Dear Carolyn • I grew up with a mother who was profoundly manipulative, volatile and mean-spirited. My siblings and I all have anxiety disorders for which we have sought counseling. I have distanced myself from my mother and have a happy life with my husband and 4-year-old daughter.
I have begun allowing my mother limited contact with daughter out of my mother's desire to have a relationship with her. I am comfortable with where the boundaries currently are, but my mother is not. She continually pushes to have my daughter for weekend visits (she lives several hours away).
I do not believe she would overtly harm my daughter, but she can "fly off the handle" when upset and has very different ideas than I do about what is "acceptable" behavior from a 4-year-old.