Grandparents treating grandchildren differently(40 Posts)
4 grandchildren between 3 daughters and eldest 2 (from eldest daughter) are always treated differently to the other two (other daughters have one child each).
It is made very apparent they favour the other two children (aged 2 and 6) - buy gifts every weekend/play with them/babysit very regularly. Have great relationships with sisters and their husbands and see each other at least twice a week. Am I unreasonable to see it like this? Is it normal for grandparents to do this?
Sadly the eldest two grandchildren are ignored and never even get a simple hi or bye. No texts to ask how they are. They have to watch the gifts being handed out and never receive one of their own - not important but cruel imo. This is really affecting the elder two and no longer want to visit understandably. We didn’t visit for 4 months then hoped things will have changed after the long gap but in fact was worse. It was heartbreaking and I left in tears.
I’m not confrontational and would never have the courage to stand up to them and say how I feel (childhood trauma related) so I think cutting them out is the best option for the children.
How do I go about this without being seen as the bad guy? I’d love to stay in touch with sisters as the cousins are all close, however that will be forbidden. No knowledge of what would have caused this. Any advice?
It's a bit confusing- are you saying you are the parent to two daughters and you have two sisters who have one daughter each? Those daughters are favoured over your two?
Sorry i didn’t word it clearly I am the mother to eldest two my parents are favouring my 2 sisters daughters and ignoring my children.
It depends. Does the mother of the favoured grandchildren make more of an effort
My brother was jealous of my kids relationship with our parents. I visited, helped them out, took them places, arranged days out and invited them, invited them for dinner etc
My brother barely bothers with them, only allows visits by appointment made at least a week in advance, never takes the kids there, never invites them round or out somewhere.
He even complained about mum babysitting my kids, when his wife doesnt allow her kids to stay out overnight unless it with her mother.
My parents didn't buy gifts and do that kind of thing. Although my brother and wife did complain about anything mum bought.
When I pointed this out to my brother he fell out with me. He then came round and realised he was being a bit of a dick.
Don't see them anymore. You can't let your children grow up thinking it's ok to be treated this way.
Can you invite your sisters and their children to visit you independently, do you all need to meet up together?
Or why don't the GPs occasionally visit you on their own?
Do the others live nearer so that it is 'easier' for your sisters to 'pop in'?
Do you mean your DC miss out on Christmas/Birthday gifts or spontaneous ones? I wouldn't expect older kids to get as much as a 2 year old to be honest, especially if the "gifts" are really just small things to distract them and keep them quiet. If they're big expensive things than that's a bit different, or if there isn't much of an age gap?
^ however that will be forbidden^
This is worrying. What do you mean would happen if you tried to stay in touch with your sisters while not seeing your parents?
Thanks for replies
My parents won’t visit any of us it all has to be at their house (I think a control thing) we each live between 30 minutes to 90 minutes from them and have always made the effort despite it being a long drive and not being reciprocated. My sisters aren’t bothered and seem to enjoy going. I’m a single mother working full time and still generally struggling. Perhaps they’re ashamed and it’s me they’re trying to hurt.
That is sad, and it is unacceptable for two grown adults to behaved like this to children in such an overt way. Were you treated differently growing up? Were you less favoured. I would not have my children around them personally.
^ Perhaps they’re ashamed and it’s me they’re trying to hurt^
Well if it is that, that says everything about them and nothing at all about you
Honestly, I wouldn't bother with them then
If this a true account.
I went NC with my parents. My husband abused and raped me. It took me a while to tell them. When I did, they continued visit the ex.....and his new woman and her kids and going for dinner at their house.
They weren't supportive of me at all so. I cut them off. It was painful to see them so pally with the man that broke me. But I am better off without them in my life. It's less painful in the long run.
What is it like at Christmas and birthdays, are the other kids handed out gifts of similar value or do your sisters kids get nicer things.
Sorry my point was my kids went from being the ones they always saw to not at all. Because of their behaviour
Do your sisters notice this? I adore my niece and nephew - if I saw them being treated differently to my children I would be as upset as if it were happening to my own. What do they say when your children don’t get any gifts and theirs do?
I would cut my parents out my life if they did this to my lids, I would have no respect for them.
What is your relationship like with you parents? I ask this as our DS is also treated somewhat differently from his cousins by my MIL. But she is much much closer to my BIL than my DH, so a bit of it is to be expected.
She does show our DS love, but she constantly talks about his cousins. Will steer conversation we make about how DS is doing to a comparison with his cousins.
It used to bother me and I do worry he'll realise the difference, but I remind myself he's got my parents who adore him.
I think if your children don't want to visit, then why should they?
Your parents are really disgusting to treat your children different to your sisters. Thst is plain cruel...i would cut them out of your life if i was you. What kind of example are they showing....in fact i would actually spell it out to them and leave.
Thanks for the advice it means a lot
Sorry to hear what happened frenchmontana I don’t blame you for cutting them out
My sisters never seem aware unless they’re hiding it and I know I’ll be called a drama queen for bringing it up
We’re very isolated as it is so I think that’s partly why I kept in touch with them (only living family) and I don’t like to bother friends too often, so even with this happening I feel nervous to have no one in my life
Christmas and birthdays are similar, other two get more spent on them - again I’m not fussed by that just the effort and care which is never equal, they do go to nieces’ birthday parties/special lunch never my children’s
I love my nieces a lot and don’t want for any of the cousins to feel resentment or jealousy if they grow up noticing, my girls weren’t treated as well as they are at their ages which is why I’m taking it a bit more personal than random favorism of eldest/youngest/child of favourite daughter as I’ve realised sometimes happens
I’ve never been close to my parents but neither have my sisters, we had a very boring childhood no fun/good memories etc
I’m not confrontational and would never have the courage to stand up to them and say how I feel
I think this sums up the way you must have been brought up and your relationship with your DPs.
We never lived near DGPs and so DCs never saw much of them at all, maybe once or twice a year and not at Xmas. This was normal for all of us and they really did not appear to miss out at all. So when people are so upset at bad relationships I am a bit non plussed.
I can see that they are being horribly unfair but I would suspect they are carrying on behaviour where you were the black sheep and your DSis's were favoured. But honestly it will not matter to the DCs if you never see them. I can see it is distressing for you but the best thing is to let it go and make your own life without the DGPs.
How do I go about this without being seen as the bad guy?
You are not the bad guy.
Have you tried talking to your parents? or writing to them if you can't face the conversation. I feel that even if you do go NC with them, they should be told why their behaviour is so upsetting . Maybe they can't see how unfair it is.
Did they see you leaving in tears at your last visit?
Can any of your siblings talk to them? What do they think about the situation? Do they have a good relationship with your children?
Its very sad that your parents make you feel like this, but if they can't behave nicely to your DCs, they don't deserve them. I hope you can find a way to get through to them.
What will you really lose if you go NC?
Not much. Toxic family isn't worth having
I'd keep in touch with the sisters, and not bother starting conversations/phonecalls/text with the parents. Soon enough the girls will start to notice the presents all going one way and never to them. They will think theres something wrong with them, that maybe they did something wrong or aren't lovable.
If the sisters ask, tell the truth, you don't want your children treated badly by anyone and are protecting them from having the obvious favoritism rubbed in their faces each time you visit.
I would go NC with your parents now, and just keep in contact with your sisters. Your children are starting to notice and it is affecting them. Look after your own!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.