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Do you send gifts to GC when estranged

(216 Posts)
Sheian62 Sun 10-Oct-21 08:27:03

Hi, We would like to give a money gift/card to our upcoming GD birthdays however we have been estranged from our son and his partner and our 2 young grandchildren for the past 3 months. The youngest will be 1, the oldest 5. There were 2 reasons for estrangement:
1. I showed photographs to my 4 year old GD of her new cousin 3 months old. My son disapproved as he is estranged from our daughter following exchanges between them of nasty cruel texts. They have been estranged 6 years. He wants us to back him and have nothing to do with our daughter. I told him I have 3 children and 3 GC and love them all and am going to make sure they are all aware of the other when asked in my house. Son doesn’t like that.
2. Son and partner had arranged a night out. We were due to babysit offering to have children from 4 on Saturday and return them around 10:00 on Sunday. We were accused of depriving them of a lie-in!
Upto point of estrangement we have supported them by having our eldest GD one day per week for 4 1/2 years, babysat in their house, had GC at ours overnight, helped them financially to £thousands, taken them on holidays your expense.

I was hoping that things would have calmed by now. We have been excluded from FB and deprived of communicating with our GDs which is upsetting, particularly as eldest started school recently.

Would you buy gifts or try and send money or any advice going forward would be appreciated. X

Hetty58 Sun 10-Oct-21 08:34:35

Of course I'd still buy the usual birthday presents for the children! It might be vouchers or money if I had no idea of what they'd like. The estrangement situation isn't their choice so they shouldn't suffer because of it - your son needs to recognise that - and maybe grow up a little?

Grammaretto Sun 10-Oct-21 08:35:07

I don't have any answers for you but having read, I wanted to reply.
My advice is to follow your heart.
Forget about the adults' behaviour, which all sounds horrible and think about the DGC whom you love.

I hope you are all reconciled but on a better footing without the hurt and cruelty. Life is too short.

sodapop Sun 10-Oct-21 08:36:32

Whatever the problems with your son and partner your grandchildren should not suffer because of it Sheian. They need to know you love them and you need to keep them in your life.
Send them whatever gifts you would normally send, they are too young for money something tangible is better. I hope you can resolve the problems with their parents.

sodapop Sun 10-Oct-21 08:37:41

Crossed posts Hetty you are quicker than me.

Smileless2012 Sun 10-Oct-21 08:47:32

We've been estranged from our youngest son and only GC for almost 9 years Sheian. We never had a relationship with them, the eldest was just 8 months old the last time we saw him and we've never seen his brother.

We used to send cards for birthdays and Christmas, always buying 2, one to send and one to keep in their memory box but decided this year to stop. We now just get one for the memory box.

I agree that you should follow your heart. The children know you so it would be wrong for them not to get anything from their GM.

All too often children are the innocent victims of estrangement.

I hope things soon improve and you'll be able to see them again soonflowers.

ExDancer Sun 10-Oct-21 08:58:44

Can you open a building society account for each child and pay birthday and Christmas money in each year? Perhaps sending a card saying what you've done.

Allsorts Sun 10-Oct-21 09:09:16

It is a very delicate situation. Your son unreasonable expecting you not to see your other children. Can’t you talk to him frankly, saying you love all your children and grandchildren equally, as he does his. Could he choose between his?
Follow your heart and your truth. I would send cards and presents and did so, in my case the presents were not given, goodness knows what was said about us..I followed my heart, which was broken, still estranged.
The children are the innocents in all this. The parents are controlling, you do this and you can see them. I wouldn’t play his games. Pity about his lie in if that’s all he can think is bad in his world.

Elless Sun 10-Oct-21 09:54:27

This is a hard one Sheian62 I'm in a similar situation and can't decide for the best. I agree with ExDancer because if the situation doesn't resolve itself you always have a solution to the dilemma each year, I hate going through the worry each year - should I, shouldn't I. It will make you feel better knowing you've done something. Your son will see in hindsight that you were right eventually but unfortunately it may take years.

Whiff Sun 10-Oct-21 10:12:26

Since August last year when I sent my son's and 2 year old grandson's birthday cards and presents plus birth presents for my new grandson and money for their older brother. And had the lot all returned unopened and crunched up with a vile letter from my son . I haven't sent a thing since. No birthday,Christmas or Easter gifts.

I will not let them hurt me again that way. I can not get how selfish my son and daughter in law can be not to have let their sons have my gifts. But it's their choice. They want zero contact they have it again not my choice but their's.

Unfortunately only you can decide what you want to do. But would hate the same thing happening to you.

Granniesunite Sun 10-Oct-21 10:22:53

Its a very difficult situation. Im in the same position myself. Send presents, they're sent back and you're dragged down into the pit of suffering again, don't send presents and you're described as mean, dont care, ect.
I still send presents addressed directly to the children. Granted they're now much older than your wee ones sheiane62and ive no idea if they keep them or destroy them. What I do know however is my grandchildren are being taught to hate and that's so wrong.

Sheian62 Sun 10-Oct-21 10:27:50

Hi Whiff, I am sorry that you had to endure such disrespectful and unloving behaviour from your son. It is if no consequence that you gave birth to him, clearly,likewise I gave birth and brought up my children. If it wasn’t for our sacrifices over the years they would have no children. It’s so cruel and harsh to deprive us of being in touch with our grandchildren who are missing out on our love and care.
I will try just once to send a card and put money in an account for them. If it’s rejected then that’s it.
I hope your family situation changes to a thaw in the relationship. Take care.

Sheian62 Sun 10-Oct-21 10:34:18

Hi Granniesunite, I agree with everything you say. You can’t do right from wrong as whatever is said or done we are the target of hate and that teaches the GC to behave the same way. I used to tell my GD about God and how He would look after her always, and bless her before she went to sleep. She has not been baptised as he says he doesn’t want her head filling with “mumbo” yet has selected a Catholic school! Hopefully her education will help her look at forgiveness and reconciliation

CafeAuLait Sun 10-Oct-21 10:34:27

It didn't go down well when my estranged MIL sent gifts (but she had estranged us, so different situation).

In your case, it's only been three months. I would probably send the gift and see what the response is.

Your son is unreasonable to expect you to not have anything to do with your other children. His beef with them is between them and him, not you.

Norah Sun 10-Oct-21 14:17:24

Sheian62 "They have been estranged 6 years. He wants us to back him and have nothing to do with our daughter. I told him I have 3 children and 3 GC and love them all and am going to make sure they are all aware of the other when asked in my house. Son doesn’t like that."

1) Did your son tell you, prior to the incident, that he didn't want you to discuss the other child with his children?

2) GC are not yours to share news of, one to the other.

3) He has no right to expect you back him, by what you have said. However, you should keep your children in separate pockets as they don't get on and have been quite clear on that for 6 years.

4) The lie-in appears a red herring.

5) Is there something else that is bothering your son? Maybe a thing you think is insignificant, but may be the crux to the matter? Otherwise, just wait silently, I'd not stir things up sending gifts.

VioletSky Sun 10-Oct-21 14:27:29

Can I just say that you shouldn't share photos of minor children without parents permission, it doesn't matter who with.

He is unreasonable to dand you side with him but sharing those pictures sends the message you have sided against him.

Send birthday things unless you have been specifically told not to, or they get returned is my advice

crazyH Sun 10-Oct-21 15:08:33

Every time I read posts like these, my heart aches, because a few years ago I was teetering on the edge of estrangement (my middle son and family). The only saving grace was that I was not prevented from seeing the little one (they now have 2). That period in my life is a haze…… They are still not 100% with me and they hardly talk to my daughter. It was so petty - a back and forth about different schools and escalated from there. At one time, I couldn’t even tell you what it was about because I had blocked that episode off. Sheian, it’s only 3 months, so there’s hope of a reconciliation. Don’t leave it too long. flowers

Allsorts Sun 10-Oct-21 15:48:00

I can’t believe some of these responses.
Violet Sky, just where are you coming from. I a grandmother violating the law, showing pictures of her cousin to a four year old. They are not shared out on the internet, just to family, I dare say the four year old didn’t photograph the photos and distribute them world wide, if she did, what a clever child.
Nora, GC are hers, a biological fact. Yes the parents have control and aren’t they wielding it, what if her son told her not to discuss his children, her grandchildren with cousins, silly man. Let him take a gagging order out against his mother. It’s too ridiculous for words. It’s about time he got a life. When you see it in print, I’ve taken a lot, best reaction, just let him get on with it and enjoy the ones that act normally.

Granniesunite Sun 10-Oct-21 15:59:31

Spot on Allsorts.

VioletSky Sun 10-Oct-21 16:25:17

Sometimes the only way to have relationships with people is to respect their boundaries.

So you have to have a look inside yourself and ask, "Does respecting that boundary upset what I need or what I want?“

Do we need to share photos of a child where a parent has asked us not to?

Do we want to share photos where a parent has asked us not to?

In this case I think it's a want and not a need. That makes it unreasonable.

OP and her relationship with her daughter and her other grandchildren, that's a need and not a want so her son is unreasonable to ask her to take his side.

Boundaries are easy to understand

Allsorts Sun 10-Oct-21 17:57:15

I just don’t agree with your view on boundaries Violet. Very unreasonable. Just because he asked doesn’t make it right. In my opinion when it gets to that stage you’re better off without them because whatever you do will be wrong. Best let them live in their alternative universe and concentrate on those you have.

VioletSky Sun 10-Oct-21 18:11:37

Allsorts the problem with that is that it appears Sheian does want to maintain contact with her son and grandchild.

We all have a right to set boundaries but not make unreasonable demands.

Being told who I could have a relationship with, an unreasonable demand that would cause hurt.

Parent saying do not share photos without permission, a reasonable boundary that should not cause hurt.

Like my mum trying to alienate me from my father. Unreasonable.

My mum saying I could not share her business with my father. Reasonable.

My mum saying I could not give my father her address while I lived there. Unreasonable.

My mum saying I could not give my father her address after I moved out (I don't know why I would). Reasonable.

The thing is that we just don't get to stomp all over someone just because some of what they ask for is unreasonable.

That's how we teach people that we respect them on at least some levels and that is exactly how we find a way to compromise with people if they are willing to try to meet us in the middle.

Allsorts Sun 10-Oct-21 18:27:40

Grannie-reunite. As you can see by some of the comments, you can’t do right for wrong. They want control, that means estrangement, you really have to make a life for yourself. I tried everything and lost who I was, if I could have the years back, I would walk away. The results are the same but you keep your sanity. Who uses children to score points in order to win an argument?
I won’t respond any more to certain people on here. Always assuming all grandparent are toxic abusers!

Granniesunite Sun 10-Oct-21 18:53:04

Yes i agree. That for the best
* allsorts*.
I know what the problem is and who caused it in our situation.
And yes i so agree that using children to win an argument is heinous.
Really we should have a law against it. angry In the end the children suffer.
It breaks my heart.

Hithere Sun 10-Oct-21 20:30:58

What is the reason(s) the siblings dont talk?