Deadbeat Grandparents?

danalynneAugust 20, 2002


I was wondering if someone could possibly tell me if deadbeat grandparents should be confronted about not calling, or seeing their grandchildren? What do I tell my children? I am in a hunch, could someone please help? Advice would be greatly appreciated :) Thanks!

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My two son's have a deadbeat grandfather too. Once or twice a year he may show up (he lives out of state) He tells them that he is going to show up at such and such a time, sometimes shows up a few days later than that, sometimes not at all. No phone calls to explain why, nothing. The last time he did this was a week ago. I've decided that he will not see these kids again. I hate to see my 7 year old cry himself to sleep because his grandpa didn't show up when he said he would. It may sound harsh but I won't stand by and see my kids hurt like that. Neither one of my kids got a phone call on their birthdays or a card, nothing at all to let them know that their grandpa was thinking about them. I don't really know what to tell you to do, only you can decide that for yourself and your kids.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2002 at 12:41AM
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Are these your folks or your spouses? If yours, I would come out and ask WHY? If they cannot/will not give you a satisfactory answer, you might tell your kids that they did nothing wrong, the grandparents probably do love them, but just don't know how to show it. At least until they are older. Then they will probably figure out themselves. Above all, make sure they KNOW they did nothing wrong.
If you have a nursing home, maybe they could go and visit. This way they see that older people are all diferent.
Some homes have programs that kids and older people are kind of buddies.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2002 at 9:48PM
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Why not just tell the children the truth? And the truth is that some people are just not very good grandparents.

You cannot make people be interested in the children if they are the type that don't care. And a lot of people just don't care.

Be sure and explain that it is not any fault of the children, but simply a lack in the grandparents. It takes a desire to be a good grandparent. Not everyone has it and the sooner you can take them as they really are, the better it will be.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2002 at 10:00PM
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You cant make grandparents see or call their grandkids. And I think the kids are not all that upset as you are about it. Parents are what matters to them. Grandparents are just an extra added attraction.
But I dont see anything wrong with asking your parents why..or hubby asking his parents.

grandma(&pa) to 6...babysitter to 4.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2002 at 7:43PM
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Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, where is it a written law that grandparents have to act a certain prescribed way? Granted, many grandparents idolize their grandchildren, but I had a grandfather (my father's father) who wouldn't of noticed if I was alive or dead. I can never remember having any feelings toward him whatsoever. Your children will learn this soon enough.
My grandmother (my mother's mother) on the other hand was a saint! She was everything you read about in fairy tales. She adored her grandchildren and she let them know this constantly. But life for her was a constant thrill, and as she put it "grandchildren were the reward of having lived a good life". It was ALWAYS a special occassion when she was around us, which was often as she lived locally.
The contrast between these 2 helped my sisters and I learn to appreciate what an incredibly special woman she was.
Life throws us a lot of trials and tribulations. How we deal with each situation forms a bit more of who we become. Now for my father's mother, I never knew her. She died before I was born, but I know that her children thought the world of her. My grandfather (father's father) married again before I was born. This woman resented that fact that there were any serviving children. I can't remember this woman ever saying a single word to me.
My mother's father was deserted by my grandmother and I never saw him in my life.
Out of 4 grandparents I consider myself very fortunate to have had the kind of relationship I had with one grandparent. She became an incredible influence to us by her contrast.
You can't make people into something they are not. This is a life lesson your children will sooner or later have to learn. Life creates who we become. Circumstances will either turn people into bitter pills or contented survivors. You can help you children through this life lesson by teaching them this concept.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2002 at 10:06AM
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How about dead beat kids? I have one grandchild whom I have never seen. My child racked up some bills, left me holding the bag and took off.
Several months later they have a child.
They won't speak to me because they are upset with me. I didn't give them the things that I am still making payments on, that I so-signed for them to buy.
I send clothes and toys to the baby, which I know they get because I mail them so they have to sign for the packages.
Not even a thank you.
So some people would like to be grandparents, but it's hard when the children are like this.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2002 at 11:14PM
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The problem I see with confronting deadbeat grandparents is that you may create a sense of obligation to see the grandkids. They may come to visit out of guilt or to appease you. This is not good for anyone.

I would not confront them, rather I would just accept them for who they are. Everyone would love to have the model Rockwellian grandparents, but as we know real life is nowhere near a Norman Rockwell painting. I think one of the best lessons to learn when it comes to interpersonal relationships of any kind is not to create unrealistic expectations in your mind. People are only human and they seldom live up to our ideals.

P.S. My grandfather has 14 grandchildren and I bet if you asked him right now he couldn't name them all.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2002 at 10:29AM
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There are 8 grandkids in our family and my dad totally ignores them. He pays more attention to my dogs than any of the kids. At family gatherings he barely talks to them or if he does it is to correct them or say something sarcastic. He constantly refers to my sisters daughter as "Sue's child". (I always correct him by saying "her name is Amy".)

My stepdaughter lives out of town. When she visits he doesn't ask one question or want to make any plans. When she was about 10 I just told her that some people are lousy grandparents, it had nothing to do with her. Her mom's father is the same way, so she understood. The grandmothers on both sides love all the grandkids, so I think they all understand the concept of good grandparents/disinterested grandparents.

I wonder if these deadbeat grandparents ever stop to think about the number of people they hurt. Not only the grandkids but their own children. Having a parent reject your children is really painful.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2002 at 9:44AM
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My parents were such awful grandparents! Mom has passed on and the kids still have to struggle to find something nice to remember about her. We once made a trip to visit for my DD's birthday (after much urging by My Mom), when we arrived and during the week after, there was no mention of her birthday, but there was wrapped gifts for the other grandchildren (older bro's two daughters,1 - 6 years older and the other 6 months older than my DD)who arrived 2 days after we did. Then plans were shared about going to a "special" tea, for the other two -- the day after we would leave. Got a call later, saying sorry, she was so excited about having kids together "forgot" special day(!),and overlooked that DD would enjoy the tea too! No cake, no party, no nothing for DD from grandparents -- not even a happy Birthday card. We took the whole family out for dinner the night of her birthday, another sister who lived in town, had B-day presents, Bro (and his daughters did nothing - except order and eat), Mom and Dad acted "surprised" and tried to pick up the check. DD cried and Bro and Grands had a laugh at her expense "after all not everything is about you!" We packed up and left early...which led to the phone call. "We took away the joy of seeing grands together!" Now 3 years after my Mom passed away, my Dad still doesn't remember birthdays, doesn't call for holidays, says he will visit and doesn't show up. DD is now in College and laughed in his face when we visited my sister and he acted "hurt" that we didn't let him know we would be in town. I had called 2 weeks prior and left a message (unfortunately, I do believe that another sister had visited home and "erased" the message -- she is another story! Stole my mom's jewlery and wore it to the funeral!)

No you can't make someone be a good grandparent. Sometimes it isn't worth it to even try! I now act in ways to protect my children from all contact with certain members of my family. I don't waste my time or my children's love on unworthy trash!


    Bookmark   November 29, 2002 at 1:45PM
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My son is 14 years old. His father was a deadbeat right up til his death in 2005. His parents, heartless people. My son has never got a phonecall, a card, nothing. I called them 4 days ago to ask if they would get him a winter jacket and they unpolitely told me that my son wasn't their grandchild, but only because of circumstances they had no control over, they share the same genes. They don't owe me or my son a damn thing. MUCH more was said, disgusting things I refuse to repeat. Needless to say my son doesn't have a winter jacket and won't until I can come up with the money. I don't understand why I'm left holding the bag since I was married to their son for a couple years when I was very young. Or how two people can be so heartless. It's their loss because he is a great son and we have been through so much trying to fend for ourselves. I honestly wish I could stick it to them because they sure do deserve the pain back that they have put on my son and I. It bothers me more than it does him.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 3:42AM
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In most cases it won't be a big deal to the kids, if you don't make it one. The kids will just think it's normal not seeing them. If they call, make plans to come and then cancels without notice that is another thing. I would talk to the guilty party and tell them in no uncertain terms not to say they are coming unless they are going to show up.

I have 13 dead beat grand kids. Haven't seen them in several years. My husband was in a care home none of them visited him, neither did his kids.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 11:34PM
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I was the victim of a deadbeat dad and his parents. My father abandoned me and my brother when we were only little kids and his parents almost couldn't care less. Unfortunately, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. My grandfather is a selfish brute and his son kept the tradition going. If both grandparents are giving the children the cold shoulder, then don't force your kids to have to suffer such cruelty. If the grandparents don't want to see the kids, then don't force the issue. However, you must understand that you need to make up for this by giving your kids extra love and attention and making it clear to them that they are fine and that the grandparents are the ones with the problem. Whether you like it or not, you must compensate for the grandparents cruelty, otherwise your kids self-esteem might be affected. Don't be apathetic, it will eventually hurt your kids that their grandparents don't care about them, especially if the grandparents are nice to other grandkids. So show your kids extra love, even spoil them a little, and they won't feel so bad.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 2:26AM
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For whatever reason My pa has had issues with me and the way I bring up my boys. Because he may not see me as a mother of the year and has issues with me he seems to take it out on my kids. He last seen my oldest (19)about 1 year or so ago he was only 3 exits from my house yet it didnt come see my lil one (9 at the time)He hasnt seen or spoke to my youngest in almsost 4-5 years. Its at the point my youngest has determned he doesnt care and doesnt want to know him. Can you blame the kid when your own grandfather doesnt care enough to send a bday or holiday card. My pa talks from his behind about sending papers God forbid of anything and how he loves his grandkids well maybe some he favors more then others because they are considered normal Maybe the issue is more of the disablity factor that he chooses to deny. My oldest has asbergers and my youngest has tourettes. Yet I was told this isnt possible its all in the mind of docs to make money. I think he fears what he doesnt know. And though he has had a new love for some time (yrs) my kids will NOT becalling her nana grams etc. Its sad that he has issues with me and takes it out on my kids. But my kids arent dumb they happen to be very smart and they dont need a grandfather who doesnt want to help them in anyway. He thinks the world goes according to him-well not in my book. There will be a time pa needs me too bad I'm not important enough to be able to help. His loss with my kids no one elses As my kids get older and they want to deal with their grandfather then they can ask all they want I pray they get the answers they seek

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 10:16AM
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Deadbeat Grandparents, I have never heard of this term or situation before. I was under the assumption that ones financial, legal and moral obligation to ones off-spring end at age 18. Everything after that, are _voluntary_ sugar sprinkles, over the cherry - on top of the icing! Grand parenting is 100% voluntary. There is a bonding that occurs between a child and a grandparent, that can�t just be turned on and off - like a light switch. A parent can withdraw a grandchild at any time. Grand parenting is entirely dependant on the Childs parent/s, if it is to flourish. Grandparents are a GIFT, which Parent/s gives to their child/ren. Distance, time, expense and MONEY should be considerations. Many older people tend to suffer from depression, low energy, and may not be able to financially, physically or emotionally keep up with the demands of child care. Boundary issues, if someone doesn�t want to engage with young children, perhaps there is a good reason (legal?) for it, and they should not be forced to do so. Parents tend to use Grandchildren to manipulate and play (Daddy/Mommy issue) head games. Grandparents are expected to be at the parent�s convenience, available and helpful, be involved but don�t meddle, care but don�t care. I only had ONE grandparent in my life, love him, miss him, and will hold him in my heart forever. The other 3 G-parents I never knew, and therefore have never, ever missed them. Fact is; PARENTS are what count - in a child�s life.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 5:20PM
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It is not a duty. I know this is a very old thread, but in case anyone is interested. Maybe the grandparents have a life and do not want to give up all of their activities to baby sit. Some people are busy, they are on committees, golfing or playing tennis or volunteering, traveling. I have been to Africa twice, Peruvian rainforest twice, cruised the Amazon River My husband and I had hobbies that we were very active with and why should we give our conventions, meets, travels or whatever, to babysit. I am 74 and still have a life to live.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 7:29PM
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I read all these posts and after seeing the lack of interest of my parents in their grandchildren transform into bitterness and hurt in my children, I decided to confront the situation head on. After all what parent wants apathy and indifference from family members directed towards their children?
While I did confront my parents via private means, they were very defensive and tried to justify their behavior. Doctorsâ appointments, adversity to travel, anxiety and of course concerns with the weather were used they hypocritical statements since none of these reasons stopped them from extended stays at the cabin away from the doctors, traveling to the Caribbean or battling weather to vacation in pleasant climates.
I believe my parents experienced something similar to them in their youth and carry that bitterness with them today which have caused some sort of emotional withdrawal to even be able to empathize what effect it has on the grandchildren. âÂÂCanâÂÂt come to your graduation, weâÂÂre off to the Caribbean, will send you a post card!â sends a very hurtful message.
I know this sounds silly but basically arenâÂÂt we all discussing the same thing, trying to fill a void in our hearts and childrenâÂÂs hearts that only grandfather and grandmother can fill.
I donâÂÂt know what will happen or if change is possible, but time will tell.
The following article is a realization of how to make a healthy transition towards breaking the cycle for both young and hope it helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Motel Room Window

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 8:39PM
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If the children are hurt by this it is because you said things in front of them that you should not have. Even without being close to their grand parents to them it would have been normal and they would not have missed anything.

I was not close to my grandparents and I don't have bad feeling of any of them.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 12:03PM
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EmmaR; While I agree in principle with your posting, I personally know of many grandchildren who are bitter towards their grandparents but I cannot say this originated from their parents or from comparisons made to other children.

It is when children see other children who have grandparents picking them up from school, sitting in the crowd at piano recitals, or cheering them on at soccer games, it is only natural they will make comparisons and question why their lives are different. This is where a whole host of feelings kick off and which initiated the first posting for this topic matter. Note that the feeling range and few are positive. Perhaps when grandparents lived far away, had obvious health issues or other reasons where choice was not a limiting part of the decision, this makes a difference and result with no negative feelings towards the grandparents.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 3:52PM
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My children were to busy being children to even notice other grandparents being there. I am sure my kids had rather see me there picking them up than their grandparents. As they got older they didn't even want to go to the grand parents home for Sunday dinners. They wanted to be with their friends. The difference may be if the GPs baby sat them full time, then they would know their grandparents better than their know their working parents. Then they might notice.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 8:23PM
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