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What shall I tell my four year old about his grandparents (who I don't talk to)

(36 Posts)
dejags Mon 27-Jun-05 19:58:13

My parents and I don't communicate whatsoever. The long and sorry tale is here if you are brave enough to wade through it.

Sadly both of my IL's have passed away. Recently my DS1 has been asking about his granny (DH's mum), he constantly goes on about how much he misses her (she died when he was 2.5). He always asks why we can't phone Granny and Grandpa in heaven. I try my best to explain but I can't get too detailed with a four year old.

The problem is this - my mother (who is alive and well) insists on sending DS Xmas and Birthday cards. This year she sent him a £20 postal order with a note to ask his mummy to buy him something nice. Now I haven't spoken to her since shortly before DS's 3rd birthday (and then they only saw him 5 or 6 times in his whole life) and he never asks about her or my father. We want to treat DS with the money - he deserves a treat but I am not sure where to tell him it came from.

On the one hand I think - to hell with them, they made my life a misery, just take the £20 quid and buy something nice, no need to say anything.

On the other hand I am a decent person, who believes in thanking people for gifts. I don't want to discuss DS's maternal grandparents with him just yet because he doesn't mention them and the situation is so complicated.

I know this is a bit confusing, but what would you do?

nutcracker Mon 27-Jun-05 20:00:39

I would just buy him a gift and not mention who it came from because as you say, it would confuse him.

We don't speak to my inlaws, haven't done for about 18mths now and my eldest has asked about them a couple of times but they don't send any of the kids cards or presents so we don't have that probelm. TBH if they did, i wouldn't give them to them anyway.

dejags Mon 27-Jun-05 20:03:47

that's what I was planning on doing nutcracker, I was just going to send the postal order back to my mother in the post. The problem is, is that the postal system is so bad here, it'd probably be nicked and DS would suffer.

I really despise them, so I feel as if I am compromising my principles by giving him the money, but then I think it isn't mine to withhold.

[very confused emoticon]

does your DH miss his parents?

nutcracker Mon 27-Jun-05 20:06:15

Erm tbh i'm not sure if he misses them. I have told him that I have no objections what so ever to him seeing them if he wishes, and i really don't. However he has so far chosen not to. Unfortunatly this means that his brother and 2 sisters will have nothing to do with him as it would be seen as taking sides by his parents.

MrsGordonRamsay Mon 27-Jun-05 20:06:20

I read your post and stopped there, walk away from these people they are pure evil.

dejags Mon 27-Jun-05 20:09:59

MrsGR, sometimes, just for a short time I forget. Today is one of those days where I really miss them . I know I will wake up tomorrow and understand them for who they really are and then I wont feel sad about this for a while again.

I think the fact that my DS1 is always asking about his paternal Granny (who he adored) and never asks about his maternal Grandma and Grandad just reminds me how little they mean in our lives. Not nice to acknowledge that your parents are awful.

But they are

I am leaning towards buying him a nice toy with the money - they were awful to me as a child a lot of the time, why shouldn't he get some enjoyment from their money. I am not going to tell him where it came from.

MeerkatsUnite Mon 27-Jun-05 20:17:22

Hi dejags,

I'd have nothing to do with them at all. You do not need such toxic people in your life. They acted as "toxic parents" towards you when you were a child.

Having read your thread you may want to consider talking through these issues you are raising now with a counsellor. I would say to you that counsellors are like shoes; to use the shoes analogy you need to find someone that fits.

You may want to read "Toxic Parents" written by Susan Forward. It is written for adults who suffered abusive relationships at the hands of their parents.

stitch Mon 27-Jun-05 20:20:44

buy the child a gift. he deserves something from them.
dont mention them to him until he is older. at least 7 or8

Tortington Mon 27-Jun-05 20:20:56

i would send it back. read your other thread. i agree pure evil.

i dont speak to my mum. and its difficult for the kids. its hard for me to admit she is just not a nice person. so know where your coming from.

unicorn Mon 27-Jun-05 20:21:31

dejags,I totally understand your position, but isn't this more about your ds?

Maybe you could let your ds to know he has another granny who doesn't live near but thinks about him?

It may be an attempt by your mother to try and build bridges/get some forgiveness from you?

In answer to the q, I would take the money, get him what he wants, and get him to send a thankyou card.. and leave it at that.

Hope I haven't offended at all.

dejags Mon 27-Jun-05 20:24:23

Not at all Unicorn. I think they still send him cards/money as a means of control. They have never acknowledged DS2's birth or even seen him . They have never been close to DS1 it's mostly an act I think.

There are days when as I say I forget, it hits me with a double whammy when I remember though.

Stitch, I think I will. Sod em .

stitch Mon 27-Jun-05 20:25:06

have jsut read your other link.
stay away from them until you are stoong enough to help your son through his reaction to them. as your dh says, distance is good.

dejags Mon 27-Jun-05 20:25:42

Meerkat - I will definitely have a look for this book on amazon, thanks!

Custardo, how old are your children, do they ever ask about your mum?

dejags Mon 27-Jun-05 20:26:54

Stitch, I don't think I ever will be strong enough. They will never acknowledge the effect of their actions on me and without that or a bit of remorse I find it terribly difficult to heal or reconcile myself to the why's of the situation iykwim.

katierocket Mon 27-Jun-05 20:30:12

dejags, I would send it back with a letter explaining why you're sending it back.

stitch Mon 27-Jun-05 20:34:31

i do unders tand.
but, when your son is old enough, he is going to ask you questions. and you need to be strong enoough to answer. and deal with the fact that he may want to see them.
i think sendng them back is too proactive.. they took so much from you. and they are also making your son miss out on the love of grandparents. let them send him the occasiona twenty, and use it. its the least they can do.
just my opinion.

dejags Mon 27-Jun-05 20:38:49

I feel so damn impotent in the face of them. This is never going to change .

Ignore my ranting tonight. Tomorrow I'll be happy again, I promise.

I am going to use the money to buy him something nice from me. To hell with them.

stitch Mon 27-Jun-05 20:40:37

excellent attitude.
and you are not impotent in dealing with them. you have survived, and you have moved far far away. that is power

dejags Mon 27-Jun-05 20:41:48

Thanks Stitch

stitch Mon 27-Jun-05 20:43:10

your welcome

BadgerBadger Tue 28-Jun-05 02:33:09

Dejags, I can forsee similar issues (strikingly similar) with my DD's regarding my 'parents' in the future. I haven't had contact with them for over 3 years and from what I've read, my reasons for this are very similar to yours.

My 'parents' (I have a strange urge to wipe my tongue on the sleeve of my jumper after uttering that word in relation to the monsters who brought me up!) don't send gifts to my DD's. Thankfully.

I wonder how I'll broach the subject with my DD's when the time comes, but I also know that there won't be an option as far as I'm concerned, for them to meet these people.

It's not just the physical abuse, it's the mental and emotional anguish that ensued for so much longer and to a far greater depth than the bruises or breaks I sustained. Knowing what I know about them and from where I'm sitting now, I'll do everything I can to make sure they never, ever get their claws into my children.

But, as to how I'm going to simplify the whole gory tale into something that I can tell my DD's, I have no idea! I have a vague idea that I might be able to put it to them in a positive light, I mean, use it as a tool to teach some sort of life skill. I'm hoping inspiration will happen along fairly soon!

I'm glad you came to a decision about what to do about your DS1's gift FWIW, I think that's what I'd do too! What Stitch said about them already having taken too much, it's so true, isn't it!

Fio2 Tue 28-Jun-05 07:31:32

dejags i have exactly the same problem with my Dad(he doesnt even warrant the use of the word "Dad, but lets call him that anyhow) We havent had contact foir over 3 years but our relationship has been strained for forever really. He still 'insisits' on sending the children presents via my Mum (they are divorced) and it really winds me up. Last birthday i took the presents down to the charity shop and the christmas one he sent is at my Mums house. I have had words with my Mum about it too, as like you, i believe it is a means of control not a gift or a kind gesture. I find it so annoying anf frustrating and like you say it undermines my principles and how i feel on the matter.


I still cant confront my dad, the relationship he had with me was to manipulate, bully and control me. He still manages now and we are apart, so for this reason alone i havent confronted him about it as I know he will rip me to pieces and i need to behave in a way that protects myself from his abuse atm. Doesnt stop me feeling angry and mad that he sends them presents, especially as my job as their Mother is to protect my children from people like this.

I dont know what to suggest, i just wanted to let you know you are not alone

dejags Tue 28-Jun-05 19:07:53

Badger/Fio did your parents/dad ever apologise for the things they "did" to you as a child?

My parents steadfastly deny any wrongdoing, this is the absolute worst part about it. It leaves me feeling so impotent - I am extremely angry with them but have no out as they just don't see they did anything wrong.

To this day I wonder if I am the crazy one?

PS: have order the book Toxic Parents. Will let you know how it goes.

Fio2 Tue 28-Jun-05 19:11:51

apologise for the things they did to me as a child? if you mean my dad then NO infact he seems to enjoy acting the big martyr and putting me down at every oppurtunity. i started a thread a few weeks ago dejags detailing a letter he had sent in which he was ashamed of what I have become and how he has chosen not to be dad because of my actions. My actions are nothing and I mean that, he is a total nutcase

Some of us draw the short straw as far as parents are concerned, it is hard but dont let it affect your son. My advice to you would be to keep him as far away from them as possible because they dont even deserve any knowledge of him

Fio2 Tue 28-Jun-05 19:14:10

you are not the crazy one dejags :9 please dont punish yourself, i know how you feel but they arent worth it

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