All opinions greatfully accepted

hmbrOctober 31, 2002

Where to start!

Okay,my Mum is very close to my family,always around us.

She is on her own, has had previous illness, credits her being alive still to the birth of my first child, age 7.(boy).(her reason to live).

Second child age 6.(girl).

First child is often sickly, very intelligent(photographic memory), happy with just knowing he knows what he knows, and goes about his business without seeking praise.Doesn't tend to argue with other kids, pretty much an easy all rounder. Grandma is very attached to him, if sick will automatically go and see him when she arrives. Offers him praise quickly and often. Defends him against sibling constantly.

Second child, very upfront and outspoken.Wants to be a part of all thats happening, very demanding, robust, average intelligence,seeks praise, often offers love but in a sometimes overpowering way.

Argues with other kids, will stand her ground and fight for supremacy often. Finds it hard to know when she'd be better off just "letting it go".

PROBLEM: Grandma is always finding fault with her, often compares one child to the other, accuses me of favouring her. Doesn't display near as much affection to her as him,

rarely praises her for achievements,always picks up on her negative behaviour rarely the positive.Makes no effort with her if she's sick unless I instigate it. Won't have it that it's obvious that she treats them differently.Stands on her dig that Granddaughter doesn't need praise because she got enough self praise. Says that she is always out for num 1.

I think I'm doing a pretty good job as a parent, trying to be fair, compromising but firm & loving, acknowledging each childs negatives and positives etc. Unfortunately Grandma doesn't agree and quite frankly it's turning life to hell.

Mum and I argue near on daily, as it seems to me she is quite unfair towards the granddaughter.

What I need is some unbiased grandparent input here to help put things in perspective. Am I the problem, grandma or the child?

I'm lost!

All input greatly appreciated.


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No one is at fault. You have two children as different as day and night. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, your daughter feels that a little too much attention is given to her brother as he is sick alot. She sounds like she has a very strong personality. What does you husband say? Maybe because your mom has been ill, she is resentful of "healthy"people. Some older people do that. Is your mom around the kids alot? Maybe needs to spend a little less time with both kids. Does she play the part of a martyr--my mom did! Oh poor me. My brother was always "sicK' everytime he did not get his own way--had a asma attack= Of course big sister did "nothing" to torment him. HA HA. I was 4 years older. I am a grandma with 4 GD's all entirely different. Maybe it would be better if you did not talk/see her/ etc every day. When she does not praise the daughter, YOU DO. Don't let her control your children. Maybe some outside activities, like senior citizen centers would help. Remember, you are the mom and you are doing the best you can.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2002 at 5:30PM
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Your mom seems to be identifying with your son more than your daughter. She's not detached enough to treat the situation fairly. Your daughter sees this, I would think it makes things worse. Knowing what's going on, you will have to make things fair the best you can. Does your son have any reaction to this unequal treatment of his sister? I'm wondering what he thinks of all this. LynnZee

    Bookmark   October 31, 2002 at 6:33PM
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The next time she says something about your favoring the second child, remind her that if she were not so critical and biased toward her, you might not feel that you had to make it up to her in someway.

I agree with the others, it's time to try to reduce the grandmother's attention. It would be best for both of the children. The boy doesn't need so much extra, and the girl doesn't need the critical treatment.

Your daughter is old enough to understant that some people just like boys better than they like girls. It's not anything about her in particular, it's just the way her grandmother is.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2002 at 9:08AM
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You don't say what heritage your Mom has. When I was growing up (I'm in my 60"s) male children were more important than female children. I notice that it is still true with some older people. Your mom may be one of those people. BUT - it doesn't matter. You must zero in on the bottom line. You and only you must be the advocate for your children. If you don't defend and protect them, who will? (Of course their Dad also) If it was a stranger who was not being fair to your children you would not put up with it. Why are you letting your Mom be rude to your daughter? Tell her like it is - she either be loving to both children or she can stay away. And mean it. When your children grow up - what memories will they have of you? The memory that they should have is that you tried to protect and love them. You sound like a very good parent. It is a hard job - you never know if you did the correct thing until 20 years later. Just follow your heart. You would not have posted this if you thought your Mom was right. If she cannot stop showing favoritism, tell her to stay away until she can. You'll sleep better.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2002 at 9:26PM
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I was just thinking about the way my mother treated my children compared to the way she treated my sisters. Mine were more of a burden and my sisters were a joy to her. I guess I noticed it more than the children did. It hurt me to feel my children were less important than my sisters. On the other hand I don't think they noticed. Someone mentioned that boys, to some people, were preferable to girls, that turned on a light for me. I had two girls and my sister had a boy. I wonder if that had something to do with it. My girls are grown now and have turned out just fine, it's me that still remembers this.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2002 at 9:27AM
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Know this is late, but think that your daughter may remind your mother of someone she knew a long time ago, maybe unconsciously. Possibly even HER mother or even herself, or even of how HER mother treated her as a child.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2003 at 1:29PM
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Greetings June MN,

You don't let a dead dog lie around unburied.

Maybe it's time to bury this one.

But I hope that you can find a way to develop some resolution, first - where you can let it go and feel at peace inside.

When a wound heals over but corruption remains beneath - expect a breakout later.

Good wishes,

joyful guy/Ed

P.S. Life's too short - and too full of current stress - to carry around loads of bitterness from the past. jg

    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 10:17AM
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