When toxic grandparents get involved


I know there are many, many grandparents who suffer horribly when their child has been with a toxic person and now has to fight for their grandchild in court. It doesn’t matter if it’s the son or the daughter.

And many want to help and not just stand idly by and watch what is happening to their child and grandchild. I have now received several letters or even phone calls from grandparents who researched and eventually found what they were looking for on my website.

However, this blog article is solely about toxic grandparents who exacerbate the bad dynamics around the child and do not see the child’s needs, but instead focus solely on their own rights and interests.

Nasty surprise

Anyway, in the first few months of separation, you think you only have one problem with your toxic ex – and out of the blue you get a call from your ex-mom-in-law who’s upset that you’re withholding the child from her boy.

Or forced him to go to court to get his due.

But after all, you have a child together! Now take a step towards him! After all, you loved each other once!

You might try to explain it to her, but you don’t know what to say.

What should you answer to such reproaches?

“Yes, we loved each other once. Until I found out that your golden boy is an ass.”

“And yes, your son has the right to see his kid. Which, by the way, he already does – we’ve agreed on regular visitations. However, he doesn’t keep the arrangements, and that’s pretty bad for the kid, which is why I have to draw boundaries.”

“Don’t you think it’s strange that he used to stay out late all the time – often traveling for the weekend on business and leaving me alone with the baby – and all of a sudden he wants the alternating residency model?”

But she only understands what she wants to understand – that you want to take the child away from her boy. Like the one friend of hers did thirty years ago with her Ex after he cheated on her. She knows women like that! Vindictive broads, all of them!

Mind you, it’s also about her only grandson, and you know she was almost more excited than you were when you got pregnant back then.

She was always there, even in the first baby year, when you needed to take a breather or had a doctor’s appointment of your own.

She’s afraid that you’ll not only want to take her son away, but her grandchild as well.

The prospect of being a grandma in residence isn’t great, especially when she used to care for the child full time at least one day a week. And the poor boy himself only gets to see the child 4 to 6 days a month – surely she can’t take one or even two days away from him as well?

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It’s quite possible that she will use one or the other lever to support her boy

She calls the Youth Welfare Office and defames you and complains that you are so stubborn and would prevent visits. And what you have done wrong as a mother in the past – “You have no idea!”

Or she writes letters to the court together with her husband – maybe even to the OLG – to make you look bad.

Or she herself applies to the court for contact – after all, she has the right to see her grandchild regularly!

That is already bad, but somehow still understandable, if it is the mother of the Ex, who has found with the pursuit of the rights of her son finally a new hobby in her boring pensioner everyday life.

However, I also know cases where your own mother violently crosses the line and wants to force you to go on grandma tours. 

And mutates into a Flying Monkey.

If you are a highly empathetic wife and mother, it is quite possible that you yourself already had contact with narcissists in your family of origin and that your Ex merely served patterns in your relationship that you knew from an early age.

No, not every narcissistically predisposed grandmother runs with the separation against you to the top form!

But the feeling of having to fight on too many fronts at the same time makes you stunned – especially if you didn’t expect it and you can count the supporters in your own ranks on one hand. If not even a single finger is already enough… 

Now how can you best handle it when the Ex mother-in-law or your own parents interfere and take massive action against you?

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know by now that you can’t win if you want to make other people not do something.

Or want to control what they say or write. 

I completely understand that human frustration is huge, and you find yourself pretty much alone in front of a toxic wall because everyone seems to be conspiring against you.

But this is where you should actually let go.

As always, focus on the child.

If he has a stable and beautiful relationship with his grandmother, then think about how much you can allow, as long as you are also comfortable with it.

The following applies: The father has his family and provides the time so that the child can maintain the relationship with the paternal grandparents.

And you have your time, making sure your child can build relationships with other people – be it grandparents, friends, and other caregivers. The nice ones, of course! 😉

If you don’t have a problem with giving your ex-mother-in-law time with her grandson during your visitation time, too, then do that.

But if it turns your stomach, then don’t do it. No one can ask you to give space and time in your life to people who slander you or are toxic themselves!

Do you want to feel confident about managing child hand-offs with your toxic ex?


I want to reassure you, sweetheart.

After all, some get the idea of adding up the weekly and monthly hours you spend with the child as a residential model mom

“After all, you have the child 570 hours a month – my son only just under 150!” or also:

“You have the child 24 hours a day, and for two weeks at a stretch, my son only 3 days!”

Whichever sounds more outrageous.

Yes, but! 🙄

Of these 24 hours, the child sleeps at least 10 and goes 8 hours to daycare or school. What remains is a maximum of 6 hours of everyday life, which the grandma could not spend with the child during the week even without separation. 

And which the father also tried to avoid at all costs in the relationship.

By the way, sweetheart: You also have the right to a carefree fun weekend away from everyday life with your child!

No, you don’t have to please everyone, just because you can understand that other people also want to spend time with your sweetheart so much!

And of course you know that the child does not “belong” to you.

But you also have the duty to step into the breach when the child is being pulled at every corner.

Especially when you are freshly separated, the child first has to process a lot, and for this, he needs time and above all a quiet everyday life. One day here, one day there, two days here, and two days there – and that alternately with several people – is in my opinion poison for the process.

If you also want to encourage your child according to his abilities, it really becomes too much. The little one then has a heavier schedule than we adults!

Therefore: You can still empathize best with the child since you are the empathic parent. Defend his time to rest with all the sovereignty you are capable of.  

Your security comes from knowing and sensing what your child needs most right now!

Of course, these are also times to build a bond with other caregivers. But if it is not a question of the child not having any contact with the grandparents at all – because it is with grandma or grandpa at least two days a month, organized by the child’s father – then that is also no reason to squeeze extra time out of your weekly routine with the child for the paternal grandparents.

When it comes to discussions about contact with the grandparents, concentrate your arguments only on the weekends. 

After all, even in the residence model, they are correctly divided between you.

And then you politely refer to her own golden boy, who surely enjoys spending time with the child AND his mother… 😉 

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