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AIBU/Rant grandparents complaining they didn't get enough cuddles from DD

(27 Posts)
SmallBee Wed 26-Nov-14 14:29:06

First AIBU so please don't flame me!
DD, who is 1, is a bit shy around people she doesn't know well & is generally a bit uneasy around most men in particular. Once she's confident with you she will give you lots of smiles,cuddles & kisses & play with you.
One of DD's grandparents only really sees her at best once a month, but more like every eight weeks as they live a couple of hours away. As a result she doesn't really know them that well.
They visited last week & I saw another family member today who mentioned it sounded like they had a good time but that they didn't really get cuddles & want that a shame.

I didn't force her on anyone partly because she's got the snottiness cold ever & is feeling a bit grumpy as a result & partly as her grandfather doesn't seem to be very confident/naturally good with kids so I feel like he needs to be eased in to playing with her.
They did play with her on the floor or with her on my lap but pretty much zero action on the cuddle front.
She might have cuddled them if DH & I had left the room but that basically involves sitting upstairs so it didn't cross my mind until this family member mentioned it today.
It's a bit tricky as her cousin who is a year older is SO outgoing that this side of the family compare her a lot & I worry they think DD should be more like her.
Was I BU (& lazy) not to push DD on to her grandparents more?
I don't really feel it's down to me to make sure everyone gets to cuddle DD but I will keep an open mind!

BrunetteSmurfette Wed 26-Nov-14 14:31:43

No Yanbu, children don't cuddle on demand. I think forcing children into a situation that they maybe don't feel comfortable in is awful. If she doesn't see them that much naturally she doesn't feel that bond with them. This will change over time though perhaps once she's older and has spent more time around them.

capsium Wed 26-Nov-14 14:32:40

You weren't being lazy or anything. Your daughter is not a performing seal. They have to establish a relationship with her, get to know her better, in order to be able to expect anything. When their relationship is established, they will know more, about what type of circumstances your DD might offer a cuddle.

Whereisegg Wed 26-Nov-14 14:32:44

Surely they could have just said that they had visited dgd, had a lovely time but would have loved some cuddles?
It's not like they rang you up and ranted about it.

SmallBee Wed 26-Nov-14 14:36:39

Whereis they are really nice people so they'd never say anything they'd see as mean or confrontational but I think this was just a passed down through the grape vine comment. They'd probably be upset if they thought I was concerned about this but I really want them to feel like they are bonding with their granddaughter. DP & I don't have the best relationship with them but I want DD to.

Its fairly well accepted that making a child kiss and cuddle anyone against their will is a bad idea - sets up the idea they have to accept unwanted physical attention etc. All you can do is be positive about grandparents, and maybe suggest they read to her or similar activity which might make her feel like climbing onto the reader's lap of her own free will, but otherwise the grandparents are being selfish and rather lacking in empathy if they feel she is obliged to cuddle them and will just have to be patient and get over themselves - she's a person not a toy or a lap-dog!

capsium Wed 26-Nov-14 14:41:31

They'd probably be upset if they thought I was concerned about this but I really want them to feel like they are bonding with their granddaughter.

This is probably why they didn't say anything to you. They probably feel partially responsible and slightly sad over not seeing their GD more regularly.

However if this is just how it is, they will have to learn to accept it. Your DD will get to know them, it might just take a bit longer.

Whereisegg Wed 26-Nov-14 14:50:44

If these visits are all that anyone can manage, then they are probably sad, nothing you've said gives the impression that they expect you to try and make your dd do anything she's not ready for.
Can you Skype?

AMumInScotland Wed 26-Nov-14 15:25:14

Well, they may have simply said to this other person "Yes I had a lovely visit, though she's not a big cuddler like her cousin." And then the family member interpreted this and added 'that's a shame' when she passed it on to you, as her own judgement on the situation.

Some children are more cuddly, some less, and some take time to get to know people first. She's a person, not a doll, so it has to be her choice. You can encourage them to develop a relationship, and it sounds like you are doing just that.

Bulbasaur Wed 26-Nov-14 15:36:55

DD is really shy with new people too, and like yours is uncomfortable with any man that is not DH. She gets a bit shy with both sets of grandparents each time she sees them.

Does she have any favorite games, toys, or books?

I just tell them what she likes, and after a bit of spending time with her doing her favorite things she warms up.

You can't force baby cuddles though, or cuddles of any age. They just have to accept her how she is and not take it personally. As she gets older she'll understand the meaning of grandparents, and it will be easier to spend time with her.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 26-Nov-14 15:39:43

www.upworthy.com/here-are-4-ways-were-accidentally-teaching-kids-that-consent-doesnt-matter Watch that and stand by your decisions. DD who is three is NEVER asked ot cuddle or kiss anyone she doesn't choose to.

futureponyclubmum Wed 26-Nov-14 15:55:46

My MIL lives overseas, doesn't want to visit until DD is year old, she doesn't like babies apparently ...so she won't know her at all. I forsee upset MIL if DD is a shy one and not keen to cuddle but damned if I'll force her.

DeWee Wed 26-Nov-14 16:15:21

Doesn't sound like they were complaining. Other family member sounds like they're stirring too.

PIL could have said:
"Wish she would cuddle us more, but we don't want to force it."
"Dgd is lovely, can't wait until she's a bit older and knows us better and will give us hugs"
"Lovely if she'd give us a goodbye hug"
"Cousin was much cuddlier at this age"
"She didn't seem to respond to us much, is there anything we can do?"
"DIL really should tell dgc to give us lots of cuddles while we're there. It really isn't fair for us to waste our time if she won't"

LadyLuck10 Wed 26-Nov-14 16:21:44

What a long post about nothing confused did they phone you and rant about it? No. So why make a drama of if? Surely they were just making conversation.

skylark2 Wed 26-Nov-14 16:28:47

I think you're making assumptions and that's probably why the other person used you as a stirring candidate in the first place. It could easily have been "shame DGD didn't feel up to cuddling this time" as a reference to her stinking cold.

marnia68 Wed 26-Nov-14 16:32:09

Another DIl looking for a way to vilify the MIL!!
FGS how do you get it was a 'complaint' .It it was probably a throw away comment, that has been passed to you second hand.

rumbleinthrjungle Wed 26-Nov-14 17:10:33

She's a person, not a toy or a lap-dog!

^ This.

At one she's past the age of being handed around for a hold as people like to do with young babies. GPs may be coming to terms with the idea that that time is over, but at this point she's independently mobile and her affection is going to be on her terms.

SmallBee Wed 26-Nov-14 17:29:05

Thanks for all the replies.
For what it's worth this isn't anything to do with my MIL, she's super amazing & my DD loves her.
I think that those who have said it might be just a comment & nothing else could be right, but that's why I came on here & haven't brought it up with them. I don't want to make a mountain out of a possible molehill.

PicaK Wed 26-Nov-14 17:45:10

I'm another one who thinks it's the stirring family member you want to watch.

Monathevampire1 Wed 26-Nov-14 17:47:22

No child should be forced to hug anyone or accept unwanted kisses etc. Reminds me of all the elderly aunts with bristly moustaches I used to be forced to kiss.
My friends little boy hates being made to hug, he and I have established a dinosaur growling routine. Looks silly to strangers but works for us.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 26-Nov-14 18:22:29

her grandfather doesn't seem to be very confident/naturally good with kids So not only was DD getting over a cold her, GF isn't very relaxed with little kids anyway? You hadn't noticed anything amiss until this relative mentioned it today. DD is her own little person and next time she could react very differently. Don't worry about her cuddle credentials and it's no good anyone comparing her to a 2 yo cousin - they'll be at different developmental stages and not all little ones are instantly at ease with grown ups.

Purplepoodle Wed 26-Nov-14 18:23:52

It was probably as other people said gp just mentioned they would have like a cuddle. perhaps they wanted a hold but didn't like to ask, esp if you are the dil and she was sat on your knee

SmallBee Wed 26-Nov-14 19:34:55

Thank you all so much. I will definitely be trying all the tips & tricks & really pleased I'm not BU about pushing cuddles on her.
I might be wrong but I really don't think they are trying to stir, we aren't a family that bicker or thrive on drama so I think the comment was probably meant as a gentle nudge. (But she is my PFB so I overreact to all things!)

Whereisegg Wed 26-Nov-14 20:04:42

Honestly, I don't think it's even a gentle nudge.
Just a passing comment smile

wheresthelight Wed 26-Nov-14 20:57:38

haven't read the whole thread sorry but you are definitely not being unreasonable!! my dd is 15 months and sees all her grandparents every week as they are local although my parents work so she only sees them for maybe an hour whereas fil is in his 80's and retired so she spends a lot of time with him but - probably a full afternoon every week and a full day eow when dsc's are here and she still won't go to him or cuddle him. in fact at the moment she won't even go to dp (her dad) and she sees him everyday!

forcing them onto people only causes them massive distress and unsettles them. slowly slowly is the best way or yiu risk causing them to develop a real complex about being around people.

if they want a closer relationship then maybe you should all make more of an effort to have more regular contact?

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