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How can I acknowledge all my eldest grandson has achieved without making his younger brother feel left out?

(64 Posts)
Mamma66 Tue 25-Aug-20 02:06:25

My eldest grandson is 12, coming up to 13 and is growing up into the loveliest young man. He has always been kind to his young cousins and siblings and is an absolute credit to his parents.

His younger brother is 10 and has been going through a slightly ‘tricky’ phase. I am sure he will grow out of it in time. Life is not easy for the two eldest boys and they both have challenges in life, especially the eldest.

I have a really good relationship with the eldest boy and want to encourage all he has achieved, but I don’t want to exclude the younger boy. How can I praise the older boy, acknowledge what he has achieved and all the effort he continues to make but not make the younger boy feel left out?

Any ideas?

Hithere Tue 25-Aug-20 02:47:51

How is your relationship with the youngest?

I am sure that if both kids receive acknowledgments from you when it is deserved, it is not a problem to congratulate just one of them.

BlueBelle Tue 25-Aug-20 06:20:37

You can’t ............unless it a particular thing, like an exam
You can encourage and praise both boys when they do something great but you can’t pick one out for having a lovely personality unless you find a similar thing for the other to be encouraged by otherwise you will be using favouritism

Even in your brief write up it comes across that you prefer the elder child be very careful they don’t see that

Oopsadaisy4 Tue 25-Aug-20 06:23:44

We treat both of our GCs the same, one gets a treat the other gets something as well, maybe buy something special for the eldest and something smaller for the younger one.

Riverwalk Tue 25-Aug-20 06:49:36

Well you can't really can you.

You say life's not easy for both boys and they both have challenges - I don't understand why you want to acknowledge the achievement of one and not the other. The 'tricky' one is obviously struggling a bit with these challenges, and is two years younger.

Seajaye Tue 25-Aug-20 06:57:39

Is this an objective or subjective achievement, as I think it depends on what the praise is for and how you do it. If you are giving verbal praise for something only the elder boy has achieved, then you could do it when the elder boy is alone with you. Its never a good idea for any grandparent to single out one child for praise or reward one in front of the other(s) without praising/rewarding the other (s) for some aspect of their behaviour. It also sounds like that you need to work on the relationship with the younger one if he is not to feel left out. Children are all different but most will spot any favouritism. My mother-in-law always showed a noticeable preference for my elder daughter and my younger daughter ( who did have a tendancy to be naughtier than the elder) always noticed it and used to say to me 'why doesn't Nanny like me?' when she was about 5 years old. That used to upset me! So please take care.

grandMattie Tue 25-Aug-20 07:58:02

Do what my MiL did. Ignore all other GCs. For her, just the eldest child counted; the fact that they were boys was a bonus!
I’m joking. I don’t have an answer.

kittylester Tue 25-Aug-20 08:03:22

You mustn't.

It seems from your post that the eldest is your favourite and you must never let the younger one know that.

Presumably they have both done the best they can at this time in their lives. Reward that.

crazyH Tue 25-Aug-20 08:18:38

Tricky one .... My oldest grandson (18) is the sweetest, kindest boy, I know. Yesterday. he came over to help me retrieve my iPad which had slipped right under my bed. His sister (16) is a sweet girl, but lazy, prefers to be curled up in bed. However, I do not overpraise my grandson in front of her.

Grannynannywanny Tue 25-Aug-20 08:32:37

I don’t see how you can do this without causing problems. You mention his 10 yr old brother is currently going through a “slightly tricky” phase. You might run the risk of making it even trickier if he senses you are showing favouritism to his brother.

sodapop Tue 25-Aug-20 08:46:45

I wouldn't reward anything except a specific achievement Mamma66 both boys should have acknowledgement when deserved as Hithere said.
When my children and grandchildren were young I did give gifts/rewards to one or the other on the understanding that sometimes we are fortunate other times not so. I think its unnecessary to give gifts all round just because one child is given one.

Maggiemaybe Tue 25-Aug-20 08:58:02


You mustn't.

It seems from your post that the eldest is your favourite and you must never let the younger one know that.

Presumably they have both done the best they can at this time in their lives. Reward that.

This. 100%.

Madgran77 Tue 25-Aug-20 09:07:48

My nephew's grandmother wrote him a "becoming a teenager" letter talking about him, his personality, memories she had etc and saying that she would always treasure their relationship and the memories. She said that she knew he would be growing and learning and going out into the world and independence as he grew up and that she knew he had special things to offer as he did so.

She will do the same for his sister this year as she becomes 13.

She told his sister that she was special too and that when she was 13 like her brother and a teenager she would get that special card too

All is fine and they make a lovely family!

Chewbacca Tue 25-Aug-20 09:13:28

I have a golden rule that whatever I do for one GC, I do for the other. I've seen, first hand, the damage that's done when one GC is favoured and another is not. It backfired spectacularly on the GM. Don't go there Mamma66.

timetogo2016 Tue 25-Aug-20 09:15:58

Oopsadaisy4,you are spot on.

suziewoozie Tue 25-Aug-20 09:21:03

As a grandparent,you should be able to offer opportunities for all your dgc to achieve -baking, craft work, playing a game, helping with a task around the house. Poor little lamb - only 10

luluaugust Tue 25-Aug-20 10:02:33

Just praise the boys and their cousins in an equal way, no 13 year old would want you to go over the top anyway - how embarrassing! If you are talking in monetary terms be very careful as you could upset the parents as well if you differentiate too much.

felice Tue 25-Aug-20 10:08:52

My Mother openly favoured my oldest son, to the point of ignoring completely the younger children.
She then wondered why the younger two hardly visited her when they grew up.
Please treat them both the same, anyway at 13 you still have the wonderful teenage years to come and things could turn around.

GG65 Tue 25-Aug-20 10:33:40

You have described your older grandson as “the loveliest young man”, “kind” and an “absolute credit to his parents”.

You have described your younger grandson as “tricky”.

Is there anything positive about your younger grandson that you can acknowledge? That might be a starting point.

Personally, I think it may be the younger grandson who needs you to “encourage all he has achieved” rather than the older one. Your older grandson sounds as if he is doing just fine.

kittylester Tue 25-Aug-20 11:08:26

Good post GG65

FarNorth Tue 25-Aug-20 11:18:17


We treat both of our GCs the same, one gets a treat the other gets something as well, maybe buy something special for the eldest and something smaller for the younger one.

I'm confused.
You say treat them the same, then you advise giving a smaller gift to the younger child. confused

I agree with those saying Mamma66 needs to respect the difficulties the younger child is having.
Perhaps he is aware that his brother is behaving more acceptably than he is, but is unable to do anything about it.

Callistemon Tue 25-Aug-20 11:22:08

As others have said, unless it is for a specific achievement, you can't do that.

This could cause the younger boy to become even more tricky.

NotSpaghetti Tue 25-Aug-20 11:27:41

No, no, no! Please don't make things worse for the 10 year old by treating the older one!
The younger one is the one needing to feel special if anything!!

Just don't do it.

Oopsadaisy4 Tue 25-Aug-20 11:37:52

I read the OP to be something special for the older child due to his achievement, so I would give a more expensive gift to the older child but not leave out the younger child.

If the younger child had achieved something and not the elder one, then I would have reversed it.

But you can’t give a gift to one and not the other.

However, words of encouragement or a nice surprise, should always be given to those who try no matter what the end result.

Callistemon Tue 25-Aug-20 11:41:18

I am left wondering just what the older boy has achieved?

Having a different personality?
That is nothing to do with achievement

"I'm the oldest child - I make the rules"
"I'm the middle child - I'm the reason there are rules"
"I'm the youngest child - the rules don't apply to me"