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to marvel at how unfeeling and self-centred dcs can be?

(38 Posts)
elfiro Tue 11-Oct-11 09:33:37

Or maybe they are normal and I'm just being a bit sensitive. They are 10 and almost 9.

My mum just phoned to say my Grandma has gone into hospital. She is 93 and they think she had some internal bleeding. Not good. Now we live on the other side of the world from them so I knew when she phoned my mobile that it was something important, as it's seriously expensive to phone that way.

DS was hovering while I was on the phone, then asked me where his DSi charger was. I said I didn't know and that his Great Grandma is ill and in hospital. He replied "I think your Grandma is going to die." I said that's not a very helpful or nice thing to say and he shrugged and said "Well, sorry, but she IS really old. Do you know where my charger is?"

Then I told DD that she wouldn't be able to skype with her Grandparents as planned today, and why, and she pulled a really grumpy hard-done-by face.

Ohhhh....they are lovely aren't they.

tryingtoleave Tue 11-Oct-11 09:37:30

Do they know your grandmother? I grew up on the other side of the world from my grandparents and when they died I was sad, but it wasn't like the grief I felt when people near me died. There is an unreality to it.

worraliberty Tue 11-Oct-11 09:41:19

I think some DCs are just very factual...especially if they are estranged from the person such as in this case.

Normally they only get upset at seeing their parents/loved ones visibly upset, otherwise things like that are just a 'fact of life'.

When I was 5yrs old, I remember being in a room with my Mum, Aunts, other women and they were talking about someone who had just given birth to a stillborn baby.

I piped up with, "Never mind, she can just have another one can't she?" Every face in the room looked mortified and my Mum couldn't even speak...yet I had no idea what I had said to make them react like that sad

valiumredhead Tue 11-Oct-11 09:41:22

I don;t think it's unfeeling but kids can be very 'matter of fact' about life and death. I agree with trying - very different living miles away.

elfiro Tue 11-Oct-11 09:41:51

They know her fairly well, as in we see her once a year when home in the UK. I wouldn't expect them to to be massively upset by this, more to have even slight awareness that I was sad/worried.

elfiro Tue 11-Oct-11 09:46:01

worraliberty I can just imagine!

Just phoned DH to tell him and he reminded me that I said something similar as a child (told by my mum), but I was younger, only about 5, they are 10 and 9!

Oh well.

Now wondering if I should start looking into flights home, people to pick dc up from school etc. Seems a bit negative but you never know with someone so old.

lesley33 Tue 11-Oct-11 09:48:30

Sorry I think YABU. You are expecting them to be sensitive like adults. When at their age they can seem grown up in many ways, but really in many ways can still be like young DC. At this age although they understand someone dying means they will be gone, I honestly don't think they understand the emotional impact until it happens to them. So no I wouldn't expect them to understand the emotional impact on you until it happens.

When my OH father died my DC were about the same age. I explained to them that because OH father had died OH would be very said and may be irritable, etc (He lived aboroad so they rarely saw GP). I really think they needed it explained to them.

And remember DC learn from experience and being told things. If they have never experienced anyone close to them dying and never seen you or DH upset by bereavement, then how would they know this.

squeakytoy Tue 11-Oct-11 10:06:25

Children do not have the range of emotions, particularly about illness and death, nor do they have the ability to use tact or sympathy in the way that adults have.

elfiro Tue 11-Oct-11 10:09:20

I am hoping she will be ok!

But yes I know I am probably BU.

They have experienced DH's grandparents dying in the last couple of years and were a little upset when it happened. They didn't go to the funerals though, just not practical with us living so far away, so they didn't see DH or his parents (who they are much closer to) upset.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 11-Oct-11 10:31:19

YANBU to expect a little sympathy. The statement about a very old person probably dying... well, you can't argue with that. But have they never lost anything, ever? Not a pet, even? From a 10yo I'd expect a little more consideration

worraliberty Tue 11-Oct-11 10:34:53

They know her fairly well, as in we see her once a year when home in the UK

But at the ages of 10 and 8yrs, that's not much at all really...and the earlier years they wouldn't remember so really you're talking very little.

I wish her all the best and hope she's ok

elfiro Tue 11-Oct-11 10:51:10

Thanks worraliberty.

Cogito they have only lost great grandparents. We did "lose" a pet tortoise, in that it sort of disappeared blush, not sure if it's still alive, so no grieving as such.

Andrewofgg Tue 11-Oct-11 11:44:31

We were all angels, weren't we?

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 11-Oct-11 11:50:41

I just think that the initial reaction about old people dying was understandable but to carry on regardless after being told it wasn't a very nice thing to say... that's the part that would have hurt me. I'd pre-empt any future remarks by explaining up front that you are very worried about your grandmother and very sad that she's not well. Then they've been told.

Tillyscoutsmum Tue 11-Oct-11 11:53:45

I hear you OP. I often wonder at what age tact and empathy are developed (and really hope they get it at some point !).

Sorry about your Grandma sad

MumblingAndBloodyRagDoll Tue 11-Oct-11 11:57:41

Sorry about your Grandma. sad

Kids ARE hard. I remember when my (beloved) Granny died...I was about ten and I just accepted it as fact. I didn't even cry. I did miss her later but Kids live SO much in the present that they're not affected right away.

anniemac Tue 11-Oct-11 11:57:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anniemac Tue 11-Oct-11 11:58:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

elfiro Tue 11-Oct-11 11:58:59

They have been told.

Trying to remember what I was like. We never talked about anything important when I was growing up, crikey it was almost Victorian looking back. I've made huge efforts to be different with my own dcs - I mean, life is not all about postivie emotions is it? That's why I was a bit disappointed in their reactions today I guess.

duvetdayplease Tue 11-Oct-11 12:06:13

Hi, IMO this a bit of both so -

YABU - they are kids, they don't understand, this doesn't mean they are going to grow up like the tin man.

YANBU - this is important and emotional for you, so they need to be told that they should be considerate and why.

I would sit them down and tell them how you feel. Explain to them that when someone is poorly or we are worried they might die it is hard.

I think we often expect kids to just know how to be at difficult times. Sadly, death etc is one of those 'teachable moments' (yucky american phrase) so its a chance to spell out to them how they should behave (which I guess is kind towards you, not be too wittery just now, no need to pretend to cry if they're not feeling the same).

I had a similar experience to Worra in my childhood where I said seriously the wrong thing and didn't understand at all.

duvetdayplease Tue 11-Oct-11 12:07:00

I didn't put in my post and should have done, I'm sorry about your Grandma x

valiumredhead Tue 11-Oct-11 12:11:46

Its more that they should learn about having some respect and acting with sensitivity

And they will with maturity.

tryingtoleave Tue 11-Oct-11 12:11:50

Even adults can be awful at dealing with other's grief. My sister died when I was in my twenties and I had friends avoiding me because they didn't know what to say or because (as someone explained to me later) I might cry. It was only a tiny number who were actually able to deal with it sensitively (and I will never forget them).

elfiro Tue 11-Oct-11 12:28:55

tryingtoleave that is so true and so sad.

duvetdayplease you are quite right that they will only know how to deal with this kind of situation if I show them, which I'm probably not great at, partly due to my own retentive upbringing.

Thanks for your concern everyone, I'm waiting to hear from my mum, but we've a 7 hour time difference so unless she phones in the night I won't hear until tomorrow.

anniemac Tue 11-Oct-11 14:17:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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