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to let 7yo DS upset me so much?

(9 Posts)
scampadoodle Thu 30-Oct-08 11:06:13

My father is in hospital this week, after a major operation. I am going to see him this afternoon but as I can't take flowers (not allowed), food (he can't eat yet) or books (no time to browse in a bookshop, it's half term!) I thought it would be lovely if my 2 boys, aged 7 & 4, each drew him a picture. I know he would really like it as he loves them & is very kind to them. DS2 didn't need telling twice: he did a drawing the other day & put his name on it - the only thing he can write. DS1 however had to be reminded constantly & he drew something this morning. I've just asked him to write "Get well soon Grandpa, love X" & he did it with such bad, sulky grace it really upset me. In fact, all he wrote was 'Get well soon'. I had to nag him to add his name & he wouldn't put 'love'. I am so hurt by this, not just on my own account but also my father's.
AIBU? & if not, what can I do?

Niecie Thu 30-Oct-08 11:10:52

I don't think YABU to be upset but may your DS doesn't realise that your father is so ill. He is only 7 after all and if you are like me, you have probably shielded him from the seriousness of the problem.

Take what he has done. Your father won't know that your DS hasn't done his picture grudgingly. He will just see a lovely picture and a short message at the bottom. Only you need know it was like getting blood out of a stone. Your father will be happy, I'm sure.

I hope he is better soon.

slayerette Thu 30-Oct-08 11:11:22

First of all - sorry about your father sad and hope he gets well soon!

WRT your DS - did you ask him whether he wanted to draw a picture? I don't know how you phrased it so may be out of line here, but if you told him about your father and asked him what he wanted to do to cheer him up, he might have done something more willingly because it was his idea, iyswim.

BalloonSlayer Thu 30-Oct-08 11:12:11

You're not being unreasonable; kids just don't understand these things.

When my Dad was ill I was frequently upset that the DCs didn't seem to care all that much. Then I would explain "Sorry I am so shouty but I am really worried and upset about Grandad." Then they would get worried and upset about Grandad too, and start to cry, and I would feel like ten types of shit because trying to explain my feelings had made them cry.

It's a no win situation!

thumblesswitch Thu 30-Oct-08 11:16:09

I think, it is just possible, that you are more upset aboout your father's illness etc. and this might have been the proverbial straw that tipped the balance. Your DS is just being a grump because you made him do something he wasn't keen on doing - it doesn't mean that he doesn't love your dad. I think Slayerette has a point - perhaps ask him what he would like to do instead of a picture? ANd explain more that Grandpa isn't feeling well and needs things to cheer him up.

Hope your Dad gets better soon.

scampadoodle Thu 30-Oct-08 11:18:33

Thanks for your concern - my dad should be fine, he's had a kidney removed because of a cyst but the op went well. He's 73 though so just having the op is risky.
I phrased it to them something like: 'Grandpa's had to have an operation & he's in hospital & I think it would be lovely if you 2 could draw him a picture to cheer him up' Had I left it to them to come up with an idea they would have wanted to dress up as power rangers & storm the hospital...

Balloonslayer - it's so tricky isn't it? I did actually burst into tears in front of DS1 when he was being so sulky, which is daft because they don't understand.

cory Thu 30-Oct-08 13:18:15

You don't think it could be the opposite: that because he is older than your ds2, he understands more and is so scared and upset he can't do anything about it, doesn't want to know, is angry when reminded of it. Just thinking of children I've known who've had serious illness in family.

Also read Swedish Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlöf's autobiography. There is a bit in there where her Dad comes down with pneumonia, which of course was a killer in those days. At bedtime her Mum asks them all to pray for him, and they all say lovely little prayers for him, including the governess's sister who isn't really part of the family, but little Selma who is the one who cares most about her Dad just can't- and then of course she feels guilty and thinks he's going to die and it will all be her fault.

Not saying this is the case here- but sulkiness can cover all sorts of things. Try not to put pressure on him.

ewwwmy2shoesarefullofblood Thu 30-Oct-08 13:36:17

yanbu to be upset
but getting most boys to write is like torture to them.

onthepier Thu 30-Oct-08 20:23:50

I know how you feel, my dd is coming up for 10 + she refuses to put "love" on birthday cards or letters.

I try to get her to write phrases on her letters like, "Happy New Year" or "Hope to see you soon" to give it a friendly tone but she refuses, saying it sounds silly!hmm

She's the friendliest child you could meet generally, but has trouble expressing it in writing![sad}

I hope your father is better soon.

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