Cutting Off Toxic Parents

Hi Sara,

My daughter is struggling with a dilemma which is not uncommon. My granddaughter is now fifteen and no longer wants to visit her father. The man is a complete narcissist in every way and she feels she can no longer relate to him on any level. Therefore she is uncomfortable being with him and his new wife. Being as it is, he’s putting the responsibility back on my daughter which is causing her great anxiety. She tries to be encouraging to her daughter to remain open with her father but she says, and it’s true, that he is unwilling to take any responsibility. He simply puts it back on everyone else. My granddaughter is an honor student, has good friends, is not delinquent and is well adjusted to have been through her parents divorce. She is also in counseling and goes with her mother as well.

Her mother is seeing a new friend and her ex has threatened to take her back to court if she allows my granddaughter to be around him. Of course there is a back story to this but the bottom lines, why should he be allowed to continue to control them both when he has moved on with his life. What do you suggest that my daughter can do that would help relieve her stress and anxiety.
-Concerned Grandpa

Dear Concerned Grandpa,

Your granddaughter sounds very mature for her age and capable of making good decisions for herself. If she chooses to not visit her father then her wishes should be honored. Your daughter is trying to get on with her life and her ex is still trying to control her and make her life miserable. The only way her ex will leave her alone is if she fights back. Unless there is something serious in her boyfriend’s background, she needs to get a lawyer and be willing to go to court. If she continues to be strong and not let him bully her, he will eventually give up. If she can take control of the situation and fight back, she should feel better.