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Grandparents who show no interest in their grandchild.

(67 Posts)
cheekychops61 Sun 16-Jun-19 12:02:02

My daughter has been married for eight years and her and her husband have a seven year old son and a new baby due in August. My daughter frequently gets herself upset as her mother in law shows absolutely no interest in said grandson. My daughter has really tried over the years sending pictures etc which she will look at but never responds to. The final straw bearing in mind she only lives ten minutes away from them is that there was no acknowledgement whatsoever of grandsons recent birthday, not a card or even a phonecall. In fact the last time she saw him was Boxing Day. Son in law can see what is going on but tends to defend his mother. The only consolation is that she is like this with her other grandchild. I know you can't force anyone to have a relationship with their grandchildren but it makes me so sad that they are both missing out. I know my daughter is thinking how many chances do you give someone who is totally disinterested and is now talking about not letting her see the new baby straight away. I might add she had shown no interest in daughters pregnancy and has only asked after her once at a family gathering. Sorry for the rant.

EllanVannin Sun 16-Jun-19 12:37:29

This is a new one on me, how very sad. Poor children, they've done nothing. I can't/don't really understand this non-interest as I've never come across it.
Grandchildren are a delightful part of life and I'm so thankful that I've been a part of all of them in the family including step-grandchildren too.

mumofmadboys Sun 16-Jun-19 12:50:05

I think your DD just has to accept it and not react or get upset by it. She needs to change because it is unlikely her MIL will change. I think she should let MIL see new baby when MIL wishes to.At least one set of GPs are interested. It is the MIL who is missing out and your GS will notice her disinterest if he hasn't already. It is important it doesn't cause rows between your DD and SIL . Hope things improve.

Gonegirl Sun 16-Jun-19 12:58:51

Does your daughter ever take grandson and knock on her door? Perhaps after school one day.

Gonegirl Sun 16-Jun-19 13:00:12

Does your son in law ever visit her?

BlueBelle Sun 16-Jun-19 13:25:30

I totally agree with mumofmadboys you can’t make someone react how you want or expect them to Perhaps mum in law isn’t interested in children or maybe she has her own problems but none of that makes a scrap of difference she has made her decision not to engage and there’s nothing you can do about it so you are causing yourselves unnecessary worry
Your grandkids have one set of grandparents and that is more than many, I have two grandkids who literally have one mum and one nan nothing else at all
It is what it is

alchemilla Sun 16-Jun-19 13:32:25

She's clearly just not maternal. I must admit (apart from my DC) I was never interested in babies or children until they could engage, which is a fault in me.

It's a shame for both sides but I think your DD should just give up. If her DH wants to engage his DM, let him. It's clearly not against your DD and GC since she's like it with the other GC.

Day6 Sun 16-Jun-19 13:52:57

I think it is a very sad situation. I do not understand how anyone could not want to see and be involved in the life of a grandchild. (And I feel sorry for anyone estranged through no fault of their own)

However, we are all different. Must admit, I didn't particularly want to be a grandparent, but when our DGC were born and I first held them in my arms, that rush of love for them was describable.

Some women aren't particularly maternal. I had a colleague who avoided babies, toddlers, and young children too because she found them a nuisance and tiring. She had a very full life, intended to live it and used to say she didn't enjoy motherhood much. Fortunately her daughter didn't want children and she described that as 'dodging a bullet".

I would stop making overtures if I were your daughter. Her MIL needs to make the first move. It will only be upsetting for the grandchildren if her mother in law blows in and out of their lives with no real interest and little commitment.

sodapop Sun 16-Jun-19 15:28:27

Yes it is sad but clearly the lady in question does not want any involvement. I agree with
mumofmadboys too. Your grandchildren have loving parents and you cheekychops so they are lucky in that. Just accept that's how things are and enjoy your family life. Don't close the door though its always possible things may change.

Namsnanny Sun 16-Jun-19 16:05:42

Cheekychops...if your daughter can step back and try not to worry about this (perhaps you could help by not making too much of the problem).
She would find her children won’t care too much either!
They have you for a good example.
Just let her do her own thing without comment.

One thing Gonegirl said got me thinking...does her son visit of his own volition, does she seem happy with the relationship between you all in general?

annsixty Sun 16-Jun-19 16:08:18

My D did seperate from her husband after 23 years of marriage, they have 2 children now aged 20 and 16.
Their paternal GP' S have never shown any interest in them.
They are now both in their 90's so the situation is not going to change.
The GM is a step and has no children of her own.
They showed very marginal interest when they were born but none since.
They send cheques at Christmas and birthdays but that is it.
My D and GC are just used to it.
When they visit me they will call about once a year but 15 mins and they will leave again.
I don't think that they give them a thought between those visits.

Sara65 Sun 16-Jun-19 16:25:05

I agree, some people simply don’t want to engage with young children, to be honest I don’t think it’s that unusual, she may connect with them better when they’re a bit older.

If I were your daughter I’d just give her the opportunity of seeing the children, but not force it, as others have said, it’s her loss!

One set of loving grandparents is more than some children have

Madgran77 Sun 16-Jun-19 16:29:18

Wise advice from mumofmadboys

cheekychops61 Sun 16-Jun-19 16:35:25

Thanks for your replies everyone. gonegirl the suggestion of knocking on their doors is a good one but unfortunately everyone works plus his mum and stepdad are both really heavy smokers and grandson is asthmatic. Luckily grandson has a good relationship with us and his great grandad -mother in laws dad. I have told my daughter to take a step back and never to refuse to let said mother in law see the new baby when she arrives but I can see where she's coming from.

M0nica Sun 16-Jun-19 16:55:01

Do nothing, leave the grandparents alone, certainly do not drag the poor child around to their doorstep, like Little Lord Fauntleroy. If they do not want to fill the role of grandparents, nothing you do will change their minds.

Accept their decision. Leave them be, perhaps a photo of the children in their card at Christmas but nothing more.

The children will not suffer because one set, or even both sets of grandparents play no part in their life. My DH grew up with no functioning grandparents and plenty of children past and present have been in that situation and not suffered in any way. His parents just accepted it and so did he.

The one thing that will cause your children distress is you getting your knickers in a twist about trying to build a relationship where two of the people supposed to be involved are not interested in having one. You will never succeed.

Anyway why are you all so obsessed by building this relationship? Yes, I know it is the fairytale picture, children, 2 parents and 2 sets of doting grandparents. Just how many children actually have families like that? With divorce, remarriages, deaths, very few indeed. So stop seeking the unattainable.

Accept what you have got and give the uninterested grandparents and the confused little boy a break.

Avor2 Sun 16-Jun-19 17:33:21

Does MiL hate the idea of being a GM, because it makes her feel old? I know a GF who never admitted he had any GC because it made him feel old, (silly boy) he WAS old but his wife made up for him being disinterested, by the time he realised this they weren't too upset whether they saw him or not. Best your DD just gets on with it, just carry on sending photos etc., but don't push it. You just carry on enjoying the GC.

agnurse Sun 16-Jun-19 19:07:24

She needs to drop the rope. Sadly, some GPs are simply not interested in being GPs.

Her son has you. If she would like him to have another set of GPs, she might see if she can find a lovely, lonely senior or senior couple in her community who could be adopted GPs. My parents are adopted GPs to family from their church who have no relatives in the area.

lemongrove Sun 16-Jun-19 20:49:18

cheekychops ( great name, I remember adults saying this to me as a child)grin
If grandparents can’t even be bothered to send a card and a present for their DGC or want to see them, then they don’t deserve to be a part of their lives.Your DD should forget about them, and your DGC will be happy with your involvement.

Esther1 Sun 16-Jun-19 21:32:46

Honestly, just don’t worry about it. As long as mil knows she is welcome to see her grandchildren whenever, it is up to her. No point in making an issue of it. If invitations to visit are not taken up it is simply her choice and her loss. I literally live for my grandchildren now and would be with them every minute of every day - but each to their own. We are not all the same and that’s fine.

Gonegirl Sun 16-Jun-19 21:42:30

Monica why would you think calling on someone on the way home from school to see how they are, would be dragging him round "like little Lord Fauntleroy"?!

M0nica Sun 16-Jun-19 22:02:11

Because it is trying to force the child on the grandparents and why on earth should you do that unless you think your child is so sweet and winsome that his golden locks and big blue eyes, or whatever his colouring may be, will win the grand parents over - as in Little Lord Fauntleroy

Gonegirl Sun 16-Jun-19 22:10:21

Or - you could be teaching him a lesson about caring about other people. (In this case, his other granny)

Gonegirl Sun 16-Jun-19 22:11:45

I think you might be over-thinking it.

M0nica Sun 16-Jun-19 22:13:36

Since she is totally uninterested in him, it will probably just be a lesson in rejection.

Izabella Mon 17-Jun-19 10:26:24

Whenever there is a thread such as this I am struck by the inability of many to understand that some women just do not like children/cannot be bothered/are not maternal and so on. I understand that most of us love and cherish our grandchildren, but should we also not respect that others do not feel the same? Those women will contribute to society - just in a different way - and I do not feel it is up to anyone else to judge.

Having spent the last 20 odd years of my career in paediatrics and working with families, this scenario is a lot more commonplace than usually realised.

I hesitated prior to posing this as I realise I may need to duck beneath the parapet, but I feel it just had to be said. Apologies if anyone is offended.