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6 yr old daughter - cannot develop relationship with grandparents

(6 Posts)
Sunblushsister Fri 06-Nov-15 22:43:56

My Daughter can't seem to develop her relationship with her grandparents. She is rude, often ignores them, hates giving them cuddles and kisses and refuses to say hello or goodbye. This afternoon was awful as my mum went to collect her from school on her own without me there and she wouldn't even say hello then refused to hold her hand on the way home and walked 2 metres behind my mum all the way back!

They know each other very well, have spent a lot of time together and although it must have been a surprise that I didn't go with my mum to collect her, you would think she would be fine and happy to see her.

My daughter has always found physical contact more difficult than I think is normal - she was very much an overly sensitive child with clothes always being too itchy, tight, etc. But I'm wondering if she also lacks a bit of emotional understanding. I'm wondering if she has aspergers or something similar - although she has plenty of friends her own age and seems to be doing well at school.

I find it so upsetting and not sure where to begin - My mum thinks she is jealous and only wants me to give her full attention 100 percent of the time. I'm just not sure anymore. This isn't the first of these type of incidents, in fact, she often ignores adults if they ask her a question but seems fine with teachers. She is such a riddle - I'm wondering if a child psychologist could help us? I just don't want it to continue.

Any advice welcome!

Indole Fri 06-Nov-15 23:55:14

Maybe she doesn't like her that much? What do they do together? How does your mum interact with your DD?

It is perfectly normal for 6 year olds to prefer the familiar and to be upset if something happens to upset the usual routine (like someone different picking them up from school without warning). Next time maybe warn her and build it up as a treat - your daughter's reaction to that might tell you a lot about their relationship.

Indole Fri 06-Nov-15 23:55:59

Also what kinds of question does she ignore?

Andro Sat 07-Nov-15 00:02:24

With respect to kisses and cuddles, they should never be insisted on (or even strongly encouraged, she has a right to choose not to kiss or hug). Are her grandparents generally physically affectionate? This could be part of her reluctance around them if they don't accept her dislike of physical contact.

Your dd could be shy, could be anxious or there could be sometning more. You might find sn chat in the special needs section useful, but you may well find yourself in a situation where your dd's undesirable (to you) behaviours will not alter quickly if at all.

Sunblushsister Sat 07-Nov-15 12:13:39

Yes, I have wondered if its just a general feeling where the two of them don't click. She is often moody with me when she first comes out of schooling doesn't want to talk so I should have warned my mum. Its just so horrible for me - as the more it goes on the more distance my mum has with her which really makes the whole thing worse.

I just can't ignore rudeness and lack of respect for adults.

mrsplum2015 Sun 08-Nov-15 05:51:11

I'm can see you are worried but I think you are a) over-thinking it and b) having slightly high expectations. I really think you are being unfair to label it rudeness and lack of respect - remember our children need to learn these skills over their childhood, they are not mini adults who can be expected to understand how to negotiate social expectations and "niceties".

I am sure your daughter is not "jealous" as such. There are times when children want our undivided attention - and would prefer we're not chit chatting with granny but that's perfectly normal. It's also normal for some children not to want hugs/kisses - even with their parents sometimes. Mine have all gone through those stages and I have never forced/expected it. I find they recover more quickly if they are allowed to be spontaneous.

And in terms of the after school thing, mine would all be a bit put out if I wasn't there after school when they were expecting me. And my children are often a bit sullen and grumpy after school - they're either a bit hungry, thirsty or tired and take it out on the poor person who collects them (usually me!). Again mine won't always hold a hand (and definitely wouldn't always at 6 - I don't think that's a problem as they are not unsafe by the road at that age??).

The only thing I can see that your DD has really done wrong out of your whole post is not saying hello to your mum. That is the only thing I insist on - children greeting a visitor by speaking to them and looking them in the eye. Along with pleases and thank yous. I certainly never insist on any physical contact with me or anyone else. And if it helps my older children are now 7 and 10, and get regularly praised for their politeness at school and friends houses. (they're not always great at home!). My younger DC won't always make eye contact (or give a kiss/hug to family members) as he is a bit shy around adults but we are working on the eye contact (the kiss/hug is up to him!) and certainly no-one considers him rude because of it.

The only way you are going to prevent this becoming a problem with your parents is to speak to them about their expectations - I wouldn't expect your DD to suddenly behave the way they want her to. Like I say the only thing I would insist on is hello/goodbye. If they are asking her questions she may feel shy and not know how to answer them. I have noticed a massive difference in how my parents speak to my kids vs my in-laws and my parents get a much better response. They generally just chit chat a bit about what they're up to, then ask very specific questions about school and things they know the kids have been doing (easy questions like did you win your netball game this week or which book have you read at school), which generally prompts response. But children simply don't talk to adults in the same way adults talk to adults and my DC don't respond well to my in-laws sometimes as they try and engage them in quite an adult way, my MIL often talks about how much she misses the DC for example (doesn't see them very often) - which makes them feel awkward because they don't miss her at all!!! And that goes equally for my 10 yo DD who is highly confident and good at social interaction with adults and children.

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