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to tell my dad that to my son he isnt grandad and not to refer to himself as such??

(24 Posts)
jennybensmummy Sun 21-Jun-09 20:47:14

well bear with me as this is a little long...
my dad has emailed he wants to come and visit us (me, my partner and my son ben who is 3yrs 7 months and autistic) for a weekend in august staying at a local travelodge - no problem i hear you thinking, well... him and my mum divorced when i was young and from being 4-20 i never saw him then since weve been back in touch 20-28(now lol) i have only seen him twice, he rarely rings and is generally not interested greatly, he last came 2 years ago (time before that was years before and i visited him) when he came he expected to be "grandad" to ben which i accepted as ben was only almost 2 and not so obvious with autism although i thought it etc, he kept wanting to cuddle ben even when ben wasnt bothered. Now he knows ben is autistic (he was diagnosed over a year ago) but think he knows v little on autism and when he comes he will expect to be "grandad" well ben has 2 grandads, my step dad and my partners dad who he sees regularly, i dont want to confuse him! and of course due to the autism ben hates cuddles especially from strangers!!!!

so... what do i do!!?? how do i tell him he wont be known as grandad and not to touch ben, but by being nice????

plus as it wont ever be regular i dont want ben to think of him as grandad as poor little man wont understand why he only sees him for a day or two then he disappears for another few years!!

oh and also i know he will want to be grandad as he hinted the other day when i phoned by saying bet ben misses his grandad, i just said something like i dont think he will remember you it was a long time ago! Reality is Ben's met him once, he has seen the postman more and wouldnt cuddle him!!

Hulababy Sun 21-Jun-09 20:55:43

I tink you need to explain to your dad about Ben and autism and how it affects him and how it would affect the way in which he sees cuddles, etc.

Not sure about the grandad thing. What do your want Ben, or what does Ben want, to call your dad? Not sure why he cant be Grandad xxx, but then I am not yu and in your circumstances, Is there another special name he coudld be referred to?

busybeingmum Sun 21-Jun-09 20:58:17

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busybeingmum Sun 21-Jun-09 21:00:07

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AitchTwoOh Sun 21-Jun-09 21:00:25

what about Papa x? (that sounds sinister but it's quite common up here to call grandparents papa).

jennybensmummy Sun 21-Jun-09 21:01:04

ooh beingbusymum that sounds like a good idea, ben knows that grandads and grandpas are the same thing and they live with nana and grandma already any other ideas of other ways of saying it that would work, i want to avoid the grandad/grandpa but another way of making it more than bill - his name is best i think all round!

jennybensmummy Sun 21-Jun-09 21:02:19

hmm maybe papa would work, i dunno will have a think on that one thanks, any other ideas?

hocuspontas Sun 21-Jun-09 21:02:22

Why can't he have 3 grandads?

jennybensmummy Sun 21-Jun-09 21:05:07

he just wouldnt get why he has one who isnt the others if you know what i mean, and then it will be so confusing to him when he never hears from or sees him again for another few years

AitchTwoOh Sun 21-Jun-09 21:08:18

papa bill sounds nice i think, and your dad would probably get a kick out of it.

Chuffinnora Sun 21-Jun-09 21:10:11

Surely in the interests of your son and any relationship you may forge with your father you could call him a Grandad type name - Bampa, Gramps, Grandpa or even Grandad John. My kids call my father Grandad and FIL whom they rarely see Grandad Tommy. Its clear to all who is who.

jennybensmummy Sun 21-Jun-09 21:11:08

yeah sounds ok i think, cant see anyway it would do harm, however his wife is kind of gonna end up with one then and mama is very like mummy?? could i think of something else for her or would that just get too confusing?!?! her name is sally if that helps!?!?

Debs75 Sun 21-Jun-09 21:11:44

YANBU the inportant person here is your son. If he understands 'grandad' and associates that with the ones he sees regularly he may well get confused by your dad flitting in and out of his life.
Tell your dad that it is highly likely he will get no interaction with Ben due to the autism. Ask him not to rush up to him expecting cuddles or any recognition. I suggest you introduce them to each other calling your dad something which you feel Ben will understand and not be threatened by. I wouldn't use grandad, maybe tell him he is your daddy who lives far away, this all depends on how much you think Ben will understand.
Grandparents assume that grankids automatically love them as much as they love them. An ASD child can be very overwhelmed by this.

Explain it all to your Dad before he visits and set down your groundrules. He will be upset and feel slighted but his feelings are not important.

Good luck in whatever you decide

AitchTwoOh Sun 21-Jun-09 21:12:35

up here a lot of people say papa (as in pah-pah, not paw-paw iykwim) and nana.

jennybensmummy Sun 21-Jun-09 21:12:35

hmmm gramps would work too perhaps, hmmm then whats the female of that so his wife has one too ro should i just skip her?! cant be nana or grandma though ideally as he has them and the same problem would happen!!!

5inthebed Sun 21-Jun-09 21:13:07

Granny Sally?

My Ds2 has autism as well, and he copes really well with his three nannas (one is mine so hyperthetically his great nanna) by using their first names after nanna. He does the same for his grandads as well just to save from confusion.

AitchTwoOh Sun 21-Jun-09 21:13:10


crokky Sun 21-Jun-09 21:13:36

I have a DS who is 3 years 3 months - possibly ASD, yet to be diagnosed.

Anyway, my parents are divorced and both with new partners. DH's parents are still together. So, DS (and I have a younger DD as well) have three sets of grandparents - I don't think at the age of 3 that my DS can understand that usually people have 2 sets of grandparents. I really don't think that he understand that his granny (who he sees actually every day) is mummy's mummy. So having 3 sets is causing no problems at the moment. Not sure how aware your DS is of this sort of stuff, but on this occasion I might be tempted just to let your dad call himself grandad as it is a very infrequent problem. Plus, biologically he is ben's grandad and particularly older people struggle to see the distinction between someone who is biologically a parent/grandparent and someone who biologically isn't, but in reality is. I find older people think biology matters more than younger people.

In your position, I'd say to your dad in advance like busybeingmum suggests that the touch can feel painful to someone with ASD and so a cuddle is actually not what Ben likes. Perhaps you could think of something that Ben likes doing that your dad could engage in with him, like playing with something particular. - so say to your dad no cuddling because...but ben would like to do x with you.

jennybensmummy Sun 21-Jun-09 21:14:45

thanks debs 75 could do the hes my daddy lives a long way away bit, would have to establish first what ben knows of daddys though (but have time before the august visit!) as my partner isnt bens dad so he is just called his name to ben lol i know im just making life so confusing arent i!!! thanks so much for everyones ideas youre all fab!

Chuffinnora Sun 21-Jun-09 21:16:15

Nan, Nanna, Nonna, Granny, Grandma, Gran with or without her name on the end.
My FIL has remarried after MIL passed away
(before my children were born) but they just call her by her first name - she isn't a grandparent figure to them but it's ok.

Debs75 Sun 21-Jun-09 21:18:06

Crokky I don't think the problem is having 'extra' gp's it is more him knowing that gp's are around a lot and then having a gp who will visit rarely.

troutpout Sun 21-Jun-09 21:19:14

I think Debs75's advice is excellent

jennybensmummy Sun 21-Jun-09 21:19:20

oh yes good plan ill make sure he can do something with ben without getting too close etc that ben will enjoy, you see im son stressed about the whole thing i just didnt know what to do!!!!!

ANd maybe granny and gramps would work what a fab conbination and i dont think he would get confused as dont think he has ever heard of either name unless they are on tv or in a book but i cant think of it so its doubtful

Oh you lot are fantastic thanks so much!!! if anyone has any other ideas then i can mull them all over but im thinking that sounds so fab and has me less stressed now about this visit!! Think i will email my dad some details on autism and sensory problems etc now and then nearer time just remind him of ben issues with regards to touch etc!

Love you all thanks grin

Debs75 Sun 21-Jun-09 21:21:41

Thankyou troutpoutwink

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