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just had a weird conversation with ds, not quite sure what to tell him.

11 replies

beansmum · 23/01/2009 16:16

ds is 4.6 and has never had any contact with his dad or with any of that side of the family. Today he was really upset, almost crying, because he thinks his grandparents are dead. His logic is that if they were alive they would want to see him, he has never seen them therefore they must be dead.

I just didn't know what to say. The truth is they are probably not that bothered about seeing ds but he isn't going to understand that. Even if they were bothered they would only be able to contact us through ds's dad and I doubt he would want to put them in touch with me. So how do I explain this without either blaming ds's dad for keeping his parents away or telling ds his grandparents don't care about him?

He is still not at all bothered about not seeing his dad, he talks about him sometimes and says that he would like to meet him one day (when he is a man) but that's it, so it's strange that he is so bothered about the grandparents. Maybe it's because he has such a good relationship with my mum and dad and he has realised he might be missing out on something? Anyway, I don't know what to say next time he asks. Any ideas?

OP posts:
ilovemydogandMrObama · 23/01/2009 16:21

Do you have an address for his grandparents? Or are they better out of your life?

Perhaps if approachable, could he write them a letter?

Or ask him what he would like to say/know about his grandparents. Maybe you could tell him a bit about them, if you know?

He may just be curious

TheStatueOfLiffey · 23/01/2009 16:25

I'd write them a short note, keep it blameless but factual, your son has expressed a wish to meet them.....

BonsoirAnna · 23/01/2009 16:27

Yes, I agree, write them a note sending a lovely photo of DS and saying that he is asking about them.

beansmum · 23/01/2009 16:28

I can't get in touch with them really. I know nothing about them. I think ds's grandfather had very little contact with ds's dad until quite recently and I have never met him. I met ds's grandmother once, but I don't know where she lives and I wouldn't want to contact her even if I could. I don't even know where ds's dad is and as we are moving to NZ next week I don't think now is a good time to try and get in touch.

ds hasn't said he wants to meet them, when I ask if he wants to meet his dad he says he will do it when he's a man. I think he just wants to know why they don't want to see him.

OP posts:
cantpickyourfamily · 23/01/2009 17:31

he is so young I really dont know how you would explain that one, I'm sure I will go through that with dd at some stage as hr grand mother will not bother to contact me now i am not with dd's dad. and he never spoke to his dad.

cant you just be quite vague and explain that they live very far away or something? so i is impossible to see them? I know that could be a lie but I'm sure when he is old enough you could explain in a better way?

I'm sure someone with some better advice will be along soon... It is a difficult one...

N1 · 23/01/2009 21:09

It sounds like you want to solve the symptoms, but where did the problem start.

Your point about the child seeing your mother and thinking he is missing out on a second relationship does sound like a possibility.

I wonder if he child was at school or at a friends or where ever and another child spoke proudly about having two sets of grand parents, or four in total, so your child worked out that he has less, so wanting to find out why he is diffrent, caused him to react.

In my mind (and I might be over reacting), I ask myself about why the child was upset when asking about the missing set of grand parents. I would have hoped to see a curiosity approach to the missing grand parents rather than a loss. When you observe a negative emotion and in this case the emotion is also expression, it would be good to identify the source - if you can. If the child thinks you are looking for answers, some children clam up, which makes future expression harder for the child to express, the child feels like they are being "watched".

By looking for an answer to get past the issue, the child is wanting an answer which can be used to "throw back" at the source, if the source is another child of similar age. Would your answer (which ever it may be) be good enough for the child to use as a "throw back" answer?

I am afraid that I don't have the perfect answer for you. I am guided by honesty being a good policy. Keeping that policy in mind, perhaps admitting that you don't know the missing set of grandparents and you don't know where they live is an answer. Then say that when e meets his dad as a man one day that his dad might be able to help him meet the grand parents.

It would be fairly truthful to answer like that. That's what I would do, but I am not you.

cloudedyellow · 23/01/2009 23:34

beansmum are you moving away from your mum and dad when you go to NZ?
If so, it may be that your ds is actually sad about leaving them and the other grandparents are acting as a kind of stand in for his fears and loss iyswim.
Of course, I know nothing of your circumstances, but I do suspect ds's questions are to do with the move in some way.

beansmum · 24/01/2009 10:04

Cloudedyellow - You could be right. We are moving away from my parents and my mum has sort of confused ds by saying how much she hates planes. I am quite annoyed with her because he now thinks a) planes are scary and b) she isn't going to visit him. He keeps telling people that his grandad is going to visit but his granny isn't, no matter how many times my mum tries to say that, although she doesn't like flying much, she will do it anyway so she can see us both. He's missing his dog as well, she's gone to live with my mum, so maybe I shouldn't read too much into anything he says, just be honest and hope once things settle down again he will feel happier.

OP posts:
cloudedyellow · 24/01/2009 10:27

Hard for him (and you), but, yes, loads of reassurance that granny & grandad WILL visit, but it IS sad to be leaving them behind.

I don't know much about these things, but isn't it possible to get skype live calls? I know there's a word for it, but it doesn't come to mind! You'll probably know all about it.

Loads for you to think about and deal with, but exciting too. Good luck to you and your ds!

ShyBaby · 24/01/2009 12:38

I am waiting for this question tbh. Dd never had a "dad" until October when he walked back into our lives and suddenly decided he wanted to be a dad to her. 5 years too late.

She hasn't asked about her grandparents yet, she used to ask about her dad and I just said he didn't live near us...I didn't know what else to say. There's no easy answer is there? Its very difficult.

ShyBaby · 24/01/2009 12:42

Meant to add, I sent a lovely letter to her grandparents about 3 years ago and it made not one scrap of difference. I guess the grandparents had listened to all the lies their son had told them about me. They didn't care one bit. It's worth a try maybe but dont get your hopes up.

At least you can say you tried however which was the most important thing to me at the time.

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