Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Not how I raised mine

(72 Posts)
Grandmablue Fri 28-Jun-19 18:09:30

I had 4 children, 3 boys and a girl. My eldest son is married with 2 little girls. My daughter is in a LTR with a little boy. And the other two boys are working and good people. My eldest son was my life, we did lots together and I was and still am very proud of him, all of my children.
He doesn’t speak to me and things are sad but it means I don’t see my grand daughters. It was the youngest ones birthday last weekend and I sent gifts to her party - I hadn’t been invited. I also sent gifts for the eldest too.
I have not received any communication- I didn’t really expect it, but it’s not how I raised my children. I am really quite annoyed with him and feel his behaviour is unacceptable but I’ll keep quiet, not that I have a chance of being anything else. It’s his birthday soon ... I will send a card ... I do feel so cross with him though. I feel so let down by the way he is behaving.... we’ve had ‘heart to hearts’ before but ultimately he believes I’m not a good grandmother because I don’t do everything that he expects of me. I work full time, have been poorly some years ago and my husband has also been poorly. My husband can be awkward and argues with my eldest granddaughter because he expects a certain amount of respect (he’s one of ten and doesn’t agree with this new fangled way of raising children with attitude).
Not even sure I want to mend bridges because it hurts so much when they stop me seeing the kids (this is the second time)
I’ve put so much into my grandson because I know my daughter would never stop me seeing him. I suppose it’s like self preservation that I won’t now allow myself to be hurt again ... but it’s so hard when you do love them and each day goes by that I’m missing them and they are missing out too

Tweedle24 Fri 28-Jun-19 18:14:45

Did something happen to cause him to cut off communication or, did it just come out of the blue?

stella1949 Fri 28-Jun-19 18:19:30

ultimately he believes I’m not a good grandmother because I don’t do everything that he expects of me

It's hard to know without any details of what you actually mean here. If you know how your son wants his children to be treated and you treat them differently, this is what can happen. The GC are his and if you contradict his methods of child rearing it's possible that he'll dislike it and stop you from seeing them.

If you want to see the grandchildren, maybe you do have to swallow your pride and try to build some bridges. Best wishes to you OP.

Alexa Fri 28-Jun-19 18:22:48

I think if it was me and my eldest son I'd tell him I'd do just as he wants regarding the children. If I was in your situation I'd be feeling terrible too. It could not get any worse if I humbled myself.

annodomini Fri 28-Jun-19 18:59:23

You say that he is married but don#t mention your DiL. I have a feeling that she must come into this story somehow. Are you telling the full story?

GoodMama Fri 28-Jun-19 19:18:35

I think there are a few red flags in your post that might shed some light on what happened.

First flag: you said you had 4 children but your oldest son was your life. This is not a healthy family dynamic. None of your children should be “your life”. Let alone just one out of your 4. You should have your own life and identity outside of being a mom (and now grandma). Perhaps he felt smothered. Perhaps with the closeness you felt to him you overstepped his parenting. Perhaps he feels you cross the boundary of appropriate relationship roles.

Second flag: You sent gifts to all of his children for his daughters birthday party. Why would you do this? You weren’t invited. Sending a gift, i suppose I understand but do question some, but to send a gift to all the kids is rude. It diminishes his daughters special day. It also makes your gifts all about you being the “super amazing, generous, thoughtful grandma and isn’t daddy mean for not inviting her” rather than making the party about the birthday girl. This was a big mistake.

Third flag: your husbands rudeness and your apparent agreement with him about how your son is raising his children. i.e. how he “doesn’t agree with this new fangled way of raising children with attitude”. You and your husbands opinion on how your son raises his children is irrelevant. It has no weight. They only thing your judgement does is push your son away. This attitude is incredibly rude and dismissive. It’s also silly, because who cares what you think? They aren’t your children.

Fourth flag: you have turned all of your smothering on your daughters son. Be very careful here. Other people’s children should not be your life or your whole happiness. This is very inappropriate.

OP, your post really put me back. Your anger and dismissive attitude towards your eldest son is obvious.

But be clear. I think you have an unhealthy dependency on your children and their children to make you feel happy and important. Your children are not alive to make you feel good. Their children do not exist to make you feel good.

My guess is you have massively overstepped in your sons parenting.

You don’t speak highly of your husband. I also imagine you made your son your “emotional spouse” and expected to assume a “emotional wifely” role to him and a “motherly” role to his children.

How many times has he tried to tell you to back off? How many times has he asked you to not do something and you did it anyway?

Your post is a great example of what not to do in a relationship with adult children and their children.

I understand my post here will elicit a defensive repose from you and likely other boundary-stomping posters. But please google “child as emotional spouse”. I think it might help you.

I really do want to help you. I’m hoping to shock you a bit with my honesty so perhaps you stop and think about what I’m saying.

Callistemon Fri 28-Jun-19 19:47:12

My husband can be awkward and argues with my eldest granddaughter because he expects a certain amount of respect

How old is this child (or how old was she) when your husband was arguing with her?
Did you agree with his attitude towards a child?

Perhaps she went home very upset because her Grandad was unkind towards her.

Mebster Fri 28-Jun-19 19:57:11

My mom's second husband was extremely rude to me and my children. In fact he was rude to everyone and ran off all her friends and even her long time housekeeper. I limited contact and would not send my kids for extended visits due to his conduct. She chose him over us, though I still visited and never cut her off.
Is it possible that your son feels you've chosen your current husband over them? It doesn't sound like he's the granddad.

Bordersgirl57 Fri 28-Jun-19 20:34:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sodapop Fri 28-Jun-19 20:47:55

Very harsh post GoodMama must be wonderful to be such a good parent. Us lesser mortals continue to struggle and even make mistakes. I'm sure you have made Grandmablue feel a whole lot better.
Sorry to hear of your problems Grandmablue maybe time to take a step back from your son and evaluate things. It's not easy being the parent of adult children and knowing when to leave them to get on with things in their own way.

agnurse Fri 28-Jun-19 21:21:46

sodapop

I think GoodMama may have raised some excellent points. Even if you don't like the delivery method, there is still something to consider about what she has to say.

GoodMama Fri 28-Jun-19 21:37:22

Sodapop, I understand and anticipated this reaction. But I fear you’ve missed my point entirely.
I hope Grandmablue is able to understand.
I am not intentionally harsh. I am intentionally pointed. I’m intentionally laying it out there honestly without coddling in the hopes of her seeing her mistakes and amending her behavior before her daughter follows in her brothers footsteps.

Urmstongran Fri 28-Jun-19 21:51:26

I think you’ve nailed it GoodMama

BlueBelle Fri 28-Jun-19 22:02:15

Do you know the reason your son stopped talking to you both times Try and be really honest with yourself about this have you or your husband upset the children or your son?

I don’t see anything wrong with sending the eldest daughter a gift at all goodmama I always gave a small ‘unbirthday’ present to the siblings whose birthday it wasn’t Grandmablue didn’t say anything about sending to all the children as you implied just her eldest grandchild got a present too
Do you think you ve upset your son by not conforming to the way he brings up his girls? Or could grandads strictness be at fault
It s a sad story with I think perhaps some background you are missing out

Grandmablue Fri 28-Jun-19 23:17:01

The reason my son has withdrawn contact with the girls (eldest is 6 and youngest 4) is because he wants me to have more contact not less ... goodmama couldn't he more wrong if she tried. My eldest son is 6 years older than my other children and I have always treated them exactly the same. He was and they are all a massive part of my life but I work really long hours which I enjoy. My husband had face cancer and lost his eye. He does not agree with the answering back that do many kids do now and as my sons wife is a social worker she raises the children via a book. My daughter and other boys don’t agree either, they have had serious ties with the eldest and it breaks my heart. I do not want to travel 30 miles at 8.30 on a Sunday morning to watch 5 year olds do gymnastics... sometimes but not every week ... so I’m a bad granny ... I did not buy ALL the children gifts - how silly! I bought my granddaughter birthday gifts and we had recently been in holiday where I purchased tee shirts for both girls which I put in the bag with the birthday gifts. I don’t think the poster was harsh but completely misread my post.
The first time he stopped talking was after they married and I told my DiLs sister how beautiful she looked - the DiL overheard and caused a bit of a stink, which appears to be her way ... but she’s my sons choice and that’s that. I urge the others not to fall out with him .. they are protective of me if he is rude but he is still my son and their brother.
Bordersgirl, I do hope things are better for you now

GoodMama Sat 29-Jun-19 00:03:47

Grandmablue, this is confusing. I find your two descriptive posts vastly different in tone and explanation. It’s as if two different people wrote them.

With this new information in this latest post I would say of course you are entitled to your own life life. You are right to prioritize your career and husband.
But this is all very odd.

Summerlove Sat 29-Jun-19 01:53:42

I’m sorry you’re having trouble with your son, It sounds like making him your world when he was younger really spoiled him. So to me, this sounds like exactly how you raised him. I don’t say that to be cruel, but to get you to look at it from an outside perspective.

With regards to your husband, the fact that he thinks respecting a child is a newfangled idea is really problematic. I hope you help him move past that before he alienated your other children/grand kids.

BlueBelle Sat 29-Jun-19 03:09:56

the reason my son has withdrawn contact with the girls is because he wants me to have more contact not less well that’s a bit daft how can you have more contact if the family have stopped talking to you and stopped you seeing the girls
Now from your second post it appears this is more about you not having a good relationship with your daughter in law She is a social worker and raised them by the book is this whole sorry business because you and your husband have different ideas than them about raising children and have made it vocal ?
Of course you don’t need to travel 30 miles early every Sunday morning to a gym class that would be ridiculous once in a while is about right are you sure your son has stopped talking to you and withdrawn your contact with your granddaughters because you don’t want to watch them every week, if so that’s very peculiar and very petty
You have a 6 year old and 4 year old granddaughters but re the gym class you say a group of 5 year olds ??? just trying to work this all out
They are protective of me if he’s rude why would your son be rude to you and how do your other children know he is?
So if I ve got this right
contact has been lost because you don’t go to the gym class early every Sunday ...... well that s unrealistic
Contact was previously lost because you said your daughter in laws sister looked beautiful and she got upset ??? Stranger
Are you truly sure you have done nothing to upset the applecart as this all sounds very petty and minor and I seem more muddled now after your second post about the family dynamics than before
It all sounds very inoffensive as you describe it but maybe you are only seeing what you want to see... I just can’t picture this story very easily

Grandmablue Sat 29-Jun-19 07:58:15

You’re right Bluebelle, everything I do is wrong - they like routine, specific dates and times etc. They always go swimming on a Friday, Tuesday is bath night, with my son (I was told I could FaceTime at 5.30 on a Tuesday evening if I wanted to speak to them while my son bathed them) the gym class is a mixture of 5-7 year olds .... yes I’ve done lots wrong, of course I have. Re the being rude - I set up an invite on a messenger page for a meal for some special occasion... eldest son ignored it and ‘removed himself’ from the group. My youngest son was angry that eldest is so rude and disrespectful... they had a big argument but it’s all forgotten now thank goodness .. with regard to my husband, he prefers children who say please and thank you and do not kick their grandmother in the stomach. He feels if asked to do something nicely then there shouldn’t be an argument about it. My son asked me to help with childcare when my eldest granddaughter started school, so I booked the days and half days off work - then when it came to the day she didn’t want to come because it was boring. She found the journey to my house from her nursery boring (about 40 minutes) so she stopped coming over night too ... it’s lovely to hear other people’s opinions ... how differently people see things from the outside. It’s so easy to only see one perspective when your opinion is shadowed by hurt feelings.

Grandma70s Sat 29-Jun-19 08:05:43

Slightly irrelevant comment: I didn’t ‘raise’ anyone. I brought them up. Is this an age thing?

BlueBelle Sat 29-Jun-19 08:32:46

Ok so basically it’s all gone wrong because you and your husband have very different ways of bringing up kids
You ve done it your way they need to do it theirs If they need rigid routine and timed events that’s just how it is and the way they choose to parent I really don’t see a problem with being told the best time to face time is 5.30 etc you are truely blessed that you were included in their lives by FaceTiming
As for the message group thing, for some families this works but for some it’s too intrusive perhaps your son doesn’t want to be part of a group (much better if he’d told you personally but..) I think it’s best in future to message or better still speak to them all individually, perhaps he was embarrassed if he had to say no in front of the others or perhaps you re right and he is just rude, but he’s yours 😊
I get the feeling you think you’re grandkids are spoiled and indulged and maybe those feelings have been noted and not appreciated
By the way we ve all don’t loads wrong I know I have made silly remarks or decisions or spoken out when I shouldn’t
I d give it a space then try again but keep your thoughts and feelings firmly inside your head and don’t think their way is wrong it’s right for them if not you

vena11 Sat 29-Jun-19 08:41:18

This is all so confusing .

Grandmablue Sat 29-Jun-19 08:58:34

Thanks Bluebelle, yes everyone has different ways of raising children. The FaceTime thing worked well until a meeting over ran and I received a text message asking if I had forgotten his children .... not sure it will ever be resolved. We have large family lunches and it always feels so sad that he is there too ... I always strived to treat them all the same so feel he misses out which feels so sad.
Anyway this was mostly about differences. I can report I have received a message from him last night
‘Cheers for *******s present 👍🏻‘ well I guess it’s something

Grandmablue Sat 29-Jun-19 08:59:42

Venall... yes it’s confusing and sad.

BlueBelle Sat 29-Jun-19 10:13:06

Look the door is open he’s thanked you I d take great hope in that Keep your opinions tight within your heart and hopefully he will come round but maybe he’s not a person ( or his wife isn’t a person) who enjoys big family get together
I have three children two have raised their children similarly to how I raised them one very much so, the other with some differences a bit more controlling and protective but on the whole fairly similar the third one has probably done everything completely opposite I do not even recognise her parenting her way of bringing them up is alien to me with no structure, but they have grown up pretty ok kids and when they come to stay they adjust to my ways and seem to like it but immediately resort back to living in a bit of a pigsty with few regulations when they go home
Keep your chin up grandma your heart open and your mouth a bit closed to negatives (it’s hard many of us have to learn too)