Gransnet forums

Grandparenting

Advice please.

(26 Posts)
Wren5 Sun 04-Aug-19 08:28:50

Morning to you all,
I look after my GS once or twice a week, he is 18 months tomorrow, but lately when I go to my DS house to look after him for the day he clings to his mothers leg & cries ! sadGS is very, very close to my DiL & now seems to realise when Nanny comes to visit his Mammy is off to work. I know it is silly but I am really upset by this, is this what is called separation anxiety in a toddler?
Another thing, the way my DiL speaks to me angry, nothing I buy or do is ever good enough, I recently purchased a car seat to be able to take GS out & about, she took my keys for my car, I followed & slated the car seat I bought, I really should have said something but TBH I get so upset & cry at the slightest thing lately. I'm going through the menopause ATM & the slightest thing sets me off sad. Any advice would be much appreciated, thank you all.

B9exchange Sun 04-Aug-19 08:45:45

Firstly my sympathies with the menopause, do insist on a referral to the local menopause clinic so you can get the best help, and realise that you need to care for you too.

Secondly your GS's behaviour is entirely normal for his age, but if you can you need to manage this between you, with DiL being firm, prising him off her leg, giving him a cuddle with reassuring words that she will be back soon, and then handing him over to you and leaving straight away. If she makes a meal of goodbyes, then your GS will really think there is something to worry about and the fuss will continue. He will grow out of it, and I'll bet that once she has gone he settles down to play. It's all good practice for when he starts nursery or school, when he will feel the same anxieties. Please don't worry that it is anything to do with you, it isn't.

It might help at a calmer moment when she isn't stressed, to ask how she is coping, tell her briefly about your struggles with the menopause, how it makes you super sensitive, and that you need to feel you are both on the same side, working together to give her son a happy childhood. If you can, try to find a reason for asking her advice and following it, she may need reassurance too

Good luck, it isn't easy, but in no time at all he will be at school, and you will be wondering how to fill your time! flowers

I have learnt that you do have to tread on eggshells with DiLs, and if you are going to buy baby equipment for your own childcare times, then either buy exactly the same as she has, or ask her to suggest a make or model, or come with you to choose.

Wren5 Sun 04-Aug-19 08:58:00

Thank you B9exchange, it's always good to get sound advice to see the problem from a different angle. Yes, I cant believe how quickly the 18 months have gone! shock Yes, treading on eggshells with my DiL is what I seem to do constantly. I will get that referral sorted & hopefully begin to feel much better with treatment,thank you.

B9exchange Sun 04-Aug-19 20:57:23

Yes, don't be fobbed off, the menopause clinic will have far more experience than your well meaning GP.

It's hard always having to bite your tongue, but the rewards of being given access to grandchildren make it worth it. And if you try to praise what she is doing, you may even find that your relationship improves a bit. I do hope things improve for you very soon.

Doodle Sun 04-Aug-19 21:03:18

My DGD screamed blue murder every time she caught sight of me until she was about 18 months and I wasn’t looking after her! Wesoon de eloped a great bond and are now (16 years later) very close. I think you have accuratelysussed that your GS relates you coming to his mumbling to work and that is why he upset. Nothing to do with you really. Get some help as advised re menopause but don’t worry about your GS response to you this is very normal.

Luckygirl Sun 04-Aug-19 21:15:20

Mothers can be very particular about car seats - with good reason I guess as it is about their child's safety - and a bit of guilt maybe about being out at work and leaving the child?

I am sorry the menopause is giving you grief - it can be a difficult time for some people.

Don't worry about the clinginess - it is nothing personal.

ElaineI Sun 04-Aug-19 22:53:44

DGS2 16 months same and teething - not so much with me & DH as we are like his 2nd parent but childminder OMG! Today DD2 seeing friends and BF who now lives far away - no - nobody allowed to talk to mummy, interact with mummy - poor wee soul has bright red gums in various places. As for child seat best to consult DiL - maybe you can exchange it? Children under 4 best to be backward facing if possible.

mumofmadboys Sun 04-Aug-19 23:00:26

Surely toddlers can't be backward facing. What happens to their legs?

Newmom101 Sun 04-Aug-19 23:02:15

The clinginess is just the separation anxiety. He will grow out of it, just give him time. Try to have something to distract him with when DIL leaves.

As for the car seat, I am very particular about my DDs car seat. I’ve spent a small fortune buying one that rear faces until she’s around 4, and is crash tested at higher speeds than needed by UK regulations, because I want her to be as safe as possible. Car safety isn’t something I’m prepared to compromise on. Your DIL has probably done the same and doesn’t want to risk her son being driven around in something not as safe. If you look at some of the crash test videos available on YouTube you can see how unsafe some car seats actually are, even when tested at 30mph. Especially those Disney branded ones.

Newmom101 Sun 04-Aug-19 23:06:50

mumofmadboys The seats are fairly big and the back part can be extended so they sit more up right, so it’s not a problem, their legs are just resting on the bottom of the seat/back seat of the car. Some children cross their legs. In lots of EU countries and in some places in America it’s law to rear face until at least 2. The UK will likely follow suit.

For a child under 4 it is 5x safer than forward facing.

Minniemoo Sun 04-Aug-19 23:17:23

Hello there, Wren5. As others have stated it's entirely natural for the little chap to be behaving like this. With regard to the car seat just say that you're very sorry and would she like to tell you which one she wants. Which, to be frank, she should have done in the first place.

Wren5 Mon 05-Aug-19 07:35:42

Thank you all for your replies, taken on board. I will see what my little GS is like today, as its my day for babysitting. Your wise words will echo in my head & i'll remember all your good advice. I did research the car seat & my DS & DiL have had the car seat forward facing since my GS was very small, which I did not agree with but I bit my tongue & did not say a word, even though I feared for his safety sad
I have to try & remember that bringing up a child has changed so much since I had my son, 35 years ago shock but that doesn't mean I agree with all the modern ways of caring for a child today. But as a Grandparent I must just do as my DS & DiL wants . Thanks again everyone for taking the time to answer, mush appreciated.

gillybob Mon 05-Aug-19 07:43:02

I have just had to change my DGD’s car seat from rear facing to forward facing. She is 15 months and quite tall for her age (her daddy is well over 6ft) . Whilst Rear facing she could no longer straighten her legs and was having to sit like a frog which can’t be good for a babies hips for any prolonged period and I have a 2 hour round trip sometimes. I often have her in the car on my own (she is in the back) and the stress of not being able to see her was adding to the problem. I took her out forward facing on Friday afternoon and she was a changed little girl.

Urmstongran Mon 05-Aug-19 08:05:23

Hi Wren might it be possible for you to visit for a cuppa for half an hour and then leave? It might help your grandson realise it’s not always a case of mummy OR you.

stella1949 Mon 05-Aug-19 08:37:01

In regards to purchasing things for the baby, my rule is "ask the parents what they want" and get that. It works every time. Especially with safety equipment, some parents are very particular . I learned the hard way that my choice isn't always acceptable.

DIL17 Mon 05-Aug-19 09:01:08

I think you just need to remember that you're offering childcare not extended parenting and as you said, a lot has chnahe in 35 years.

In the end we found the best setup was for me to provide things like a car seat that I was happy with.

My FIL is wonderful and looked after our eldest one day week for four years before she went to school. It was hard at first as he just didn't understand that things had changed.

He'd follow out of date sleep guidelines and bought a car seat that, to him and his research was fine, but refused to let my child use it (it crumbled in a 30 mph crash).

I don't think your dil is wrong, just her way of making points is a little blunt

Iam64 Mon 05-Aug-19 09:05:49

18 months and separation anxiety go hand in hand. As has been said, it isn't personal, its developmental and like other phases has to be sensitively, consistently and Kindly managed. You and your daughter in law need to talk about how best to manage it. I'd say for mum to reassure, cuddle say I'm off to work, back later and go. For carer/grannie to have a game already set up to distract the toddler with.

As for car seats - nightmare aren't they. We have two forward facing seats for the 3 nd 4 year olds, and one that can be facing backwards for the babies.

Starlady Mon 05-Aug-19 13:53:05

"I did research the car seat..."

Good on you! But parents may still have their own ideas of what they prefer or want to do their own research. No doubt, DIL's approach is harsh (sorry about that). But in the future, as others have suggested, I would ask her and DS first about any product I wanted to buy, especially if safety is involved.

Are any of the other eggshell issues about doing this/that for GS w/o checking w/ the parents? You obviously have the parents' trust or they wouldn't let you watch GS every week. However, always better to ask first, IMO, about new purchases or activities.

As for GS' behavior when you arrive, I echo what others have said. Granted, he may be picking up on any tension between you and DIL or your new sensitivity. But, mostly, no doubt, it's his age and would happen anyway. As long as he's ok once DIL leaves, etc., I wouldn't worry.

So sorry about your struggles w/ menopause. I went through that, too, and I know it can make everything else seem worse than it is. Hope you're able to get help for it and feel better soon. xx

ElaineI Mon 05-Aug-19 14:52:33

The car seat faces the back seat Mumofmadboys. Seats are big enough to accommodate their legs - had a laugh at that. This is recommended and some mum's are a bit insistent about the safety aspect which is possibly where Wren's DiL is coming from. DD1's carseats are forward facing and the toddler seat is fixed very firmly (not isofix) to the back seat of the car - you have to open the boot to fix it. 5 year old has a booster seat with a back bit. Both hook into the bars inside the back seat. DD2 baby 16 months is in an isofix seat which faces the back seat. There is a mirror where you can see him. I think parents nowadays do a lot of research on safety features of anything so usually I would consult my AC if buying equipment like that.

Wren5 Tue 06-Aug-19 08:26:49

Thank you everyone for your advice & replies. I think i've started a major row with my other half now, after paying £150 for this car seat looks like it won't be used, DiL has made it clear she feels it does not recline enough for 18 month GS, there is one recline feature on it, it starts at 9 kgs, my GS is 10kgs but I doubt whether it will be used now sad Feel a right plonker, should have spoke to DiL 1st but to late now. Purchased from Halfords, they kept the box , as they fitted it, so no option to keep it. Feel so annoyed with myself that I didn't get DiL advice first! sad

Grannyknot Tue 06-Aug-19 08:40:39

Hi Wren I've skimmed through this thread. The car seat saga reared its head in my family too. My poor little grandson had severe car sickness facing backward - that all stopped when he eventually graduated to a front facing seat at around age 3. Up until then, he was super safe, instead of just very safe, but travelling with him was nigh impossible. Any trip required frequent stops and mopping up, clothes change, a nightmare.

Re having spent all that money on the seat, could you not sell it on a local Mums Market online site? I regularly see similar for sale on our local FB group. Or any Mum to Mum market, there are loads. You could explain that it is "as new" and bought in error.

Don't beat yourself up, you acted in good faith and made a genuine mistake. flowers

Grannyknot Tue 06-Aug-19 08:47:33

DIL17 it's wonderful that you praise your FIL. The 'using out of date sleep guidelines' comment made me smile - who knows, perhaps they come back into fashion again, so much is cyclical.

I accept that things change, but experience must also count for something.

Wren5 Tue 06-Aug-19 15:53:33

Thank you Grannyknot, I will try & see if I can sell the car seat, at least it will get used then. Many thanks for everyone taking the time to respond to my question, very grateful.

Newmom101 Tue 06-Aug-19 18:17:58

Grannyknot

The current back to sleep guideline has been recommended in the UK since around 1993. There was a news reporter (Anne Diamond) whose son died of SIDS who realised that in some other countries in Europe (Netherlands for example) and in New Zealand it was recommended from 1987 to put babies on their backs to sleep and SIDS rates had dramatically dropped in the space of a few years. She then began campaigning for a change in recommendations in the UK.

SIDS rates dropped from over 1800 a year pre 1990 to less than 600 in 1994. Since then more recommendations such as room sharing until 6 months, no blankets, no smoking around the baby (or even holding the baby straight after smoking) have helped to reduce that to 240 per year. You can find all of the evidence to support this in the lullaby trust website.

Current sleeping guidelines are not a ‘fashion’. The recommendations have been in place for nearly 30 years. The statistics prove that it’s safer this way.

The same goes for car seat recommendations. Rear facing is five times safer than forward facing. The child’s neck bones don’t fully form until 4 years old. In a crash, if a child is forward facing their head will be thrown forwards with force, in a rear facing car seat their neck is protected. OP, I’m with you on the car seat, your way is much more modern than your son and DILs approach! Gillybob my daughter is 2 and on the 91st febrile for height. She’s very tall and there is still plenty of room in her rear facing seat, we have one that rear faces until 105cm. Yes her legs are bent in a ‘froggy’ sort of position, but that’s not bad for their hips, it’s only like sitting cross legged

Sorry to drone on, but safe sleeping (and car seat) recommendations are so important, they shouldn’t be dismissed as a fad or fashion. Yes experience counts for something, but research, with proven results (that has saved quite literally thousands of babies lives) counts for a lot more.

Jzpap Wed 07-Aug-19 14:13:16

I’m not going to comment on the car seat angle of this thread as I think everything that needs to be said has been said. I came on here to specifically look for posters with a similar problem to myself and some reassurance!! My DGS is 20 months. I love him more than I thought was possible. Three days a week I care for him as my daughter works. When she drops him off there’s nothing but tears and clinging onto his Mum. She leaves fairly promptly and the wailing stops immediately and we have a lovely day. When she picks up he isn’t clingy towards her at all but refuses to say goodbye to me, wave or give me a kiss. This is really upsetting me (I’m quite sensitive anyway) so whereas I’m not glad there are other Grannies experiencing the same I do feel reassured I’m not alone!!

Hithere Wed 14-Aug-19 12:13:03

For everybody forward facing before 2 years old - please Google internal decapitation.

The head of the child separates from the spine in case of impact and immediately dies.

It is no joke!

The leg position is a very common complaint of care givers to forward phase.

However, the position of the legs do not bother the kids and are in less risk of breaking them during impact