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Grandchildren turn away from us

(12 Posts)
Auntiekissy Mon 28-Oct-13 04:51:40

The kids always loved coming over to our place. The younger was happier at the other GP's to start with , but the oldest knew us better so was more comfortable. Now we've been having them for sleepovers 2x's a week so they can get caught up on their sleep.. The oldest has fought the last 3 times and doesn't want to come to our house. This last time he wanted to go to the other GP's house to stay and the mother let him, but the little one came to our house, but wanted to be with his brother. He calmed down after awhile, but it was quite unsettling for us. The other GP's are their mothers Parents and their dad doesn't live with them anymore. We just don't understand why the oldest makes such a big scene about it as though we are torturing him when he comes.. We always have a great time with him. He does miss his mom when he's away from her and wants his Dad back in the picture.but why want to go to the other GP's. They are older and don't play with him so I don't understand what the attraction would be and why he has to make it sound like we will kill him,

FlicketyB Mon 28-Oct-13 08:13:14

Autiekissy, From the time of your email, this is clearly keeping you up at night. Children's reactions to the break up of their parents can be very convoluted. They can think it is their fault. they can hear things and misinterprete what they hear.

I deduce from your post that you are their father's parents. Are the children connecting you with their father not living with them? Or expecting him to be at your house and disappointed when he isn't.

You obviously have a good relationship with their mother, who clearly need you if they are staying over two nights a week. Can you talk to her about it in a way that suggests the problem is a shared one and needs both of you to find a solution. At all costs do not suggest it is anything she has done to turnthem against you.

Flowerofthewest Mon 28-Oct-13 08:43:48

How old are the children auntiekissy? if the parents have recently split or even if its been a while the children will be suffering from separation anxiety. He may associate you with his daddy and expects him the be their. Please don't take it personally, they are children who are hurt by the fact that their mummy and daddy are not together. Maybe he worries that mum may not be there when he gets home and the fact that he is more willing to go to her parents is because she maybe visits her mother more often and he is used to it. Sorry to wander around - just trying to find reasons. Who can fathom the minds of children? flowers

Mishap Mon 28-Oct-13 09:48:03

Marriage break-up is a difficult time for children. Just go with the flow - provide stability and love and do not worry too much about analysing what is going on in the children's heads - just be there, as you are doing.

Auntiekissy Mon 28-Oct-13 17:53:38

Thank you all for your replies. Yes it probably has to do with separation anxiety ..My issue is we moved far away from our home and our son to be there for our grandchildren and to love them and support's really hard to handle that all this time they loved being with us and now the oldest throws it in our face that he doesn't have to come with us..should she make him? He is very much a controller and seems to be in control of her. He is too big to physically move and can be aggressive and mean to her, so she needs the break as well.That being said he loves her and us and is a very loving boy. But Very frustrated.

gracesmum Mon 28-Oct-13 18:00:49

I do feel for you but think the only thing is to let it rest for a bit. You say the DGC have been coming to stay twice a week? Perhaps they need the stability of their own home and, as has also been suggested, perhaps they subconsciously blame Dad's family - and that means YOU - for the break up. You are wise not to force things and as long as you can maintain good relations with their mother, and see them informally, I am sure things will come right.

absent Mon 28-Oct-13 18:02:19

You haven't, as someone else pointed out, given the ages of your grandchildren but the older one sounds as if he is very distressed by his parents' separation perhaps because he has a greater awareness than the younger of what has happened. That doesn't, of course, mean that he has real understanding. I suspect that he is deeply unhappy and that this manifests itself as aggression. All you can do is to go on being the truly loving grandparents that you have always been.

Maybe two nights a week is too much for him to handle at the moment?

Deedaa Mon 28-Oct-13 22:45:27

Although he has enjoyed his times with you I think 2 nights staying away from home may be very unsettling for him, at what is a very unsettling time. Perhaps it would be better to drop the sleepovers for now and rebuild your relationship with him in a more casual way. His aggression and meaness to his mother sound like a typical reaction to having his life turned upside down.

Tegan Mon 28-Oct-13 23:27:30

I was just going to say what Flower said earlier, that he may subconsciously think that his mum won't be there when he goes home. Also, hurt as children are [understandably so] when their parents separate they can also tend to play one off against the other [although that's probably more with older children].

Kiora Tue 29-Oct-13 16:20:23

You've had really good advice from the other posts so I won't really give any. I just wanted to say I understand how painful this must be for you. We love them so and that opens us up to being unintentionally hurt. It's worse because we have to share our grandchildren with another set of grandparents. Reading between the lines it sounds as if your relationship with you Dil is good so hang in there and all will be well. Post again if it all gets too much

Auntiekissy Thu 31-Oct-13 06:02:44

Well thanks for all your support it really helped. The kids are 3 and 6. They came to try on their costumes I was making and it was just like nothing had happened. The oldest even asked if they were staying for a sleepover (but weren't) and gave me the normal love that he gives me. So the waiting it out worked .I also made a step toward getting to know the other grandparent better and they are much more receptive now. Neither of us had had time before. So looking like things are going good.
Thanks for the support

Deedaa Thu 31-Oct-13 21:19:37

Glad it's working out for you Auntiekissy I think it's always helpful to back off from small children and let them come to you. The less pressure the more receptive they seem. Fingers crossed that things continue to go well.