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To throw estranged in-laws cards to the DCs straight in the bin?

(95 Posts)
craprelatives Fri 28-Sep-12 19:44:10

Name changed and posting in AIBU as I want you to be blunt with me!

DH & I have not seen his parents for many years now. We fell out when our eldest DC were small - without going into details, we found something out about them that meant it was impossible to continue a relationship with them - and we didn't want them around our DC anymore.

We are over it now and the whole period of arguing and bad feeling is in the past. The younger DC barely remembers them. The eldest is old enough to have been told why and understands.

But every time there is a DC birthday or Christmas comes around, we are reminded of them by the cards that they send, addressed to the DC, with very sloppy messages in them about how much they miss them and hope they'll see them soon - no attempt at contact with us directly.

So every time it happens, we feel a bit annoyed, then sling the cards in the bin. I mentioned this to a friend today and she said she thought it was wrong - that no matter what the circumstances, whatever they've done, they are the DCs GPs, and the DC will want to know that they haven't forgotten them - and so would want to see the cards themselves.

I was a bit taken aback and it's been on my mind since. So what do you all think? Please don't ask me what the fall out was about, I really cannot go into it sad.

craprelatives Fri 28-Sep-12 19:45:04

And PS - we can't 'return to sender' - we don't even know where they live anymore.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 28-Sep-12 19:46:49

It is a bit mean IMO.
What is the harm in giving them the cards?
Can't comment any further as I don't know the reason for the initial fall out though.

SaraSidle Fri 28-Sep-12 19:47:04

How old are dc? Other family around? What they did, would it have effect on dc?

lisad123 Fri 28-Sep-12 19:47:12

Unless they will cause your children harm, physically or mentally I can't see the harm.

Dawndonna Fri 28-Sep-12 19:47:21

Depends on what it was. If any sort of abuse, grandparents or not, they should not be allowed near children. Physical, sexual or emotional.

WelshMaenad Fri 28-Sep-12 19:47:33

It sounds pretty serious, but tbh I think only you can say whether YABU or not, because only you know the circs in which you cut contact.

We're your DCs at risk?

NellyJob Fri 28-Sep-12 19:48:09

it's a very tricky question to answer without really knowing the background of why you don't want them in your lives, in fact impossible.
Would you like them to 'attempt to contact you directly'?

dogscatsandbabies Fri 28-Sep-12 19:48:15

Think you're being a bit of a child yourself really... You claim to be 'over it' but would like to return the cards to sender if you had the option, which achieves nothing but make the GP feel bad.

Smeghead Fri 28-Sep-12 19:48:23

It depends on why you arent seeing them.

We do that with cards from H's mum because the family threatened me and one member threatened to kill me and our DD. We wont have them anywhere near her and will do our best to make sure they dont when she is an adult too.

If it is because you just dont get on with them, then keep them, as the DC may want to form an independent relationship with them when they are older. If they are a danger, or a perceived danger, to your children then bin them and make sure they know why as they grow up.

SofaKing Fri 28-Sep-12 19:49:02

Yanbu. If they have done something you find unacceptable, why would you foster a relationship between them and your children?

It doesn't make any difference because you don't know where they live anyway. It isn't as if if your DC wanted a relationship on the basis of the cards you would be able to arrange a meeting anyway.

EdMcDunnough Fri 28-Sep-12 19:49:19

Without knowing more background it is impossible to say.

Having said that I do keep communications from my child's father, though we do not see him, in a bag in a filing cabinet in case he wants to know stuff when he is older.

KellyElly Fri 28-Sep-12 19:49:42

I'll be interested to see the responses here as I don't speak to my toxic mother anymore and I have always given DD cards and presents from her (but she's very young and doesn't understand yet). My friend said she thinks I should send them back to them. I'm unsure so will watch this thread with interest.

nancy75 Fri 28-Sep-12 19:51:10

They are your children, it is up to you. My dp had a dreadful relationship with his dad and paternal gps, it led to a massive falling out where he made it quite clear that we want nothing to do with them. Everything they send goes straight in the bin.

G1nger Fri 28-Sep-12 19:52:51

I say this as someone with a disowned relative who's probe towards similar gestures:

Throw the cards in the bin. You are protecting your children from them.

craprelatives Fri 28-Sep-12 19:52:56

Yes they were at risk, not of sexual abuse but of definitely not being safe with them. Sorry can't say anymore. I know that makes it hard to answer, but I will just say that it was bad, definitely bad. And unless something unbelievable happens, they probably won't see the DC again until the DC are old enough to do so under their own steam and without us, if they want to - so it makes me wonder what the point of cards is?

And obviously it pisses me off that I know the sloppy messages don't mean jack shit.

G1nger Fri 28-Sep-12 19:53:04


AmIthatbad Fri 28-Sep-12 19:53:16

Oh dear, I actually think YABU, although I can probably empathise with how you feel. I have had lots of issues with family in the past, but I would never want DD, in the future, to say that I had deliberately withheld cards or presents from her. Which is the only reason that I haven't, much as I might have wanted to. And I don't know your reasons, which will probably be perfectly valid.

waltermittymissus Fri 28-Sep-12 19:54:39

I'm assuming you have serious and valid reasons for keeping them away from your children. And I'm also assuming that this will be a permanent thing.

So with that in mind I would say YANBU as it achieves very little to give them the cards and have them confused about these total strangers sending something twice a year.

Out of curiosity, does your eldest know that they send cards. How does he/she feel about it?

LilQueenie Fri 28-Sep-12 19:55:38

I guess it depends on what happened. are you going to tell us?

waltermittymissus Fri 28-Sep-12 19:55:57

X-post! I pretty much said what you just said OP grin

Still curious about your eldest though?

If you have taken the huge step to cut them out of your lives then IMO bin them.

They obviously know what your feelings are and tbh I would actually find the cards an insult. So what if they are the DCs GPs? They are your DHs parents and if he cant have a relationship with them why would he let his DCs?

I say all that as a child who was cut off from her GM. I didnt understand at the time. But I do now. I have also cut my family out.

chandellina Fri 28-Sep-12 19:59:57

I think you should give them the cards so that they know one true thing, which is that they are being thought of. They will have questions later so I think they should get that part of the answers now at least.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Fri 28-Sep-12 20:00:10

YANBU. Why would you encourage an insincere relationship with people who are a danger to your DC? confused

claraschu Fri 28-Sep-12 20:00:32

I don't think they will care about cards very much, and they will understand at quite a young age why they don't see the GPs.

I would never open someone else's post though. I would just give them the cards without much comment until they are old enough to read and ask questions, then I would be honest.

I haven't had to deal with this situation though, so I don't really know what I would do.

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