Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Dilemma

(32 Posts)
Gamms Tue 08-Dec-20 01:57:35

A dear friend of mine has seven grandchildren. Six are warm, caring, and loving. The seventh, who is 12, apparently is cold and distant and by all accounts extremely self-centred. My friend has never been able to warm up to her. The truth be told, she doesn’t want any type of relationship with her granddaughter.

Does anyone know of anyone else that has or does feel this way about a grandchild? I would like to help my friend through this but I don’t know how.

Hithere Tue 08-Dec-20 02:51:01

Dangerous territory, she doesnt want to be accused of favouritism.

I think she should try to be as engaging with this gc as she is with the rest.
If gc and parents choose not to reciprocate, she has done all she can.

Lolo81 Tue 08-Dec-20 05:46:02

Agree with hithere, treat these children equally. As much as she might be a pain, she is still just a child who is learning and testing boundaries.

OceanMama Tue 08-Dec-20 06:08:05

I do know of one grandmother who has been in this situation but the gma made an effort to treat the gc equally.

If these were my children and gma wanted to exclude one child, they wouldn't be having a relationship with any of my children. It's unfortunate but favouritism is so damaging to all children involved.

BlueBelle Tue 08-Dec-20 06:09:53

Treat them equally of course it shouldn’t even be needed to ask
Maybe there’s a reason perhaps she struggles more than the others maybe she has some mental health tendencies she’s her granddaughter maybe she needs more understanding and certainly not less love

mumofmadboys Tue 08-Dec-20 07:36:56

It is the same with your own kids at times. Sometimes one or two of them are more likeable than others ( and this may vary over time) but it is essential to love them all equally.

PollyDolly Tue 08-Dec-20 07:52:25

Are there traits within your friend that the GC has "inherited"? It sounds to me as if the child is behaving just like your friend, if that's the case little wonder the child behaves that way!
I have several GC, all different characters and personalities but I love them all the same. Surely it's important to engage with children on their level, not our own!
I think this particular grandmother should grown up!

Grannynannywanny Tue 08-Dec-20 08:02:31

cold and distant and by all accounts extremely self-centred. My friend has never been able to warm up to her. The truth be told, she doesn’t want any type of relationship with her granddaughter

Im sorry but I think it’s your friend who sounds cold and distant. It’s beyond me that any grandparent could say that about one of her GC.

The poor child has likely already picked up on her lack of affection and feels awkward around her grandmother. What a sad situation for that child.

M0nica Tue 08-Dec-20 08:36:02

The poor child has been labelled and that label predicates how her grandmother behaves towards her.

Has the grandmother ever thought or considered why the child is like this? The child could be autistic, could have experienced sex abuse or just got a jumble of genes that make her like that. This child probably needs the love, warmth and attention of a loving grandmother more than all the other grandchildren put together.

As others say, she should grow up and stop acting like a child herself.

lemsip Tue 08-Dec-20 09:23:43

is this really your grandchild? When people write with a problem they always say 'my friend! Just wondered!

maybe this child is mildly autistic. My mother had six children and she always reminded us that you never get two the same!

wildswan16 Tue 08-Dec-20 09:51:12

Poor child. There can be many reasons why some children aren't as open and forthcoming as others. Please just treat her with the same friendliness as you would to any child.

Maybe she is shy, lacking in confidence, hurting, etc etc. I'm sure she has noticed she is different to her cousins and probably doesn't know what to do about it so retreats into herself.

Lucretzia Tue 08-Dec-20 09:55:08

What a shame!

Tell her to be kind to this girl

She's the adult

How awful to have a Grandma that wants nothing to do with you.

Toadinthehole Tue 08-Dec-20 10:05:39

Awww, how sad...I can’t imagine it😢. No matter how a child behaves, it’s not for the grandparent to sort out, it’s for the parents. I presume they’re not all living with her, and she sees them sporadically, as most of us do perhaps with grandchildren. Surely she should be able to cope. I think it’s quite normal for a twelve year old to be self centred and cold, with hormones kicking in. Or has she always been like this? Is there anything else? Whatever the answers, the most she could do is to discuss with the parents. She may then find out why she behaves as she does. Please don’t let her switch off though, my granny was the rock when I felt my parents weren’t. The age I remember this the most was 12!

Chewbacca Tue 08-Dec-20 10:07:12

A friend of mine had 3 children; all lovely, well balanced and affectionate. But one of their grandmother's made it crystal clear that she disliked one of those children. She would knit for 2, but not the 3rd. She took great care to choose the prefect birthday and Christmas gift for 2 but the 3rd was lucky if they got anything at all. She would invite 2 for a sleepover, but not the 3rd. And on it went, with one child being deliberately excluded. The situation was discussed between the parents and GM many times but she simply said "we can't like everyone in life can we?", and carried on as before. As the children grew, all 3 recognised that the problem wasn't with child 3, but with their GM and they simply accepted it and pitied and laughed about her.
GM eventually died and in her will, she left everything, not surprisingly, to 2 GC, excluding the 3rd entirely. But her spite and ill will back fired on her because the 2 "favoured" GC simply divided their inheritance 3 ways, not 2. And GM was never referred to again by any of them.

Grannynannywanny Tue 08-Dec-20 11:01:40

Chewbacca that woman sounds like she was a thoroughly nasty person. Pity her inexcusable behaviour wasn’t nipped in the bud sooner. I’m afraid I wouldn’t have wanted her near any of the children.

Blossoming Tue 08-Dec-20 11:29:09

I feel so sorry for that unloved child.

cornishpatsy Tue 08-Dec-20 12:00:41

Maybe the child is cold and distant as she has picked up on her grandmother not liking her.

Esspee Tue 08-Dec-20 12:01:30

I always believed children were all innocent until I met a child my granddaughter was visiting on a play date. The child gave off a malevolent feeling which thoroughly spooked me. Looking into her eyes was like confronting evil. I have warned my son to watch when his little one is with her. The older sister is lovely and best friends with my oldest granddaughter but the younger child..............

Grannynannywanny Tue 08-Dec-20 12:08:31

Esspee I wouldn’t know where to start with your post. You’ve labelled a young child malevolent and evil because you didn’t like the look of her???

Esspee Tue 08-Dec-20 12:39:06

Not at all Grannynannywanny she is a lovely looking child but interacting with her gave me goosebumps. I have had similar reactions to adults but never ever to a child. Clearly you have not had the misfortune to experience this so please do not feel you need to comment.

Esspee Tue 08-Dec-20 12:41:57

I should also point out that on at least two occasions my reaction to adult males who gave me goosebumps turned out to be totally vindicated. Just accept some people are more sensitive than others. G

sodapop Tue 08-Dec-20 12:46:10

I think your friend needs to remember who is the adult here Gamms there is often one child in a family who struggles with relationships etc. It's down to your friend to help her or at the very least include her in the same way she does the other grandchildren.

Hithere Tue 08-Dec-20 13:01:29

Offtopic, unrelated to thread: it is true that instincts and gut feeling warn a person of danger.

Grannynannywanny Tue 08-Dec-20 17:06:47

Sorry Esspee but the “Looking into her eyes was like confronting evil” comment shocked me. I’ve never ever heard an adult express that opinion about a young child.

Tangerine Tue 08-Dec-20 19:50:55

Your friend should treat all her grandchildren equally. It is only right and proper. It will backfire on her if she doesn't do so.

It is true that some people are more likeable than others and you can take to some children more than others but it is wrong to let such a feeling show.