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parents constantly reminding me of birthday - vent

OK, this annoys me. Everytime I have a grandparents/relatives birthday coming up my dad not only tells me on the phone but also sends me an email the day of to remind me to call so and so because it's their birthday. I find this extremely irritating, especially since something I will call and get no answer and forget to call back and then he send me email, did you call yet? Also, every Christmas I make family calendar for everyone, with all the birthdays. I know when they are. I make the calendars personalized for every family! Yes, sometimes I can forget, but not often. This past week was my birthday, my grandma called me and said her card was in the mail (late). I got the card and didn't call her to thanks her, (are you supposed to?) and dad sends an email from his blackberry to my work yesterday to say, did you call to say thanks? I tell him I called and there was no answer, grandma's a busy lady, I'll try again. I feel like he's forcing me to do this! Then he sends me another email, Oh I hope you can get a hold of her, shes hard to get a hold of. ENOUGH Dad! They are REALLY getting to me with this. What would you say to nip this in the bud? I know they do this to my older brother as well. It's not like we are a close knit family or anything and I dont know what this is all about.
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Re: parents constantly reminding me of birthday - vent

  • Have you flat out told him to stop?
  • I have, but then sometimes I will slip up and he starts again! Im SO annoyed right now.I have a life, and I do acknowledge everyone's birthday, it's not like I act like they don't happen!
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  • Try one more time.  "Dad, I eat meals without you reminding me to. I say please and thank you without you reminding me to. I lock the door at night without you reminding me to.  Thank you for raising me to be a competent adult.  You can stop reminding me about people's birthdays, now." 

    Then don't engage.  If he e-mails you about someone's birthday, don't answer.  If he brings it up on the phone, end the conversation.  Make it clear every time that his reminders are not wanted. 

  • Is your dad retired?  Sounds like he has WAY too much time on his hands!

     

  • "Dad, you raised me correctly. I know how to be polite and I put the family calendars together, so I know when birthdays are. Could you please accept that I don't need to be reminded of every single event?"

    Repeat as necessary.

    Hope is not a strategy.
  • Tell him again, and then from there - dont' respond to his emails!  He keeps sending them, getting annoyed at not hearing form you?  Then you remind him "I'm an adult dad.  I don't need you reminding me".

    And for the record, no, I dno't think CARDS require an official "thank you". 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • The real underlying problem here is that he still sees himself as the manager of your relationships with other family members, and that he still sees you as an appendage he needs to get under control rather than a separate person and therefore your actions as a reflection on him.  He won't stop the reminders until this perception is remedied.
    image
  • image ReturnOfKuus:
    The real underlying problem here is that he still sees himself as the manager of your relationships with other family members, and that he still sees you as an appendage he needs to get under control rather than a separate person and therefore your actions as a reflection on him.  He won't stop the reminders until this perception is remedied.

     

    Kuus this is in fact the problem. My parents are all about appearances. I have been living in a different town for almost 5 years now, I'm not sure how to change his perception or if it ever will?. Everytime I talk to them on the phone it's in "we" sentences, I'm trying to create that boundary but they are SO trying to be controlling. It sucks.

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  • So start setting some boundaries. Only talk to your parents once a week, or whatever frequency works for you.

    And remind your dad EVERY time he brings it up that you know how to call someone on their birthday without his added help.

    Hope is not a strategy.
  • Well, are you answering to him? 

    Sounds like he's set an expectation for you to follow and checks on you periodically for compliance. 

    It's nice to have contact with family and send notes and cards of congratualtions from time to time.  But adults set their own standards, you don'y have to follow his.  You certainly don't have to answer to him.

    Once you realize this, its okay to be gentle with your dad.  He probably means well, he just needs to be told that you don't report to him anymore.  It may also be an easy way to communicate.  Find new ways.

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • Read the book called Boundaries. Its good and can help you. I have started to read it and am feeling more confident in not letting people cross that line
  • When you know that a birthday is coming up, screen your phone calls.  Don't answer the phone if your dad is calling.  Of course, he may leave a message, but you can't control that.

    Also, if he sends you an email "reminder" - - don't respond to it! 

    If you do tend to forget birthdays, there is happybirthday.com which is an email reminder (same as your dad, but less annoying since it's not a parent emailing!). 

    And if you do forget to call ON THE DAY of a birthday, don't sweat it!  Assuming the people who are celebrating another year in this world are over the age of 12, they should realize that you are busy, can't call them ON THE DAY every year, and just say "hi!  I wanted to wish you a happy birthday!  I didn't have spare time to chat, so I thought I'd call today (since its a weekend, since Weds aren't busy in the house) so we could have a few minutes to talk."

  • i can send him a calendar of my families bdays and my email address, then he can remind me every week if he wants.

    would that help?

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