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to stop emailing pictures of the children to FIL when he hasn't replied since Sept 2007?

(7 Posts)
FanjolinaJolie Sun 31-May-09 13:50:28

That's it basically.

We live in the UK, FIL lives in Australia and is known by me as the 'virtual grandfather' as he has had almost nothing to do with the children since they were born in 2004 and 2006. Our girls were his first two grandchildren but he has another one now born to my SIL in Australia in 2007 who he sees a bit of.

He did come to visit us last November (at the end of a trip to Italy to tour art galleries for four weeks), but very bad timing as DH (army) had just got back from six months in Afghanistan the week before and myself and the children (particularly) were still getting used to Daddy home again. It wasn't a great visit. Even though FIL is still relatively young (65-ish) he didn't get down on the floor and interact/play with the children, just sat in an armchair peered over his paper/book at them.

I didn't hear from him to ask after his granddaughters for the whole six months DH was in Afghanistan which made me really angry. But then I hadn't heard from him for probably a year before then so not out of character.

The only contact we have is when DH phones him up, FIL never rings us.

Up until now FIL has been on my family email list and I email photos of the dds on either a weekly or fortnightly basis to him as well as my parents, MIL and my SIL's and BIL. But I really want to take him off the list as I think it's completely crap he takes no interest in his grandchildren. Would this be really petty/bitchy of me?

One thought was to just add DH to the mailing list and if he wants to forward them to his father, that's up to him. But I don't want it to be all me anymore.

Are grandchildren not to be cherished?

BBisfinallyPG Sun 31-May-09 14:06:18

some granparents hsow more interest than others, just as some parents do, fact of life...but in answer to your question it would not be unreasonable to take him off your list, as perhaps then he would ask for the pictures.

FWIW he just seems a selfish man....

beanieb Sun 31-May-09 14:11:39

Just leave it to your OH to do.

Some grandparents are just not that into the whole grandchild thing and he is so far away that I doubt he would be an active part of their lives anyway.

FanjolinaJolie Sun 31-May-09 14:17:15

Beanieb - he is so far away, I know. But in complete contrast my parents live in NZ and ring to speak to the children every week. As the phone is on speaker I can hear their excitement when dds recognise their voices.

esselle Sun 31-May-09 14:34:08

Do you know that he is definately getting your emails?

He may have changed address and isn't getting your emails so isn't aware to thank you IYKWIM...

On the other hand though, if you know he is getting your email then he is just a slack shit!!!

screamingabdab Sun 31-May-09 14:34:21

YANBU to feel upset and annoyed, but I think you should be the bigger person here and continue to send the pictures.

I appreciate that you feel that it's not fair on your DCs, but in fact HE is the one who is missing out. It does sound like he has no family feeling, or to him out of sight is out of mind. Really sad. It might also be that he doesn't have as much interest in young children. I have met a number of men like this.

I also think it's sad that he doesn't seem to offer your DH any support, either.

Your DCs will make up their minds about him anyway when they are older, but at least you will be able to say that you kept the lines of communication open

FanjolinaJolie Sun 31-May-09 17:56:05

esselle - he does get the messages, email address not changed. He is a slack shit.

My SIL in Australia read him the riot act about how he was a useless grandfather to her dd (my neice) and apparently he has improved. But then he is SIL's father so she felt he should be involved more. As he's DH's father (not mine) I would never say anything directly about it to FIL, it would not go down well I can tell you.

Abdad - definitely no family feeling, was not overly involved in his own childrens lives. Interested in a once-a-year update/abstract kind of way.

But won't he regret this later in life when he's old/frail and his grandchildren won't have a clue who he is?

When I mention his name, dd2 aged 4.5 says 'who?' that says it all really.

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