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When grandparent isn't interested in grandchild

(74 Posts)
granulatedhappiness Mon 13-Jul-15 13:14:07

My DD's grandmother doesn't seem interested in her and I wondered if anyone else has experienced this and how they've handled it as their child has got older.

DD is 6 and rarely sees GM even though we live in the same street. When DD was 2, GM started to make promises that she wouldn't keep which would result in DD getting understandably upset. We would invite her round and she would text to say she'd be "round in a bit" but then wouldn't turn up and we never got any explanation. After a year or so of this, I stopped inviting her round, although I would always be very pleasant to her when we did see her.

Sometimes weeks or months can go by and we never see her. She never texts or asks us round to her house so she can find out what DD is up to. I would think it normal for a grandparent to be even a little bit interested in their grandchild.

I was talking to my DH about this and he said that he's not surprised because she was never that interested in her own kids (DH and his brothers). I think I've come to the conclusion that this is the way she is and I have to accept it. DH has told me about how she treated him when he was younger which I feel was abusive so I'm not sure I even want her to have a relationship with DD.

As DD gets older, she'll wonder why she doesn't see her GM much. She's probably already wondering. Her other grandparents live a 5 hour drive away so she understands why we don't see them very often. I wonder if anyone else has had a similar situation. How have you handled it?

midnightvelvetPart2 Mon 13-Jul-15 13:25:38

I have something similar, its partly the reason why I'm a sahm as we have no grandparent support if the kids were sick & there's nobody to have them if I need to see the doctor for example. The DCs have grandparents, they are just very very hands off grandparents.

I'd adjust your expectations & those of your DD tbh as the GM has made it fairly clear she doesn't wish to be involved to the extent that you want her to be. If the relationship with her children was in any way abusive then you have dodged a bullet as well! Just tell your DD that the GM has her own life to live & as its already the norm she may not be too worried about it smile

granulatedhappiness Mon 13-Jul-15 13:33:03

Thank you for your advice midnight. Sorry to hear that you've been through the same. I think you're spot on with DD not being too worried about it. She's never asked so probably just thinks that's the way it is. Thank you smile

Varya Mon 13-Jul-15 13:33:53

Paternal G/F not interested in my twins!

MiddleAgedandConfused Mon 13-Jul-15 13:34:33

We have always just told our 2 that FIL is very busy. As they've got older they have worked out for themselves that 'busy ' is a euphemism for 'can't be arsed'.
You can't force it, so don't waste any time worrying about it as you know it won't change. Focus on the people in your DCs life who do care.

BrendaBlackhead Mon 13-Jul-15 13:42:12

There is another thread on this at the moment. I expect summer holidays brings grandparental indifference into stark relief!

My pil were not interested. Dh much younger than his brothers and they'd done the (rather mild) enthusiasm for grandchildren thing. I've always said that mil would have struggled to pick out dd in a line-up. She was spectacularly bad with dcs and the best was when I overheard her starting a conversation with ds (who was nine at the time): "Do you have a good wine department in your Waitrose?" Ds, to give him his due, managed to converse on the merits of Waitrose for some minutes grin

peppajay Mon 13-Jul-15 13:44:52

My parents aren't interested in my kids they won't di birthday parties or take them out they will do the occasional babysit but only of there is nothing else to do. They are very social and very busy people BUT were absolutely fantastic brilliant parents who gave me and my brother the most wonderful childhood and they have always been honest and said that their time is now for them and they are doing all the things they couldn't do when we are growing up as they were doing everything to make our childhood special. I find it really hard having no help and do sonetimes tell them I think they are missing it. I don't think is true in all cases but alot of my friends who do have help from grandparents seemed to have not such a great childhood and their parents are trying to make it up by doing lots with their children. Still gets my back up a bit though as I never get a break!!!

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 13-Jul-15 13:51:08

that is how it is with some people I am afraid.
I do not even tell my dad about the kids's exams or anything as he thinks I am just 'showing off' (not that there is much to show off about) or if I said 'DS has his exams' he would just say something horrible like 'good luck with that then'.
Actually it's fucking tragic isn't it?

babybarrister Mon 13-Jul-15 13:51:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

granulatedhappiness Mon 13-Jul-15 13:54:08

Sorry, didn't realise there was already a similar thread going. Comforting but sad that there are others in the same boat sad

Brenda - "wine department in waitrose" made me chuckle grin

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reply and share their experiences. Was beginning to feel that we were the only ones going through this. As a few have said, i just have to accept that this is the way it is.

Floridabound42 Mon 13-Jul-15 14:03:59

Same here! My mother used to keep on and on about 'giving her grandchildren' so I thought she'd dote on them turned out she loved having them as babies, loved it when they were small enough to be sat and nursed all day long up until they started crawling / walking then they became 'hard work' and 'into everything'. It got to a point where if I called in with them you could see the obvious annoyance on her face as we'd spoiled her TV / drinking time and risked messing up her house.

She was an alcoholic anyway and that got worse and worse so in the end I stoppped visiting very often altogether. She became to look quite ill and scary with missing teeth etc and the chiodren used to be uncomfortable seeing her. I went NC the last two years of her life as I'd had enough ( lots of other reasons too) so the kids didn't see her at all.

My father similarly hasn't been interested in the children, only calling up to see them occasionally and bringing a bag of sweets as If that was going to make him grandparent of the year, never actually doing anything with them etc and no real Interest. My mother passed away late last year and within a few weeks he was seeing a new woman - she made it quite clear she wasnt interested in having anything to do with us or our children and my father has followed her way. He gradually stopped all contact with us and after a huge argument about it all he hasn't been in touch for six weeks. Fine with me. True colours have been shown and I don't feel my kids are missing out. My kids know the score and your will grow up knowing it too. You can never miss what you've never had.

ROARmeow Mon 13-Jul-15 14:45:11

Anyone have link to the other thread? Please?

My in-laws dote on one of my kids, see my DC2 as total afterthought. Boils my piss, really it does.

Dontloookbackinanger Mon 13-Jul-15 15:05:52

My MIL is like this. Loves having the status of being a GM and having photos to show off to her friends, but no actual interest in DS at all.

She only sees him a couple of times a year when I make the effort to visit her. Refuses to buy him birthday or Christmas presents as "He's too young to know" (he's nearly 3) and is very obviously irritated / bored by him when she does see him. (Unless one of her friends is present when she goes into overdrive and starts ordering him about.)

She's his only grandparent (and her only GC) so for a while I made a real effort to take him for visits, bought little toys for her to give to him and talked about Granny. Now I've given up and he doesn't seem too bothered by it, but I'm sure he'll ask questions when he's older.

jimijack Mon 13-Jul-15 15:17:46

What's worse is where the grandparent completely adores and is way ott about my sister's daughter and couldn't be less interested in my 2.

Honestly, her house is like a shrine to my niece, pictures on every wall and every surface of her.
She has her for entire weekends, weeks on end in summer but was not able to have my baby after we had been in hospital all night with breathing problems as she was far too tired after having dn for a long weekend as dn had been naughty, cheeky, mouthy and demanding for every minute of the weekend........she was having her again next weekend though as my sister needed some "me" time. Dn btw, is 11.

It was my son's birthday last week, not a text or phone call or nothing, dn had a party thrown for her & hundreds spent on her, mum said that in the end dn got fed up with opening presents she had that many.......smiling and proud while telling me this.

BUT I'm not bitter.....noooooooooooo! hmm

jimijack Mon 13-Jul-15 15:23:39

Was close to exploding as I take my mum shopping every week, she fills her trolley with stuff that dn loves, exclaiming "oooh mini mouth LOVES these yogurts, crisps, cakes, sweets, chocolate bars....." as she piles it all in.
My little chap just looks at her.

Tbf I never ever ask her to have my kids (because she always has dn & she & my older boy do not gat along) just that one time I could have killed for 2 hours sleep.

JustMeAnon Mon 13-Jul-15 15:24:13

My DM isn't interested at all, doesn't talk to my DCs if we visit, apart from offering chocolate. She wasn't a whole lot interested in me either so Im not surprised or even particularly offended. That's how she is, totally self centered and not interested in anyone beyond herself really. I just tell the children thats how it is, ie that DGM is a bit funny and not very interested in other people or things. They also know she was a shit mum, I think at 8 and 10 they are old enough to understand that not all kids have kind parents!

FenellaFellorick Mon 13-Jul-15 15:27:57

my parents are like that.

my dad's passwords are things like Xsgrandad (my niece)

They don't know the first thing about my kids.

In the end it came to a head and I told them they were shit grandparents and they needed to choose. Be grandparents or piss off and I didn't care which they chose.(and yes, I said those exact words)

98percentchocolate Mon 13-Jul-15 15:29:39

My dad is of the type who shows up every few months for a couple of hours with a bag of sweets or similar. DD hardly knows him and it's nobody's fault but his own.
I did have to bite my tongue once though when he looked sad and said he realised he had missed her baby time because he hadn't been to see her enough.

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 13-Jul-15 15:34:07

would any of you lot have been pissed off if your stepmother said to you, 'ooh our first grandchild' in ref to younger half sisters pregnancy?
My kids were sitting there too, about 15 years old.

ChampagneShowers Mon 13-Jul-15 15:36:15

jimi, that's awful. Do you have any idea why she is like that? Did she favour your sister over you when you were growing up, and it's an extension of that? Or does she prefer girls and you have boys? No excuses, it's awful.

FenellaFellorick Mon 13-Jul-15 15:36:27

'our' as in the first grandchild that is of the child they both share?

I think I would. I mean, I would understand what she meant, but it would still hurt because it would clearly be saying that she didn't feel my kids were her grandchildren. And even though biologically that may be true, I think it would still hurt.

ChampagneShowers Mon 13-Jul-15 15:37:55

And Sunny, yes, that is shit. But to her, I guess the biology matters. Her loss.

Oakmaiden Mon 13-Jul-15 15:40:47

My children are 17, 11 and 10. If they bumpers into their grandfather in the street they wouldn't recognise him. More to the point, he wouldn't recognise them either. He has never sent a Christmas gift, don't think he even knows when their birthdays are. Actually, I am not convinced he remembers their names. He did ask who the child who did a reading at his ex wife's funeral was - yes, that is your granddaughter.

Point is - it is his loss. The children have never known it to be any different. - and so have no expectations. So it is not a problem. A bit sad for us as adults, but the children don't care.

jimijack Mon 13-Jul-15 15:44:34

No favouritism when we were kids no, no preference for girls, my sister has always taken the piss and demanded alot more than me or my other sister have for childcare.

I just smile through gritted teeth.

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 13-Jul-15 15:44:47

thanks fenella and champagne - at the time I rationalised it because, by blood, it is true, half sisters baby IS 'their' first grandchild.

But my dad already has five, and she is married to him. Yet she just seemed to dismiss them, in front of two of them.

She is so 'rational' and 'sensible' - I know if I put it to her she would say something like 'but so and so IS our first grandchild'.

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