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Just had a blazing row with df.

(67 Posts)
OscarPistoriusBitontheside Sun 06-Jan-13 18:24:27

Like the title says I have just had a blazing row with my father.

Ds1 went into say hello and knocked a portable hard drive off a table. Df has
Millions of fucking computers and hard drives and gadgety shit with assorted trailing wires littering the room he spends all his time in. Him and my mum live in a huge house but spend most of their days on computers in one room.

My mum is fab, but constantly apologises for my dad's behaviour, always has, always will. Anyway df balled out ds1 and I let df have it both barrels I'm afraid.

Df is a selfish man, typical baby boomer in all right jack type, who thinks he can tell me where I'm going wrong with life, etc. and him yelling at ds1 was the final straw. He never does anything with ds', the last time he took them on a day out was dec 27th 2010 and that was only ds1 and only because my mum suggested it because ds2 was still tiny and I had noro.

No one ever says "no" to my dad. I'm sorry to say I yelled at him that he'd be lucky if I ever bothered my arse bringing my kids to him again because when they are there he just ignores them anyway.

Ds1 said to me he didn't know what the point of grandad was. confused He's their only grandad and is too busy with his stupid computers and HIS hobbies to ever give them a minute. I'm really very sad about all this but I know that he'll never change and it reals my heart to think he's missing out on their lives.

My mum said that he's "not a kiddy person", as if that excuses his behaviour somehow.

I don't know what to do or say anymore.

tribpot Sun 06-Jan-13 18:26:44

So why do you take your dc to see him? If he's not interested in children it benefits no-one for them to spend time together.

Couldn't your mum come to you instead?

HecatePropolos Sun 06-Jan-13 18:28:49

Sounds like you're right - he isn't that bothered about the kids.

Sad as that may be, there's bog all you can do to change that. You just have to accept it and spend your time with people who want to spend it with you and who don't criticise everything about you.

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Sun 06-Jan-13 18:30:15

We go and see them because we ( dh and i) run the family business and the kids adore the outside space.

dequoisagitil Sun 06-Jan-13 18:30:35

If he's not a kiddy person, stop 'inflicting' the kids on him.

You can always just do essential family gatherings rather than regular visits that you think he ought to like. You're not in the wrong, but it's just no point trying to make someone something they aren't.

dequoisagitil Sun 06-Jan-13 18:32:23

Let them enjoy the outside without 'bothering' grandad then?

BelleDameSansMerci Sun 06-Jan-13 18:32:25

I think it'll do him good to have someone stand up to him and tell him some home truths. That said, if he's not interested he will not feel that he is missing out and there is little that you can do about it.

PepsiCoco Sun 06-Jan-13 18:34:16

If he's not a kiddy person why are you trying to force him to be? You chose to have children

tzella Sun 06-Jan-13 18:34:30

You shouldn't have to do but can't you make their computer room out of bounds and make another room your Visiting Room? Then DF can bumble out, grunt hello and slope off then you, DM and family can have the run of the rest of the place?

I suppose he wasn't terribly friendly to you growing up either?

colditz Sun 06-Jan-13 18:36:44

You can't make someone else like your children. If he doesn't want to interact with them, don't bring them near him.

VBisme Sun 06-Jan-13 18:37:38

Why would you take the kids to see their grandad if they just get in his way? How is that going to make anyone feel good?

(Sorry, I didn't understand your explanation of running the family business and there being outside space, there's outside space a lot of places that won't involve the kids being screamed at).

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Sun 06-Jan-13 18:39:10

It's a farm. I know I chose to have children, but is it really too much to ask that he is at least civil?

VBisme Sun 06-Jan-13 18:43:32

Unfortunately it seems that perhaps it is.

How was he when you were growing up? Did you have to stay out of dads way then?

Could you reduce the length of time you are there and make sure that the kids are supervised if they come indoors?

My stepkids have a very difficult time with their maternal grandfather, but their mum makes sure that they are supervised around him so it doesn't breakdown into shouting.

I do sympathise, it must be very difficult.

QuickLookBusy Sun 06-Jan-13 18:43:40

He should want to spend time with his grandchildren.
He should be nice to them and play with them.

But you cannot make him.sad tbh I would just keep them out of his way.

Does your mum like to see them?

Mayisout Sun 06-Jan-13 18:43:44

No def not too much to ask so he is selfish git who can't make time for others. Your DM indulges this.

It's v disappointing as you assume that DGPs will be happy and interested in the future generation but that isn't always the case.

And prob good that you let him know how you feel. Though doubt it will make much difference. He is just a selfish git.

StuntNun Sun 06-Jan-13 18:44:07

My ILs are the same. The DGCs (9 and 6) are expected to play quietly in their house and not interrupt adult conversations. In our house and in my parents' house they are treated as part of the family and included, not expected to entertain themselves quietly in a separate room to the adults. You can't change then though, just have to put up with it.

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Sun 06-Jan-13 18:44:55

It's not too much to expect your father to be civil to his grandson, but you can't make him civil. Not to mention that your DS knocked a portable HD off the table, hardly going to help is it? Your Dad sounds like a selfish bastard, I'd have stopped visiting him a long time ago.

AvonCallingBarksdale Sun 06-Jan-13 18:45:15

Fair enough he's not a "kiddie" person, but presumably he, too, chose to have children? It's not as if the OP's DC's are strangers, they are his grandchildren! I would have thought he'd want to spend time with them confused

My F is the same. You can't force a relationship, and although it hurts you to hear that your DC don't see the point of their GF, it doesn't hurt them. Once I realised that my DC weren't bothered by F's indifference, it became a lot easier for me to disengage. Selfish twats are selfish twats, and they always will be.

Dotty342kids Sun 06-Jan-13 18:48:01

Oh, I feel your pain! My dad and I always had "issues" to put it politely but for a long, long time I put up with his lack of interest in me, and then my husband (there was some racism going on there too, just to add to the mix!).
However, when my children came along and he was utterly uninterested in them I really started to resent the time spent with him. We used to visit twice per year and for the entire duration he'd eitiher get on with jobs around the house or feign polite interest in us - not that he feigned it particularly effectively!
The last straw came when we went out for lunch on one visit. My DS was 4 and my DD 2. My DS fidgeted around on his seat in the pub, as 4yr olds are wont to do, and my dad told him off and was just grumpy as anything about having to spend time with them. That was it for me - if you're not prepared to put time and effort into the fun stuff with kids and getting to know them as little people, then you havn't earnt the right to discipline or criticise them.
So, I wrote to him, explaining how hurt I was by his lack of interest and that I wasn't prepared to make my children spend time with someone who had such little interest in them but if he did want to see them, then of course we would. He responded by telling me that "kiddies did not float his boat"!! About his own grandchildren!!
I appreciate that not all men of a certain age like small children but at the same time, everyone can put on a basic level of social niceness and civility for small amounts of time. If they can't, then life is too short to put up with their foul nature!
For me, that was the point at which I cut off all contact with him, and told my children (when they were old enough to ask and understand) that he simply wasn't someone who was good at being a grandad. It's sad but we were all so much happier and saner for making that decision!

BelleDameSansMerci Sun 06-Jan-13 18:51:19

Actually, it's just good manners to be polite to guests regardless of age, surely? Think it's lousy manners to treat people this way whether they're children, family or whatever.

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Sun 06-Jan-13 18:51:31

20 minutes we were there, 20. Ds1 wanted to go and sit with his grandfather and knocked this thing off on his way to going to be with him. Df always tells ds1 "oneday all this will be his", so it's like he wants grandsons but not with ever having to deal with them and the convenience of living off an income we provide via the farm, but not having to be civil. I'm not making much sense I know, I'm just so cross and upset. hmm

He wasn't a hands on dad, at all. He never took us in child friendly days out, ever. My mum did all that. She is so amazing with my boys, I can't stress that enough, but she's so used to enabling his behaviour that I think she forgets it's not "normal".

Startail Sun 06-Jan-13 18:53:01

I'd have balled out your DS if he walked into my room and knocked something flying.

If he'd done it to DHs or my DFs electrical equipment he would have got a slap as well as a shouting at.

Just because you aren't interested in his hobby there is no reason to treat it with such distain.

That he may not be a very hands on grandpa is a totally different matter, to be handled calmly at another time.

Bluesue26 Sun 06-Jan-13 19:02:24

@Startail so your DS knocks something off a table BY ACCIDENT and he deserves to be slapped?! shock

colditz Sun 06-Jan-13 19:08:23

Startail .... Wow. What a horrible family you have.


What if anything do you get out of this relationship with your parents now?. You still want their approval?.

Do you really want to spend any time with your parents any longer after this sorry episode?. If this is what he is like after 20 minutes as well...

He was not a hands on dad and he is certainly not inclined to be in any way a hands on grandparent. Honestly the two of them could not care less. You want him to be more civil, well that is not going to happen.

Also such people never ever apologise for their actions nor even take any responsibility for them.

Your father is at heart a self absorbed and selfish person and your mother simply enables his behaviour to continue; she is also at fault here as well so I would not let her off the hook either.

You can and should protect your children from such toxic influences. BTW I doubt very much whether your father has any intention whatsoever to leave his property to his grandchildren at all.

It may well break your heart to think that he is missing out on their lives but your Dad likely does not see it that way at all.

Honestly I would cut the pair of them off as of now but you probably want to maintain some sort of relationship with your enabler of a mother. She is also a part of the problem here.

dequoisagitil Sun 06-Jan-13 19:26:11

shock If a slap is acceptable in your family life, startail, it's time you reassessed.

aurynne Sun 06-Jan-13 19:31:28

There is nothing more irritating for a person who does not like children that children being inflicted to them, especially when they break things and parents expect them to show enthusiasm instead of irritation.

Your father does not like children and has unequivocally shown many times that he does not enjoy spending time with your DS1. When are you going to accept this fact? It may not be what you what to happen, and he certainly does not sound like a fun person to be with. But that's who he is, and you just have to accept that. Honestly, your children won't miss on anything... they would if he ever had been different.

Also, "threatening" him with not bringing the children any more is ridiculous. He is obviously looking forward to exactly that thing happening.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 06-Jan-13 19:32:00

What other posters have said really, if your dad doesn't want a hands-on relationship with your children then that really can't - and shouldn't - be forced.

It ought to be quite easy though to visit without risk of knocking over your father's things or visit with your mother elsewhere. There are plenty of outdoor spaces.

Do you have any kind of relationship with your father? Is it dependent on whether he's the sort of grandfather you feel your children should have?

One thing that I didn't like from your OP was this... "What's the point of grandad?". I would step on that as quickly as anything. Your father is a person in his own right, he's doesnt exist for the sole purpose of being a grandfather and I wouldn't let my child say that kind of thing ever again.


Words fail me, you would actually hit someone for accidentially knocking something off a table?. It was an accident seemingly waiting to happen bearing in mind that the OPs father has seemingly millions of computers and other assorted computer type stuff lying about. He's using the computers in place of actually interacting with other people including his family.

aurynne Sun 06-Jan-13 19:34:53

Attila, while I entirely agree that slapping a child for accidentally dropping something is wrong, you will have to agree too that the grandfather has the complete right to have as many gadgets as he wishes in HIS own house, and it's the responsibility of the visitor to either be careful or just meet elsewhere if they don't like the house.

dequoisagitil Sun 06-Jan-13 19:38:52

I think little dc are more or less bound to knock stuff over once in a while in a cluttered environment.

A loving GP won't give a shit, or will deal with it. A non-loving GP will be an asshole about it, and I wouldn't bother taking the dc there.

dequoisagitil Sun 06-Jan-13 19:40:15

deal with it sensibly - ie keeping them out of the room, putting stuff up out of reach, having a child-safe area.

Its his house yes and his stuff but if he is in there all the time then he is not interacting with the family. Children are curious and OPs child probably wanted to know what his grandad was up to in there. He overreacted completely to what was an accident. OP's father is using the computers in place of family because it is to him far easier to act with a machine than make any effort with any actual person. He strikes me as being completely inadequate and his wife enables his behaviour to continue.

To me Oscar's Dad was a crap father and he is just as rubbish as a grandparent. Unfortunately Oscar can only change how she reacts to them.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 06-Jan-13 19:49:07

Attila... we really don't have much information from the OP. You can assume what you want but you've already suggested that you 'bet the grandfather isn't intending to leave anything for his grandchildren'. How do you know that?

Also, unless you're thinking that the OP is pretty damn neglectful in taking her sons to a home where one of the owners doesn't welcome them, you might just have to leave room for the possibility that perhaps OP's father wasn't that awful to her growing up.

aurynne Sun 06-Jan-13 19:51:34

"if he is in there all the time then he is not interacting with the family" --> So what? It's his decision, there is no law that a person has to want to interact with his ghrandchildren. He very obviously does not want to. The OP should stop pushing t and accept that he just does not want to interact with her son. it's clear enough for anybody else. And the desire to interact with a person is not something that can be forced on anyone. The more you push it, the worse it gets.

Children who are now adults of inadequate parents still seek approval from them albeit on a subconscious level.

I can see why OP has taken her children over to her parents house but they are clearly not wanted. OP can only change how she herself reacts to the two of them.

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Sun 06-Jan-13 20:05:24

He was ok as a father growing up, I have happy memories, but it was always on his terms. Honestly I think he doesn't realise his behaviour is abnormal.

Regarding the portable hard drive it didn't break, it was knocked off by ds1 catching the wire as he stepped over it. He then picked it back up and it was fine! We were all in the kitchen and ds1 had pottered off to go and say hello, because ds1 is a kind boy who wants to say to a man he thinks he should love. It's pretty shit to think that my df doesn't seem to love us enough to come and say hello to us and not yell and rant at ds1 for an accident!

My mum is very involved with my boys, she looks after ds2 a couple of days a week (her request), she comes to their performances/assemblies, etc at HER choice, not mine. she genujnley loves her grandsons and the time she spends with them, she loves being with them, honestly. I do however think she has been with df so long and never stood upto him that she doesn't know how to anymore.I wouldn't want to cut her out because it would be bloody unfair to her, but I need to evaluate our relationship with df.

dontyouwantmebaby Sun 06-Jan-13 21:02:42

"Df always tells ds1 "oneday all this will be his", so it's like he wants grandsons but not with ever having to deal with them and the convenience of living off an income we provide via the farm, but not having to be civil."

OP, I could be reading between the lines your post incorrectly but I get the sense there's concern that your son will not inherit the farm from your Df? confused Apart from him not playing the role of doting grandparent, perhaps you are too keen for them to 'bond' because of this?

It sounds like you are the one providing your Df with an income via the farm and this is a worry for your family's future. IME it is best not to push a parent who doesn't want to be involved, you still have your fab mum.

janelikesjam Sun 06-Jan-13 21:09:19

If he is not open to reason or confrontation, I think you have to try to be creative in your dealings with him. If you can't go through an obstacle, try going round it? See him less often? or at a different location? or visit GP's house when he's not there? This way you can keep the potential unplesantness to a minimum. Its nice if kids have a good relationship with their gpts, but honestly much more important that their mother/father loves them. At least your mum sounds like a hands-on grandma so you are very fortunate there.

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Sun 06-Jan-13 21:14:34

Honestly re:farm I have asked that ds1 not be told "all this will be yours"
Because I don't want to put that kind of pressure on him or ds2. I want them to be free to make their own choices about their future, not pushed into a decision by others expectations.

flippinada Sun 06-Jan-13 21:37:52

Oscar when I read your post I was nodding along. You could be describing my Dad - in fact they sound of an age.

He wasn't an awful father, but he wasn't a good one either. He is very self centred. My stepmum enables his behaviour. My sister and me always say that he likes the concept of children but not the reality of them. He doesn't really have much of a relationship with his grandchildren and tbh I don't think he's much bothered.

I understand where your are coming from, totally.

flippinada Sun 06-Jan-13 21:44:14

That sounds quite a miserable post doesn't it?

I've accepted what my Dad is like and I don't feel sad about it any more..that's just who is and he won't change now.

Just wanted to say I understand. I.don't get people who behave like that either but ultimately it's his lot. I also know where your DS is coming from with his "what's the point in grandad" comment. He doesn't need to be punished for that, he's expressing his feelings in the way that children of his age. I remember how crushing it is to be belittled, ignored and knocked back. It's a horrible feeling, at any age.

flippinada Sun 06-Jan-13 21:44:53

I don't mean his lot, I mean his loss! Typing on a phone.

shallweshop Sun 06-Jan-13 21:51:09

Bloody hell startail! That's sad :-( Maybe it is a sign of the times that people are becoming more and more computer obsessed and less interested in real life, people and families. Am signing off immediately lest I become one ...

Startail Sun 06-Jan-13 21:53:49

my DF is a very loving grandfather and DH a very loving Dad, but neither of them is likely to react well to anything other than the smallest child bouncing into their workrooms and knocking things over.

A hard disc is expensive and delicate.

That all these computer and other hobby junk collecting men ought to live in less of a mess goes without saying.

However, having known a great many of them over the years, this doesn't happen.

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Sun 06-Jan-13 22:33:48

He didn't bounce in, he walked in and caught it by accident. He is 7. It was a genuine accident, the sort of thing that could happen to all of us.

Thanks for your advice though everyone. Except startail. Really you need to look at your life.

colditz Sun 06-Jan-13 23:31:53

Startail, slapping is not love.

Startail Mon 07-Jan-13 00:56:57

I knew I'd bring out the anti corporal punishment brigade, you are boring and predictable.

When one of you comes up with a method of discipline that actually works. I'll listen.

The horrific limit pushing I've seen from friends DCs and the stress it causes both parties leaves me wondering if modern methods make anyone happier.

Also, I was cross that the OP seemed to think that her DS could damage stuff of his grandfathers and not be punished. So there was an element of devils advocate wink

Not because her DS was being silly, but because she has larger issues with her DF

colditz Mon 07-Jan-13 01:11:05

All you teach a child when you slap them is that the biggest person makes the rules. In this house, the biggest person is going to be my eldest son in two years time, when he's eleven.

Still think slapping is effective discipline? How about when the kid slaps you back and breaks your jaw?

Slapping is the kind of method that inarticulate people use when their kid turns out to be brighter than them.

SirBoobAlot Mon 07-Jan-13 01:13:43

Yes, so boring and predictable for not advocating child abuse. I would rather have limit pushing than a child living in fear of having an accident because they would be hurt for it. Disgusting.

OP I'd put some distance between your dad and yourself / your children. Sounds like there are some major issues going on, but whatever they are, they will have a detrimental effect on all of you.

Startail Mon 07-Jan-13 07:53:04

The only "issue" I have with my DF is that he is the most loving, loyal hard working father that I could possibly have wished to have.

In the truest sense of that naff phrase he gave me roots and wings.

A stable loving home I knew would always be on my side and that I'd always be welcome back to and the self confidence to go out into the world and make my own life.

He sacrificed many of his dreams to support us and to be a devoured DH to my Mum.

I've just spent what may well be my last Christmas with him.

I'll thank you not to insult a person you know nothing about.

Startail. The only things we know about your family are the things you have told us on this thread.

I'm not surprised at the reactions.

WaynettaSlobsLover Mon 07-Jan-13 08:46:59

Startail. As a former hc professional, I strongly advise you seek help for your issues. It's not right or normal to advocate 'slapping' a child for such a trivial thing as accidentally knocking a harddrive over. You responded with almost a tone of condescension to the OP. I would bet your childhood is not all you are making it out to be. Not rocket science but its actually possible to bring up children strictly and well behaved without slapping them. You may want to give that a thought.

Greensleeves Mon 07-Jan-13 08:56:21

SirBoobALot - you rock grin

MN seem to have a particular infestation of child-whacking meat puppets at the moment. This too shall pass.

OP your dad sounds like a nightmare. Some people are just too self-absorbed to deal with children. I would minimise contact between him and your children, spend lots of time outside when there, and invit your mum out/to yours more often.

Startail Mon 07-Jan-13 09:12:29

Much thought and reached a different conclusion.

And know I have a vast number of Christmas decorations to take down.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 07-Jan-13 09:18:31

Oscar, I actually think you should be congratulated for standing up to your father. It won't change him or make him see the error of his ways and become a better father or grandfather, but for you I think it is significant that you were able to tell him that you find his behaviour unacceptable (because it is).

It's a shame your mother was never able to do that.

Listen to your DC: if they say they don't see the the point of their grandfather, it's because they have a keen understanding that he brings nothing to their lives. He doesn't want to. Best to let them keep company with people - family or not - who will cherish and value them. There are other outdoor spaces than the family farm, too.

Good luck - detaching from parents is a very difficult thing to do.

flippinada Mon 07-Jan-13 10:09:39

People who advocate slapping and yelling at a child for being clumsy and enthusiastic - essentially just being a normal kid - are bullying arseholes.

They remind me of the "outraged of Tunbridge Wells" meme - you know, old "I was battered senseless with an iron bat everyday and it never did me any harm <twitch twitch> "

I was smacked as a child and it didn't make me hate my parents or anything but it did make me feel angry and humiliated.

pictish Mon 07-Jan-13 10:21:07

Startail - stop hogging the limelight with your nonsense. You don't know anything about what happened. The OP is telling you that it was a genuine accident, yet you are determined that the lad deserved a slap...because you were there of course. Listen to what you are being told, don't just make up yopur own version, then use it as an excuse wax lyrical about your dad! confused

If your kids get slapped for accidents, then you are a crow. Slapping your kids at all is deeply questionable as well...seeing as you don't read like a particularly rational person. Fuck sake.

OP - you are right...your dad is cantankerous swine. Good for you for standing up to him. He sounds like a bully with no respect for the feelings of others.

flippinada Mon 07-Jan-13 10:21:53

Agree that it's good you felt able to stand up to your Dad.

Mine once told me my DS was a "spoilt brat who needed a good slap". This because DS (then age 3) cried when I left him with my Dad for five minutes while I went to run an errand.

I ripped him a new one after that - I think he didn't know what had got into me as I'm not the argumentative out confrontational type - I'm not exactly sure myself! Funny isn't it how you can find the strength to do for your children what you can't do for yourself.

Just realised I've gone on about me again..apologies, not meaning to turn this into the me, me, me - wanted to offer some sympathy and solidarity.

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Mon 07-Jan-13 10:27:03

It's ok Flippin' sometimes these type of threads make you introspective.

flippinada Mon 07-Jan-13 10:32:55

Thanks Oscar - your post really touched a nerve - your Dad sounds very similar to mine. I think you did the right thing.

Startail Tue 08-Jan-13 10:01:06

I never said your DS deserved good slap, I said he was luck not to get one.

Like it or not those with technical hobbies ARE very protective of their "junk" however exasperating the rest of us find it.

As for how I discipline my DDs, I find my occasionally smacked when they were little, sometimes shouted at, hugged a lot DCs, vastly nicer and a lot happier and more self confident than some of their more indulged friends.
They also don't have their poor HT pulling his hair out, sadly DCs from very nice families, who are scared to impose boundaries do.

ToomuchWaternotWine Tue 08-Jan-13 10:21:21

Startail, why don't you do us and the thread a favour, go away and take your decorations down like you said. Oh and don't forget to slap the kids if they trip over them. hmm

DistanceCall Tue 08-Jan-13 10:51:53

I was slapped 3 times in my life by my father, and remember all 3 of them, because of the shock -- it was basically because I had got lost and he was so terrified that he just reacted that way when I turned up.

I can understand that, and I don't think it's really that terrible, because parents are human beings after all. Slapping a child because he accidentally knocks something off a table, however expensive it may be? That's utterly disgusting.

DistanceCall Tue 08-Jan-13 10:53:31

As for OP, keep your children away from your father, not from your mother, and explain to your children that their grandfather is a bit grumpy in general (so that they don't think it's personal, he just doesn't like children). His loss.

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