Ask Laskas: Motherly Misleadings

Jeanne Marie Laskas hands over the reigns to you: Play advice columnist and help mother is wedged between woes over her own mother and her grown up daughter.

Ask Laskas: Motherly Misleadings

I recently caught my 74-year-old mom lying o me about matters that concern my adult daughter. I believe she adds her own twist to the situation to create less concern on my part. It’s as if she thinks that I won’t have the right reaction to the truth. Do I confront my mother or let it go?

—Stuck in the Middle

What’s your take? Give your best advice in the comments below, and your answer might appear in the magazine.

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  • Your Comments

    • Laurie

      First, do a gut check. Is there some valid reason your family might not trust your reaction? If so, own up to it and get some help to correct that. Second, talk to both your mom and daughter, either together or separately. Don’t make accusations, but work toward a covenant of total honesty, for your part and theirs. Third, recognize that your daughter is an adult. It is time for her to stand on her own. That will require letting go. She needs to leave the nest, get out from under Momma’s wing and soar, and make mistakes, and learn, and correct them, and try again. Give her the freedom so that no subterfuge is necessary. Be there for support when it is sought, but avoid rescuing her from her own messes. Respect her like an adult, then your relationship can grow.

    • Mrs S

      Mention to your mom that you’d like to hear things straight and that you’ll try to be calm and fair in your reaction. Then let it go, and don’t hold it against her. Love her the way she is and treasure the time you have with her.

    • Kristin

      Thank your mother for trying to protect you and appreciate that she has a great relationship with your adult daughter.  If your daughter wants you to know about her situation it is her place to involve you, not your mothers.  

    • 123boo

      Skip your mother. Talk to your daughter. My mother plays this game with my father all the time.   And yes, she adds her own twist. I have no idea what motivates her, but she’s been doing this for years. It usually resulted in my father sending me money (which was nice, but I don’t like to leech). I finally told my father and step mother to just call me and ask me and I will tell them whats going on and whether or not I really need their help.

    • James Zaliga

      Sure, confront your mother.  But don’t be surprised if she just gets more ornery and deepens her lies.  There’s an adage about old dogs and new tricks.  Maybe an army boot and a lump of coal for both daughter and mother at Christmas might get your message across.  On the other hand, there’s nothing in your inquiry that dispels you from being a sneaky, conniving, controlling, busy-body troublemaker, so it could be that your mother’s mendacity is just rewards for your butinskiness.  As far as advice goes, I say don’t sweat it.  Sounds like your family is just like everybody else’s.

    • Fsbeltran0120

      For some reason my mother also keeps information about my daughter from me.  I’m thinking its their way of bonding and letting my daughter have someone to actually lean on for subjects that they feel uncomfortable or embarrased talking directly to me about.  Personally I think its harmless unless your mom is keeping serious issues or illegal activity from you.  I would discuss it with your mom by just letting her know that your aware of whats happening and to please just let you know if its something you need to get involved with.  Grandparents tend to let more go for grand kids, no matter what age, than they ever thought of letting us get away with, which can maybe sometime blind their own judgement.  Don’t worry, they have your daughter in their best interest, but they feel so much love knowing their grand child is confiding in them.   

    • Llolsen1

      Advice to public restroom cell phone conversation in next stall. It was bothersome .should I have said something? my Advice is ,no dont say anything. Just do your business then get the heck out of there. Thanks for listening LL Olsen

    • Jmhpls

      You already know that mother spins the truth to push you to a judgement she prefers, there is no need to empower her by confronting her. Your silence may be more powerful than a war of words.