Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Hurt Grandpa

(19 Posts)
lola Sun 11-Sep-11 22:38:17

We have one granddaughter who is nearly 5. I care for her at least twice a week and she has spent quite a lot of time with us on her own over the years. I am very close to her and we have a very affectionate relationship. Although my husband is a (mostly) quiet and always gentle though firm person (I am also quite strict) our granddaughter has always been slightly wary of him, even as a small baby, being reluctant to get close to him physicially. We thought perhaps because of wiskers at one time, or maybe just sort of instictive male/female difference thing. As she has got older it seems to be increasing and although she talks about him a lot and looks forward to him coming home from work, after the first excited moments she will often become a little bit spiteful towards him. This week she has been staying with me all week while he has been away but returned yesterday and tonight it was difficult getting her to go to bed. Eventually after a promise of a story from him she went up, but it seems she was again being awkward and he says "nasty" with him and he finally snapped and told her she was horrible and he didn't want anything to do with her. He says its been going on for so long now and he feels especially over the past year and I can see that it hurts him terribly. We don't really know what to do about it.

absentgrana Sun 11-Sep-11 22:45:29

Iola She's four year old. He's a grown up. Just get on with it and stop being hurt and worrying.

Leticia Mon 12-Sep-11 08:54:01

He is the adult, she is a small DC-he seems to have forgotten this! Of course she is wary if she doesn't feel that he is going to have adult responses. DCs don't automatically love people, they have to work on the relationship,like any other. He needs to keep calm, keep any hurt feeling to himself, make sure that he is always the same and spend time with her-without expecting 'pay back'.

I had an uncle who had many good qualities but I was always wary of him as a DC because he was moody and you never knew quite what you were getting-even within 10 mins.

Children pick up on body language-she doesn't feel comfortable.

lola Mon 12-Sep-11 09:32:04

Ignore it and it will go away was always an option. He's tried that for 3 years and now would like to try something different.

lola Mon 12-Sep-11 09:40:10

Even adults are human and sometimes its impossible to be "superhuman". Having tried all the strategies he can think of the problem persists. He's warm, affectionate and always prepared to give time doing the things she wants to do since birth. Its very easy to say you don't expect payback, which is true in an ideal world. But most of us are human and its quite nice to get a little payback now and again. Also we are genuinely interested to know the reason for her reserve with him so that we can try to fix it with maybe some fresh strategies or suggestions. By the way. What does DC mean? So if anyone has any

absentgrana Mon 12-Sep-11 09:40:37

Well I would suggest that telling her she's horrible and that he doesn't want anything to do with her is something different – not constructive, but different. How "nasty" and "spiteful" can a four-year-old be?

Jacey Mon 12-Sep-11 10:31:09

You don't say whether she is your daughter's or son's child? Have you discussed it with them?

I would want to know how she relate's to her own father ...the immediate 'male' contact in her life? Also, how does she react to her other Grandfather?

Perhaps it is to do with having to share your time with him ...not having you to herself?

You never know what simple little thing has triggered this in a very young child's mind ...but you are now going to have to re-build a relationship, which will take a long time.

How did things go this morning?

GoldenGran Mon 12-Sep-11 11:25:48

How horrible for eveyone, but children are little human beings and who knows what goes on underneath. Is she an only child and what is the relationship with her parents? What is the reason for spending a lot of time with you? I feel sorry for your husband,he sounds hurt,but so does she. I hope you get it sorted soon.

Leticia Mon 12-Sep-11 17:11:36

Sorry DC is from mumsnet-a short cut-I didn't like it but you kind of get used to it. Darling child, or DS darling son or DD darling daughter.

I would suggest that you go out and just leave the two of them together or he takes her out on her own-choose an activity he knows she will love. The problem is that she doesn't have to relate to him if you are always around.

lola Wed 14-Sep-11 09:52:52

Yes. Thanks. It has occurred to me that would be a good way forward and I've suggested it to him. Its sometimes difficult for him to find the time to do that with big work committment, but we shall have to make a big effort to do so.

lola Wed 14-Sep-11 14:50:54

Thanks to those of you who made positive contributions.

tanith Mon 17-Oct-11 21:43:58

What on earth is she saying/doing that is so spiteful or nasty? She is only 4 and small children aren't very diplomatic after all they haven't learnt the niceties of polite conversation and just say it like they see does sound like she might be resentful that grandad interrupts her time with you not something I'd take seriously at all . I'm sorry to say I think grandad is overreacting and should just tell her she's not being nice and leave it at that.. she isn't a teen after all just a baby really..

nanachrissy Tue 18-Oct-11 16:09:49

My first gd was a very touchy,sensitive toddler and didn't want to be anywhere without her Mummy. She didn't like staying with me at all and there were lots of tears and hurtful comments to me. She was only 3/4 ish,and her other g/parents would take her out together, (I was alone),and it was upsetting for me too. However as the years passed and she had a younger sister, I saw less of them and the other g/mother (who liked to be called Mama(as in Lady Muck) just looked down her nose at me and was always rude to me or ignored me.
Sadly, Mama died a few years ago, and since then I have become No.1! My g/daughters now aged 12 &9, are always telling me how much they love me,and we have a lovely relationship now.
So I would say, just smile and hide the hurt, be always kind and wait and see what happens if you can. Good luck xx wink

jinglej Tue 18-Oct-11 16:13:46

I love it Nanachrissy - "as in Lady Muck"! grin

Glad things are good now. smile

nanachrissy Tue 18-Oct-11 16:17:52

Jinglej grin

jinglej Tue 18-Oct-11 16:26:45

The older one of my two used to be a right little peril towards me sometimes often. I wonder if they can sense how much you want them to love you, and it gives them a feeling of power - and can't they use it!

He's 10 now and he's completely come round. smile

jinglej Tue 18-Oct-11 16:27:25

Can't believe he's 10! Where does it go?

Jeany Tue 18-Oct-11 22:54:17

I don't think I'd be happy sending grandpa and granddaughter off alone if grandpa is going to lose his temper and say things like you've already mentioned Iola. Too scary for a 4 year old and a strain on him if it all goes wrong. If you're there you can mediate. I remember one of my grandsons didn't like me very much at all until he was about six and I just tried to be philosophical about it. I can understand how hurt grandpa is, though.

Faye Wed 19-Oct-11 03:39:27

One of my grandsons sometimes tells his father and three of his grandparents to go away or tells us he 'wants Mum.' He doesn't see the other grandfather very much so he really doesn't speak to him at all when he does see him. I am sure we all take it with a pinch of salt, I know I do. He is very attached to his mother and prefers to be with her more often than do something with his father. He does spend time playing with his father at night though, but has always been a Mum's boy. On the occasions that my daughter and grandson have been away from home for a week visiting me or her siblings, my grandson gets concerned and tells his mother they have to go home because Dad is sad. When he knows he is coming to visit me he gets really excited to see me. Who knows what they are thinking but I would never take it to heart. Now he is nearly four he is starting to be a sensible little boy and gets on well with other children his age. It does sound like it may be common and nothing to worry about, they grow out of it.