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To broach this subject with grandparents while they're grieving

(27 Posts)
Fuckedoffmax Tue 19-Mar-19 22:04:21

Ds7 has regular contact with his paternal grandparents. His 'father' went nc when he was 3. Grandparents are nc also.
Grandparents have a photo of DS and 'dad' , when he was newborn, on display in their house.
DS has said he's freaked out by the photo. I'd usually mention it to grandparents but they've just lost a close family member.
Do i mention it, leave it for now or stop him going?

AwakeNow Fri 22-Mar-19 07:42:37

Fuckedoffmax Sorry your boy has those memories, and surprised that they do have his picture out since they are probably ashamed of him.
Can you go in and "notice" it, and say, that reminds you, ds feels uncomfortable being there, when he sees that picture. Could ds visits take place in a differant room?

NWQM Wed 20-Mar-19 13:16:29

Do you know why it suddenly upsets him or have they only recently put it out?

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Wed 20-Mar-19 09:14:13

I don't think you should ask the GPs to hide the picture. I would work on helping your son process his feelings - the picture shows his father holding him as a baby, and as he gets older it will be important for him to have seen that.

I understand that since you have remarried and he has a good relationship with his stepfather it might be nice for everyone (including DS) to just write his birth father out of history, but it isn't the best way forward.

Spiritinabody Wed 20-Mar-19 09:14:08

They may be NC with their so but they may have very conflicting thoughts about that.

Personally, I wouldn't say anything at any time. They don't have to totally obliterate their son from their lives just because they are NC.

Why is your DS upset by it exactly?

I think the idea of taking and giving them a photograph of DS with his GP is nice but do not suggest they replace the one in the frame. Maybe if they had a few others up as well (unless they don't want their home cluttered up) it may remove the significance of that one.

ushuaiamonamour Wed 20-Mar-19 09:12:58

This gives you a good chance to make some boundaries clear, i.e. what people want to have in their houses is their choice, and a better one to instil the idea that a parent's love is unconditional: 'I know it bothers you a lot, but it's there because they love you and they love your dad. Your dad is their son and parents love their kids just like they love their grandchildren, no matter what.'

I don't know how you could justify stopping his visits there for something that no matter how much you resent his father is picayune. I think it would be wrong of you to say anything about it to the GP and downright indecent of you to bring it up now. It must be rotten for you to be on bad terms with your child's father and I can see how that might distort your perspective; I hope things aren't so bad that you can't step back and try to look at this objectively.

YABU, but good luck to you.

Nanny0gg Wed 20-Mar-19 08:56:28

Or take a photo with his GPs and use that

AlwaysCheddar Wed 20-Mar-19 05:29:06

Why don’t you give your son a photo and let him suggest it goes in that frame instead?

Tavannach Wed 20-Mar-19 05:20:11

Leave it for now, and explain toDS that you'll raise it when his grandparents are feeling a bit better.

Playmytune Wed 20-Mar-19 05:15:33

Just wanted to say how nice it is to read,that you have allowed your son to continue to have a relationship with his paternal grandparents! To often this does not happen after a split! I am sure that they would want you to point out anything (such as this photo), that is causing their dgs such unhappiness, even if they are suffering a bereavement. He must be a great comfort to them, and helps fill the void the nc with his father must have caused, so please tell them about how much this photo upsets your ds before his next visit to them.

Fuckedoffmax Wed 20-Mar-19 00:05:28

@hope thank you

Fuckedoffmax Wed 20-Mar-19 00:03:35

NC is no contact. Grandparents are also NC.
@winebottle he doesn't have a father. He has an amazing stepfather though.
@nanny I have a great relationship with his grandparents but I'm very aware of the fact they have just suffered a loss and, above all else, he's their son

HopeClearwater Tue 19-Mar-19 23:54:56

Get them to move the photo when he visits. I don’t know why pp are putting adults’ feelings ahead of a seven year old’s in this instance. The adults can be told that this upsets the child. They will have to accept that. The child is only 7 and probably can’t articulate his feelings properly yet. The GPs son isn’t dead, just a useless father.

Nanny0gg Tue 19-Mar-19 23:40:31

It's not a question of him pretending he hasn't got a father.

If it was a picture of just his dad that's fair enough, but a picture that presumably looks like a loving father when he clearly wasn't could easily be upsetting.

What is your relationship like with them OP? As you're facilitating contact

Winebottle Tue 19-Mar-19 23:27:49

I think it is best in the long run if he faces these emotions now. Pretending he doesn't have a father won't do him any good.

Neome Tue 19-Mar-19 23:27:40

Could you post a really nice card saying DS has got to an age/stage where he is thinking about his Dad and finding it upsetting, you thought they would want to know but probably best for them not to mention anything to DS unless he brings up the subject.

Could you possibly include a nice, recent, framed photo of DS the more positive the better, and add that it would be a help to DS if they could display new picture and temporarily retire old picture for the time being.

Please forgive me if this is a daft idea

SleepingSloth Tue 19-Mar-19 23:23:37

Has the photo always been there or recently been put up? How long has it been upsetting him?

SleepingSloth Tue 19-Mar-19 23:21:51


NC is no contact in this case I think.

Pinkbells Tue 19-Mar-19 23:18:45

What is Nc? Is it name change or something else?

Fuckedoffmax Tue 19-Mar-19 23:14:12

@shiny he's 7! @rhi the photo in general @awakenow when he had contact DS would come home starving because he was being fed baby food from a jar. At 3yo.

Isitweekendyet Tue 19-Mar-19 23:12:55

Sorry to hear your DS is struggling OP.
Are GPs NC with their son.

I think at the moment you have to encourage him to ignore it. It could be a great lesson in resilience, he's nothing to be frightened or upset of (unless there was abuse) as it's only a picture.

However, if in a few weeks it's still upsetting him, I would ask them to move it. I certainly wouldn't stop contact if this is the only thing wrong.

Stargazer888 Tue 19-Mar-19 22:57:17

Sorry I mean grief counselling about his father leaving him not dying.

Fluffyears Tue 19-Mar-19 22:34:43

The father is still alive and nc it’s someone else who died if i’m Reading the OP correctly.

AwakeNow Tue 19-Mar-19 22:31:07

Your son must have some bad memories of him?
Definitly do not mention this now while they are grieving.
Unless he was an abuser I can see how they may get some comfort from a picture of him.

RhiWrites Tue 19-Mar-19 22:30:15

What exactly upsets him about the photo?

Stargazer888 Tue 19-Mar-19 22:10:10

I don't think you can do much about it. I would talk to him about how he feels. Has he been in any grief counselling about the loss of his father?

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