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If you rarely see your parents, but then go see them for a few weeks at a time:

(12 Posts)
HolidayCriminal Sat 24-May-14 04:42:31

How engaged are your parents with you & their D-GC?
I'm disappointed with my dad but I don't know if I'm being unfair.
We are actually staying in a vacation rental 4 minutes walk away.

I've asked him to babysit a few times so I could run errands in peace, but It feels like a huge Ask.

My folks very much carry on with their own retired-but-busy lives & we just connect with them as and when.

Dad's idea of looking after the kids is to turn them loose on the beach then bury his nose in the newspaper while they run out of sight. Else park them in front of TV while he's in another room. The only time he had much interest was when we played a combination rounders-cricket game today, Dad watched with interest & tried to give some batting tips. For a spell, then he wandered off.

How do your parents spend time with you when you visit?

Chottie Sat 24-May-14 04:51:38

Well, my DC are grown up and my DPs are now dead, but the sort of things they used to do together included:

cooking, gardening, talking, looking at family photos, walking in the park, going out for meals, reading, drawing, talking, telling stories, meeting up with my auntie and her dog.

My parents took my DC away for a beach holiday too and they stayed in a castle. They went to the beach, went swimming, walking, climbed up a lighthouse, met up with other relations in the area. My DCs remember my DPs with love and remember all the things they did together.

You don't say how old your DPs are? My DCs were 51 and 57 when my first DC was born, so were young and full of energy. They also had good health.

SavoyCabbage Sat 24-May-14 04:51:45

My family definitely just carry on with their lives. That is how I want it though. I want to slide back in. My mum has a pretty full life. She went out the night we arrived last time I was home. And my sister couldn't come down the first weekend as one of her dc had a party.

I also see that the bond that my mother has with my children is not as strong as the bond she has with my sisters children. She doesn't know them as well. She doesn't know what they like to do and what their favourite book is.

HolidayCriminal Sat 24-May-14 05:11:40

Dad + Stepmum are both 71, 4 DC age 6-14. Dad has back pain & other health worries, I try to be supportive. We had a dedicated trip out (5.5 days) & they were very supportive to me in doing that including babysitting the youngest for 30+ hours without me.

I dunno, I just wish they tried harder to really engage with DC while they have the opportunity.

Alligatorpie Sat 24-May-14 06:00:03

My dds have 3 sets of gps, and 2 sets will do whatever they can to accommodate them - through apart from the occasional sleepover - there are no trips away. The other set work, but will pretty much stop their social lives if the dds are around.
I know I am very lucky. But we see them once or twice a year, (usually for 3-6 weeks at a time) and dh and I never get out without the dds the rest of the timesmile

HolidayCriminal Sat 24-May-14 16:36:01

The other problem I have is whether I should manage their visits to us differently. They stay in a B+B about 15 minute walk away. I tend to plan for them to spend about 2/3 of their day with us. I suggest the daily plan to them and they usually seem fine with my ideas. But maybe they just want to be left alone more? If I carried on like they do, I wouldn't spend any time with them except when they announced they'd like to come by.

CharityCase Sun 25-May-14 03:08:48

I see my parents twice or three times a year and have 2 DC who are nearly 4 & 2. We go back to uk for 2-4 wks in the summer, we alternate Christmas and then mum will often come out here for one more 2 wk trip. My kids are her only GC. Mum is really hands on, joins in most of the outings and babysits if I ask her- I usually have to work a few days when we're in the uk and I'm going to a wedding overnight. Dad assists mum but he wouldn't be able to do it on his own- his understanding of preschoolers is lowgrin. MIL doesn't come here as hates long haul flights. We don't stay with her when we visit but get a vacation rental close by as her apartment is too small for all of us. She's also pretty hands on but I wouldn't ask her to do an overnight and she prefers to look after them in the house rather than doing outings but I don't blame her for that because last time we were there Dd was only 15mo and of the bolting variety. Both sets of GC are in their late 60s and in good health. They all have other stuff going on but do try to reschedule non-essential stuff as they know we don't get that much time together- I do the same when they come to us- I work PT so I do 2 FT weeks either side of their visit and take days off when they're here.

JoandMax Sun 25-May-14 04:30:20

My mum is great and absolutely loves to be as hands on as possible. We've been away over a year and not gone back to UK in that time but my parents have been twice to stay with us. My dad is getting better as the DCs gets older (4 and nearly 6) but I wouldn't ever leave them alone with him, but he'd be the same in the UK! I don't doubt he loves them very much just of the generation that mothers looked after children.....

We'll be staying with them for 4 weeks this summer, my dad will carry on with his usual routine but my mum is already planning an itinerary of exciting things!

We Skype a lot and so far the DCs are as bonded to them as they have been, we were a good 2.5 hours away in UK though so we didn't see them daily or weekly anyway.

chloeb2002 Sun 25-May-14 07:40:24

Maybe it also depends what he was like as a father? My dad was a hands off father and not even met 3 of his gc. Not a surprise.

Bonsoir Sun 25-May-14 14:32:17

My mother was super hands on when DD was little and was happy to potter about at home and locally but she doesn't go out and about much herself and nowadays I need to set up activities and entertainment for DD when when we stay with my parents.

HolidayCriminal Sun 25-May-14 16:15:41

I only come visit my folks once every 4 yrs. I think this will be the last time I ever come with all DC, or maybe with any DC.

They come visit me for 6-7 days almost every yr (but not this yr).

My dad was a bit hands off when I was growing up, but we used to play card games often & when I was very young he was famous for playing for ages with all the toddlers at parties.

AmblingAlong Sun 25-May-14 17:43:22

My family is the same as you describe holiday. Never been hands on at all. We used to go for up to 3 weeks when the dc were small but the last time we went a few years back, there were just too many complaints and telling off the dc that I didn't see the point in me taking the dc to see them anymore.

They expected my dc to behave exactly like the grand-children who live near them and could never understand the small 'differences' in behaviour even though they certainly weren't badly behaved.

I also wish they'd tried harder to engage with the DC while they had the opportunity. As my 2 are now older they don't miss their grandparents and don't even really want to make the effort to go and see them. It's not as if we haven't tried to get them to come and visit (in between various trips to other countries).

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