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Old 08-03-2010, 10:58 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 89,296,520 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
So, the problem we have is the apparent disinterest in our son that he is starting to realize. It has even gone so far as for him to remark that he doesn't like his sister because "nana and pop pop love her more". The real issue for him is that up to a year or so ago, they were very focused on him and he really notices the change.
My problem with my inlaws is similar----disinterest.

When I'm not around, they treat my children very well at holiday gatherings. That's about the only time they see their aunts and uncles, my inlaws.

But they are a very active part of their 'blood' neices of nephews---babysitting, attending sporting events, etc.

My children were first and they never had an interest in them because they are technically my husband's step children, although my husband has been with them since they were very young and raised them as their own. I never minded their lack of interest in them until my husband's brother had children years later. They became very active aunts and uncles in those children's lives.

It's just disgusting. But I never kept my kids from them. My kids adored them. As the years went on, my children eventually noticed the differences. Which aunts and uncles they like now are different from the ones they liked when they were little. They like the aunts and uncles that aren't as involved in their cousins lives----because those aunts and uncles seem more real to them, like they are giving what they have to give to everyone and not being selective.
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:47 AM
pll
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fallingwater View Post
I have witnessed this from both sides. My sister and mother have a bad relationship. I think a big part of it is they have similar personalities and they clash big time. So at times my sister would use her daughter as some sort of pawn. If they got into any sort of disagreement, my mother was cut off. My sister often talked badly about my mother to her daughter so my niece grew up knowing it was completely acceptable to be disrespectful to her grandmother (my mom). My niece is now in her 20's and very rude to my mother. The latest was my mom offered to take my niece out for her birthday. They were to meet at the restaurant. My mom set up something with the staff where they would bring out a cake and so forth. My niece stood her up. So my mom sat the restaurant waiting and dealing with the staff that kept checking on my mom and when she might want to order and such. My mom ate her meal alone and went home. So I feel if you want to cut someone off then do it and dont use your kids as some sort of revenge tactic.
That is sad and unfortunate that that happened to your mom. I feel for her. I do know it is possible for many grandparents to keep peace with their grown children so they can stay close to their grandchildren. I have seen it. The grandparents aren't perfect but they "bite their tongue" for the sake of the relationship with their grandchildren.
I do think it is wrong to use the grandchildren as pawns. Every situation is different. One needs to look at the grandparent and determine if it is heathy to keep the relationship connected. If there is friction with their grown children and grandma is dysfunctional and destructive that's not good. If she attempts to create a wedge between her grandchildren and their parents then I think it is better to have a seperation. In other words, if grandma is telling their grandchild what an idiot (slight exaggeration) their mom is then it's best to cut them loose. IMO.
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:46 PM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,655,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
My problem with my inlaws is similar----disinterest.

When I'm not around, they treat my children very well at holiday gatherings. That's about the only time they see their aunts and uncles, my inlaws.

But they are a very active part of their 'blood' neices of nephews---babysitting, attending sporting events, etc.

My children were first and they never had an interest in them because they are technically my husband's step children, although my husband has been with them since they were very young and raised them as their own. I never minded their lack of interest in them until my husband's brother had children years later. They became very active aunts and uncles in those children's lives.

It's just disgusting. But I never kept my kids from them. My kids adored them. As the years went on, my children eventually noticed the differences. Which aunts and uncles they like now are different from the ones they liked when they were little. They like the aunts and uncles that aren't as involved in their cousins lives----because those aunts and uncles seem more real to them, like they are giving what they have to give to everyone and not being selective.
Thanks for the empathy and also for reading the novel I posted, lol.

This has been very difficult for us. Well, more for me. I want my parents to be a part of my childrens lives and for them to have a more dynamic family. My wife has never really had a strong relationship with my parents (mainly because I think they blame her for the discord between my siblings and I) and could take it or leave it. These issues push her closer to the leave it side.

While I don't like what is going on, I also feel guilt over it. I feel guilty, because my son doesn't deserve the indifference, but I also feel guilty as my parents are my parents and though they have certainly made and continue to make mistakes, they do care about us a lot and are one of only a few people that we can rely on.

For now we seem to be taking the distance approach. This weekend we have a birthday party to attend on my side of the family, but my son will be going with my in-laws down the shore for a pre-planned trip. The baby has been running a fever today, so we are thinking of having my wife's aunt watch her as there will be a lot of kids at the party. After this the next family event would be my daughters 1st birthday at the end of October. Hopefully some distance and time will help us see things a little clearer.
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
2,568 posts, read 5,854,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
The problem we have is that my son who is now 5 1/2 has started to notice and resents this a bit. Sometimes things are said, or he is ignored, or he is reprimanded for doing things only to "protect" my daughter who is 2.

We have talked to my parents about this several times and while they make a token effort, it quickly goes back to favoring one over the others. My parents will call repeatedly to ask to watch the 2 year old and do things with her, but leave the other kids out.
This is bad. It can cause serious self-esteem issues for your son in the future. It is your job to protect your son. This it what I would do. First have a talk and explain to your parents that the next time they show favoritism to one child over the other you will leave. You may just have to follow through with leaving a couple of times before your get through to them. Do not excuse them. What they are doing is bad for your family.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:40 AM
 
1,752 posts, read 3,162,202 times
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I had to let my kids decide. I get along okay with My Mom and Dad individually, but Mom is mean and bossy to dad to the point where it makes EVERYONE around them uncomfortable.

For a while I set up activities so my kids could give my parents the pleasure of their company. AFter a while, the kids became so uncomfortable they misbehaved so no one enjoyed their company. I was pulled in two different directions trying to make everyone happy and have a good time. We tried controlled visits, such as making mom and dad stay in a hotel when they came to town to give us a break. But Dad has Alzheimers's and mom was doing stupid stuff like sending him out of the hotel to walk the dog in the middle of the freakin night.

Finally decided I had a responsibility to my kids to role model positive relationships, and since there was nothing I could do to make that happen when my parents are around, I cut them loose. And I told my Mom why.

Mom keeps hinting about getting together this summer, but it is not going to happen. I will either visit my parents alone when the kids are with their dad, or I will take them up but have them stay at my brother's house (not super convenient).

My kids are my priority.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:12 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,572 posts, read 6,295,787 times
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My mother and I have always had a very volatile relationship and it got worse after I had my first child, because she was always trying to undermine my parental authority and seemed to want to take over as "mom".

When my oldest son was little, I was very careful to not let whatever was going on between me and my mom interfere with her relationship with him though. He spent a lot of time with her when he was little and adored her, and vice versa, so even if she and I were barely speaking, I never cut her off from taking him for a weekend or whatever.

Well, I didn't realize at that time how seriously mentally ill she is and I question the wisdom of those decisions now. Over time she has done things, such as showing favoritism, ignoring the younger boy, manipulating and trying to "triangulate" and pit us against each other, etc., and we all generally limit our contact with her. My younger son just says, in a wistful way, "I wish Grandma wasn't so crazy!". He has seen her "good" sides but they don't outweigh the crazy enough for him to actively choose to want to spend time with her. And now she focuses more on the youngest (who is my stepdaughter, and who she ignored for years for that reason) because she knows that the youngest is the only one who won't see through her manipulation and can still be "swayed" with material things. It's really sad.

So, I guess, to answer the original question: I don't tell her flat out that she can't see the kids, but they are old enough to avoid it if at all possible so it is infrequent. She goes on and on about "needing" her grand-kids in her life but refuses to accept how her awful behavior has driven everyone away and the grand-kids are only the tip of the iceberg with her. Everyone avoids her, pretty much, yet according to her it is because we are all awful and selfish and uncaring. My eldest, who spent the most time with her, has the same sort of issues now that I have with her, and lots of guilt that comes with it (he is 20), so I wonder if it was worth it to try and keep her in his life when he was younger, considering the outcome.
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