Gransnet forums


Granddaughter showing preference for other grandmother and ignoring me

(107 Posts)
FloraRose Tue 16-Aug-22 22:24:42

I thought I had a great relationship with my 12 year old granddaughter (GD) who lives near me and I do some caring for.
Recently the other grandma who lives in Australia came to stay for 2 months; she is a cheery person and my granddaughter gets on with her so well that I have been ignored when we are together. They walk along arm in arm, leaving me behind, they laugh and joke together and my GD phones the other grandma (on the new iphone I bought her and she has never called me on it). I try to be upbeat but my heart is breaking, and yes it isnt my imagination - her mother has noticed her withdrawal of affection and tries to help but there is little she can do.
I have one other 10 year old granddaughter in the US who is spoilt and horribly rude to everyone, and she is even hostile to me and my daughter her aunt, so my relationship with the one here was important to me.
I am widowed and utterly sad about what is happening with my girl.

Newmom101 Tue 16-Aug-22 22:34:29

I think you’re overthinking this and taking it far too much to heart. If her other grandmother lives in Australia and she doesn’t see her often it’s a novelty, so of course she will want to spend more time with her, and it’s nice for them to have time to bond. Don’t be jealous, or at least don’t show it, or you may permanently damage your relationship with her. There’s nothing wrong with her being close to both her grans.

Soozikinzi Tue 16-Aug-22 22:37:30

Im not being harsh but I assume that the other GM is going back to Oz ? So if you bide your time and just try to keep the relationship ticking over your relationship will hopefully return to as it was shortly . We can all be guilty of being swept along by the novelty of a seemingly more interesting visitor from afar . Just take a back seat for a while and be careful . I hope your relationship soon evolves into a new special bond .

Doodle Tue 16-Aug-22 22:41:30

It’s a fascination with something new. Someone different to talk to. A grandparent who hasn’t been seen for ages and suddenly appears. Please don’t take it to heart. I know you’re upset but the other grandma will be gone soon and the novelty will wear off.

GrannySomerset Tue 16-Aug-22 22:41:52

No child will respond to the sense of ownership you demonstrate, and you will experience more hurt if you expect so much. Love her and enjoy her and your relationship will flourish; anything else and you will damage what you have. You may feel hurt and excluded but as long as the child is not actively rude you are best off saying nothing and leaving her mother to do any necessary talking. And sadly she is not your girl.

V3ra Tue 16-Aug-22 22:51:24

Awww FloraRose you sound so upset.
I'm sure things will settle back down again when the other grandma returns to Australia.

Try to pin a smile on your face for now and don't take it to heart.
Maybe take a step back and don't go on so many of the outings, let your granddaughter have some 1:1 time with her other grandma.

This lovely lady's time with your shared granddaughter is brief, so be glad for them both that they can enjoy each other's company for a few short weeks.

pandapatch Tue 16-Aug-22 23:02:10

She has the advantage of being a novelty and perhaps seems a bit "exotic", but as others have said she will soon be hundreds of miles away and your normal relationship with your granddaughter can resume, as long as you keep your feelings to yourself

Shelflife Tue 16-Aug-22 23:05:25

Don't be upset about this of course your GD is excited about a visit from a GM from Australia!! Take a step back and leave your GD to be with her other GM - this must be a very precious time for them. Things will settle down when the visit is over. I don't want to sound harsh but you are really overacting about this , your GD is the child here not you ! You say you are ' utterly sad about what is happening with my girl ' She is not your girl she is your GD. All that is happening with your GD is very normal - she is thrilled to be with a GM she hardly sees. Please give her privacy and space to spend time with her GM . You won't lose her ,I hope you begin to feel more positive and less sidelined. I wish you well , be happy for her and smile ☺️ all will be well.

Hithere Tue 16-Aug-22 23:34:22

This is not a competition, please do not make it so

Also, presents do not have agendas attached to them - you gave her a phone or a phone for her to call you?
Those are two very different things - the former is ok, the latter is wrong

Hithere Tue 16-Aug-22 23:36:23

Your gd is NOT your girl.

Mom3 Wed 17-Aug-22 00:40:45

I understand how you are feeling, but try to distract yourself with other enjoyable things until the other GM leaves. My son and his wife spend a lot of time with her family and their girls love them. Sometimes it's hard for me, but I love my son and I know he loves me. When I'm with his young girls, we have a wonderful time and they tell me they love me. My feelings of being left out of that other part of their life is sometimes painful but I don't want to burden them or my son with how I sometimes feel. I'm fortunate to have other children and their children to also love and enjoy.

imaround Wed 17-Aug-22 01:41:26

I understand why you would feel upset. However it is completely natural for your granddaughter to want to spend time with her other grandparent, who she does not see as often as she sees you.

I would recommend that you work through these feelings now because, as we know with teens, she will start to move away from family as center of her universe to friends as the center of her universe. You will be left behind more often.

Please do not make her feel guilty about this, even if it is not intentional.

smoothie Wed 17-Aug-22 02:42:08

Where Flora said she doesn’t know what’s happening to her girl, I knew the moment that I read it that there would be comments picking that sentence apart. So, as that sentence has already been put under the microscope I’ll give my two cents and hopefully someone will hesitate from derailing this thread into another episode of ‘let’s assume the absolute worst of the original poster and then criticize them for it’.

Coming at this from a reasonable standpoint, Flora clearly said “my girl” as a term of endearment, as her dilemma has to do with the striking difference that she sees in her granddaughter, her granddaughter suddenly behaving in a way that is far from her normal, so there is “her girl” that she knew very well and now there is what appears to be another girl in her place who acts much differently than before. Hence Flora saying she doesn’t know what’s happening to her granddaughter. Of course, the change in behavior is completely normal as the girl wants to make the most of the limited time she has with this particular grandmother.

The unreasonable way to interpret the quoted sentence, the way that scolds Flora for her innocent choice of words to total strangers on the internet (and therefore comes with no baggage or existing hard feelings to give rise to the offense that an unreasonable people will experience after reading it), so the way that has already happened in this thread and will continue on I’m sure, assumes that Flora (or anyone else who says anything like “my [insert person]”) meant with 100% certainty that her granddaughter is HER girl and not anyone else’s girl, and definitely not the other grandmothers girl, that Freda is the sole rightful owner of her granddaughter and therefore no one else can have her. This manner of interpretation also comes along with years of off-putting rigidity, cold and calculated critics, and silently mouthed behind-the-back apologies on behalf of their loved ones for having to expose others to such a lovely person. .

Not every bit of phrasing needs to be dissected as if an alien would upon its strict by-the-letter understanding of the English language; ie without any nuance whatsoever.

Flora, I’m sorry you’re hurting. No need to worry though as she is still the girl you know her to be, and it’s good for her to connect with her other grandmother. It’s her trying to fit all the fun times she has with you year round into a small two month period with the grandmother she doesn’t get to see much. Be happy for her and most importantly support her, ask her how seeing her long distance grandma was, what was her favorite part of the visit, etc. She will be very thankful for it.

And remember, “This too shall pass”.

Spice101 Wed 17-Aug-22 02:48:06

I think you are being a bit precious. The other grandmother is there for 2 months, you "have" your granddaughter for the rest of the time. Maybe the cheery disposition is the key as to why your GD is enjoying time with her other grandmother and no doubt the visiting grandmother will be enjoying her time with her granddaughter for the brief time she is there. I'm sure when things are back to you being the only grandmother present your relationship will return to how it was. However, as your granddaughter gets older you do need to realize that she will spread her wings and you will need to share her more. does not mean she loves you any less, just that the dynamics of life have changed.

Zoejory Wed 17-Aug-22 02:49:19

Totally agree, smoothie

Cruel and unnecessary to insist that FloraRoses' gd is NOT her girl. Of course she can refer to her as such, Hithere. None of your business

As for your problem, FloraRose I can understand your hurt but as others have said it's not forever and I'm sure your lovely relationship will continue.

denbylover Wed 17-Aug-22 04:08:38

Well said Smoothie and Zoejory, totally concur with your points of view. Do so wish the nitpickers would or could be a little more understanding not only to this OPs feelings but to others in general.
FloraRose, hi, if I were in your shoes I’d probably be feeling just as you are, this visiting Grandma is a novelty for your granddaughter, a special treasured interval with an end date in sight. They are making the most of their time. Try to be happy for them. Before you know things will revert back to how they were, your granddaughter I’m sure has love enough for 2 grandmas.

Sara1954 Wed 17-Aug-22 06:40:38

You’ve said it all, much better than I could have done.
I confess to saying ‘my lovely girl’ or my ‘precious boy’ doesn’t mean I think I own them.

vegansrock Wed 17-Aug-22 06:55:14

Have some empathy for the Australian Grandmother, she only sees her granddaughter for a limited time, she’s probably jealous of your closeness. Give them some space to build their relationship, take a step back, go on holiday yourself, be the adult.

M0nica Wed 17-Aug-22 06:59:35

I have always found that the way to stay close to children and grandchildren is to let them go.

Calendargirl Wed 17-Aug-22 07:17:09

I think we are all guilty of being excited by a new, ‘different’ relative coming to visit.

When I was a child, we had an auntie visit once a year who lived some distance away. How my sister and I looked forward to her coming to stay, she brought us a present, we helped her unpack her suitcase, admiring her clothes, jewellery, lipstick. We listened avidly to the stories of her life, now and in the past when she was growing up with our dad.

Poor old Auntie M., Mum’s older spinster sister, who lived locally and visited us every week on her day off from her lowly job as a live in housekeeper, didn’t get a look in. She was so ordinary and boring compared to Auntie F.

It was only after her death that I realised how important we had been in her life, the next best thing to having children of her own, and how much she loved us.

I still feel guilty that I hadn’t had more time for her.

So OP, don’t worry. You will still be important in your GD’s life when the other gran has gone back home.

eazybee Wed 17-Aug-22 07:18:25

You are behaving in exactly the way young girls do in the playground; 'she has taken my friend away from me.'
What a way to behave, and how mean towards the other grandmother who has not had the pleasure of her granddaughter's company as you have.
Your granddaughter is twelve, an age when friendships and family relationships alter; if you let your jealousy consume you she will sense it and withdraw even more.
You need to step back.

DanniRae Wed 17-Aug-22 07:34:32

As I read your post Flora I could feel the sadness that you are feeling and I totally understand - Please take no notice of those on here who don't understand and have put unkind comments. Listen to those who have explained much better than I can that all will be well again in due course and you will have 'your girl' back again.
Best Wishes to you - Danni x

Mizuna Wed 17-Aug-22 07:48:23

The trouble with grandchildren FloraRose is that they take your heart on new, unexpected and sometimes painful journeys. I'm as close as you are to my 7 year old granddaughter but when my ex and his girlfriend appear (sadly they live ten miles away, not in Australia ha ha) I am invisible. My ex is very personable and his girlfriend very gushing (not sounding biased am I? grin) so naturally the little one is drawn to them. I hated it at first and it came as a shock, but I gave myself a good talking to and anyway the bond between the little girl and myself is still the same. I think you will find it will swing back to the way it was, but yes, I have felt like you. All the best.

Lucca Wed 17-Aug-22 07:49:50

And remember, “This too shall pass”.

Yes it will and the grandmother will have to say goodbye to her granddaughter.

I’m in the UK and have two grandsons in Australia. How do you think I’d feel if on a visit to them their other local grandparent was jealous of my short time with them and people were saying don’t worry she’ll be gone soon.

I’d strongly advise you “walk a mile in her shoes” and take a step back. You’ve had 12 years living near your grandchild .

I’m not bothered if you call her your girl by the way before anyone starts,

BlueBelle Wed 17-Aug-22 07:50:24

I can really feel for you florarose but it is a temporary hitch the lady will be returning to Oz soon and you ll be back to your childcare etc BUT at 12 you’re granddaughter will start to pull away from you and it could be the start, so I think you must prepare yourself that the relationship will change as she gets older and in 3/4 years time she probably will barely want to know you, it’s a natural progression and us grans have to hang onto the dregs throughout teens and sometimes more
She is changing through puberty and this exiting new person has whisked in at just the right moment to excite her free spirit
You sound very lonely and I think the biggest piece of advice I can give is do more things make friends join things don’t rely on your granddaughters companionship as it will naturally be gone soon ( sometimes they come back in later life sometimes they move away physically) be prepared the ‘complete’ relationship is not for ever it will change and move like the shifting sands
Don’t be sad it’s life