pretty hard on the neck/shoulder area. My daughter yelled and crumpled and my mom laughed."

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  • The OP remembered their mom doing it to them when she was the same age.

    "I immediately had an adrenaline rage rush," wrote the OP. "After a deep breath, I hugged my daughter and told her grandma was being mean and should apologize because we don't play that way. My mother refused and said they were just having fun. I told her that if she ever does that again, she can't have a relationship with my daughter."

  • This led to a big fight, the OP explained.

    "My mother thinks I’m completely overreacting and coddling my daughter," the OP noted. "I also spoke with my father, and he thinks it wasn’t cool, but I should lighten up since it wasn’t what he would call abuse, just rough play, if a little weird."

    The OP concluded that they think it's "pretty sick to think it's funny to inflict pain on a small child." "I’m determined to stand firm on this ultimatum," they explained. "Would you folks agree with me or am I overreacting?"

  • Redditors jumped in to reassure the OP that she was right to make this call with her mom -- for a variety of reasons.

    "You're not overreacting at all," one wrote. "That is mean and quite sadistic. I'm not sure what her intentions were or if that is just her idea of rough play? Either way, that's not ok!"

    Another pointed out that kids learn how to behave from the adults in their life. "I try to remember that kids learn how to behave and treat others by watching us," they noted. "Do you (or your mother), want to watch your daughter happily playing with kids at the playground and then see her suddenly pinch one and laugh when that child cries? No, of course not. You would tell her to apologize and possibly make her leave the playground that day. Maybe put it in that perspective for your mom?"

    A third explained that this is also a matter of the OP teaching her child about consent. "If you don't stop this now, you're teaching your daughter staying nice to people she knows is more important than her feelings and safety," the Redditor wrote. "Where is she supposed to draw the line if someone hurts her 'for real' if they are friends of the family or someone she knows? (For real is in quotes, because she was hurt for real this time too.)"

  • Later in the thread, the OP described her mom as "a bully."

    "I wonder if I would feel differently if my mother was a kind, gentle person, but she's not," the Redditor noted. "I think I reacted so strongly to this because it looked to me like intentionally mean behavior."

    That being the case, it seems like the OP had no choice but to set a boundary like this with her mom. Here's hoping grandma learns her lesson -- or is subject to additional boundaries down the road.