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scolding grown-up sons

(18 Posts)
TriciaF Sun 19-Apr-15 11:13:18

Our 4 are all late 40s early 50s now. They're quite good at keeping in touch apart from 2nd son, who lives in India. I know he's busy with work and family, but he hardly ever contacts us.
Recently his brother has gone to stay with him and we asked him to buy a laptop for the children and take it, which we paid for, which he has done. But no acknowledgement yet from 2nd son!
So I've sent him an email asking if he's pleased with it.
If DH realises he hasn't bothered to thank he'll be very put out, so trying to keep the peace.
So if I still don't hear, do you think I should ring him and tell him off?

Tegan Sun 19-Apr-15 11:26:24

Does he realise that you've paid for it? Being a man [sorry men] your other son may have just handed it over without pointing out that it was from you and the email might resolve that. You could also say that your DH is really looking forward to getting an email from the children.

annsixty Sun 19-Apr-15 11:28:31

Yes, but more in sorrow than in anger. Then he is more inclined to be sorry than annoyed. Good luck.

gillybob Sun 19-Apr-15 11:39:58

TriciaF I agree with Tegan men are hopeless at passing on messages, so as she says your son probably just handed the laptop over in a "there you go" kind of way, without giving a second thought to say "this is a present from mum" or "mum and dad sent this for the children" or whatever.

I really wouldn't make a "thing" out of it at all but next time (and you may have to wait a while) you do speak just gently slip in "oh by the way, I hope you found the gift I sent over useful" . Men eh?

soontobe Sun 19-Apr-15 12:35:41

Does he pick up or reply to emails quickly?
How often does he stay in touch with others in the family?

TriciaF Sun 19-Apr-15 13:16:36

Thanks for the replies. Just had an email from J who says he had told G to let us know that he'd got it safely. So we'll wait and see. There's a bit of brotherly rivalry there too.
Soontobe - G usually replies to emails. He's not good at keeping in touch with any of us, not just me and DH (who is his step-father.)
I'll back off now.

janeainsworth Sun 19-Apr-15 13:35:23

As a general point I don't think it does to scold grown-up children.
They are grown up, not children.
I try to speak to mine with the same consideration as I would my best friends - and it would take a great deal to make me tell any of them off!

If you go into annoyed parent mode, a grown up child might well respond by going into petulant, defiant adolescent mode, something I'm sure no one has any wish to revisit.

tricia I hope you hear from G soon smile

Tegan Sun 19-Apr-15 13:42:33

I saved my scolding for something really important and the fact that it was something I never did meant it had an immediate effect. I didn't get angry, just pointed out that there was a situation that was causing me a lot of heartache. Sometimes men do need their mum to give them a female perspective on things. I do struggle with the realisation that my children are now adult professional people with children of their own [#howdidthathappen?]

soontobe Sun 19-Apr-15 13:44:01

I do!
Everyone needs to be kept on the straight and narrow.
I get told off occasionally by my mum, and good job too.
Partners and spouses dont know everything.

soontobe Sun 19-Apr-15 13:44:58

Absolutely Tegan.

janeainsworth Sun 19-Apr-15 13:50:19

I wasn't implying that we shouldn't have conversations with our adult children, or that we shouldn't raise concerns with them.
But 'scold' implies exerting authority and implies anger too - we don't have authority over grownup children, and if our behaviour suggests that we think we do, it's bound to have a negative reaction from the DCs.

Tegan Sun 19-Apr-15 14:01:43

Totally agree about the world scolding, jane. With me I think it was more a case of me uncharaceristically suddenly becoming very serious and doing a sort of 'I'm about to say something and I want you to listen carefully'. I also think that there's often a time and place to say something, even if it's sometimes a long time after an event and you can slip something into a conversation in such a way that isn't confrontational.

TriciaF Sun 19-Apr-15 15:07:37

Yes, I don't think I should have used the word "scolding", more like pointing out what I would like them to do.
But I tend to forget that they're leading completely separate lives from us now.
In this current situation the root of it is that G and DH never got on, G always resented him, and although there's a sort of truce now, I feel it could blow up again at any time. DH more or less brought them up from young childhood to adulthood, their Dad was never very interested.

TriciaF Sun 19-Apr-15 15:27:37

Hooray! Just got an email from G to say the children are thrilled and thankyou very much grin.
So it's just me being a worrier thanks for listening to me!

soontobe Sun 19-Apr-15 15:48:57


janeainsworth Sun 19-Apr-15 22:39:43

sunshine tricia

Coolgran65 Sun 19-Apr-15 22:54:00

Tricia I feel your pleasure and fully understand

Mishap Mon 20-Apr-15 11:03:50

Oh good - glad they are enjoying your gift.