This is my first ever post & I was really hoping to get some advice, regarding my parents and the way are with my daughter.
I'm 40 and have one child, my daughter who is 10. She is my parents only grandchild and this situation is unlikely to change.
Ever since she was born my parents never showed any interest in her, never came to visit, never babysat, never made an effort on birthdays/xmas etc...I have found this very hard to cope with over the years, but eventually after many years I accepted that they will never change and got on with my life, but as my daughter is getting older (she will be 11 in February) and I am finding it increasingly difficult to 'shield' her from this situation.
I always worry about this in the run up to xmas, but this year I can feel myself getting very down & anxious about it. On Monday my daughter was invited to a friends after school and the next day, she told me that her friend already had lots of presents under their tree and that apparently they were all from the child's grandparents. This made my heart sink, I'm not a materialistic person at all, we have always brought our daughter up to believe that Christmas is about family & we donate to the local foodbank & I consider myself very to be Eco conscious and we have brought my daughter a 2nd hand Fitbit and a 2nd hand Lego set as presents from ourselves this year, partly for costs reasons, but also I'm trying to be more environmentally aware, but despite this, when my daughter told me about her friends grandparents and that she had seen all of these presents, it really hurt & I could see the realisation over my daughters face, that her grandparents are 'different' and not in a particularly nice way. My parents don't make an effort at Christmas and all the time my daughter was young, she didn't fully realise this & we could 'brush it off' and so it didn't really have an impact, but she has grown up so much in the last year and I'm worried that this year I wont be able to hide their insensitivity. It is isn't just about money at all, the one present they do give to my daughter each year is often very thoughtless, for example last year they got my daughter a book but the book was in a series and they got her number 3 of 7, so it made no sense, unless you had read the other 2! The Christmas before, I asked if they could get her the greatest showman dvd as she loves this film and I knew it was only £10 in Tesco's at the time, so I felt safe to suggest this as it was fairly inexpensive, and they did actually buy it for her, but they decided not to give it to her as they wanted to 'hold it over for her birthday'?? K was gobsmacked. Instead they got some plastic gimmicky glasses which have just sat at the bottom of her cupboard ever since.
I wouldn't care if they didn't buy my daughter anything, but if they came around & played board games with her and interacted, this would be creating happy memories which she would remember, but they have never done this and I now dread their cheap and thoughtless present on Boxing Day.
My daughter isn't materialistic either, but obviously like any child she likes to receive presents! and we try to make it special for her, I just wondered if anyone has any advice on how to handle this issue I have never in my 10 years of parenting ever met someone else in the same situation and so have never had anyone to discuss this with. My husbands parents are both no longer with us, they passed many years ago and this seams to magnify the situation as my parents are her only grandparents.
Not that its at all relevant, but I just wanted to add, my parents are not in any sort of financial hardship, if they were I wouldn't want or expect them to get my daughter anything. They live very comfortably in a 4 bedroom house, both their parents are sadly deceased, one recently and they both inherited sizeable amount following this. I don't want this to be about money, but just wanted to illustrate how it is even harder for me to explain their apparent and I hate to use this word, but I cant this of anything else for it 'stingyness'.
If anyone could offer any advice on how to handle this or has had a similar experience I would be very grateful.
Thanks Bel xx
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