Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

how to handle rejection from grandchildren

(26 Posts)
jlamothe4017 Mon 05-Apr-21 15:00:15

When my son and his wife had their first baby I was so excited to become a grandmother. I couldn't wait to do all the things grandmother's do. But at the age of about 2 my grand daughter told me she didn't like me and it just broke my heart and I don't understand why she would say this! I feel like I failed as a grandparent and I don't know what I had done to make her feel this way at such a young age! I just continued to show her that I still love her and she is now 5 and she has warmed up to me. Then my son and his wife had a second child and she is doing the same thing! I have never heard of anyone else going through this and I don't understand it. All I try to do is show them love, but now the youngest one doesn't even want to have anything to do with me. She always just asks for grandpa and she won't give me hug or hardly look at me! I don't know how to handle this. Is it a learned thing from their parents? My daughter-in-law acts cold towards me also at times and I don't understand what I have done to deserve this and I feel like if I say something I will just start an argument and make things worse. I am just hearkbroken!

Peasblossom Mon 05-Apr-21 15:15:53

To be honest two-year olds don’t love anybody except themselves. Even the people they cling to are only there to meet their needs, as far as they are concerned. So grandpa is flavour of the moment because he’s providing for some kind of need, in some kind of way. He probably has a bigger lap or feels stronger and more secure.

You have to wait for them to mature a bit if you want reciprocated love, as you’ve found out.

I think you’re expecting too much maybe and they can feel you want more than they can give, so they push you away.

tanith Mon 05-Apr-21 15:18:36

As you have learned with the first child she will grow out of it. She’s just testing you and her own ability to manipulate as young as she is. Just carry on as you are and ignore it till she comes around she will change.

M0nica Mon 05-Apr-21 15:20:31

A 2 year old tells you she doesn't love you and you feel a failure as a grandparent? A two year old. For heaven's sake, little ones like this decide they they love and do not love adults at the drop of a hat.

For several years, as an under 5, my DGS would swerve round me to get to his grandpa every time we visited. He was absolutely fascinated by him. My heart never skipped a heart beat. He is now 10 and we get on extremely well, have our little secrets and his Easter card this years says how he misses us and wants to see us.

If thses childish whims bother you so much, it strikes me that you are being too intense and try too hard to show love and be the perfect grandparent. There is more to life than being a grand parent.

Step back, let the children gradually find you nd learn about you. Keep kisses and hugs to a minumum. I think it quite possible at the moment that your intense grandmothering is scaring them off.

Polarbear2 Mon 05-Apr-21 15:27:35

When mine did that to me I went to hug my DD. They stop and look and you can see little brains whirring. They’ll come round. Try to relax and enjoy your DS and DiL instead. My DD got fed up with being ignored in favour of the kids so I make sure I give her attention too. (Hugs pre Covid before anyone jumps ).

Tea3 Mon 05-Apr-21 15:33:42

My second grandchild is not very taken with me. It was a bit of a surprise as the first one became very attached from babyhood. I try to let it go and do my best to treat them equally, telling myself it will be interesting to see how things develop as they get older. The upside of not being so popular is you are not preferred when it comes to nappy changing, toilet visits, reading The Gruffalo for the hundredth time or generally being available for playing during every second of the visit, as was the case when grandchild number one was a toddler.

Jaxjacky Mon 05-Apr-21 15:40:34

Perfectly normal for young children, wouldn’t bother me, I think you’ve already been well advised by others, you’re reading too much into DIL influencing them.

DiscoDancer1975 Mon 05-Apr-21 16:09:38

Honestly, don’t worry about it. The older child is fine now isn’t she, and the younger one will follow suit. It’s just kids being kids, and a two year old has no perception of how the things she says will be received. You DIL is probably fine too, just a busy mum. You’re most likely a bit over sensitive now. We’ve had this with our grandchildren. Sometimes grandad is flavour of the month, and then me. This is more evident in the girls than the boys, I must say. Just be yourself and all will be well.

sodapop Mon 05-Apr-21 16:15:15

I agree with MOnica you are reading too much into this. It's normal toddler behaviour and you are expecting too much from the child. Relax and let the children come to you when they are ready.

Sara1954 Mon 05-Apr-21 16:26:04

I’m sure it’s hurtful, but as others have said, a two year old doesn’t know who she does or doesn’t like.
I agree with Tea3, sit back and enjoy everyone else’s company, while grandpa or mummy play endless games and read the same book fifty times.
Your turn will come, in the meantime, be cool!
My best friends daughter, my goddaughter, didn’t like me, she wouldn’t get out of the car and come in the house, she said we were funny (not in the good way) when she was coaxed inside, she wouldn’t speak to anyone. It didn’t last.

Jane43 Mon 05-Apr-21 16:30:08

A child is egocentric until the age of around 7, they are concerned only with themselves and their needs. When a young child says hurtful things it is learned behaviour not a reflection of their true feelings. Just be a constant in their lives and they will eventually become mature enough to appreciate you properly.

sharke61 Mon 02-Oct-23 11:35:43

thanks for that advice. My 16 month child loves her grandfather but pushes me away. Its heart breaking. Hopefully things will get better.

Theexwife Mon 02-Oct-23 11:51:35

2-year-olds are fickle so doubt it is you, but do look at the difference between what you and their grandfather do, could you be too intense? Do you say no more often? Do you want too many cuddles?

sharke61 Tue 03-Oct-23 04:08:58

Thanks . Yes I probably say no a bit. It’s been like this on and off 6 months. They are interstate so see them occasionally. But when she sees her grandad it’s hugs and kisses - not me. I’m not grandma by blood. Surely that can’t be the reason. I’m also intense - hopeless really ha ha

marymary62 Fri 03-Nov-23 10:02:54

Just cool it. Find a common interest and talk more . My grandchildren get on well with both me and grandpa (they are 3 and 5) and lone playing and reading. Neither of them like cuddles and the 3 year old says I can never ever do bedtime ..😂. But it’s ok we have precious time together and we’re all happy - take your cue from them .

BlueBelle Fri 03-Nov-23 10:42:06

Just like cats they ll go to the person who least wants them around because they are totally sure of the other ones affections
Don’t show it bothers you, greet them both in the same way and take no notice if the younger one sidles off to her mum or someone else or turns her back
A sweet or little cheapo toy out of the pocket once in a while helps to
But basically don’t worry ‘it’s a phase’

cornergran Fri 03-Nov-23 10:51:01

You’ve been advised wisely jl. Try to relax a bit and focus on your son or daughter in law. Our grandson did and occasionally still does body swerve around me to get to his preferred playmate. I’m always his favourite when he wants food though grin. It will pass, just be relaxed and enjoy their pleasure at being together.

wildswan16 Fri 03-Nov-23 11:24:13

This thread is 2.5 years old.


cornergran Fri 03-Nov-23 11:31:39

So it is! Memo to self. Read the dates. Would love to know how things are now though.

paddyann54 Fri 03-Nov-23 11:41:52

GD number 3 used to tell me I wasn't her favourite granny .That was fine as we cant be everyones favourite and her other GP's live 400 miles away so she only sees them a few times a year .Now shes nearly a teenager we have a brilliant relationship and she's always first to organise sleepovers and baking days with me her sister and her cousins.Inever worried or was hurt when she said it ,its the same as when their parents tell them" give granny a hug" and they say no,leave them be ,I hated all the kisses and cuddles when multiple Aunties and Uncles visited.
They have to want to be with you for it to mean something

Sago Fri 03-Nov-23 15:36:44

This is an old thread.

Gigime Sun 26-Nov-23 13:34:23

I am step grandma. Grandkids are 5&7. They act like I am not present. Their father is very critical of me (expresses it to them in front of me and probably in conversation) and kind of acts the same way toward me. My stepson is an only child and 44 years old. We moved to live near them 2 years ago. My husband feels he does not even seem glad to see his dad many times.
Love my daughter in law. He is very controlling.
What to do or think!

Madgran77 Sun 26-Nov-23 16:03:39


I am step grandma. Grandkids are 5&7. They act like I am not present. Their father is very critical of me (expresses it to them in front of me and probably in conversation) and kind of acts the same way toward me. My stepson is an only child and 44 years old. We moved to live near them 2 years ago. My husband feels he does not even seem glad to see his dad many times.
Love my daughter in law. He is very controlling.
What to do or think!

I suggest you start your own thread to get answers to your questions. Otherwise many/ some may read the original OP and just answer that without seeing your post!?

Nannyof4mummyof2 Sun 26-Nov-23 16:51:00

I can understand this maybeyour relationship could be better with their parents if your an emotional person its hurts particularly if youve had abandonment issuesor rejection i am not saying for one moment youve had any of these difficulties but if you feel sad about your connection its very real for you and no one should make you feel worse about it and yes young children do have a FEEL for people rightly or wrongly again its their emotions please just step back a bit and dont rely on their happiness for yours xx

grandmalynn Wed 29-Nov-23 12:06:18

when my granddaughter was 4, she told me that I 'should just die now because you don't have long left anyway'. this broke my heart 💔. but, after lots of sweets and movie nights I think she's warming up to me, now she only tells me to die when I tell her to brush her teeth (she hates this!) . sometimes our weak bond makes me cry, especually after grandpa joe died. but i know if i keep trying she will learn to love me!!! thank you for reading.