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(84 Posts)
Lorilightfoot Sat 02-May-20 21:14:20

I dwell on this all the time and want to know if I am the only one. It upsets me.
I can’t see my grandchildren who are cousins actually having a relationship when they’re older.
My two children get on very well. I am close to my daughter and her children. They are lovely but have been brought up differently to my son’s children. My daughter is relaxed about things so if the children wanted to give up an instrument for example they could. My daughter-in-law made hers carry on, hers did the entrance exams as well. All of them have good manners but son’s children’s are very formal so extended family love them. I feel son’s children seem years older.
At Christmas we were in a restaurant and it occurred to me the children are a different class to one another. Son’s children talk to my daughter’s children like they’re desperate to be polite.
Daughter used to often invite them round but they never seem to want to go. They are all lovely to me but just polite to one another. I get the sense that son’s children seem to pity daughter’s children and daughter’s children seem intimidated by son’s.
I am disturbed by the idea of them not being close. Even now I am close to most of my cousins and receive Christmas cards from all of them. God this was long.

sodapop Sat 02-May-20 21:39:23

You are over thinking this lorilightfoot families are different and you can't make them all get along together. I'm sure your grandchildren will find their own way forward with each other, relax and enjoy your time with them all . Things will work out.

paddyanne Sat 02-May-20 21:44:50

I never had many cousins only two that I knew well at all and they were both 20 years older than me .The other three that were a bit closer to my age lived in Canada ,I dont think it did me or my sisters any harm not knowing them.Now after nearly 60 years I'm in touch with the Canadian cousins daily and never see my "local" ones except for funerals .
Every family is different of course but just because people are related doesn't mean they'll get on well.Enjoy the children for WHO they are not for any relationship they may or may not have ,Its entirely their choice who they want to spend time with .

Septimia Sat 02-May-20 21:45:48

I'm not close to most of my cousins - Christmas cards only. I am in touch with the children of another cousin. DS doesn't have a lot in common with his cousins, but they do usually get on when they meet. DH isn't in touch with his cousins, although they are aware of each other and see each other at family fiunerals!

fourormore Sat 02-May-20 21:56:54

You are not alone Lorilightfoot and I understand how hurt you feel having to watch the relationships not develop!
Our two sons have two children each, aged between 4 and 10yrs old. They live about 3miles from each other but never meet in the park or anything. The children (cousins) would love playing with each other I'm sure but the current generation of parents don't seem to appreciate the joy of family.
I only have 2 cousins and although we don't meet up often due to work commitments and distance we are in touch.
As Sodapop said I feel you might be over-thinking this as, much as we want to, we cannot make them get on or influence them in any way.
I do sympathise though as I feel the same about mine flowers You take care and keep safe!

MawB Sat 02-May-20 22:09:19

I suspect you are indeed overthinking this.
“Class” is a totally outmoded, not to say irrelevant concept these days and whether or not children play an instrument, play rugby, football, cricket etc entirely a matter of choice..
I had two cousins - a girl and a boy and while the girl and I occasionally played together when we were small, we were and are not close. The boy cousin died as a relatively young man but I never ever met his wife and his son only once.
My sister is in Canada and I don’t know whether her AC and mine have even met.
You don’t say how old your grandchildren are but at least they are polite. Very often children’s attitudes are learned from their parents and reflect their parents’ views, which may be the case here.
Not everybody can love everybody and just because they are not close need not mean there is a problem in their relationship.

grumppa Sat 02-May-20 22:33:40

I had eleven first cousins, of whom seven are still alive. I am close to one of them, the nearest in age, and on Christmas card terms with another five. We get on well when we meet at funerals. I am quite close to one of umpteen first cousins once removed.

DDs have two children each, ranging in age from eleven to 22 months. They get on very well, subject to social distancing, but it helps that they, and we, all live close together.

But why should cousins get on particularly well? Don't overthink, and don't worry about it.

Sussexborn Sat 02-May-20 22:46:22

I have ten cousins and used to see most of them quite regularly growing up but none were close to my age. My family rarely meet up as neither of my SILs are interested. We generally meet OHs brothers and family at least once a year and the cousins all tend to sit together to catch up on news. My grandchildren are scattered around the country and there’s a wide age range. The older brothers argue over whose turn it is to hold the little ones. It’s not something I think about too much as life rarely goes to plan.

Babyshark Sat 02-May-20 22:53:44

I understand op. When my grandparents died my relationship with my cousins drifted and I’m sad that I can’t see my children being close to their paternal cousins. None on my side. I’d love there to be more of a relationship. A shared sense of belonging almost? Not sure why but I get it.

Missfoodlove Sat 02-May-20 23:11:01

My 3 AC do not have a relationship with their cousins because my husband and his sister are so different.

We brought our children up in completely different ways, it was highly unlikely they would ever have anything in common.

I don’t see this as a problem, my concern would always be that the siblings remained close.

SueDonim Sat 02-May-20 23:16:59

I don’t have any cousins and Dh only had one, who has long since fallen under the radar. My DC have seven cousins and are in touch with five. The other two row their own boat and we hear of them once in a blue moon.

Hetty58 Sat 02-May-20 23:20:45

Lorilightfoot, I think it's a strange thing to worry about. I've hardly seen my cousins since childhood - unless at funerals. There's no reason why cousins should get along more than random strangers.

You have odd ideas about politeness, formality and class. All families have different styles and couples often have too.

The upper class side of my family are very relaxed and informal (nothing to prove) and swear with discretion. The working class side are very into making a good impression. They try too hard. It's really very amusing seeing them together!

CanadianGran Sat 02-May-20 23:22:09

I grew up in Canada with immigrant parents (from Jersey and France). We never had any relatives at all here, and I have met my cousins only once or twice. I always was a bit overwhelmed and in awe of friends with large extended families! How lucky they were!

But having grown up children now, 2 of my 3 have children. They live in separate towns and see each other only a few times a year. I have hopes that they will enjoy a relationship with one another but don't hold high hopes. I think as long as the parents get along as siblings and keep communication open a relationship will develop.

As a grandparent, could you perhaps encourage all your grandchildren to get together once in a while to help promote this? Maybe host an overnight sleepover or other event (assuming social distancing will eventually come to an end) with your Gkids. That could be fun and in a more informal setting.

crazyH Sat 02-May-20 23:42:28

This is a worry for all of us. I have 3 children, all living in the same town/area - they only meet at family functions. One of my d.i ls likes to live in a bubble with her husband and children. Occasionally, her parents are allowed into this bubble. The rest of us watch them on what's app videos etc. My son goes along with it. I guess he also likes it that way. My other d.i.l. is a joy.....she is constantly making efforts and suggesting get-togethers etc only to be negated by the aforementioned d.i.l. Sad but true.

MayBee70 Sat 02-May-20 23:44:24

I could be wrong but I feel the OP's daughter is raising her children in the way she was raised and the sons children are being raised the way his wife was. Which makes the OP feel uncomfortable. I'm not criticising, by the way, it just reminds me of my own family circumstances. It's sad when our children aren't as close as we'd like them to be.

Hetty58 Sat 02-May-20 23:55:53

crazyH, a bubble can be protective. My kids had far more contact with my friends' children, as we had shared values and attitudes towards parenting (relaxed, friendly and informal).

I deliberately limited contact with my siblings' families. They were uptight, into rules, routines and formality. They had some downright ignorant beliefs that I always felt compelled to object to and argue against. of course, i didn't want my kids exposed to that too much!

BlueBelle Sun 03-May-20 06:46:45

I think mawboon has it in one, lori you are uncomfortable with the way one set of children is being brought up because it’s alien to you
I had no siblings and 7 cousins who all lived in my town but I didn’t know any of them as my dad and his brother didn’t get on (I think that was it I never really knew) when I returned to live in my hometown during my 30 s I made a point of getting to know them and although we weren’t close close we did have a sortof relationship a couple of times a year meet up until they all died (much older than me)
My children don’t live near their cousins but do have a loose relationship
Then grandkids I wanted what I hadn’t had The 2 in NZ have no real relationship with their cousins they have met a few times and seem to get on but nothing else the ones in Europe I brought on holiday here for two weeks all through their childhood they got on brilliantly with the ones that live here and had lots of fun but now all in their late teens and past nanny’s summer holidays they haven’t kept the contact up apart from a bit of social media (all I can hope is they have happy memories)

You can’t force relationships or make the children the same

MawB Sun 03-May-20 07:21:43

At Christmas we were in a restaurant and it occurred to me the children are a different class to one another

OP I wonder how you define “class” and where you stand on it?
The reference to class raises a different dimension.
Could you be feeling that somehow your son has “married up” as they used to say and this makes you uncomfortable , or that alternatively your daughter has “married beneath herself” and that is what is worrying you.
It all sounds rather odd in the 21st century.


Calendargirl Sun 03-May-20 07:53:09

I have 5 grandchildren, 2 close by, my son’s, and 3 in Australia, my daughter’s.
The cousins have only met once in real life, and I suppose are not remotely close to each other, although similar in ages.
It’s just how it is. Whereas my sister is always at great pains to tell me how well her 5 grandchildren get on with each other, they have family holidays and suchlike together.
I love her dearly, but just a bit of one-upmanship on her part as she knows full well that is not the case with my family, as we are 10,000 miles apart.

Hetty58 Sun 03-May-20 08:34:14

MawB, only the (supposed - or aspiring) middle class are in the least concerned about 'class'.

My father always said the working class includes 'absolutely everybody who has to work for a living', the upper class have land and assets - there is no middle!

TerriBull Sun 03-May-20 09:01:03

Most of my cousins live abroad, France, Canada, Australia mainly. I've got a few in England but we only meet up at weddings and funerals. I email ones in France and Canada and have more contact with them than my English cousins. My children see their cousins at family get togethers, I think they'd all like to see each other more often, the ones that aren't abroad are right round the M25 from us...……and well, life get's in the way, especially these days sad

harrigran Sun 03-May-20 09:45:51

My GC are well behaved and know how to conduct themselves in public especially in restaurants. They have only two cousins and they are badly behaved, have no table manners and no consideration for others. GC have often said to me that their cousins are so naughty. The others are not my GC.
My own DC did not mix with their cousins on father's side, chalk and cheese.

gillybob Sun 03-May-20 09:55:54

I was very close to my 2 girl cousins when we were growing up. My grandma used to cook a huge Sunday lunch and the whole family would meet up. We were all children of working class parents living in council houses, nobody had very much so we were all the same really . They were different times.

I think things are very different these days . My sons 3 children very rarely see my daughters little girl as they live in different towns and whilst I look(ed) after them all every week it’s always at different times so they rarely meet up . There is also a big age gap between my sons children (14,12 and 10) and my DD’ little one (2). My DD and my DDiL are like chalk and cheese and would never be friends (if they were not related) as they have very different personalities and values etc. A shame really .

trisher Sun 03-May-20 10:02:10

My family extends from the bottom of the 'class' system, some cousins very low paid or unemployed, to the top, property owning bankers. We are spread all over the country so seldom meet up, but when we do everyone is very polite and friendly. Families these days do not for the most part live close to each other, and often manage to keep some contact. When I moved from my home town the only contact was by phone (which was expensive) or letter which took ages. Now I can text,phone or e-mail or keep in touch through facebook. I don't think you should assume they will not keep in touch with each other. They may have a brief period (especially late teens early twenties) when they don't bother but that may change as they get older. Stop worrying, there is nothing you can do. Que sera sera.

Esmerelda Sun 03-May-20 10:13:58

Well said paddyanne, you've hit the nail on the head. Stop worry about this Lorilightfoot ... you are just making yourself feel bad about something they will work out for themselves. Not all families live close together or even want to be close together but dynamics change as people grow older. They will find their own way, which really shouldn't concern you at this time. Love them all and hope they love you back ... that's what you should be thinking about.