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not liking grandchildren!!!

(16 Posts)
ellie50 Fri 19-Aug-11 08:15:19

at the moment i have my three grandchildren staying with me to help my daughter over the summer holidays. i'm feeling particularly guilty because i find i cannot warm to the youngest, who is 7. she is a sweet little girl but can be rather aggressive and i find that i can be quite sharp with her and am worried that she will pick up on this. the other 2 are twins of 14 so in a way she has had to fight her corner so to speak.
we were visiting my sister yesterday and the little one said she would like to stay with my sister as she has dogs. we agreed on two days and i said i'd really miss her but in actual fact i was quite relieved to get a break from her. they've been staying with me for 2 weeks, just another 2 to go!!
has anyone else experienced this or am i just a horrible nan.!

ElseG Fri 19-Aug-11 08:38:28

You are definitely not a horrible nan just one who has taken on a lot this summer. I am glad that your sister was able to help out a little. You can't always feel overwhelming love for them all because you are human. Do the twins completely shut her out of their lives because they have each other? I expect this is what you mean by ' having to fight her corner'. Sounds to me as though she could do with some one to one time without having to compete with her sisters.

I found I couldn't respond well to my youngest granddaughter especially as I have a strong bond with her sister who is five years older. Once we had time together just the two of us things began gradually to improve. I wish you luck and best wishes for the next two weeks.

Granny23 Fri 19-Aug-11 09:12:41

As a virtual singleton and only 7, your DGD is bound to be more demanding of your time and energy. The twins have each other but she will be missing her usual playmates.

I think the one to one with your sister (her Aunt) is a good idea. Will let her feel 'special' for a while instead of surplus to requirements.

I think failure to 'connect' with a DGC or a DC often resolves itself over time. Your DGC will perhaps get her special 'me' time when her older siblings leave home and she has 7 years of being the only one around.

HildaW Wed 24-Aug-11 18:21:41

Ellie......please dont feel you are different or horrible......looking after the children in such a full on way is going to be stressfull and you deserve a medal! My only bit of advise is something a very wise lady said to me when I first started in pre-school teaching. In an open training session one lady asked what to do when you really just dont like a particular child (yes even in the best pre-school environments there will be one or two who challenge even the best of the staff). She simly said 'try harder'. At first I thought how unhelpful she was being. However, months later I too had a child I found it difficult to bond with. So I set out deliberately to try harder to see things from his point of view, to see his good points and find something that he really enjoyed so that we could build on it. It worked...after no more than a week I could see past his 'difficult' ways and began to understand why he would react the way he did. I am not talking about a child with special needs just one who managed to rub everyone (including his Mum) up the wrong way more times than most of the others. So perhaps when the summer hols are over you might be able to arrange a time when the youngest only is spending a bit of time with you so that you can focus on her a bit more. Saying that, there is no law that says we have to like all our close relations and even though we do love them we can find them darned annoying at times!

nanapug Wed 24-Aug-11 19:17:22

Would it be possible for the twins to stay with your sister, and for you to have the little one on her own, and for you to spend some special time with her? She may respond to this and give you a chance to bond without the others round. Maybe you could ask her if she would help you with doing something "important"or choosing something special, and do cooking or have a special meal out. You never know.....

Faye Thu 25-Aug-11 02:27:14

Elli, I think it is a shame that you feel like that. My grandmother didn't like me or my younger siblings. In fact she only liked my older sisters and my older cousins. I knew it when I was quite young and I knew that she also didn't like my brother and sister who are twins and nearly four years younger than me. I always knew and it was quite obvious.

Interesting that all those years later when she was old, I was one of the very few of her ten grandchildren who ever visited or took her anywhere. The same thirty years later, I and my oldest sister and one of my cousins (who is the same age as me) are the only ones who visit my aunt, who was very difficult when we were children and who has no children of her own. The others who were so favoured are too busy, can't be bothered, don't care.

I might add that having a seven year old staying when you are not used to it for two weeks is probably quite tiring. It might not be her it could be her age. I think nanapug is right, try and have special time with her and get to know her. My eldest granddaughter is six and a half, what a fun interesting child she is. I think it is a great age, they are not babies but are so much fun and see things differently to us. At the moment I am teaching my granddaughter to touch type and I listen to her read, I have made sure she knows how to hold a pencil correctly. I am even teaching her how to whistle with two fingers. If I could knit I would teach her that too, all the things her mother doesn't have time to do, or even think of. My GD loves learning new things and she wont be this little person much longer.

JessM Thu 25-Aug-11 10:36:32

Yup i think having one to one time with the little girl so you can focus on the things she likes is the best way forward here. Difficult to find things they all want to do... if not impossible.

expatmaggie Thu 25-Aug-11 10:51:59

I think these are quite normal feelings. Too much is being expected from you.Did you always 'love' your children. All the time? As Dr Spock wisely said. You may feel you don't like a child but looking after them, feeding them, caring for their needs is what 'maternal love' is all about.
I disliked one of my daughters on and off for years and naturally she soon left home but came back in her 40s and now we are very close. I never stopped loving her but then I consider love as something other than what is portrayed in soap operas and the general media.
I think 4 weeks care for teenagers and a small child are too much to expect from a grandmother expecially in the holidays when they are away from their playmates. Why not say NO next time and admit it is too much for you?
The friends I have consider a having the GCs a week as plenty!

maxgran Thu 25-Aug-11 15:20:32

I think you are brave to be honest - Many people tend to 'pretend' differently.
I have 5 grandchildren and have bonded more with some than others... Yes, I feel bad about it !
I love them all but with some I look forward to seeing them - with others I tend to think 'oh dear'
I can't explain it.

ellie50 Wed 31-Aug-11 10:34:03

one more day to go and thankyou all for the advice.
the time away with my sister went very well, in fact my grand daughter wants to stay with her in future!!
i did try harder hilda w and it worked for a while, we went to the beach together and did some baking. however, as soon as she was back with the other two it was war as usual. well its back to mum tomorrow and i am going to lay down for a month!
i will definitely have her on her own the next time.

jackyann Wed 31-Aug-11 13:30:41

Well done ellie!
I was a mother of 4, and they had 5 cousins, some of whom needed caring for regularly because of family difficulties. We always worked out the combinations that did the best for holiday visits, and often reckoned that splitting up siblings or going to a different aunt (gps unable to help) was very helpful.

I did wonder whether a situation had arisen to cause the "need for help" and if a 7 year old girl was picking up on it and expressing her anxiety. But you may have just meant it in the usual general way.

goldengirl Thu 01-Sep-11 17:12:20

I can't say I was particularly enamoured of my GC yesterday when the rest of us wanted to go out but this Little Person decided they didn't want to and weren't. I nearly took said LP home but got very stern and grandma like angry and eventually we all had a nice outing smile.

HildaW Thu 01-Sep-11 18:04:10

Elle.........gosh you are a trooper. I think it sounds like a fair bit of sibling related politics are involved which is never easy. I hope you get the chance to put your feet up soon. Youve done stirling service for Queen and country!

Elegran Fri 02-Sep-11 11:33:34

My grandchildren are 12 and 8. Separately they are intelligent, loving, charming, people, and in another ten years will be wonderful adults. Together they are World War 3, although they do really love one another very much. Much of it is sibling rivalry and demands for absolute equality (or more ) in attention and gifts.

Stansgran Fri 02-Sep-11 12:22:03

just waved off two GC and can relate to everything that has been said-i love the first GD and the last GS and the two in between i struggle with but have been trying harder and it has got a lot better. having siblings out of their home context + they haven't seen their parents for 6weeks I think is too stressful for the little people and I found I was getting ratty with them at tea time-cbeebies helped but I felt bad about 2 hours of tv until their mother arrived and put games on her ipad for most of the time!(and I had introduced them to every card and board game I knew for when the computer world collapses and people are left to their own devices)

HildaW Fri 02-Sep-11 12:57:52

Stansgran...........I know, everything is on computers GS is much taken with his Mum's Ipad.....they get so used to all this stuff. Here in deepest Herefordshire the broadband is dodgey and even the electricity can go off, weve even had a wood burner put in just in case - and for the toastiness of course. I worry that the next lot will have no survival instincts left. Methinks we will have to teach him how to cope without such things when he comes to stay as he gets older.