"Only granddaughter"(25 Posts)
Not sure if this is the right place for this...apologies if not.
So, MIL has a number of grandchildren, but Dd is her "only granddaughter". As such, she'd like to have dd visit alone, in order to do "girly things" together. This sticks in my craw rather. Not so much the "girly things" (as, tbh, dd would enjoy that), but that my other dc miss out on being asked for a special visit because they are not girls!
We tried to explain (with sinking hearts...conflict not being our fave thing), but MIL doesn't really understand. Thinks "But she IS my only GD! I don't get to do girly things with any of the others!" is a valid argument, despite being an intelligent and educated woman.
Any advice?! Please?!
Maybe your other DC would also join with the "girly"stuff as well, then?
What is this girly stuff you're talking about, anyway?
Why doesn't she invite the other grandchildren to do this 'girly stuff'? (Unless it's something appearance-related like hair/nails, in which case I would opt your dd out as well). They might enjoy it too. They might not want to.
Girly stuff = shopping, mostly. Dd loves it, including window shopping. Other dc wouldn't be keen.
The idea is a special visit. I don't really mind what they do if it's stuff dd enjoys, but don't think it's fair for one dc to be invited for a special visit (by virtue of being a girl) and her siblings not.
Unless they are things that can only be done with a vagina, then they aren't 'girlie' things. They are things for humans to do and can be done with boys as well.
Well say that to her then, that you think she's treating your daughter differently just because she's female. Also will you want your daughter to be invited to the activities that the boys do, football, paintballing, whatever?
Window shopping? I don't think it will take dd long to realise that is pointless.
I would agree, it's unnecessarily divisive to have only one child for special visits. Either she does it with each or none.
This kind of thing pisses me off both because of the unfairness to other DC and the gender stereotyping.
In our extended family there is one boy and numerous girls. male relatives, including his father, sometimes seem to favour him and talk about doing things with him: have sometimes pulled them up on this - the girls would enjoy those things too! It's been an eye opener for DH to observe it with his brother, and friends with one son.
Recently visited a feminist friend who made numerous comments about how "male" and "boyish" her son is, eg because he likes cars, bikes and playing with gates!
Pinkyredrose I'd be more than happy for dd to do football etc, but she is not at all interested. Really not.
I agree re activities not being for girls or boys, just each to their own. I was quoting MIL.
If we were all visiting together, I would absolutely insist all were given choice to do any activity. But this is about a special one-on-one visit. Tribpot, "unnecessarily divisive" sums up how DH & I feel about it. We've tried to say that, but feel we've come across as ungrateful conflict seekers.
Yes! It's the unfairness that does my head in, too! Plus the fact that I'm coming off as the unreasonable, stroppy one.
You're not being unreasonable! Unless of course she's intending to treat the other GC in similar ways.
Making people who are NBU feel unreasonable is a deliberate tactic used by people who are actually the ones BU!
Did mil only have boys - so she wants to do a few things with dd that she would have done with a dd?
I think I'd probably cut her a bit of slack.
I had a day out with my aunt once - tbh I loved it. I can't remember the reason for it or where my brother or (boy) cousin were. Maybe my parents took them somewhere.
Thank you, duckdeamon, that really rings true - about this and in other issues with MIL. Who is a lovely person on the whole, but v fond on having her own way!
My MIL has a whole load of dolls house stuff/dolls packed away in a wardrobe for when she has a granddaughter. DS1 found it once and started playing before he was told off (gently) and it put away 'for when I have a granddaughter'
MIL only had boys, and so far, only has boy grandchildren too. I understand that she'd love a girl. I think luckily DS1 is a very gentle boy (not so DS2), but also very like his father (adored first child himself) in temperament, and the other grandchildren are also all complete sweethearts (still all very young), and all open to playing music/singing/a bit of drawing or whatever as well as cars/gardening/running around the playpark, so she's not missing much more than the opportunity to buy pretty dresses when it comes to grandchildren (although I have had to promise not to cut DS2's curls )
I hasten to add that my MIL is absolutely lovely, just hankering for a female family member other than DILs at some point!
Aargh, I understand where you are coming from, but I can kind of see your MiL's point of view as well (not defending it, but I can see it).
I have 4 boys, my brother has one girl, so my mum spends time with either all boys or one girl as we live in different countries and she would only v rarely see all the grandchildren together IYSWIM. She does do different activities with them (i.e. baking with my niece and going to the park with my boys) which is all terribly sexist and she knows it, but she (and the children to be fair) enjoy it like that.
Could you not say to your MiL that you boys might feel left out and for a 'special' visit with your DD along MiL could then consider having the boys on their own for 'boy stuff'??
My mum does so miss the opportunity to buy pretty dresses for my lot…
I would probably say something along the lines of, what a lovely idea, once DD has had her special day with you then let's sort out a date for ds to have a special day too.
I think if your MIL wants an interested child to go shopping/cafes with then let them get on with it. They'll both love it.
Unless she spends loads of of extra time with your DD than her brothers, or her brothers really want to go shopping with MIL, then I don't think it'll be an issue.
I can see where you're coming from, as FIL is looking forward to taking my DSs to the pub when they're 18, no mention of taking DD though.
Could you persuade her to say to all the children that she has planned a day of xyz activities and would any of them like to join her? That way, those that are interested can go and those that are not interested, don't have to but as it is their choice, hopefully, the children who don't go, don't feel left out.
I would just say to all the kids "grandma wants to go window shopping/looking at clothes, who wants to go with her?" and it sounds like only your DD would volunteer anyway.
Or it might be "Grandma wants to spend the afternoon smashing the patriarchy, who'd like to join her?"
Not that kind of grandma, you say. Oh well.
I dont see the drama, what is it your daughter wants to do herself? Worst case scenario I can see is that grandma buys her gifts and then her brothers get educated about what favouritism means, rather than being bubble-wrapped from what happens in the real world. That is taking a pretty cynical view of what’s happening though, I would cut her some slack unless she started going over the top with selective treatment.
I can see both sides.
If you had 4 boys and one had a shared interest with your MIL would you let them go off to do things together that they didn't with the other 3 because the other three didn't care?
If it wasn't 'girly' stuff, maybe rock climbing that gran and gd would enjoy but the boys would hate what would you do?
DH was favoured by and spent more time with his GPs over his brothers over many years because he showed most interest in their business and interests/hobbies. His parents allowed this. His brothers saw this and were annoyed and it also confused DH. He's very alert to differences in how GPs treat our Dc.
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