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Step grandson

(17 Posts)
Lostmyglassesxx Sun 09-Oct-16 14:28:25

Will try and précis this
My partner of 20 years middle aged daughter has some major personal issues of resentment and unhappiness and still not accepted parents divorce 20"years ago
She dudnt speak to father for 6? Years and wouldn't have him to her wedding
Her husband is controlling they live a very structured life avoiding any element of risk or fun.
Since then we have built bridges - we don't see each other much but we talk in phone regularly - she and her husband and son are becoming more and more insular and she is no longer close to her brother and his family
She is close to her mother but they have a very difficult relationship- she is a very difficult controlling woman who Is still full of hate fir my partner and constantly puts her daughter down
So ...recently at a big birthday event at my house her behaviour was such that the whole weekend was ruined - she was bitter resentful didn't interact stopped her son from joining in with other children they had ice cream he wasn't allowed - th he watched a cartoon he couldn't.none of us agree with how they bring up their child who is cosseted and overprotected yet they are really strict with him and deprive him .
Since the weekend nobody has been able to fix this because she is not willing - she is controlled by her husband and she is so unhappy but she has blamed the whole weekend on me - resulting in her and hubby and son packing up and leaving late at night - as I slightly snapped at her when she criticised something I was doing for the umpteenth time - every body know she was at fault the whole weekend - it was truly awful
Her father has tried to make th peace and they have had limited contact ( he works abroad currently)Anyway I have asked her( texted pleasantly ) what grandson would like for his birthday as they do not allow him many toys -and received A very formal email requesting a bow and arrow - quite a serious one - metal etc.
I don't agree with buying this at all
They are trying to toughen up a child who does not even know what a robot is and is never allowed to play spontaneously - they control everything he does and almost force feed him ( he was a precious ivf baby so I understand the psychology behind this) so ...
Do I buy it ? Before the fall,out I would have had a chat and asked her about it and said what I felt
Am I going to try to get back at her by not doing it
Plus I have never forgiven her for not having her father at her wedding !
I would not buy this for my grandsons or any child of seven
So.....what to do
Ps we will never fix this issue with her as I think she is never going to admit there's anything wrong -it's far more complex than my post
Ultimately We worry about the little boy - he is starting to get resentful of his parents saying they don't let him do anything he wants to do . He is not a happy child

Lisalou Sun 09-Oct-16 16:21:32

Wow! What a lot of issues, and really impossible to have an opinion, as you say, I am sure it is all far more complex than it may appear. What I wanted to say is this; from the sort of bow and arrows you describe, it sounds like he may be doing archery, in which case, he will be taught how to care for the equipment, and the potential dangers. I would not be worried from that viewpoint. Also, you say he does not even know about robots. Is he by any chance, studying at a Waldorf School. In these institutions, modern technology is not allowed at an early age, and is introduced slowly and much later than most children see it. From what I remember of the system, television is also frowned upon. Also archery is one of the things that many children are taught at these schools.

Lostmyglassesxx Sun 09-Oct-16 17:30:53

No heis not at a Waldorf school That is really interesting as there is a big Steiner school near here and I didn't realise it adopted these ideas .i would not be surprised if they had adopted some of the principles as part of their parenting regime ( and it is a regime !)
Thanks for reassurance on bow -if we were talking I would say to her I would rather buy something else .Partner says just shut up and blooming buy it ! So I will - not my family at the end of the day ( thankfully )!

Elegran Sun 09-Oct-16 18:40:54

Could you buy him the requested bow etc plus something small and a bit more frivolous? Not too frivolous or she will fall out with you again, but something that comes from your ideas? Amazon has Robin hood hats for about £3 - £4 or so, and at least you'd feel you'd given him something that would be fun.

thatbags Sun 09-Oct-16 18:59:28

How old is the child? Is it a toy bow and arrows that's wanted or one that he could shoot at an archery club or range, while being taught how to do it properly and all about the safety aspects?

phoenix Sun 09-Oct-16 19:07:34

What about archery lessons? Might be a good compromise, although it would seem that "compromise" is hard in the circumstances!

Lostmyglassesxx Sun 09-Oct-16 19:11:30

Good idea ! Thankyou
except it wil notbe well received !
However a gift should be from the heart with love so,I will definitely add something to the weapon
It's just another thing he has to perform at along with all the other sports and I want him to have fun and be free ...

Galen Sun 09-Oct-16 19:48:38

Archery lessons are good,
We have many children at our club including several severely autistic ones.
I would not reccomend buying a bow unless lessons are involved.
Even a small bow can kill someone if not used properly.
My bow only pulls 22lbs compared with most people's 30-50lbs pull, but I can still shoot over 200ft as I did today in clout shooting. ( I normally shoot target at 20-30 yds)
Ask bags she's more experienced than I am.

Judthepud2 Sun 09-Oct-16 19:57:29

How strange! Not allowed to watch cartoons or have an ice cream but allowed a real bow and arrow. 😱 Surely a child of 7 would not be old enough to understand the safety implications of this.

I don't mean to be funny here but having read 'We Need to Talk About Kevin' I don't think I could bring myself to buy these for him. Would it be possible to give him money instead? Then if something awful happens (sorry but you need to read the book to get where I am coming from) you wouldn't be responsible.

It sounds like a very difficult relationship, and that poor child....!

Maggiemaybe Sun 09-Oct-16 20:13:03

Judthepud2, my first thought was about Kevin too!

What a difficult situation for you, Lostmyglassesxx, when you can't just ask whether the little boy is having lessons or not. I certainly wouldn't be happy buying a "proper" bow if he's not, but would go ahead if he is, as he would then be taught how to use it safely. Perhaps you could email back to ask whether his instructor has stipulated a particular bow? Though what the heck you'd do if the answer was that there is no instructor, I don't know.....

Christinefrance Sun 09-Oct-16 20:59:23

Think if he is having proper lessons under supervision then the bow and arrow are fine. If not perhaps send cash and a small gift. It's difficult once you have asked what is wanted then not to get it. Perhaps contact needs to be more limited as none of you seem to be happy meeting up. Step families and grandchildren 's upbringing are a minefield tread carefully.

Galen Sun 09-Oct-16 21:14:20

It is good fun. But the rules are very strict.
No running
Only approach the shooting line when instructed
Don't shoot before commence command
Collect arrows on collect command etc

thatbags Sun 09-Oct-16 21:37:59

You can't really buy a suitable bow, nor arrows, for someone without quite a lot of detail, actually. If he's really going to have archery lessons, let him use the bows that are lent for those first and then consult with his coach what he needs.

With children the danger is getting them something with too strong a pull, which can damage their not fully grown bones and muscles.

Please ask for more info, lostglasses, and maybe offer to pay for a beginnier's archery course at a properly affiliated archery club (ArcheryGB).

Lostmyglassesxx Sun 09-Oct-16 22:07:20

Thankyou ladies
Really supportive and informative

Galen Sun 09-Oct-16 22:22:05

Good advive bags

Galen Sun 09-Oct-16 22:23:34

Advice even! Definitely time for bed!

Izabella Wed 02-Nov-16 17:39:09

thatbags is so right re potential damage to immature shoulders. Forensic archaeologists always say that medieval archers are the easiest of all to link to occupations. Their pulling shoulders were so malformed.