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Grandparenting

All or None

(123 Posts)
skinnypuppy40 Thu 23-Aug-18 19:13:08

Recently we asked our daughter to have the grand kids 2 boys sleep over, ages 6 and 12. The boys have been over many times and this would be the last time before the school year. Our daughter has replied no if you take the boys you have to take the grand daughter as well age 4. My wife told her we don't have the beds nor the energy to do all three for a sleep over but would be happy to have her on her own sleep over. She replied that her Husband has said she will feel left out so no. This seems unfair to me for her to dictate such unreasonable demands, but of course, being "just" the grandparents we have no choice but to abide. Does anyone have any advice to offer, or this just the way it is.

Babyshark Thu 23-Aug-18 19:27:04

I think it’s odd that parents setting boundaries about their own children is considered dictating. I agree with your daughter, it’s all or non but each to their own. Your daughters children equal her rules and yes you are only grandparents, you don’t get a say in Parenting desisons sorry.

Coolgran65 Thu 23-Aug-18 19:29:57

Sounds to me like dd is trying to keep her dh happy.

I fully understand your thinking. Two boys of 6 and 12 can do a lot for themselves. Add a 4 year old and it's a different ball game.
Entertaining your 4 year old dgd probably takes more energy than both boys put together.

And a 4 year old girl has very different needs than a 12 year old.
Never mind the issue of space.
Perhaps dsil fancied a night completely child free.

skinnypuppy40 Thu 23-Aug-18 19:32:53

You may not have read my message completely, this was all we have to offer. Perhaps it is not enough for the parent, It seems odd that up until a few months ago this type of sleep over arrangement was acceptable. I know the parents have the last say in these matters and we have decided arguing with them would do no good. Although this is simply and arbitrary rule for daughter to bully her mother as per usual.

Cherrytree59 Thu 23-Aug-18 19:39:47

Hi Skinnypuppy
It would seem that your DGD will be upset and wonder why she is being treated different to the boys.

At 4 she is too young to understand your reasoning.

One at time may be a better way forward.
You can lavish attention individually.
Each child will have the excitement of waiting on their turn.smile

M0nica Thu 23-Aug-18 19:41:03

I am with you, skinnypuppy40., but I can see the problem. We do reach a point when we cannot cope with several grandchildren at once on our own. At a certain point my parents suggested that both my children (the only DGC) come and stay separately because they found having both staying was too tiring, and that is what they did, but I only had two GC so they both stayed on their own with their GPs.

When there are three and one is the other sex, then things get difficult. I am from a family of 3 girls but my youngest sister was 5/7 years younger than the two eldest, and we were very close in age, so inevitably we sometimes did things on our own without the youngest. She had her special occasions and treats, but what she remembers, as an adult, is being left out and that has made our adult relationship very difficult.

In your case, the third and youngest is the opposite sex to the two older children and this will increase her sense of being left out. So I understand your problems of not being able to cope with three at the same time but I can understand their father's concerns

But I think there is a very simple solution to your problem. Have each child to stay with you on their own. That way each child will be treated exactly the same and if your grand daughter could choose whether she wants to stay first, second, or third, it will alleviate any feelings of exclusion.

Dealing with one child at a time will also be less hassle for you.

skinnypuppy40 Thu 23-Aug-18 19:46:59

Addendum

The In-laws have a large house and have the grand kids over every Friday for a sleep over. We would be more than happy to take them all for an evening if they wanted to go out. But they always get parked at the In-laws. I don't want to sound like one of those whiners, however this is wearing thin on my wife as she can't understand her daughter's reasoning. Once again I know the parents have the last say, this does not necessarily mean it is the correct thing to do. We will not fight her decision it is just difficult understanding the arbitrariness of it.

Coolgran65 Thu 23-Aug-18 19:49:02

Setting a boundary of all or none dgc having a sleepover is set to fail if there aren't enough beds.

I agree there is no point in trying to persuade your dd and her dh any different.

The only option I can see would be a 'fun' sleepover i.e. boys in sleeping bags on the floor -indoor camping- and dgd who would likely be ready for bed earlier, in her bed.
Doesn't take care of the energy required however.

MiniMoon Thu 23-Aug-18 19:49:22

Our four DGC live just a few minutes down the road, but still love to come for a sleepover. They are 11, 9, 8 and 5. I have them individually. Starting with the eldest, they have one sleepover a month, and each one knows when it is his or her turn. 😃 DH still works, he finishes his shift at 10 pm, so I have them on my own. I wouldn't be able to cope with more than one at a time.
At four, I expect your DGD is noticing now that her brothers are having their sleepover, and is feeling that she is missing something. I know my youngest GS would think this way.

NfkDumpling Thu 23-Aug-18 19:56:58

We don’t have the space to take all ours either. Can you have your DGD first so she gets her turn first and then will understand better that the boys need their turn. I suspect she’s putting her parts on (is that a general expression?) thinking she’s being left out. She may appreciate having you to herself and getting all the attention. Either that or one child at a time as Mini does.

skinnypuppy40 Thu 23-Aug-18 19:57:45

As far as the GD understanding the reasoning behind her not coming for a particular sleep over for the GB's. Why would one feel the need to inform her. They don't tell her every time the boys go to school on their own or every time the boys have a sleep over at their friends. Unless the parents make a big deal out of fact she is being left alone she barely notices. Any who ... I like the suggestion with having only 1 at a time over but I also doubt the daughter will abide.

Cherrytree59 Thu 23-Aug-18 19:59:26

One at a time is the way to gosmile

Doodle Thu 23-Aug-18 20:05:31

As grandparents we like to think we know about our DGC. In the past I have made assumptions that all mine enjoyed a treat only to find out that one was upset because of something. Who knew she was upset? Her mum did. I think mums have a better insight into their children and while I can understand that it might be difficult to have 3 DGC at the same time, perhaps one at a time for individual attention would be the best idea.

Babyshark Thu 23-Aug-18 20:09:23

From your updates it’s sounds as though there is a difficult dynamic - you accuse your daughter of bullying her Mum. I feel for your wife that she feels this way and I’m sorry it’s a difficult situation. However I stand by not your children not your rules and you have to find a way to be at peace with that.

skinnypuppy40 Thu 23-Aug-18 20:11:01

I will let my wife know and see if she wants to approach her with the One at a time sleep over. She does the grand-parenting I mostly sit around and eat snacky poofs with the grand kids.

Babyshark Thu 23-Aug-18 20:15:10

Good luck 🤞🏻

skinnypuppy40 Thu 23-Aug-18 20:20:37

Babyshark: we have no rules we also have no room! Like I have said we comply with her rules although we don't agree with them. And we do not make a fuss over them So please don't try to read anything into this other than what has been written. I wish I could explain to you the complete dynamic of the relationships but I do not have a psych degree. I will repeat myself with the possibility of becoming boring and redundant " We do not argue with her decision" We are seeking a way build these relationships not destroy them. Understanding and cooperation is what we are trying to achieve.

Babyshark Thu 23-Aug-18 20:22:26

I genuinely meant good luck? If your daughter agrees to your proposal then everyone is happy and grandchildren get a bit of 1 on 1 attention and a treat.

Jalima1108 Thu 23-Aug-18 20:24:41

I have a friend who always has her DGC over one at a time - for each one it is their 'special time' with Grandma.
Besides which she has a very tiny (and lovely) house.

agnurse Thu 23-Aug-18 20:37:21

I can see both sides of it here.

You don't have room to accommodate all three of them. This means you can't take all three at once.

At the same time, it's not fair to play favourites (or be perceived to be playing favourites) among your GC. If you take more than one at a time for an overnight, really you should be taking all three. Or, you should be taking them one at a time.

As far as the other grandparents, that's not really your business. In many families it's difficult, if not impossible, to be completely "fair". Case in point: my parents see us every few months and often for Christmas. Hubby's parents see us every few years and never for Christmas. Why? We live in Canada, about 4 hours' drive from my parents, and Hubby's family are all in the UK. It's not reasonable for us to book a trip to see them more often than every few years, and Christmas time is an expensive time for flights and accommodation (no one has a house where we can stay). When I was growing up, Mom's parents lived 2 hours' drive away and Dad's parents lived 6 hours' drive away. "Fair" simply wasn't possible.

Kateykrunch Thu 23-Aug-18 21:10:23

I have suggested, but not yet put into practice, having our 6 year old twin Grandchildren for an overnighter seperately, more so that each one can have a bit of dedicated treat time without the other and have some one to one time. We have them both regularly and it is exhausting, so may even be less tiring as well which would be an added bonus.

skinnypuppy40 Thu 23-Aug-18 21:26:20

I mean I really don't understand the logic of you should take all three? Does taking 2 mean you love them more or the other less, I don't think so. It is simply a question of being practical. I could see if the two boys were being favoured over the the girl, but this is simply not the case. If anything the Grand Daughter gets payed much more attention. The time before this we invited the whole family over. Daughter said she would come if she was allowed to bring her new puppy still not house trained, We said no so she never came claiming she does not want to leave dog alone at home, which they do every day they go to work. Once again this is her decision we don't argue it just seems odd to have rotating rules of convenience. I don't agree that the parents are always right but we do comply with their rules and don't argue them.

So when people say "It is up to the parents" I think they miss the point whether the parents are being unreasonable or not. Of course it is up the parent but is this the correct decision I don't think so.

Jane10 Thu 23-Aug-18 21:32:45

I think your DD is missing a point. We like to have our DGSs to stay one at a time. This means that they both benefit. The one who comes to us gets thoroughly spoiled and the one at home loves individual attention from Mum and Dad. Win win. We alternate sleepovers between the boys. Its what happened when I was a child too. We loved it. It wasn't unfair it was sort of extra fair.

M0nica Thu 23-Aug-18 21:56:33

skinnypuppy Do not kid yourself, 4 year old is quite capable of noticing if she thinks anything is unfair.

Her brothers going to school or having a sleepover with friends is very different from a treat like staying with you and your DH.

As I said, being one of three and knowing how the youngest one noticed and misinterpreted things that now damage adult relationships, I would say do not waste time looking for explanations or feeling aggrieved. Just give each child their night in the sun, so to speak and your undivided attention.

Babyshark Thu 23-Aug-18 22:11:51

I agree with Monica and I add that it’s not unreasonable to make decisions based on what you feel is right for your own children. Whether we agree or disagree is unreasonable. We have to accept it and respect it. If you can find an alternative that your grandchildren’s parents agree with that’s great. Don’t spend so much energy on thinking about them being unreasonable.