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Grandkids don’t seem to like me + hubs isn’t into grandparenting

(57 Posts)
Simplelife Mon 10-Jun-19 02:31:31

Hi, first post. Hubs and I have 5 grandkids, 3 with his 2 daughters and twins with my son. I’ve got 2 issues: 1) My beautiful 3 year old grandsons, in the past year, have gone off me. I see them a few times a week usually in the roll of helping my busy DIL by taking them to daycare so she can get to work when my son is working shift work. This is killing me because I adore them. (The other 3 are no problem, always hanging off my legs and excited to see me). The twins run to all the other grandparents super excited but run away from me at times. I’ve been in tears so many times I’m wondering if this rejection is good for me. Am I spending too much time helping dil instead of being the fun nanny? Are they associating me with having to go to daycare, etc? 2) Second issue is painful. Hubs is just not that in to grandparenting. He loves all the kids and they all adore him but he acts annoyed if I want us to spend time with the grandkids. I want us to be doting grandparents and he just doesn’t want that. This is a big one for me and has me very torn. Sometimes I feel single. We are together more than 20 years and are not married. Advice?

Callistemon Mon 10-Jun-19 13:25:35

For about a year, around the same age as your grandson, my grandson would do a body swerve round me to throw himself at his grandfather.
The same happened with me with DGD - she practically pushed me out of the way to get to Grandad although I was the one who does most (including fun things) with her. She must have been about 3 at the time and doesn't do this any more although she is still 'Grandad's girl' apparently!

3dognight Mon 10-Jun-19 13:30:56

The three year old twins I know are very wrapped up in their own little world and have their own language with each other, to the exclusion of most others,although not mum and dad.

You perhaps seem to them as nanny who must be obeyed, as you chivvy them along to day care. It's not you they hate I'm sure it's just the situation - having to go to day care when all they want to do is play in their pyjamas?

You say you have been in tears so many times.
Is this in front of them? Probably not, but even so they will be picking up on your tension.

All I can say is, RELAX a little. They won't always be three, and they won't always be in daycare, and there is still plenty of time to be the doting granny you so want to be.

Alternatively just be an interestingly different granny.
Do things nobody else does with them, I used to take mine to the woods and build dens, play Cowboys and Indians, nobody else did this with them and they loved it.

I think doting has to come naturally, so it seems you are a doter, and your other half is not. Just let him be, you can't force it.

Maggiemaybe Mon 10-Jun-19 13:32:08

Oh, they do like you, Simplelife, even if they don’t always show it! Young children are fickle, and are also very good at playing one off against the other. Some days the grandsons nearly knock me over in their enthusiasm when I walk in, sometimes they barely look the side I’m on. The funniest thing was when DH and I went to a Grandparents’ Day event at DGS1’s school. The children all presented cards they’d made, listing the things they loved about their grandparents. Our DGS handed his over and told us firmly that it wasn’t for us, it was for Grandpa and Grandma (we’re Grandad and Nanna!). grin

Twig14 Mon 10-Jun-19 13:38:40

I have two young grandchildren who live in Tokyo as my son works over there. I last saw them a year ago. I FaceTime and see them that way. One is 8 and the other little boy 3. Sometimes they don’t want to sit n chat on FaceTime it depends. I accept that. I know this can happen but I send gifts over especially books and ask them to tell me about the stories. I found out yesterday that my daughter and son in law will be relocating to Dubai in August. She’s currently having IVF. Hopefully it will work but I doubt if it does I will see much of any child. I accept that. When they do see me when I visit Japan it’s very precious time we enjoy it and so do the children. Don’t be sad you have your family and grandchildren here in the UK you are very well blessed. Cheer up

Pat1949 Mon 10-Jun-19 13:43:52

I would try not to worry too much, children are strange and 3 is very young. Perhaps they see you as taking them away from their mummy, the person who they love most of all. Sometimes the more you try the more they back off. Just ignore their behaviour and don't (if you are) overpower them with your love.

granbabies123 Mon 10-Jun-19 13:49:51

My eldest grandchild wouldn't even look at my son(her uncle) he was upset by this but held back and she eventually came round. Her brother and sister loved him from the start. He is very fun loving and she was a quiet soul, think she was overwhelmed. Time should cure

M0nica Mon 10-Jun-19 14:40:05

I am surprised that everyone experiencing this behaviour takes a child acting like this so personally.

At the under 5 age, and sometimes past it children are prone to all kinds of whims and fancies. My sense of self is not based on how my young grandchildren treat me.

Saggi Mon 10-Jun-19 14:51:36

My grandkids seem to like me...I spend a lot of time taking to and from schools. Go to school little girl play footie, on windy muddy grandson at boxing club...have general fun with them!
My husband doesn’t seem to like kids ...woundnt spend any of his Oh-so-precious time playing , or reading , even talking to ours when little or our grandkids .Result is: kids don’t seen to care at all wether he’s in the world or not( pretty certain they think it wouldn’t make any difference to them).... and the two grandchildren have actually told me that “ they don’t like grandad”...we are
the only grandparents they d got ....what a legacy some people leave behind them!!

BusterTank Mon 10-Jun-19 15:24:10

Just ask the child if you have upset him in some way , its the only way your going to find out .

Coyoacan Mon 10-Jun-19 15:28:41

My granddaughter always makes a big fuss of the people she doesn't see everyday. We have also found that she sometimes feels that it is the fault of the person minding her that she cannot be with her mother.

M0nica Mon 10-Jun-19 16:43:27

Saggi for men in particular, I think it is sometimes a question of their own experience of a grandfather's role.

DH has no experience of grandparents. All bar one of his had died before he was born and the one survivor having been widowed, had remarried and had children the same age as his grandchildren, so had no interest in his GC.

DH isn't a bad grandparents and loves his DGC and they love him, but he is more passive with them than I am, but I had grandparents and one grandmother in particular, whom I adored and was very close to.

Legs55 Mon 10-Jun-19 16:43:32

I would ignore the behaviour certainly don't make a fuss about their attitude to you. My DGS2 is 2 now & has only just started to come to me for a kiss & a cuddle but my DD said when I left the other week he kept asking where's Nansmile

I'm not a very hands on Nan but will play with DGS2 if that's what he wants. Young children are usually very attached to their Mum & as they're twins they may behave differently to a single child. Maybe you're just trying to hard or are anxious which they will pick up on. They are too small to articulate their feelings.

Non of us are "perfect" Grandparents but in general our Grandchildren lov us evn if they don't always show it

Sheilasue Mon 10-Jun-19 17:37:58

They haven’t gone off you, it’s because they see you most of the time and they get excited at seeing there other gps because they don’t see them as much. They know your always there helping their mum and there’s a routine each day.

busyb Mon 10-Jun-19 17:50:12

I had such a good relationship with my older granddaughter (son's) and for the first 3 years a great relationship with my other granddaughter (Daughters) then she started to really dislike me (or so it seemed) I put a lot of effort in ignoring this and kept persevering, suddenly aged 7 she was back to her old self with me. I also used to look after her whilst parents worked at weekends and I think she associated me with her parents not being there. Keep smiling.

Silversands Mon 10-Jun-19 18:14:00

Please don`t worry about it, like you I have five grandchildren and I find the Twins can be more `challenging` than the other three because they tend to work as a Team and pick up on things so fast. Have you ever heard the saying "Familiarity breeds contempt"? I guess these two little terrors know exactly how to wind you up and do so because they are secure in the knowledge you love them and will put up with them as you are part and parcel of their family. Instead of seeing it as `Rejection` see it as a compliment. If you ignore this little phase, they will soon get bored with icing you out, particularly if you have a Grandma bribe of sweets in your pocket for the Twin that kisses/cuddles you best - works every time with my Twins, just don`t tell their parents or the `totally correct` (i.e. boring) non-bribing grandparents one occasionally meets. wink

moggie57 Mon 10-Jun-19 20:03:23

maybe they do see you as the gran who takes them to daycare. have you talked to them about it.. yes i know they are three years old.or maybe talk to your daughter. maybe gc have picked up that grandad doesnt like them, children pick up and awful lot of things .but maybe they having a twin thing.give them time .they still growing ....try not to get tearful when they there ..

Baloothefitz Mon 10-Jun-19 22:21:05

Simplelife ....I prefer you saying Hubs to all this DH ,DD Detc etc etc personal choice I guess.

stella1949 Tue 11-Jun-19 02:42:49

Am I spending too much time helping dil instead of being the fun nanny?

You could be right - especially if the other grandparents are "fun". Could you try being a bit more "fun" when taking them to daycare ? I pick mine up from school every day, but always make sure to take them to the park and have a few treats for them as well. Perhaps you could spend half and hour at the park on the way to the child care ?

Ellie Anne Tue 11-Jun-19 09:08:12

I’ve looked after my two granddaughters 2 days a week since they were born. The other gran works full time and is a lot younger and fitter. She is the fun gran as I have to nag them to get ready, brush teeth etc and take them to school. But I appreciate my time with them and they feel secure that if mum and dad are working gran will be there. In the holidays I try to do fun things with them. I’ve been through the “i like other gran better than you “ stage. They are my sons girls so obviously their mum is closer to her own mum.

luluaugust Tue 11-Jun-19 09:59:36

MOnica I agree about our own experiences of grandparents, my DH had no living grandparents and I can only remember one every elderly granny. My mother wasn't a hands on granny either and I am sure that is why when we first became grandparents we weren't sure how to handle things at first.

Chinesecrested Tue 11-Jun-19 11:25:13

Are there times when you see all the grandchildren together,? If so, the twins will see that the other dgc love you and make a fuss of you and they will want to be included in the action. That happened with my dgd who is 3 years younger than her dbro6. He adores me and runs to meet me, have cuddles and chats. She was much warier at first, but now races to get to me first, which doesn't please him at all!

TwoSlicesOfCake Tue 11-Jun-19 15:30:56

I’m sorry you are so upset. It’s terrible to be brought to tears because other people aren’t meeting your expectations. I think it’s a sign that you are trying to force the relationship to be what you want and not let it naturally develop.
I say this about your son’s children and your SO.
Take a big step back. You are not in a parental role. Your son and DIL decided to have children. They need to figure out how to meet their family’s needs. You have been generous to help them with the children, but it’s not your role. They need to figure it out so you can be a grandma. Grandchildren should be fun. Just fun. You are not responsible for any child rearing. You are just a fun person in their life whose main relationship is with their parents.
Take a step back. Set boundaries with your son and DIL.
While you do that, focus on your SO. He is your focus. He is your main relationship. Enjoy each other again. Place your relationship with him above your relationship with your sons children.
Re connect with him and you won’t feel the need to be so involved in other people’s life because you’ll be so happy and satisfied with your own life.
It’s just a little reset.
You can do it. It will be great!

Gonegirl Tue 11-Jun-19 17:29:10

Oh, the number of times I used to be in tears in the car on the way home from visiting DD and family, because GS1 had been so horrible to me! He would deliberately be mean to me. hmm

Seem reasonably loving now, at 17. (mind you, I sometimes think I'm going off him a bit now)

sodapop Tue 11-Jun-19 17:39:08

I generally find the more you try to get children to like you the less likely you are to succeed. Try a more laid back approach Simplelife they can take you or leave you. That's probably why they like your husband so much, he doesn't invest too much in them.
You do have a life outside your family so take time to enjoy leisure time with your husband. The idea of a 'doting grandmother' may be a bit overwhelming.

Gonegirl Tue 11-Jun-19 17:47:08

That's true.