Should a mother defend her abusive son

Should I give my son a Christmas card from my mother that we purposely have no contact with?

Let's make an analogy with our legal system as this is the disciplinary standard that we have agreed on as a whole.

Penalties for crimes, except for the most serious offenses, are imposed and then the person has "passed their time" and is given another chance in society with a full reset. As a society, we believe in second chances, reforms and no permanent resentment to make the rest of their lives miserable when the crime doesn't warrant it.

Well I don't know what your mom did, and we don't need to know, but some things you might be wondering: 1) Is a permanent punishment related to the crime or will a length of time be used to make it the point where the behavior was unacceptable?

2) Do you incorporate your punishment for her behavior towards you into her punishment for how she treated your son?

3) If you screwed up, really reformed and sought repentance from your child, would the twist of the knife refusing to ask repentance for even the rest of your days push you back to your old habits?

4) If your child is a little older and learns about grandparents from their friends, will you be telling the truth that their grandmother wants to spend time with them, but you won't let them?

5) How do you feel about the example you give your child that you do not believe that people can change, that even when they are repentant, they are not redeemable?

I can't answer these questions for you, but since you didn't mention any deaths from them or harassment, in my humble opinion you should allow your child the card. You don't have to tell your child it's bad - they can find out for themselves in time if she messes it up again in words, or in person if you ever let them. I would compare telling your child that grandma is bad to a divorced spouse who demonizes the other spouse when they are not around.

Dean MacGregor

I think you are misinterpreting why OP violated mother. It is not a punishment, it is intended to prevent further abuse. To use an analogy, let's not consider keeping insane people locked up in an asylum as a punishment, only for the protection of society.


... Actually, it is not only used for social protection, but ultimately for the treatment (and hopeful recovery) of these mentally ill people.


I think you seriously underestimate the effects of emotional abuse, including intergenerational abuse. OP also indicates that the mother behaved towards both her daughter and her grandson.

Dean MacGregor

@ n00b That may be, but the point I am making is that it is not for the purpose of punishment. Whether the real purpose is just to isolate for the protection of everyone else, or just treat, or a combination of the two really doesn't matter, as in either case they have no intention of punishing.


-1 for "they can find out for themselves in good time if they screw it up again" I think it is the parents' duty to warn of such situations and to prevent them. In order not to say, "Hey, you burned your hand, now I can tell you why touching hot things isn't smart," they might get burned and learn from it anyway. But parents should take care to create the safest possible environment