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How do you react when grandparents favour dd over ds?

(30 Posts)
admylin Mon 24-Aug-09 09:43:29

This has been on my mind for a while now, well since we went to stay with my parents for a month or so. I had noticed it before but this time it was so blatently obvious that I eventually was very glad to get out of there.

Years ago when I told my mum that I was expecting a ds she blurted out'oh we don't like little boys' along the cliche of dirty, nasty, naughty boys and sweet, loving, adorable girls. I now have dd too. They never told dd off, always went over to hug her and asked her about her day, showed an interest etc. With ds they told him off for no reason, didn't talk to him and on the occasion that there was something they had both done wrong, only ds was told off or moaned about.

My dad in particular seemed to really really dislike ds. MY mum just openly favouritised dd. I have spoken to ds and he doesn't seem to have noticed it too much except to say that grandad was always grumpy to him but I can't stop thinking about it. Should I just let it drop and try to be forgiving (a virtue I know, but so hard sometimes) or try to speak to them about it? I now live a long way away but I can't imagine having them here to visit and just letting it drop.

jybay Mon 24-Aug-09 13:36:22

How weird. Am assuming you don't have any brothers? Does either of your parents have a disliked brother?

admylin Mon 24-Aug-09 13:48:32

Not really. My dad has 2 brothers but they don't live nearby and my mum had a brother who was a lot older (he died).

I don't have brothers, just 1 sister who has the good fortune to only have girls - thank goodness because she lives near my parents.

Would you just ignore and carry on as usual after what has happened?

AMumInScotland Mon 24-Aug-09 13:54:17

I think I would have to speak to them about it - if they can't treat the children fairly, then it will get increasingly difficult for them to spend time with either child as time goes on.

TheDMshouldbeRivened Mon 24-Aug-09 13:56:19

there's little you can do. PIL favoured dd over my 2 boys for years. They still do.

admylin Mon 24-Aug-09 13:56:20

One thing is for sure there is no way I can leave them both there or get them to look after the dc here for a few days until ds can more or less look after himself. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to relax - say if I went on a weekend away (haha, I dream on..).

jybay Mon 24-Aug-09 13:56:28

Well you can clearly reassure yourself that this is no reflection on your children as your parents had this prejudice before they were even born. However, the down side of that is that it is unlikely that this situation going to get better. If it was a phase to do with the DC's ages (eg DS going through boistrous phase, DD an easier one), I'd be tempted to ignore but I'm not sure you can in this situation.

Could you start by asking your mother about the comment she made when you were pregnant with your DS? That way you are not criticising any of her actual behaviour at the outset. You could then use that discussion as an opener to saying that you think they treat your DC differently.

Could your mother possibly have miscarried a boy or had one stillborn? Her comments sound almost defensive to me. It might be easier to deal with the loss of a son if you convinced yourself boys weren't likeable in the first place.

admylin Mon 24-Aug-09 13:57:49

Riven, did you ever say anything though? That's my problem, it's bursting to come out and I am torn between satisfying my wish to tell them what I think or to just ignore and let it go but never rely on them for anything like babysitting for a few days.

Harimosmummy Mon 24-Aug-09 13:59:33

oh my god... i could have wriiten this post... DD is only 3 weeks old but already can do no wrong... DS is 134 months old but can do no right.

Her first comment on finding out DS was a DS was 'pity he's not a girl' hmm

OP - your parents aren't catholic are they? My DH swears it's because of catholisism

admylin Mon 24-Aug-09 13:59:43

jybay, come to think of it she had 3 girls and a 4th miscarried which was maybe them trying for a boy but they haven't ever really talked about it.

Harimosmummy Mon 24-Aug-09 14:00:14

14 months old hmm

admylin Mon 24-Aug-09 14:02:18

Harimosmummy, no not catholic! Isn't it annoying though - why do they do that? Ds is a qiuet boy, he reads alot, dd hardly ever reads but all my mum could say was 'don't you think those books are too hard for him, can't be good, I bet he doesn't understand it all' and if dd so much as touches a book she's praised for even looking at it or just for reading the title hmm

PinkTulips Mon 24-Aug-09 14:03:35

My mother does this, she's always favoured dd over ds1, and worse again she now fusses over ds2 as well but still acts completely differantly towards ds1 angry

He's 3 now and old enough to be noticing and i've started pulling her up on it whenever she starts.... to many offended innocent protestations from her but fuck her, she was
a shitty mom and now she's being a shitty granny sad

FlouryBap Mon 24-Aug-09 14:05:52

in my family my father's side had a huge preference for the boys, to the extent that the girls were often ignored. I never noticed when I was young and as I got older it was a joke. It probably helped that we didn't like them that much as kids anyway, so wasn't exactly heartbreaking. I would just leave it

Harimosmummy Mon 24-Aug-09 14:07:37

Yes, it is annoying.

I told my parents last week (the one and only time they have seen DD) that if they don't sort out whatever problem they have with boys, they won't see either child.

Like you, my little boy is a total poppet - very loving and cuddly.

admylin Mon 24-Aug-09 14:11:52

Oooh get it sorted now before it's too late like with me Harimosmummy well done - that's what I'm feeling like saying but I'm trying to be careful, don't know why. Must be that old feeling they drummed into me, parents and respect and all that. They aren't really showing much respect towards ds though.

princessx2 Mon 24-Aug-09 20:42:50

Op - some parents are never happy! I had the opposite. I and SIL had dds a few months apart. But in the run up, I was told I was having a boy and she a girl by ILs, but the comments had always been 'we want girls!'
When we had our second babies, I was told 'we want boys now' she had a boy and I had a girl. The boy can do no wrong, even though he is a whinge (their words) but the comment when I had dd2 from fil was 'another girl...never mind' to my dh! If I wasn't tied to the bed after a c section I swear I would have launched myself at him!

I think they should be happy with what they get and not be so bloody picky!

admylin Tue 25-Aug-09 09:44:24

So what do you do? Do you just tolerate it or should I say as soon as I see it happening (the favouritism)? Trouble is I can't always say it straight away if ds is near. Yesterday dd said that Grandad was too nasty to ds so she noticed and ds must have but he won't show it as I've already asked him and he just shrugged.

I feel as if I have to surpress this urge to write them a long email with it all in. It's not worth it - is it?

piscesmoon Tue 25-Aug-09 09:55:31

I would say it-I think it too damaging to leave. I would go as far as to say to them that it is damaging all the family relationships and you can only see them in very small doses unless they stop the favouritism. If you lived nearer I would suggest them having DS by himself quite a lot but you could only do it in short doses and you are too far away. I would say that they are allowed to have a preference, as long as they keep it a deep secret and don't show it in any way.

admylin Tue 25-Aug-09 10:02:14

Good idea about telling them to atleast not show it!

I can't imagine leaving ds alone with them. It's only happened a few times but he's been told off every time. One time they looked after him and I came back early around the back where the kitchen door was open and heard ds trying to explain something about German to my mum, well she wasn't having any of it (even though she doesn't speak a word of German) and was telling him he's wrong, it's silly, he's silly and he was on the verge of tears as I walked in and confirmed that what he was saying was actually fact and true but she just said oh well, it's still silly, what a stupid place shock but no apology for being so nasty to ds.

GooseyLoosey Tue 25-Aug-09 10:08:00

You have to tell them.

My father is like this and openly prefers dd to ds. Ds is only 6 but is very aware of it and dislikes my father intensely as a result and I can't say I blame him. I have told my father but it makes no difference, so I now will not let my dcs see him without me there.

floaty Tue 25-Aug-09 10:18:07

I would repeat what your daughter said to them,in my experience they often think that the children won't notice or don't notice and are brought up short when they realise that they do.

We have this to some extent in our family with one grandaughter out ot 11 grandchildren being the favoured one ,to be honest it has become a little bit of a joke now even with the child in question but they are older now there was a time when I thought I would scream.

piscesmoon Wed 26-Aug-09 07:39:25

I agree with floaty, repeat what your DD said and say that now both DCs are noticing you will only be able to see them altogether, as a family, for very short periods- unless they hide it. It is very easy to hide. As a teacher, I am only human, I have some DCs I like much more than others, but none of them would be able to tell.
I think it is so sad that someone can treat any DCs like that, nevermind their own grandchildren.

admylin Wed 26-Aug-09 08:05:11

Yes, you're right I will just have to always be there and keep an eye on them, lol not only do I have to watch teh dc but now also my parents.

I can already see them refusing to accept the facts if I say anything. They'll probably take the huff for a while but I really have more important things to worry about don't I?

piscesmoon Wed 26-Aug-09 08:13:50

I think your DS is more important than them being in a huff. Maybe they don't realise so I would start logging the incidents so that when they deny it you can give them a list.
I would tackle it more from the side that your DD has noticed, rather than being unfair to DS. Tell them that you appreciate they can't change the way they feel but they can certainly change the way they act.

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