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Dealing with family favouritism

(16 Posts)
Roseandmabelshouse Sun 29-Oct-17 05:50:36

Sadly I think this is an issue we will have to learn to live with, but any advice or ideas welcome.

Has anyone had experience of a grandparent favouring one grandchild such as providing more childcare, buying more gifts etc. The other granddaughter is seen nearly everyday, whereas we have to actively make set arrangements so that our LO has time with his grandparents. If we didn't it would be weeks even months, despite all living close by.

I have brought this up and have been labelled jealous (which I am). My biggest concern is the point my LO realises this is going on. At the moment they are too young to understand.

I don't want to cut my nose off to spite my face. I suspect it is turning into a toxic relationship which is really sad as before we had children our relationship was great. Do we need to accept this situation and try distance ourselves for the sake of our children's future happiness?

fuckoffdailysnail Sun 29-Oct-17 06:04:04

Hi OP we are in this situation with my DHs parents. My DDs are 1 and 2. They used to always ask to see nanny and grandad and they never ask anymore, I don’t bother sending pictures or updates I leave it all to DH now and he’s told me he doesn’t bother unless his parents ask how the DDs are which has been once since Xmas!!
If someone doesn’t want to spend time with your children they are the ones missing out not your children. No advice really just to say you’re not alone and it is truly shit

Crumbs1 Sun 29-Oct-17 06:06:18

I think most people have favourites and have a tendency to favour the firstborn. Grandsons are oft revered over granddaughters.
It is your jealousy that will make the relationship toxic and damage the children not the grandparents favouritism.
Can’t you just accept that you have a different relationship with your parents to your sibling? Stop feeling jealous and build more positively on the relationship you do have. Accept childcare and gifts with gratitude rather than turning it into a competition with your sibling. They might well feel it’s burdensome to be the favoured child who ‘has’ to see your parents daily.

thethoughtfox Sun 29-Oct-17 09:35:40

Family arrangements often are (still) driven and organised by mothers and mothers are often closer to their daughters. So very often grandparents spend more time with their daughters and their children. and if they are closer to and spend more time with one child Also, if parents have a child who is seen as weaker and needing more help and support, they will offer more childcare to them.

Tilapia Sun 29-Oct-17 09:38:30

It’s not ideal, but if it makes you feel any better I think that parents having favourites is far, far more damaging for the child than grandparents having favourites.

greendale17 Sun 29-Oct-17 09:40:05

*It is your jealousy that will make the relationship toxic and damage the children not the grandparents favouritism.*

What a load of crap. Don’t listen to this OP. The grandparents are the one with the problem

whosafraidofabigduckfart Sun 29-Oct-17 09:42:15

My parents are lovely. My children’s birthdays are 5 days apart in November They wanted to come stay for dd’s (8) Birthday but go on holidays and miss ds’s (6) Birthday.

I said (gently) that ds would notice now that they missed his birthday (again) and I thought they should give both a miss and we would have a joint cake in their house when we’re at their house next week.

bastardkitty Sun 29-Oct-17 09:50:35

When they said you were jealous, which you have every right to be, they said it to dismiss you. They know it's unfair and they intend to carry on. My DCs had this from both sets of grandparents and were hurt and confused by it. You have aired it and they are not interested. Would you look to wind down contact to a more minimal level? I can't imagine not caring that one of my children was hurt by my blatant favouritism.

Roseandmabelshouse Sun 29-Oct-17 11:09:24

Thank- you for the comments so far. I didn't expect any response back.

I think we are now moving from a stage of feeling resentful and jealous to being accepting and taking a step back - as a result are feeling a lot happier. Nothing has changed despite promises to make more effort in the past. The biggest issue is that they can't see anything beyond our 'jealousy' and just belittle our open discussions about how sad we feel.

Our more recent efforts to step back have been met with the attitude that we now don't care, when in reality we are just now focusing on our family and trying to protect our children in the longer term.

Textpectation Sun 29-Oct-17 11:36:14

I agree with previous poster, the grandparents are at fault and are causing damage. My GM favoured my cousins, it was very hurtful and impacted negatively on our entire relationship.

On both sides GPs favour their other DGC in a way that is obvious and hurtful to my DC. They have never picked my DS from school, attended a nativity or sports day. They look after their other DGC daily and it seems that there isn't much love or energy left over. I try foster a great relationship between the cousins and that adore each other.

There are two things that help, I still ask them to events and make it clear that the situation isn't fair. I also have no fear, obligation or guilt regards to their care. As far as I'm concerned, their favourites can bare the brunt of support. My parents have started to find out that their favourite DD and DGC don't intend to repay their kindness now their support isn't needed.

This type of emotional rejection is very difficult. I find it harder it being my DC. They miss out and the older DC gets, the less I'm interested in their flawed support. flowers

butterfly56 Sun 29-Oct-17 12:24:53

I have watched my own controlling mother do...
favouritisms/triangulations/manipulations all her life with her own children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Just one example is.....
She only has pictures in her house of the 2 favourite children(she has 5).
1 of her grandchildren(she has 7). 1 of her great-grandchildren(she has 3). The rest are put away in a box.

It absolutely ruins healthy family relationships and the sad thing is that a her favourite family members enable her behaviour. confused

Textpectation Sun 29-Oct-17 13:05:07

My DC said 'nanny, why don't you have any pictures of me there are loads of X?'. GM said 'silly mummy hasn't given me any'. I responded that her and GF have had all pictures electronically, but I'll sort some out right now, and emailed some over as we all sat together. They put a different picture of DC and X up.

Textpectation Sun 29-Oct-17 13:24:46

I also think our siblings should take some responsibility. My oldest ds was particularly upset by being second best GC. Parents and GPS having favourites is just plain wrong.

bastardkitty Sun 29-Oct-17 13:27:39

^ I agree, but IME they just lap it up. I would love to hear about someone whose sibling didn't stand for it. It mostlyseems to be based on a collision.

bastardkitty Sun 29-Oct-17 13:27:56


Textpectation Sun 29-Oct-17 15:19:51

I talk to siblings on both sides about it. One sister is well aware that her ds is one of the favourites and does try to include my DC in plans. One of the others just won't believe all evidence to the contrary - they recognise they were a favourite child but won't see the GC are treated very differently. ILs don't care, any childcare help for others will cut down on the help they receive.

In answer to the question 'what can I do about favouritism?', the answer is nothing. You can analyse change your reaction to it. My friend saw this first hand and pointed out that DC was better off not spending time there.

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