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Anyone else have grandparents who have favorite grandchildren?

(25 Posts)
taurusmum85 Sun 28-Apr-13 22:42:11

I just wanted to see if anyone else has a similar situation and how you deal with it. My child's grandmother on my oh side has not seen my child for a year whilst she sees her daughter's two children 2/3 times a week I live 5 minutes from her and havent recieved so much as a happy thought during this time. I just would like to hear from other people with awkward grandparents.

cantreachmytoes Sun 28-Apr-13 23:10:57

My in-laws are lovely (just as well, because my husband can't say the same of his!!). They treat their three children equally and are meticulous about it. When it comes to grandchildren, they have five, four boys, one girl. My DFIL DOTES on the girl. He's nice to the boys, but if she's there he totally ignores them and just focuses on her.

Last Summer we were packing up to leave after a family event and asked him to look after our 10 month old DS. I came back to find DS at the top of a flight of stone stairs..the girl (3 yrs old) had come in and he was playing with her.

So now, we never leave DS with him if there's a chance she could come. I'm now pregnant with a girl, so we'll see how that changes the dynamics.

My DS is too young to really notice, but I do feel sorry for the older boys (eldest 7) who can see that she's favourite.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 29-Apr-13 12:00:40

When you say your MIL sees her other two grandchildren every week is she babysitting them? I don't know why but it seems if a grandparent offers one child childcare for grandchildren that seems to signal they have fewer dealings with their other family members. It is as though they fear that you might see contact as a precursor to them offering more involvement ie taking advantage somehow. So rather than risk two adult children using them for childcare, they'd rather avoid contact.

Maybe your DH was always playing second fiddle to his sister. Or his sister simply started her family first so had first claim to her mother's attention.

My in-laws lived many miles away from us and by the time our DCs arrived, they had already had grandchildren so I got the impression they were fond of ours but it was all a bit old hat. Even the novelty of a grand-daughter after several males didn't really make any impression.

Perhaps it is all on a social level. That must cut deep. Is your DH bothered by this at all? Do you have family close by?

MiaowTheCat Mon 29-Apr-13 13:07:18

The girls are second fiddle compared to the blessed grandson on the other side of the family - even presents are what the grandson had and liked to play with... family gettogethers are the girls being compared unfairly with the blessed grandson's milestones and when we last went to stay with them - I got to listen to umpteen phonecalls about how blessed grandson had just been to visit and done x y and z and how amazing he was - while the grandchild in the other room was having her existence ignored as usual.

I fucking hate my MIL these days. She's at blessed grandson's all the time (and they don't live nearer than us or anything like that) - involvement with the girls involves getting them to sit on skype and hear about the wonderful grandson, and demanding the odd photo of them in a pretty dress to shove on the wall. No actual involvement, no time invested... just judgment and unfair comparisons.

taurusmum85 Mon 29-Apr-13 18:39:08

Hi, my oh is in oZ and has been for the past 18 months so I am on my own apart from my dad who helps me she knows this but is just not interested in helping. But its her loss as he won't want to bother with her when shes old and would like to see her family

StrawberrytallCAKE Mon 29-Apr-13 18:49:28

I think you might be me miaow! Only I have always hated mil. When I was expecting dd1 she said 'ooh you don't want a girl, they know it all', I think she'd forgotten her own gender!?!? I have 2dd's and I would love to tell her to fuck right off but when her and useless fil come round (rarely) we just smile at each other in a very passive aggressive manner.

She not only plays favourites with her own children (the ones that earn the most get her time) which is devastating for dh but she sees other grandchildren on a weekly basis when we live 20 minutes away and have seen her once this year. Cowbag.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 29-Apr-13 20:38:45

That is a shame OP and obviously very caculated. Her loss ultimately. Did you ever get along pre-DCs? SIL takes after her mum too evidently sad

taurusmum85 Mon 29-Apr-13 20:39:04

I actually met my other half through her we were great friends. Until I finally realized our relationship was a one way street and that my son is of no importance to her. Next week will officially be a year since she has had any contact with him this includes a no Christmas card and when this year point has been reached that is it I will never allow her anywhere near not that she probably cares!

CoolaSchmoola Tue 30-Apr-13 07:43:28

Before I was even pregnant I was informed that no child of ours would ever be as important as SILs... And it's true. Not entirely surprising as SIL was their golden child - they had a favourite with their own children and the disparity in how they are treated continues even now. Her kids get regular presents and MOUNTAINS of toys at Christmas and birthdays. Our DC get A present at Christmas and usually, but not always, get a birthday present.

It really pisses me off as our DC are old enough to start noticing. We don't want them to feel the same way OH did growing up so we have started to limit contact so they don't get to see how differently they are treated.

Luckily my side of the family are the total opposite.

GoblinGranny Tue 30-Apr-13 08:04:43

My parents love all their grandchildren equally and are incredibly careful about treating all of them fairly.
Mine have a closer relationship with them due to circumstances, but there is no preferential treatment when more are present.
It could be because of my maternal grandmother though, she kept rankings and counted things like visits, levels of present-giving, attention paid and compliments...to her. It was all about her, and as a grandchild your rank was adjustable in a split-second. From photo in a place of honour on the mantlepiece...to the dog basket in one swift movement. grin

SacreBlue Tue 30-Apr-13 08:09:33

Slightly different pov my DS is (I think) my DPs favourite and as I was black sheep I care not one jot about it.

They look after see their fav DCs children a few times a week whereas mine only a couple of times a month, since the other DC was so spoilt the GC are hard work grin so GPs like my easy going, polite DC

It has actually improved my relationship with my DPs which I'm glad of, as many of you have mentioned growing up watching someone be lauded over you is pretty hard to deal with as a little kid.

BikeRunSki Tue 30-Apr-13 08:17:23

A couple of years ago, with a house full of 4 x under 5s (his grandchildren ), FiL burst out "E, you used to be my favourite, but you are not anymore! "shock shock shock . Whereupon everyone started crying.

admylin Tue 30-Apr-13 08:21:31

My parents have always thought girls were better than boys. If anyone they knew had a boy they'd pity them with behind the back comments like little boys are dirty, cheeky etc.
My first dc is a boy and when I told them it was going to be a boy my mother even said oh WE don't like little boys shock - infact I was too shocked to even react. My second dc is a girl and she can do no wrong and has been gazed at lovingly since day 1.

MiaowTheCat Tue 30-Apr-13 09:26:25

In our case it seems to be a reflection of the sibling family dynamics in DH's family... his sister's always been the "perfect" child, had to do everything first (she even rapidly pushed getting pregnant after I'd had a miscarriage and I'm sure a bit of that was a slight sense of fear her younger brother might "get there first") and gets the time, energy and closeness whereas hubby is viewed as the bumbling idiot of the family (they claim it's gentle mocking - I think it goes on too long and starts far too soon to be that - always feels like SIL does it to show off just a bit too much for me to be comfortable really) and gets the chequebook thrown at him instead of actual time and effort put into his life.

They seem to have just extended that pattern to grandchildren - throw a few (pre-tested on the grandson) toys at our girls and some pretty outfits (the one element of grandparenthood where I think the amazing grandson doesn't quite cut the mustard) but whereas they came down to see him on his first birthday... we just get ordered to sit on skype - that type of thing constantly (and we live much nearer geographically than SIL so it's not a distance thing).

It's going to be their loss at the end of the day when they DO show up here and neither girl really has a clue who they are or any warm relationship built up with them - sooner or later that factor will rear its head.

I used to get on really well with MIL btw - it's not a situation where there's always been resentment or whatever (never much liked how differently they treat DH and his sister though)... but the way she behaved over the birth of DD1 and her prematurity really drove a massive wedge - she still refuses to have the "freshly squished" newborn photos of DD1 on show in her house as she's in an incubator with wires and tubes - and that REALLY pisses me off. Can't deal with her hitting milestones slightly "late" (on her chronological age) either!

piprabbit Tue 30-Apr-13 09:32:30

My mum favours my DD. She is clearly excited to be involved in DD's life and keen to share things with her. I think she can take or leave DS.

There is no point raising it with her, the differences are small and individually could all be explained quite reasonably. However the little things accumulate and en masse don't seem as reasonable to me.

Then again, she also had clear favourites among my siblings so I probably shouldn't be surprised.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 30-Apr-13 09:47:25

This "golden" or "perfect" child thing is so entrenched in some families, goes beyond having a particular affinity with one person when it actively and publically promotes one child above their sibling(s). I agree when the DCs are old enough to notice it is a good idea to limit contact.

SanityClause Tue 30-Apr-13 09:50:04

As DH was the only child, our DC are the only grandchildren. DS is obviously MIL's favourite (and her sister's). DD1 (13yo), in particular, is very aware of this, as MIL will allow DS to butt in when DD1 is speaking, or ruin a "performance" (when she was younger!) or whatever.

MIL can't understand why DD1 now shows her less affection than before, and certainly would not accept that she was in any way at fault if we tried to explain.

DD2 is dyslexic, and is treated by MIL as though she is thick, although she is actually very bright. MIL's sister will come out with comments about how DD2 struggles at school (which have clearly come via MIL) even when DH points out her many achievements, including academic ones.

We just use it as an object lesson in how some people are just unfair, and you can't change their behaviour.

ProfYaffle Tue 30-Apr-13 09:50:04

Dh is the golden child in his family but bil's dc are favoured over ours confused Like Pip it's all small stuff that individually seems petty but taken as a whole is hard to ignore.

Do you think they realise they're doing it? I don't think my pil do, not that it makes any difference to the outcome I suppose.

piprabbit Tue 30-Apr-13 09:59:28

I don't think my mother realises she is doing it, she would be very upset if I picked through all the things she does and pointed out the inconsistencies to her.
Some if it might be down to her being a bit older now, maybe DS is a bit too boisterous for her to cope with on her own etc. etc. but I know that she is always bubbling over with ideas for spending time with DD (she would spent hours sitting doodling and crafting with DD when she was small) and she never suggests doing anything with DS.

Standautocorrected Tue 30-Apr-13 10:13:36

My mil clearly favours ds over his sisters. She favours dh over his brothers too.
She used to send ds extra (& relevant) presents for his birthday / christmas. It used to cause dh and I problems in our relationship as I cannot abide favourtism whereas he was used to it and thinks its normal.
In the end I asked dh to have a word with her. It has improved slightly but she always makes a bee line for ds (& dh) when she visits and ignores the girls until she has seen ds etc.
My oldest (a girl) doesnt really have much of a relationship with her as mil doesnt seem to have much time for her. I feel sorry for dd that she is shunned by her own gm. As a consequence we do not see each other very much.

redheartonpink Tue 30-Apr-13 14:25:28

This is all very familiar. MIL has never been part of our dcs ( age 9 and 6) lives. They get christmas and birthday pressies which we have to buy as she has no idea what they like. When she visits the dc are basically ignored. I thought she just didnt really like children in general so was suprised at how she dotes on SILs baby. SIL has always been favourite and DH just accepts all this but i hate MIL and feel so angry every time i think of her.

UniS Wed 01-May-13 20:51:35

DS has a grandparent whos favourite is always the youngest one. Once there is a baby around all other grandchildren are ignored.

downlow27 Tue 07-Jan-14 16:45:31

Got bad news. It continues into adulthood and gets even worse if parents have a childless sibling. Second marriage for both of us. SIL is childless, divorced, and beyond childbearing years. We have four--one "mine," two "hers," one "ours," though father of "hers" has been largely absent since they were very young. Oldest daughter now married with two grandchildren (great gc's to MGP's). All four are adult aged now. PGP's deceased. MGP are otherwise great, except it is, and has been for two+ decades, very clear which grandchild matters MOST, and which matter very little. SIL follows suit.

MGP's and SIL follow oldest (grand)daughter's every breath. Regularly visit her and her family in FOUR states they have lived in, but cannot make a three hour trip to visit younger GC's--who live in an area oldest did previously (and where they visited her regularly.) Have taken oldest on trips and have discussed taking--and paying for--them on others while caustically stating they would not for the youngers. List goes on and on. Most examples standing alone may be no big deal. The sum total is overwhelming.

I don't know what the answer is. I have a hunch the time will come when this all blows up.

ZipLip Tue 16-May-17 00:16:52

So glad I found this post. I am so cross with my oh parents. They r all over his brothers kids. Having there other grandchildren every weekend. They barely see my children from one month to the next! I don't even think my littlest one even knows who they r!! My MIL loves her other daughter in law even though she is split up from my oh brother. However barely speaks to me even though we r still together. I am so angry as it's my kids that won't get to no there grandparents and might ask why they had there other grandchildren all the time and not them!!!
Rant over!!

grannytomine Tue 16-May-17 15:04:13

My mother and MIL were both terrible for this so one of my son's was a favourite and my daughter was favourite of the other GM and the other two boys were very definitely also rans. I do understand how horrible it feels but I think sometimes there are other things at play. My eldest GS is just a teenager, I was relatively young and full of energy 13 years ago and since then I have got 13 years older and had some health issues. I've told my daughter if she wants me to have the sort of relationship with her children that I have with her nephews then she needs to get a move on or I will just not be up to trips to EuroDisney or swimming lessons with them every week.

The other thing is if there is a perceived need eg. one of my sons and his wife split up so those GC went throuh that, then through their mothers attempted suicide in front of them with no one else in the house. Social services placed them with me for a time so my relationship is a bit different with them because they needed me in a way the others didn't.

I realise this sort of thing won't apply in every family but just wanted to explain that sometimes there are reasons.

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