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Adult children

(27 Posts)
RandomNan Sun 03-Jan-21 16:25:06

First time poster but very long time lurker- sorry for the long post but I’d appreciate the views of the wise Grans here please !
My adult DS 33 and DD 30 do not see eye- to - eye, this has been apparent for a while - since he met and married his wife but more so since DD has had her 2 children.
They have fallen out a couple of times since the start of the this years lockdowns but last week they had a huge row because she broke the rules to see a very vulnerable and depressed friend outdoors on a walk.
He says she doesn’t care about people enough to stay home and follow the rules she says that their circumstances are very different and it’s easier for some people to adhere strictly to the rules - whatever.
As always I’m stuck here in the middle, missing my grandchildren terribly, following the rules and like everyone, wanting everything back to normal.
I feel he is very much using this situation to find fault and reasons to conveniently be unpleasant to and about his sister but he lives with me at the moment and I’m not good with dealing with conflict so don’t want to provoke him into an argument with me because ultimately, he’s right in this instance -she shouldn’t have met the friend outdoors for a walk.
Today she stopped by the house in the car to drop off some things so me and her 3 year old daughter was calling in through the door to my son, she called and called bless her and he ignored her which she was visibly upset about. I feel so sad that I could have raised him to be the type of man that can be spiteful to a small child and want to say something about this but can’t seem to chose words which will have any impact on the situation. All I want is for them to be able to be pleasant enough to meet up as a family in the future without me feeling stressed that an argument will happen. I don’t know whether I need to have a word or just try and deal with my own emotions around all of this conflict- what would you do or say in this situation ?

RandomNan Sun 03-Jan-21 16:35:38

*drop off some things to me not ‘so me’ 🙄

Curlywhirly Sun 03-Jan-21 16:46:32

Well no matter what has gone on between them, he should not be taking it out on a child, that's just despicable. If it was one of my sons, I would be having a very strong word with him about it (and I absolutely hate confrontation and avoid it all costs, but even I wouldn't be able to keep quiet about that kind of behaviour).

FarNorth Sun 03-Jan-21 16:52:03

I agree with Curlywhirly.
I'd tell him I was keeping out of the quarrel between him and his sister but there's no reason to be unkind to a little child.

Btw, I don't think your DD did wrong if she was distanced and the friend really needed support.

FarNorth Sun 03-Jan-21 16:53:28

I feel so sad that I could have raised him to be the type of man that can be spiteful to a small child

You have already found the words!

AGAA4 Sun 03-Jan-21 16:54:25

Some siblings just never get on and there is conflict whenever they meet. I think it is taking it too far when a child is caught up in this. Your DS was wrong to ignore his niece. That was unforgivable.
I would have to mention it to him but not get involved in quarrels with his sister.

Smileless2012 Sun 03-Jan-21 16:59:50

Yes I agree with you too Curlywhirly. It's up to your S and D to sort out their relationship or not RandomNan but for your S to deliberately ignore his 3 year old niece is despicable and extremely hypocritical of someone remonstrating with their sister that she "doesn't care enough about people ......".

Hithere Sun 03-Jan-21 17:05:34

What farnorth said

Bibbity Sun 03-Jan-21 17:13:24

I disagree. Your daughter was right.
She room the steps possible to potentially save her friend while staying safe.

So on one hand you have a daughter who does what is in her power to help someone. And a son of who will spite a 3 year old.

Why are you in the middle? I know where I would stand.

crazyH Sun 03-Jan-21 17:21:30

Ignoring his little niece is totally unforgvable. I think you should tell him that you noticed it. His sister and he can sort their problems out themselves, but the little one is an innocent victim of the conflict.
My middle son doesn’t get on with his older sister. He has always been a difficult boy. She’s no angel either. Add his wife into the mix and there’s always fireworks. I dread family get-togethers. So, I can see how the situation has affected you. Just watch them battle it out, but don’t interfere. All the best !!

Oopsadaisy1 Sun 03-Jan-21 17:26:34

I can understand you not wanting to get in the middle, but surely if either of them say anything that is totally owrong you would correct them?
IMO your DD didn’t do anything wrong in meeting someone outdoors in what seems to be an emergency and your Son was totally wrong to ignore his niece.

I wouldn’t be on the fence on this occasion.

RandomNan Sun 03-Jan-21 17:27:56

Thank you all, exactly as I thought. I actually feel embarrassed that he could be like this and I’m going to pluck up the courage to say so too. I’m glad I’ve got my feet wet in the Gransnet forums and hope I can add some value and help someone else at some point too !

sodapop Sun 03-Jan-21 17:32:51

Good on you Randomnan sometimes we just have to say what we think.

25Avalon Sun 03-Jan-21 17:43:09

Sometimes you need to say things to men and let it compost for a few days to take effect. I think I would say “did you not hear little ...... calling you? She really likes you and was so disappointed that you didn’t reply” then go quiet and leave it to ferment, which it will if he has a conscience and you have not been confrontational. If it doesn’t there’s not much hope I’m afraid.

geekesse Sun 03-Jan-21 17:43:49

First things first. You need to address this directly with him head on. If he can’t be civil to your granddaughter when he’s living in your house, he needs to find somewhere else to live. Why is he living in your house, anyway?

Second, you can’t make things right between warring siblings. When they are away from you, how they relate to one another is their problem, not yours. You should refuse to discuss the things that annoy them about one another, and never take sides.

Smileless2012 Sun 03-Jan-21 17:47:07

Let us know how you get on RandomNan and there's no need for you to be embarrassed; he's a man and responsible for his own behaviour.

Urmstongran Sun 03-Jan-21 17:53:36

I feel for you Randomnan as this is all the more difficult under your roof. You will be privy to more than you bargained for because of it.

I’d be tempted to try it as 25Avalon suggests first. But be prepared to back it up later by saying ‘either sort yourselves out or move out as I’m not happy getting upset in my own home, it’s your choice’.

Good luck!

BrightandBreezy Sun 03-Jan-21 18:09:55

Your son seems unnecessarily judgemental towards his sister regarding her seeing a friend in need out of doors. I am in Tier 4 and, as I understand the rules, one person from a household can meet up with one other person from a different household out of doors. Many people are on the edge at the moment and it seems that your daughter did what she could to help a friend while sticking to the rules.

I think that I would be checking up on that rule if I were in your shoes. If the above is correct I would be telling him that he is mistaken in assuming his sister breaking the rules. I think 25Avalon's approach regarding your little gd would be wise. I don't think he would ignore her another time if you take that approach. It is very difficult for you with one of the siblings living in your home flowers

GrannySomerset Sun 03-Jan-21 18:16:20

You can’t make your children like one another - mine don’t and whole family gatherings (remember those?) are kept short for that reason. Upsetting a three year old is pathetic and your DS deserves to be taken to task for that, but on the whole I would keep out of their disagreements. Whatever lies behind their quarrel is their problem and not yours, much as we would like everyone to get on well. Good luck!

Chewbacca Sun 03-Jan-21 18:16:24

Irrespective of whether your daughter broke the rules or not, I can't get past a grown man ignoring a little child who was calling out to him. That would be the deal breaker for me.

Sara1954 Sun 03-Jan-21 18:58:27

I have a lot of sympathy. My single adult son is absolutely horrible to his sister’s children, I don’t know where it comes from because as a young man he was much kinder and far more tolerant
We are all involved in the same family business, so they are in and out a lot, especially last year, and they’re well behaved and helpful.
My husband and I tell him to stop being so horrible, but he takes no notice, I can’t imagine what the rest of the staff think!
I could cry sometimes, I feel that ashamed of him.
I’m sorry I’m no help, just thought it might help to know you’re not on your own

Hetty58 Sun 03-Jan-21 19:13:04

RandomNan, adult children (everybody, really) will have differences of opinion. They should learn to 'agree to disagree' and stay civil - out of respect for you.

I've found that the best approach is to make it plainly obvious that the bickering is upsetting you.

I'm worried about your 'wanting everything back to normal' comment, though. Don't you realise the impossibility of that?

RandomNan Sun 03-Jan-21 20:12:06

Thank you Sara - yes it does help, know others empathise from experience.

Hetty-surely we would all like everything back to normal ?!

Hetty58 Sun 03-Jan-21 20:17:37

RandomNan, Surely, we don't! Why the wish to return to the ideal conditions - for the next pandemic? We need to change things drastically!

RandomNan Mon 04-Jan-21 11:34:02

Thanks Hetty but the ‘Normal’ I was referring to was in relation to my family and not the conditions needed to avoid another pandemic