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Grandparents as parents

(18 Posts)
whenim64 Tue 12-Nov-13 18:26:57

I remember your efforts to get this family situation for your granddaughter, Chadsky. It's great to know things are working out for her flowers

chadsky Tue 12-Nov-13 18:15:32

Hi all those that know me it has been a busy year - its strange you somehow think you can just jump back into parenthood like riding a bike - you did it once you can do it again - and we have - it was all a bit rusty at first and fractious - I was and still am quite tired - as I have to work as well, this time round, - last time I did not for the first 5 yrs so I have found that difficult, as it my belief that these are the most formative years - but she is well and has settled well also and at nursery - although I find child care fees ridiculous - I know that child ren can get mixed up - you are righ WHEN - we all do - but more because it was a direct question to her granddad - not just a comment - but like you all have said probably reading to much into it - we will find ways later of explain the reason why she lives with us and not her parents

Ariadne Tue 12-Nov-13 09:32:12

Hello, Chadsky Nice to "see" you again, and it's good to know how things are working out. I wouldn't worry about name confusion - "What's in a name..."

Elegran Tue 12-Nov-13 09:27:33

Children have also been known to sometimes call their teacher Mummy, (and be very embarrassed about it if they are a bit older than your grandson) so I don't think you need be too worried.

Iam64 Tue 12-Nov-13 08:44:02

Hello Chadsky - I agree with others that names can get muddled easily, but I do understand your uncertainty about what to be called as you and your husband are now your 3 year old granddaughter's main carers.

It is difficult to respond constructively, with such limited information, but I'm not asking you to say more than you choose to on this forum. I believe the most important thing is the obvious thing, that is to respond to her questions in an age appropriate, and positive manner. If you create an atmosphere where the family history is talked about honestly, but sensitively that will help her continue to make sense of things as she grows up. I don't believe there is a one off answer to your granddaughter's questions. This will be something that comes up throughout your lives, as she grows up, her understanding develops, and more questions arise.

I accept the advice of others here, that you are grandparents, rather than birth parents but your role has changed. Biologically, you remain grandparents, but on a practical level you have become 'parents'. You will be setting boundaries, and creating an emotional atmosphere your your granddaughter, in a way that birth parents usually do.

Children want to be like everyone else and your point about the influence of nursery is spot on. Schools and nurseries tend to operate still, as though each child in the class has a mummy and a daddy, they love and live happily, and safely, with. This is so far from reality, and I'm surprised there isn't a more thoughtful and considered approach within schools and nurseries, around for example, the making Mother's Day Cards. The emotional content of a simple activity shouldn't be under estimated.

Have you thought about putting a journal/story together with her, including photographs of her birth parents and a simple explanation of why she lives with you. It's something you can build on as she grows up - using any early photographs and memories you have of her as an infant, and moving on to include significant events, first day at nursery, holidays, special days etc. I don't know about your relationship with her birth parents, or the sort of contact she has with them - so many things to consider. Good luck with all of this, and thanks to you, and so many other grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, other family members who step forward to make sure a child remains within her birth family.

positivepam Mon 11-Nov-13 22:47:31

I agree When, I call my dog by my DGS's name and all sorts of mix ups. I was just saying there is a slight difference when you are perhaps doing a normal grandparent role and possibly when you are the main carers and as you said just a simple and gentle explanation would suffice. As I do not know the whole story here, I am not sure what the worry is as this is just a normal slip of a 3yr old, unless there is a reason why it should be a problem. Hope it all works out o.k. chadsky. flowers I have two of my DGC tomorrow and I am sure they and I will be called by several names ha ha.

Agus Mon 11-Nov-13 22:21:16

My DMIL had 9 GC but her favourite was called Nicholas so the others were called, Nick, Nick then their names when she remembered them. confused

whenim64 Mon 11-Nov-13 22:12:34

Me too, Deedaa - one dog, Jemima, died in 1997! I'm hoping they haven't noticed the slip of the tongue!

Deedaa Mon 11-Nov-13 22:07:04

when not only do I go through all the family names including the dog - but the dog's been dead for more than eight years! I've spent some hilarious times with my daughter while my grandson calls me Mummy and her Granny, until we hardly know who we are ourselves. grin

whenim64 Mon 11-Nov-13 21:33:10

Now you mention it, I get the gender right, too. My granddaughters and daughters get the dog's female name thrown in when I'm calling them in haste, but not my grandsons. grin

Marelli Mon 11-Nov-13 21:30:10

chadsky, I've no more advice to offer other than agreeing with what the others have said, but just want to welcome you back again, and glad to hear things are going along ok. It's quite difficult for the little ones to sort it all out, isn't it - to my 3-year-old Great-grandson, I'm 'Mommah's Mummy'......(Grandma's mummy.....he's managed to work it out by himself somehow)! smile

Granny23 Mon 11-Nov-13 21:28:48

Reading +When's* response on the 'Grandparents as parents' made me wonder why I constantly call my 2 DGDs (cousins) by each other's names but never mix them up with my DGS's name. Is the influence of gender really so strong? My friend with 2 x DGDs and 3 x DGSs says she also often mixes up their names but never cross gender. hmm

Faye Mon 11-Nov-13 21:23:55

Good to see you back chadsky I am glad it worked out for you.

My 2 year old GC calls me Mum, probably because I look after four days a week. She does it even when her mother is there but we tell her I am Grandma.

I would refer to yourself as Grandma/Nana otherwise your GD will be confused.

Granny23 Mon 11-Nov-13 21:18:40

Agree with Agus. When my DGC were each only 3 they sometimes called me Mummy and often Granny J when I am actually Granny S. I have often been called Mummy's Mummy and once even Grandpa [Grin] Now they are 6 and 4 this seldom happens, although they sometimes call me by my given name when they are being cheeky. This is very common. I think you are just a little sensitive to it because of your (not very) unusual circumstances. Just gently correct them when they use the 'wrong' name as you would if they called a carrot a parsnip or a cat a dog.

whenim64 Mon 11-Nov-13 21:13:55

Hi chadsky. Good to see you back and to hear you are busy with your granddaughter. Some of that confusion applies to most grandchildren - I often get called mummy and wait to see if my grandchildren correct themselves before mentioning that I'm nana. I would gently remind her, but not make a big thing of it. Explaining who is who, and that most children live with mums and dads but some live with grandparents, is probably sufficent at her young age.

I go through family names, including the dog, before gettng to the right name on many an occasion. My five year old grandchildren want to know why their mummy doesn't live at home wth me. They're just sorting the family tree out in their heads. It's probably not a big deal for her. smile

Agus Mon 11-Nov-13 21:02:53

I think you are reading into it too much maybe chadsky which is understandable. My youngest GD, 4, calls me mummy sometimes when she switches from being with DD then to me. GD, now 8, did the same then eventually it stopped. 8 yr old GDs friend lives with her Granny and Grandad and that is what she calls them. All her friends know she lives with them and they just accept that. Hope this helps a bit.

positivepam Mon 11-Nov-13 21:01:47

Hi chadsky and welcome. My view is first of all, you haven't really said why you are your GD carers and I personally think you should correct her as you are not her * mummy* and daddy and as she still sees her parents, this might confuse her more. It must be confusing for her anyway at this young age and I am sure there is a good reason for you becoming her carers. I am not in this situation so can only give my view and I hope somebody who is, can come along and give you an experienced and more helpful outlook. I wish you luck and hope all goes well as I know what hard work and a joy 3yr olds can be. I am sorry I cannot be of any real help, but I am sure someons will be along soon flowers

chadsky Mon 11-Nov-13 20:39:35

Last year we became the carers for out 3yr old GD - are there any others in this situation and what have your learned - currently GD seems a little confused - she does see both her parents and calls them mommy & daddy - ( which is right) but has asked her granddad the other day, if he was daddy or granddad - and has called me mommy on occasions - should I correct her - or should we just ignore . We think it started as a lot of the children she goes to nursery with - live with mommy & daddy.