Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

grandparents favouring older grandchild

(16 Posts)
noonar Thu 04-Oct-07 19:51:48

hi. i am v upset about a siuation that has evolved with my PILs.

they see dd1, who's 5.5, every week, as they collect her from school when i work. she's in yr 1, and the've done this since she's been in reception.

during this time, they've never ever spent any 1:1 time with dd2, who has just turned 3.

i feel really hurt on dd2's behalf that they never offer to have her, and to get to know her a bit better.

when dd2 was born, dd1 only 2.4. they happily looked after her dd1, but have always been anxious about looking after babies. so, for ages after dd2's birth, they spent more time with dd1.

now, dd2 is far older than dd1 was when he sister was born, yet they've still not developed a special relationship with her.

dh thinks that we should 'orchestrate' time for them to spend with dd2. i cant help feeling that if it doesnt come from them, what's the point?

not sure what i'm asking, but jst wanted to ask for feedback/ if anyone has had similar exp.


notnowbernard Thu 04-Oct-07 19:54:27

Is she their first GC?

noonar Thu 04-Oct-07 19:57:55

yes, but they only have 2. our dds smile

notnowbernard Thu 04-Oct-07 20:01:26

I guess the first GC always has a special place in the heart of a GP.

And perhaps it's more difficult to arrange 'exclusive' 1:1 time with a second GC? (i.e, easier to have them both)

Do they treat dd1 differently to dd2 when the dds are together? If not, I'd try and let my feelings about it slide.

noonar Thu 04-Oct-07 20:04:15

but they never have them both either. just dd1!

they do love dd2, but as dd2 'shouts loudest' she inevitably gets more attention when we see them.

they only see dd2 when they drop of dd1 or we have a family meal, maybe once eevery couple of moths.

noonar Thu 04-Oct-07 20:04:47

meant dd1 shouts loudest.

time4tea Thu 04-Oct-07 20:07:13

my grandmother favoured the older child with all 3 sets of grandchildren, (2 in each family) but it was really overt - saying that DC2 was a pain, over-praising DC1. My mother was really angry about it for years, and is super scrupulous to avoid it with me and my two DSs.

however, my grandmother was really quite a difficult woman generally. Are your inlaws usually not so nice? usually I assume the cock-up rather than conspiracy on this kind of thing (ie they haven't thought of it much, see their role as helping you out while working, maybe are waiting for you to offer an opportunity to spend time with DD2, would worry about being seen as interfering if they asked to spend time with DD2...)maybe they mean no harm with all this and would be mortified if they knew you were worried about this

generally I would let your husband handle his own parents - he knows them better and can probably negotiate any weird methods of communicating better.

it can happen though - my best friend has had this with her in-laws (m-in-law actually slapped DC2 angry)they are really nasty, and she just keeps her distance and makes extra sure to support her DD. those in-laws are absolutely vile nasty people...

good luck, and hope it is all a misunderstanding

Amethyst8 Thu 04-Oct-07 20:08:48

Have 4 YO DS and he is the first grandson and PIL worship him. Now have 1 YO DD and it is not that they are less interested but very slightly critical. Few comments about how well behaved DS was and they are just "so different" and huffing and puffing about how "active" she is. Not said anything yet. Watching to see how it develops. It concerns me because it is a long standing cause of friction in DH's family that PIL favour the eldest sibling. So I think they are a family who are used to having favourites. Also there are a lot of girls in the family and only a couple of boys.

It is not something I will tolerate to be honest with you but my PIL are very easy to talk to so I will just make a few throw away comments if I need to and I am sure it will rectify itself. It doesnt help that I have been BF for a year and this had meant that she can t stay over there as DS does so the bond might not be there yet. Think you probably need to try to get them to spend some time alone with her because she will probably find it hurtful as she gets older if they clearly seem to prefer her DS.

noonar Thu 04-Oct-07 20:13:12


the weird thing is, a couple of moths ago, when they dropped dd1 home, i made a comment about how we'd have to arrange for dd2 to have a special visit with them soon. dd1 was really upset. started crying . said she's feel left out. ' nanny' poke to her firmly but kindly, and said that dd2 was entitlted to her own speacil visits too.

then....nothing. zilch. they still havent seen dd2 properly since.

and sil is the same. she refers only to dd1. she says stuff like 'it'd be nice to come and sees A' -then adds '...and B' as an afterthought. she recently visited and brought dd1 a magazine, but nothing for dd2 angry

noonar Thu 04-Oct-07 20:14:31

'spoke' not poke -lol

Minum Thu 04-Oct-07 20:22:13

I think this is very common. My mother still gets upset about it happening in our family, - I don't, I can see why gps would be like that. I notice that my kids respond to it though, and tend to reciprocate, or not, the affection shown towards them.

Amethyst8 Thu 04-Oct-07 20:23:44

Oh I would be fuming about that. Bring presents for both or not at all as far as I am concerned. My MIL did that a few times when DD was really tiny and I know DD didnt know but it annoyed me. For the first couple of months she used to ring up and ask "Hows the little one?" Meaning DS. After about the fourth time I said he is fine and so is DD and she now makes a point of asking about both. If you don t say anything though it will just go on with you getting more and more irritated. No one came to the hospital after she was born either. Whereas with DS I could have done with an event organiser to cordinate the visitors. After a "discussion" with DH about it I said we had better not have any more kids because no one would even bother to ask their names.

Don t really understand this novelty wears off thing. I could have ten kids and I would be as excited every time.

notnowbernard Thu 04-Oct-07 20:27:20

Agree, presents for only one child not on at all.

Why not arrange a date forr dd2?

noonar Fri 05-Oct-07 18:32:44

tahnks folks.

i may arrange a date for dd2, but would still rather it came from them.

PrincessAfterLife Fri 05-Oct-07 18:41:41

I think it must be common but rarely a deliberate attempt to hurt or exclude the other DC(s). I was a first grandchild and my mother worried for years about my youger sister not getting the same attention and adoration as me. TBH as we got older and they spent more time with both of us it balanced itself out. So all I can suggest is that you gently encourage everyone to spend more time together but don't make an big issue of the problem or it will upset everyone and make the GPs very self-conscious when spending time with your DD2. Maybe let things evolve naturally?

noonar Fri 05-Oct-07 18:52:06

thats good advice. we probably need to engineer things a bit more, without telling them how we feel.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: