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Estrangement

Grandchildren, what would you do?

(18 Posts)
Stiff Thu 26-Dec-19 12:13:47

I am estranged from one of my sons and my daughter in law. I have kept in contact with my two grand daughters aged 3 and 5 and I love them dearly. I really do. However, I have become to realise that we only see the grand children because we want to see them, not because they want to see us and it is so painful when we pick them up and drop them off, to be ignored and have the door closed so quickly in our faces. I am seriously thinking of not asking anymore to see my grand children. In all honesty I don’t think they would be bothered. What I would do is put their birthday money and Christmas money aside each year with a letter each year of my thoughts and love for them and give them this or if I am no longer around, make it available to them when they reach 18. I know it would be painful to not see them initially, but maybe I would learn to live with it? It would be great to hear of other people’s experiences/thoughts. Thank you in advance.

Buffybee Thu 26-Dec-19 12:24:29

I would just carry on seeing them Stiff and not expect them to be as effusive as you would wish.
If you "really love them", how could you not see them?

Starblaze Thu 26-Dec-19 12:34:53

I don't understand? You are actually seeing them but aren't happy about what? Whether they are loving enough? You want to give up a real relationship that the onus is on you to make strong and substitute it with fake, good bits only letters and money instead? There are estranged grandparents here who would love to be in your position and you want to throw it away because extremely minor children aren't giving you what you need emotionally and guilt trip them when they are adults or you have passed away?

Please go get some sort of counselling, this isn't healthy thinking at all.

Hithere Thu 26-Dec-19 13:02:21

You are so lucky you see your gc. The rule is if you are estranged with the parents, you don't get yo see the kids.

What kind of relationship did you envision to have with your gc? If you set up your expectations too high, you are bound to get disappointed.

How often do you see them?

Your gc are 3 and 5. 3 is barely verbal.
5 are into themselves and what they want. Kids at age don't miss anybody but their mom and dad

Urmstongran Thu 26-Dec-19 13:10:30

Sorry OP but I agree with Starblaze (hope you are feeling much better BTW!).

PamelaJ1 Thu 26-Dec-19 13:11:50

Everyone needs as many people in their life who love them as possible.😍

That’s all really.

sodapop Thu 26-Dec-19 13:13:33

I agree with everyone else Stiff maybe you are expecting too much from such young children. Relax and enjoy your time with them don't push too hard.

silverlining48 Thu 26-Dec-19 13:25:11

It was my understanding that the parents closed the door on them, not the children.

Smileless2012 Thu 26-Dec-19 14:24:17

Maintain your relationship with your GC for as long as you are able too Stiff.

I'm assuming it is your son/d.i.l. who ignore you and quickly closes the door when you pick up and drop off the children, as they are only 3 and 5.

We have 2 GC aged nearly 8 and 5, the eldest we haven't seen since he was 8 months old and the youngest never. Being ignored and the fast closing of the door would be a price I'd have been more than happy to pay, just to see them.

Few EP's get to see their GC; make the most of it and enjoy.

GagaJo Thu 26-Dec-19 14:29:47

Just make sure you do stuff your grandchildren will LOVE while they're with you. Soft play, swimming, picnics, beaches. ANYTHING that they can't help but enjoy.

If everytime you take them out they go somewhere fantastic, eventually you'll see a happy response from them.

Bear in mind, it's hard for them, when their parents aren't positive about you. They'll be hearing stuff at home that puts them off. You need to counteract that with GREAT times.

Smileless2012 Thu 26-Dec-19 14:41:41

Good advice GagaJo

Norah Thu 26-Dec-19 15:52:13

Be a normal GP. Have fun with your GC, they will get to know and like you. What is the real problem, here? They are 5 and 3, they have no idea what they "want" it be up to you to show them.

notanan2 Thu 26-Dec-19 16:12:20

I think only you can judge whether or not the unpleasantness of the "handover" are the main memories you are making with your GPs. Or whether you are managing to brush it off and have a good time together.

I had a relative that my mother did not like.
She takes great pride in the fact that she regukarly took me to visit them, in facy she paints herself as the martyr of the story.
I have zero memories of that relative. None. I cant remember them. What I CAN remember is my mother complaining about them bitterly in the car on the way there and back!

So really it would have been better if she hadnt bothered ever bringing me there.

I cant say if something similar applies to you or not. But if you do feel that the situation isnt fun for anyone then it wouldnt be wrong to stop. You did try.

Ask yourself this:
We are making memories when we pick them up. Are they good memories or tense/unpleasant memories?

Starlady Thu 26-Dec-19 23:58:23

Oh, Stiff, I'm so sorry about your estrangement from your son and DIL. I'm not clear, though, on whether or not you're saying that your GC aren't enthusiastic enough about your visits or that you're upset that son and DIL aren't warmer to you. If it's the former, please realize that little kids don't always greet people w/ enthusiasm. If all of you have fun on your visits, you're doing ok.

If it's the latter, if you're upset by lack of enthusiasm on the part of son and DIL, then I think you need to let that go. It's just not going to happen. You are, after all, estranged. Sad to say, that hasn't changed just b/c they let you see your GC.

As some posters have indicated - and as you'll see if you read around the threads on these topics - often when parents are estranged from their AC (adult children), the parents/GPs don't get to see their GC either. In those cases, the GPs often put aside money for the GC, etc, as you're talking about.

But you're fortunate enough to get to see your GC. And to give them gifts in the here and now, etc. As notanan says, if the pickup and dropoff are too stressful for them, then, by all means, bring the visits to an end. For that matter, if they're too stressful for you and DH, you might still want to put a stop to them. But if the pleasure of the visits outweigh those few moments of stress, then I hope you decide to continue those visits. Please just focus on enjoying your GC and, as hard as it may be, let go of any expectations regarding son and DIL (I know you'll always love your son, but that's not the same as having expectations of him).

Starlady Fri 27-Dec-19 00:02:21

Rereading this, I see you feel your GC don't really "want" to see you. At their young ages, it may not be something they think about, there is so much else going on in their day (friends, other family, perhaps school or preschool, etc.). Little kids don't necessarily look ahead and say, "Are we going to see Gramma and Grampa this weekend?" But they still may enjoy their visits w/ you. If you and DH can maintain a warm relationship w/ them, over time, I don't think it matters who "wants" the visits "more," etc. But that's just my opinion. Please let us know what you two decide.

Namsnanny Fri 27-Dec-19 19:08:50

Gagajo ….good advice. I'd follow it if I had a chance.

Stiff …. read Gagajo's last paragraph a few times. That makes the most sense of all.

CanadianGran Fri 27-Dec-19 19:25:53

I also agree with Gagajo. Consider yourself very lucky to be able to see your grandchildren, and make the most of the opportunity.

They are still very small, and will love spending time with you if you make it loving quality time. Kids love when you play with them, colour, bake, etc. Don't mention your relationship with their parents, just spend the time and attention with them.

Starblaze Fri 27-Dec-19 19:51:32

It doesn't make any sense for parents who are allowing their children to see grandparents to say anything bad about them in front of the children. My little dot has never heard a single bad word and I have estranged him because he was too young to remember them.

I don't speak to his teacher every school day and drop him off. It will have no impact on the children unless adults on either side make it an issue.