May 07, 2021

Grandparents barred from seeing grandchild following babysitting mishap

GRANDPARENT & GRANDCHILD

According to the post, the 22-year-old father and his 23-year-old fiancée had recently welcomed a baby girl into the world, and had been receiving a lot of visits from family members. 

However, two months ago they made the decision to no longer allow his parents to see Thalia after they crossed a particular boundary. 

The young parents decided that their daughter would be left to make her own decision once she was older as to whether she would have her ears pierced. 

But his family – particularly his mother and father – had been pushing them to get Thalia’s ears pierced, saying “she’d look so cute”, despite the baby’s parents’ objection to it. 

The original poster said that on one particular day when his mother and father were looking after baby Thalia, they purposefully disregarded their wishes, and took the then seven-month-old to a friend of theirs and had her ears pierced. 

“When they babysat for us once they got one of my mom’s friends to do it and we were f***ing pissed they went behind our backs. We stopped talking to them after that for disrespecting our decision,” wrote Thalia’s father. 

According to the post, members of both the young parents’ families were against their decision to cut out the grandparents for what they say is “not a big deal”, including Thalia’s other grandparents on her mother’s side. 

After receiving pressure from their families, the young parents decided to relax the restrictions, and allow his parents to visit Thalia, as long as one of them is present. 

“So we decided they’re allowed to only see Thalia when one of us is around and they won’t be left alone with her. That’s where everyone is still saying we’re being massive a-holes because we’re still punishing them over something that’s not a big deal and we’re treating them like children,” he wrote. 

However, the young parents are holding strong, feeling that as a specifically communicated boundary was crossed, there should be some repercussions. 

The young father then turned to Reddit for advice on whether they were being too harsh with his parents, or if their decision was justified. 

“Are we being a**holes that we just don’t trust them alone with her and rather one of us be there always?”

The following discussion from other Reddit users was heavily swayed in the direction of the father, many pointing out the safety issues around unregulated ear piercing, and sharing their own experiences with grandparents overstepping boundaries. 

One commenter responded, saying “I wouldn’t be leaving my child with them ever again. My mum cut my daughter’s fringe and I lost it; this is another level altogether. What’s going to be [the] next thing they decide they know better on? They’re lucky they’re even allowed to see her [to be honest].” 

Another said, “Just think about what they’ve done. They permanently damaged their granddaughter’s ears to put jewelry in, which can cause an infection and possibly kill the child if it was not done with sterile gear, which is not confirmed because it was just one of their friends and possibly not a professional. If the granddaughter doesn’t like the piercings when she is older, then they permanently ruined one of the main parts of her body. That is absolutely absurd.”

“Yeah. It’s not about the ear piercing. It’s about blatant disregard for the parents’ wishes. You can’t trust people who not only will do things you don’t want them to do, but also refuse to apologize for what they did, dismissing it,” one comment read. 

“Agreed! Not only is it a disrespect to the [original poster] and their fiancée but they also took away their grandchild’s choice – which was the whole point [original poster] was having about allowing their child to decide later what she would like,” said another. 

As this story has made its way around the world, other people have commented on the situation, again many weighing in in support of the young parents. 

One Facebook comment said: “Those parents, young as they are, were entitled to have their decision respected that they didn’t want their daughter’s ears pierced as a baby. They had apparently been quite clear about that so the grandparents’ choice to go ahead regardless seems almost malicious on their part. It is to be hoped that some fence mending may be achieved in time.”

Another comment said that they totally supported the parents’ and their sense of distrust with leaving their child alone with her grandparents again. 

“I can never understand some grandparents doing things like this. To me, that is overstepping the mark. We aren’t the parents and should respect the parents wishes. Sorry, but I wouldn’t trust them in future as they were totally wrong to do this,” said the comment. 

Another called to the fact that milestones like these are often special events in parents’ and their children’s lives, and for the grandparents to make that decision was depriving them of that opportunity. 

What do you think? Is it fair that these young parents no longer want their daughter to be left alone with their grandparents, or is this an overreaction? Let us know in the comments. 

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  1. The parents wishes should be respected always. The grandparents have overstepped the mark here. If it were me I’d be very annoyed also.

  2. I am totally in support of the young parents, who had multiple sound reasons for wishing their daughter to wait to decide about having pierced ears until she was much older. Nothing gave the grandparents the right to override that.

    Many years ago, I gave my precious toddler son to my (normally reasonable and much-loved) parents to look after, complete with baby gear and car seat. I was absolutely nonplussed and very angry when I found out later that they had taken him shopping in their car but deliberately not put him in his baby seat. I found this not only disrespectful of me but very strange…Wouldn’t grandparents want to have the best available care and protection for their grandchildren?? Of course we didn’t have safety seats when I was their child – these weren’t around then! But things have moved on; we all use seat-belts, air-bags, assisted braking and the rest when travelling in our cars….If well-designed protective devices are available for our babies and children, why wouldn’t we use them?!! (That’s aside from the fact that, in Australia, it is illegal not to secure children under the age of 7 years in ‘properly adjusted and fastened’ restraints when they are in cars!)

  3. I’m completely on the side of the parents and Thalia – Thalia is the one who should be able to decide (probably as a rebellious teen) if and when she has any part of her body pierced. The grandparents violated their grandchild and need to be called to order for this.

    It’s a shame that their relationship with their grandchild will probably be affected in future by their stupid and reckless decision, so I think some family counselling sessions might be in order to allow them to confront what their did through the eyes of the parents, otherwise they will all just continue to resent each other.

  4. Not an over-reaction to put some absolute boundaries in place for a time period but you don’t want to paint yourself into a corner and rob your child of her grand parents either. Sounds like rather than focussing on whether the reaction was appropriate they could now shift to what does the pathway back look like? What would the grandparents need to do to make things right?

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