This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Step grandparents and favouritism.(67 Posts)
I completely understand that dls mum loves her own grandchild (dps dd) more than mine. It wasn't her fault that her son got a divorce as his ex cheated etc.
She has been good to me despite a bumpy first meeting and has also been good to dd.
I don't expect her to take on my dd as her granchild however she does display favouritism occasionally.
It used to be worse when she used to shop for her dgdd in front of dd...now that has stopped.
She will get them bith gifts but her dgc will get something slightly better or a bit extra on the side. She has started to do this more discreetly .
I guess i wouldn't have a problem with but dd (9) gets upset . I understand this. Ive tried to explain that biological grandparents feel differently than step grandparents. I know it too but it still kind of stings..
Dd lost her nan but does have a lovely granpy...
I guess what im saying is being a step grandparent is hard and so is being s steo grandchild...hiw to forge better relations ?
I have suggested to dp that he takes his dd to his mum's without dd and i being there so she can spoil her rotten without offending dd.
I sometimes feel that we are in the way a bit of that bond.
I know this is hard and it’s inexcusable to upset a child but it’s a reality of life and I think you need to find coping strategies to deal with it. Older people find it hard to change and I doubt you will change her behaviour. You and your husband / partner treat the kids the same but you can’t expect everyone else to (sadly).
I have a similar (ish) situation with my own mother. My brother has a daughter who my mum absolutely dotes on. I have 2 DSC who I have known for 3 years (been with their dad for 4 years, lived with him for 2). My mum has never met the DSC and seems to have no interest in meeting them. Never asks about them (my dad is no longer alive). I find it really upsetting. I don’t push it as i’ve realised you can’t change them.
It is upsetting...i guess we can't force a bond. I think it is natural but it is still sad.
I don't think it is a good message for the biological grandchild either.
I think it takes a while for grandparents to accept new partners etc.
I'm just upset as dd gets upset.
Tbh she does ask after my dd which is kind.
I really think that if both girls are there together then they should be treated the same. I wouldn't give my dc gifts when their cousins and friends are around.
Can you ask your dh to talk to her about this, it will only cause future upset between your girls if this carries on.
Dp has spoken to her...I do get her point of view. She dosn't get to see her bio grandchild very often and adores her . She is quite rightly desperate to spoil her rotten...She dosnt have the same bond with my dd so she has to hold back...must be frustrating for her ....
Perhaps my dd is seen as competition...
I don't think you can help how you love someone. Would a 9 year old really notice that their birthday presents were slightly different, that bio gd had a bit extra, or not just be grateful for the gift she were given? I guess I'm trying to say, if you have an issue with it, your DD might not, unless she hears your views on the subject.
It sounds like she's trying with your DD to me, there are a hell of a lot worse biological GPs around.
I am a DGM and a DSGM, the children are more or less the same age and I've always been in their lives. I don't feel the same about the DSGC, as I do about my own, I don't think that's possible, but I buy clothes and gifts, birthday and Christmas presents, exactly the same for both of them. One never gets more time, attention or stuff than the other!
I know it must be hard when a grandchild isn't biologically yours etc, but if you are your dp are in a long term stable relationship, then I think she should make an effort to see your dd as her grandchild and treat her accordingly. It's not your dd's fault and in my opinion no child should be made to feel like they don't matter as much as another child.
I know some people will feel differently to this, but I personally couldn't behave that way myself.
I have a similar situation with my own children an a non biological grandparent and it's really not nice.
My mum always bought Christmas presents but she felt that my dsc had two sets of grand parents already and therefore felt under no real obligation.
I didn't think anything of it as I didn't think it was appropriate for the children to see her as a grand parent.
It is tough. I know i would prob feel differently inwardly but outwardly id id treat them the same.
It depends for me. How long have hey been involved with you and your daughter. How long did they see DGC for when your DH was wih EXW? Does your dad treat them both exactly the same? As long as they are not abusive, then, a little bit of favouritism for a biological GC who has been around for longer and they have been more involved in doesn’t make them ‘bad’ grandparents.
I don't think it is possible to try to force a bond, your MIL is kind to your DD and I think that is enough. I would definitely take a step back and let her have time with her DGD without you and your dd present, especially as she doesn't see her often. My own mum has DSG and although treats them all equally when they are together, she always buys the bio dgc something extra, but would never give that in front of the others.
The sad thing for children in step situations (I am one on both sides) is that at times they will have an inkling that they are an 'extra', rather than one of the true family. I think it is up to you OP to try to minimize damage.
I think being kind is enough.....i woild love some tips on damage limitation though..how can i reason with dd who very much notices the subtle differences?
I’d just stop going with your dd. There is no point in rubbing her face in it.
My DGM has 22 grandkids and great grand kids, some of them are step grandkids. I see my DGM every other day and she basically raised me so I know she has a soft spot for me and my kids - however if any other grandkids are there you would not tell any difference.
It can be done, I think she is doing it on purpose tbh
Damage limitation...making sure that your dsd has time with her dgm so that she gets her 'extras' away from your dd. I would either yourself or get your DH to speak to her and tell her that this is causing an issue for your dd, so could she do it 'offside'.
Also, just a thought, but is she intentionally trying to make a more of an issue out of this to show her dgd that she is her #1? I know in my family when someone got with a woman who had a child they all lived together but his dd only saw them EOW so family members tried to overcompensate.
She may be doing it on purpose, or perhaps she hasn't been in her life for very long? OP didn't say.
I don't think its on purpose tbh...just a bit thoughtless...
Dd has only been in her life for 2 years...
But slso..why do it on purpose?! I think it is an overcompensation thing!
Ah ok. To be honest OP I wouldn't consider that length of time to even be a 'Step'. Are you married to your DP? I think in those circumstances that by her asking about her and buying presents that she is going above and beyond.
Blended families are not easy for all children involved.
I do think the issue is largely with my dd. She does find it tough...she is desperate to 'fit in' and her dad isnt in her life...plus she takes offence easily..
How can i reassure her?
It's not about how long they have been step siblings though is it, it's about understanding that children feel hurt by things like this.
What if you and dd went every other time with them so grandma can spoil her DGD on those occasions and do something smaller but equal for both girls when you all go.
It isn't about feeling the same about both girls, it's about not making things awkward and uncomfortable when two children are present. Even the most mature and understanding child would feel a little left out.
We have complete opposites in my family. We each had a DS and then one together. My parents treat all 3 boys the same, says they have 6 grandkids (this includes DSS), as they live abroad sends money for birthdays and Chri
stmas - they all get the same amount.
DH's parents treat his DS from first marriage as their grandchild, don't even acknowledge my DS and teat our joint DS as a lesser person than DSS but at least say he is their grandchild.
It did used to really upset and anger me but I have gotten to the age where I just go "meh" their loss! I came to the realisation that you can't force people to do what they don't want to. We tend to not see them as much as we do my parents who live abroad!