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Caught in adult kids conflict

(33 Posts)
OurNana Wed 01-Aug-18 14:29:17

I would love to hear some views on this as I can’t figure out how to deal with it. My adult children have fallen out badly with each other. Now my DS and DIL insist that their young children (aged 5 and 7) are not to allowed any contact with their Aunt, my DD. While I hate their decision to cut my daughter out of their lives, I accept that it is their choice, but when the kids are staying with me, I’m expected to tell my daughter not to call while they’re there. I don’t think it’s fair on the the kids to be deprived of a relationship with their loving Aunt. I don’t think I should have to tell my daughter that she can’t talk to her niece and nephew. AIBU?

muffinthemoo Wed 01-Aug-18 14:34:52

I think if DS and DIL find out the kids are having contact with their aunt at your house when they have told you they specifically do not want that to happen, there is an excellent chance you will find yourself cut off as well.

I think you will find the situation much easier to manage if you only see your grandchildren at their own home, or on outings, or generally somewhere that your daughter is unlikely to turn up.

I think whether or not you find their actions reasonable, you have a pretty stark choice between going along with it to maintain your own access to to the children, or siding with your daughter and finding yourself cut off too.

Luckygirl Wed 01-Aug-18 14:35:46

How very sad for you.

I think you should place the responsibility for telling your DD she cannot call while the children are there fairly and squarely on DS and DIL, whose decision it is. It is not down to you to tell them, nor indeed to "police" this.

rubytut Wed 01-Aug-18 15:00:28

How badly behaved they are involving the children and you in this conflict. I think that what happens in your house should be up to you but as they are so immature they may ban you from seeing the children, difficult situation. Sorry I have no advice, just wanted to comment in support as it makes me so angry when children are used in an adult row.

sodapop Wed 01-Aug-18 15:20:27

Luckygirl is right, its up to your children to sort this out themselves not down to you.
They have placed you in a difficult position quite unfairly.
I don't think you are being unreasonable but sadly you have to agree to the parents wishes.
I hope things work out well soon.

Bluegal Wed 01-Aug-18 16:39:51

We obviously do not know the reason for the fall out. If it is petty stubbornness I think I would be inclined to intervene and tell both my children how ridiculous they are being and how much it will affect THEIR children. But if it is a serious issue which you understand then presumably your daughter understands too and will realise what an impossible situation you are in?

If that’s the case I would be honest with her and say I absolutely hate this and love you both but if you really can’t kiss and make up then there are going to be times you will have to stay away as I am not going to lose my grandchildren over squabbling.

Good luck

GillT57 Wed 01-Aug-18 16:45:01

I think rubytut has summed up this disgraceful situation perfectly. They are childish and selfish for involving you in this and for using their children as weapons. Depending upon how ghastly it is, could you not ask that they project forward and think how they would feel if it was their two children that had fallen out?

stella1949 Wed 01-Aug-18 23:42:12

It is up to your son and his wife to clarify this situation with your daughter - not up to you. I'd be telling my son to phone or text his sister and making this very clear. It's cowardly of him to expect you to enforce his new "rules".

Having said that, unfortunately we can't always make our children remain as friends when they grow up. My two never speak to each other except at family events, which I find heartbreaking, but you can't make people like each other . We can only live with what we've got and love them all . Good luck to you dealing with this awful situation.

Melanieeastanglia Wed 01-Aug-18 23:46:24

Bluegal has given an excellent answer.

I do feel very sorry for you OurNana and I hope the situation improves for all your sakes.

MissAdventure Thu 02-Aug-18 06:17:01

I wouldn't allow anyone to dictate what I do in my own house.
That's a step too far for me.

BlueBelle Thu 02-Aug-18 08:00:22

I agree Missadventure what a sad sad situation and how awful for the cousins to be deprived of their relatives and for you Ournana in the middle of all this
I think I would tell both sets of parents that if they want to dissolve all contact it’s up to them but you are not policing the children bumping into each other when they are at your house (unless there is some massive criminal reason)

Nothing to do with fall outs but my dads eldest brother was nearly twenty years older than him so he was left home and with a family when dad was small they had no real relationship and although we all lived in the same town i neve4 knew any of my cousins until I made a move to ‘find’ them all ( still in the same town I d been away many years and come back) when I was nearly 40 we all got on well and as an only child they would have been gold dust in my fairly lonely adult orientated childhood, no body s fault but a lost opportunity being so much older than me they are now all dead so I only had a few years to get to know them
I have made big efforts to make sure that all my grandkids know each other although they re all geographically a long way apart

Dolcelatte Thu 02-Aug-18 08:28:12

Is there no hope of a reconciliation? What happens at Christmas or special birthdays. I have a similar situation with my two daughters and it is indeed heartbreaking.

Maggiemaybe Thu 02-Aug-18 08:45:45

No advice, OurNana, just sympathy for you and others in this impossible situation. These disputes often do resolve themselves in time, so fingers crossed. flowers

Willow500 Thu 02-Aug-18 08:58:03

What a sad situation to find yourself in and it must be very hard to be in the middle of such a conflict but as everyone has said if this is what the parents have decided you will need to discuss with them how you are supposed to deal with an unexpected visit from their aunt if the children are at your house? The children are very young and won't understand why mummy & daddy have suddenly fallen out with their aunt. I remember a very bad argument between my mum & dad and dad's brother when I was a similar age - I've no idea what it was about but do remember suddenly shouting it's all my fault and bursting into tears - it obviously wasn't but it obviously upset me so your grandchildren need to be kept out of it if at all possible. I do hope they mend bridges as soon as possible for everyone's sake.

silverlining48 Thu 02-Aug-18 09:07:29

I have a friend in exactly the same situation. Son with 2 children, daughter single no children. This has gone on for about 12 years and the children who are now nearly grown up haven't seen their aunt since they were small.
My friend has to see her adult children separately, also at christmas.
It was a stupid disagreement. My friend tried at the beginning but to no avail and I can’t see it now ever being different. It is very sad. I am so sorry * ournana*. Hope your situation improves.

alex57currie Thu 02-Aug-18 09:24:26

This was me 11months ago. Only my DGc are young adults. I set strict boundaries and enforced them. If I had to do it again with you're set of circumstances OP, I'd repeat. My 20yr DGd didn't come near us for 6months. She left home. Wouldn't go to her mum's 2cnd wedding. So sad.

I told my 2 Dd's to keep it away from my door.

I shut down negative dialogue with whoever.

If pre-planned arrangements came into conflict, I left the other one the choice of joining in or cutting their nose off to spite their face. Hard at first,
But got easier through time.

I set the tone and Dh & I navigated a fine line for a few months.

We maintained strict silence between each Dd's affairs/day to day life. Shut dialogue down again quite strictly. Told them both parties as far as we were concerned was not open to be talked about even lightly.

It drove them bonkers. It was like they were toddlers again spitting the dummy etc. Even their OH's eventually adopted this detached indifference. They got no feedback on behaviour. No support, only emotional when they deemed themselves striking towards maturity.

It was a massive brouhaha. Worthy of each other's anger. I asked them to find a way to compromise, grow emotionally and reconcile, or the next time they'd be together in this family home would be for mine or their dad's funeral. Until then they were not welcome. I was as welcome as a fart in a wetsuit, but I secretly cried my tears, put on a strong exterior and now it's getting there. They no longer play their stupid games. We've all changed and adapted. We agreed that the ' normal ' wasn't good, and the new ' normal ' will become comfortable.

Sorry for the tone OP . I hope you find your peace. flowers

Breda Fri 03-Aug-18 19:20:25

Gosh akex57currie I wish my mother had had a tiny little bit of your common sense and used it with my brother and sister. Instead she stoked a furnace with lies and deceit and caused problems for more than 20 years! She died in 2013 but has left a hurtful and distressing legacy behind her!

Well done for sorting things out in your own family. They will thank you in years to come.

alex57currie Fri 03-Aug-18 19:33:13

Breda...thanks. Common sense borne out of desperation because I had a mum who played us off each other for over 30yrs.

Sometimes you just can't be friends with your children. We have to step back and try and be the adult.

I'm sorry that you experienced same s**t as me. ' You just don't need it Rodney ' as Del boy would say. grin

oldbatty Sat 04-Aug-18 10:38:11

I think a lot of it depends on the nature of the falling out. If, for example someone is in danger it's serious. If it's petty jealousy or spite it might sort itself out. It sounds as if both adult children are digging their heels in.

notanan2 Sat 04-Aug-18 13:32:18

Whatever the rights and wrongs, is it really THAT logistically hard for you to see both separately for now?

Can you not make time for your DD when theyre not there, and then keep the time when you see the GC free for just the grandkids?

I think you are wanting to orchestrate your DD seeing the GCs which is YOU putting yourself in the middle of things by choice

Otherwise dont we all see people separately all the time? Its not hard?

oldbatty Sat 04-Aug-18 18:37:01

I should think it could be quite hard as children generally are excited when there is a knock at the door.

notanan2 Sat 04-Aug-18 21:03:49

Well yes...especially if the knock is pre-arranged...

Its not hard to keep a day free if you need to though

You dont invite your whole family round if your friend calls in to cry on your shoulder. You keep days free if you have medical appointments etc...

So it wouldnt be hard to tell DD that youre busy that day.... if you truely wanna stay out of it that is.

notanan2 Sat 04-Aug-18 21:05:33

"See you next week mum"
"Lovely, not Wednesday though as thats busy but any other day would be fine for you to pop in"
"Okay see you then"


Eloethan Sun 05-Aug-18 09:18:36

I can't understand why adults would behave in such a way. Unless the issue is one of child safety, I think it is totally unreasonable to stop children seeing their wider family.

Having said that, going against the parents' wishes is probably inadvisable.

oldbatty Sun 05-Aug-18 09:19:28

Ah well, I didnt get any hint that the OP was wanting to inflame the issue or cause problems.

I think its a sad situation and I hope you find some resolution soon.