Problems with Grandparents

spookgoggaMay 19, 2008

My wife and I have 2 kids, a boy of 8 years old and a girl of 6 months old. Our son was born from a previous relationship that my wife had in which the biological father did not want anything to do with her or their child and i have accepted him as my own and i am the only "dad" that he knows.

Our daughter was born from our marriage together.

Now in the beginning my parents accepted our son as their grandson, yet there was always that feeling that they did not accept him as such. But now that we have another child, born from our marriage, my parents clearly loves her more and spends more time with her than with our son.

He is still just a child and do not understand what is going on.

Can anyone help with some guidance or point me in some direction as to where i can find more information on this as we do not know how to address this with my parents and how to handle the situation????

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Ask them why they make a fuss over one and not the other, tell them that the child is starting to notice the difference and doesn't understand .

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 2:56PM
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Tx Stargazzer, We have tried the direct approach before, which came to a dead-end as they could not see that they were doing anything wrong.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 6:56AM
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I can't imagine any one doing something like that. I treat all children the same and love them all the same, grandchildren or neighbor's children. I don't know what to tell you, except if it comes to a point where the boy is really, really upset, don't let them come over.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 4:10PM
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Maybe you'll have to try the direct approach again and again until they get it.

Maybe you can plan some day trips for them to take with your son, explain to them how much he needs a break and some special time with them. And be blunt if they don't get it, that he misses the special time he's had with them. Explain that even though they may not be neglecting him, he thinks everyone is paying more attention to the baby, coming over to coo and babble, and not paying much attention to him, and he needs some special attention, too.

And you might want to leave your parents with the new baby and you and your wife go off with your son for a special day (or half day), he probably could use some extra time with you two, too.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 10:17PM
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This has the potential to be very devastating to your son.

You say you have spoken to them about it, and they refuse to understand.

Your MUST protect your son.

Do not allow them to be near either one of the children, until this issue can be addressed and resolved. The child must be protected.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 9:17AM
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The situation may not be ideal, but it may also not be so terrible for the kid as you might think. It really depends on how involved they are in your kids' lives and how the favoritism manifests.

On one side of the family, I was the first-born grandchild. I could tell that I was my grandmother's favorite, even after I had younger siblings... right up until one of my aunts had a blonde-haired baby boy when I was about five years old. Once he was born, I was out and he was in. She didn't start mistreating me in any way, she just treated me as if I'd become less interesting. The general impression I had was that I'd become tiresome and that in her eyes, the new baby was the most wonderful child ever.

It hurt my feelings a little at the time, of course, but I wouldn't describe it as devastating. We went to visit my grandparents once a month and saw them on all of the holidays, so it wasn't as if they were my daily caretakers. I had a fine time playing with the other kids and the grandma's-house toys regardless. I liked going there and loved my grandma even though my cousin was the new favorite.

It really wasn't that big of a deal when I was growing up, and certainly isn't now--I just accepted it as being part of who she was. If you think your parents' behavior needs to be addressed, of course, you should keep talking with them about it, but I wouldn't cut them off unless they're doing more than just showing how much they love their granddaughter. It didn't do me any long-term or even medium-term damage to realize that sometimes someone is the favorite, it may not be me, and that's okay. They're grandparents, not parents-- your treating the kids equally is a lot more important than the grandparents treating them equally.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 3:18PM
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I can totally understand this situation, I have a few boys and my brother had the little girl, they went goo goo over her and my boys were old enough to hear and see it. I think it was way more painful for me then it was for them, they might not have seen it the same way but my then 5 year old was the most affected since my parents didn't even try to get to know him. I had talked to my parents as well and they were in total denial. The next thing I did was limit the time they had with my kids, making them be with my boys when she wasn't there. It hasn't worked completely but my boys have been hurt less by it. It could also be that she is a girl....and your situation, I am not sure. But for your son's sake you need to make sure that if they do for her, they do for him and if they compliment her, YOU need to compliment him and make them agree,like " John's been so great at school lately, he is so smart, and is getting great grades, we are so proud of him aren't you"? What else could they say???? And if they can't see they are damaging your son, then you need to prevent them from having contact with your kids until they can agree to change, I would suggest a " trial" run with them, if they can't do it, then they loose BOTH kids! Your kids will be fine without grandparents but they won't be ok if they are loosing their self esteem all the time! Best of luck!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 4:43PM
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I agree with sirens that this can be a devastating situation. I feel that for your son's sake, it is better to not even see the GP unless they change.

My husband adopted my son from a previous marriage. He was 5 years old. I have also taught children in a one-on-one situation.

I can tell you from experience that even though you may not see it, there is such a thing as "adopted child syndrome" even if you have not officially adopted your son.

These children harbor a feeling of rejection inside. My son held his feelings in about his natural father until my son was 26 years old. Then it came out in a rage.

I have seen this in a few of the adopted children I have taught also. (This does not happen to all adopted children.) Feelings of being rejected are extremely serious, and I hope and pray that you do whatever it takes to help your son. I am adamant about this whole situation. The GP are doing harm to your son, and he needs you to fix this problem right now.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 12:16PM
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