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Do you make your teen visit grandparents?

(15 Posts)
Euphemia Sun 14-Jun-15 14:13:50

We live three hours away from MIL (73), who won't travel anywhere. DH has next to no relationship with her - hasn't seen her for two years.

DD (13 in a couple of weeks) phones her every Sunday for a brief chat. Grandma has very little conversation and DD makes the call out of a sense of obligation.

Summer holidays are coming up and I'm feeling that DD and I should go and visit. Neither of us especially wants to! We went last summer and couldn't wait to leave: all MIL wants to do is watch TV and do the puzzles in her newspaper. Every conversation is turned around to being about her and her medical problems, none of which she will do anything about.

I have my own, recently widowed, mum to worry about. I see her frequently.

If DH isn't prepared to visit his mother, can I let myself off the hook and not go either?! I've always tried to maintain contact so that DD has a relationship with her grandma, which was a close and lovely one when she was little, but in the past few years DD has not been as interested. (She has a great relationship with my mum, however, and goes to stay with her in the holidays.)

I'm feeling guilty!

Floralnomad Sun 14-Jun-15 14:22:56

We don't , both my dc (22 &16) see my mum regularly through choice - I have been NC with my Inlaws for 17 years ( DH still sees them once a week ) my eldest has seem them ( just MIL now as FIL died 2 yrs ago) 3 times in the last 4 years ,and one of those times was at FIL funeral - he goes to my mums and stays the night at least once a fortnight . My dd goes with her dad to MILs about once every 2/3 months provided it's been agreed that the visit will last less than an hour . In your position I wouldn't bother it's your DHs mother let him deal with her .

eyebags63 Sun 14-Jun-15 19:57:05

If your DH can't be arsed why should you or DD? TBH it doesn't sound like she is a lovely old lady who has been abandoned by her DS... it sounds like there is a reason why he is virtually NC with her, so why not take your lead from him?

whatsagoodusername Sun 14-Jun-15 20:07:54

Does your MIL actually want you to visit? If she's not much for conversation on the phone, and only wants to do puzzles and watch television when you're there?

I probably would make her go because I'm a pushover, but if DH can't be bothered, I don't think it's your/DD's responsibility.

starfish4 Mon 15-Jun-15 10:18:46

My DD (nearly 14) has to see both grandmothers. In all fairness they are both local so she rarely has to see either for more than 24 hours and it's usually at ours. Unfortunately, as they get older it appears both like to talk about themselves, their medical complaints and people who have upset them. This can be tedious, but then all age groups can speak a lot about things that are relevant to them and no one else - it's part of life being polite enough to listen. My MIL doesn't hear half the time which is hard, but it's a good lesson for DD as she doesn't know who'll she'll meet in her working life.

How about finding something you and DD would like to do near MILs, ie shopping centre, tourist attraction. You could phone MIL up and say you'd like to visit these places nearby and would it be okay to stay with her as you'd like to see her. Obviously you might have to invite MIL along, but whether she comes or not?! At least you'll be out for a bit in the day and you're also giving her the chance to say no to the visit. You could take a couple of simple games with you and get them out. Ask MIL if she wants to play, if she's happy watching tv then you and DD can still play the game - my MIL likes cards. Also, both take a book to read if you like them. You could give DD some money to pop to local shops and get a cake or something similar as a treat, that way she'll get out and she'll enjoy the treat.

As said before, it's not really your responsibility, I guess you just know how you'd feel if you were older, had little contact with your family. If you're willing to do it, you could do it as a one off as DD is growing up and will soon want to spend a lot more time with her friends or on her GCSEs.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 17-Jun-15 14:49:29

Yea absolutely ds is expected to visit his grandparents. He is 14. Grandmother lives very close so sees her most days. Grandfather and step grandmother live an hour and a half on the train and we visit every school holiday for 2 days. Other set of grandparents live a 4 hour drive away and he will go after school on a Friday for the night with his dad every 6 weeks.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 17-Jun-15 14:51:56

Can't you go and visit but just stay a couple of days and plan a visit somewhere nice/ shopping/ cinema? We don't just stay in when we visit we go out.

CMOTDibbler Wed 17-Jun-15 14:55:38

I'd find something else to do in the areaish, and then take DD to see MIL for an hour or two while you are in the area.

My parents are 90 minutes away, but I have to do this as my mum just can't cope with us around for any longer (she has dementia) and it exhausts dad too.

Dismalfuckers Wed 17-Jun-15 14:56:39

I would go and stay nearby in a cheap hotel for the night. Do some fun stuff, and just pop over for a short visit.

Maybe take her out for a meal/to see a show/visitor attraction/cafe if she will go. Breaks it up a bit and maintains some contact...?

Euphemia Wed 17-Jun-15 17:40:15

I think we'll stay in Glasgow and pop down to see her on the train - she lives in Ayr and there's sod-all to do there! grin

Duckdeamon Wed 17-Jun-15 17:47:00

Classic case of "wife work" and now you and your DH are putting it on DD too! She shouldn't have to phone her gran every week if she doesn't enjoy it for a start, and why does she feel such a sense of obligation when her father (the DS of the person concerned) doesn't?!

Euphemia Wed 17-Jun-15 17:50:04

DD does it off her own back - she isn't told to. DH encourages me to adopt his approach to MIL. Maybe I should. confused

squidgyapple Wed 17-Jun-15 20:18:09

They visit both sets of grandparents, but don't make them stay. (One set wants them to stay over in the hols, but they don't want to and I don't make them).
I guess it's an unusual situation re your DH refusing to visit, but you continuing to go.

Euphemia Wed 17-Jun-15 20:53:02

I know, it's crazy that I've allowed this situation to arise. I must stop feeling guilty!

applesareredandgreen Thu 18-Jun-15 08:30:47

This seems to be about you and your DH relationship with your MIL rather than your DD's relationship with her DGM. Personally I am feeling rather sorry for your MIL who seems very isolated. Conversing with old people can be hard. Their world shrinks and they discuss the latest episode of corrie because this is familiar to them. They can also lose confidence in going out. However I am guessing that there must be a history which you have not explained as to why your DH ic NC with his DM.

I think I would agree with other posters who say to find somewhere to stay - Travellodge or somewhere not too far from where your MIL lives, plan a couple of days of activities your DD enjoys - shopping, whatever - then factor in a visit to your MIL and if you are feeling charitable ask if she wishes to accompany you on a trip out.

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