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Advice re GD

(68 Posts)
Bordersgirl57 Fri 14-Jun-19 07:43:19

I'll try and keep the background short. I managed to upset my eldest son's wife about 7 years ago and contact was dramatically curtailed (we had been looking after the boys one day a week). They have 3 children and I have a great relationship with the older two boys but the third one - a girl - was kept from me. She is now 5.

I find I have no instinctive connection with her, I find her difficult and manipulative. She never stops talking - just keeps going till she gets a response. She apparently has days where she just screams at everything and everyone and refuses to co-operate (I never want to see that!). She wants to spend time with us but only on her terms. We live an hour away but I'm expected to collect her and then take her at least halfway home.

My other son's girls spend a day a week with us and we have a brilliant relationship with them. His wife and I are very close which is so lovely in comparison with the other.

I always want to spontaneously hug all the grandchildren except this one GD who I hardly know at all. I feel I should want to get to know her but actually it would be a massive effort (all on my part) and, knowing her mother, it could all end badly on a whim.

It's a truly terrible thing to admit that I really don't like this wee 5 year old - for so many reasons - and a lot of them are to do with her mother and only some to do with her.

Help??? Any suggestions to change my feelings for her and build a relationship without risking her mother's wrath?

dragonfly46 Fri 14-Jun-19 08:02:40

You say your GD was kept from you. I wonder why that would be. Maybe this little girl is autistic or has special needs. Have you spoken to your son about her.
You also say you have upset your DiL but you don’t say how. She must know you don’t like her as it comes across loud and clear.
Children soon sense that you don’t like them and respond accordingly.
If you want to have a relationship with this little girl you have to change your mindset.
There is such a thing as faking it before you make it!

wildswan16 Fri 14-Jun-19 08:35:52

If this little girl is living with a mother who is rather volatile and apt to fly off the handle as you describe, then I think you need to feel very sorry for her. She needs all the loving and cuddling she can get.

You are the adult in this situation (as her mother doesn't exhibit adult behaviour). Swallow any bad behaviour from your DIL and pretend, in the first instance, to like and want to play and chat with the little girl. Hopefully you will come to feel closer to her.

sodapop Fri 14-Jun-19 08:43:06

I agree with wildswan this little girl needs some love and calm affection in her life it seems. Try to gradually build a relationship with her I'm sure you will both enjoy it after a while.

BlueBelle Fri 14-Jun-19 08:45:46

As you don’t like the daughter in law the little child will totally pick up on this and are you sure you aren’t taking your dislike of the mother out on the daughter
You say contact was withdrawn 7 years ago and the little girl is 5 so when did the contact start back ?
Well of course she keeps talking till she gets a response she’s 5 they rabbit on and yes needs lots of attention are you sure you are giving her all the attention or the more she asks the more you withdraw
I always want to spontaneously hug the others but not her
And she knows it and is desperately trying to get into your good books I feel sorry for her

Bordersgirl57 Fri 14-Jun-19 08:49:01

Hmm, maybe it does now seem as though I don't like her but let me explain. When she was going out with my son - for several years before they married we welcomed her into our family with open arms. She stayed in our flat rent free with free meals for 2 years and we supported her financially through university and with some private healthcare as well. I have a dozen thank you cards from her from that time expressing her gratitude.

She is from another country and I do think there are cultural differences which understandably impact and influence her outlook.

The thing that changed our relationship was the fact that when we were preparing to take the boys one day a week I asked them if there was anything particular they did/didn't want us to do and we discussed behaviour etc. The only thing she said was "I don't like reins" my son shrugged his shoulders and said he wasn't bothered. At the time we lived in a third floor flat in the centre of town and I was waiting for a hip replacement so was in constant pain and perhaps not as mobile as I would have liked. The younger boy would have been about 2 and at that "bolting" stage. As we had to cross a complicated junction to get to the park I bought a wee rucksack thing with a handle for me. She saw us one day and completely lost the plot screaming "my son is not a dog".

With hindsight I should have re-visited the issue first and explained why, for safety reasons I'd like to use the rucksack but I didn't and have never been forgiven. I have received several vitriolic emails over the years and to be honest when I see she has sent me an email my stomach starts churning - what have I done now.

Unfortunately also we didn't respond with the expected unbridled enthusiasm when they told us they were expecting a third child. They have no money, lived in a 2 bedroom flat and my son and DIL spent the first year of GD's life sleeping on a mattress on the lounge floor as GD had their bedroom.

She is a good wife to my son and he is very happy and loves her very much, she is also a good mother and takes care of the children well.

She initially influenced my other DIL and I nearly missed out on a relationship with her and her girls because of it. The one that I now have a great relationship with feels that she lost a number of years with me because she had been influenced by the other one. When she was looking for childcare in order to go back to work she wouldn't consider me until my son said "look just give mum a chance - if you're not happy I'll stop it". Bless her she did and now can't get enough of my childcare!

We all try very hard with the difficult DIL but we ALL feel we are treading on eggshells.

If I come across as not liking her, it's more that I am just terrified of being hurt again.

BlueBelle Fri 14-Jun-19 09:26:16

I can understand your fear of being hurt I can also understand how your daughter in law coming from a different culture may have seen the reins as a form of restraint or even worse Not knowing her ethnicity or background it’s hard to judge but it could have brought up old wounds or cultural no nos, but that’s a long time ago
There seem huge positivities she loves your son and he her she’s a good mother to the children The fact they had three kids is nothing to do with you You obviously chew over her faults with your other daughter in law (as you quote her) and that’s not really helpful
You sound a lovely very caring lady but you can’t be too involved with the ups and downs in their lives and talking about one to the other etc isn’t on and none of this should influence your relationship with your granddaughter
Learn to distance her and her behaviour from your distrust of the mother All kids are different I ve got seven grandkids I ve got some very very quite ones , somebody very chatty never stop ones some loud some quite, love them all and forget the parents ups and downs

Craftycat Fri 14-Jun-19 09:59:43

I have 6 DGC & 2 are girls. I find the girls are much more difficult than the boys. Our eldest DGD is now 10 & has been an absolute pain from day one! She threw tantrums from 6 months on & was a horror at times.She HAD to be the centre of attention of she would blow!
I have struggled to like her although I love her but all of a sudden she is blossoming into a nice child & we can talk & do things together & she no longer needs to be the centre of attention all of the time. She has 2 older brothers who are & always have been very easy & I think she always wanted to compete with them.Now she comes to stay by herself sometimes as the boys are getting to the stage where they do not need adult supervision all the time & we get on really well.
The other DGD has not been so bad but she is the middle child. Funnily enough at 7 she is just getting a bit 'precious'
but I am relaxed about it as I expect she will blossom out of it at around 11 too.
I do think boys are so much easier!!

jaylucy Fri 14-Jun-19 10:02:59

"Difficult and manipulative" Sounds to me like a little girl that is craving for someone to take notice of her - the fact that you have spent time with her brothers and not her makes her feel very left out and she no doubt wants to feel that you love her the same as you do her!
All in all, she is either a very frustrated little girl that feels overshadowed by her brothers or is on the autistic spectrum.Either way, she is too young to be labelled so harshly.
You need to put your feelings for your DiL to one side - it's not your GDs fault you don't get on! She needs to be treated exactly the same as all the rest of your grandchildren.

Minshy Fri 14-Jun-19 10:03:56

This little girl simply needs to know that you love her. I’d start showing her that love. She may be testing you out. Be constant. And if she wears you out at the end of the day so be it. She’s just 5 years old. Show her that you love her just as much as the other grandchildren

Gonegirl Fri 14-Jun-19 10:15:01

She sounds as though she is taking after her mum. I wouldn't bother. Just enjoy the others.

Gonegirl Fri 14-Jun-19 10:17:33

I find it hard to believe the "reins" thing. Those rucksacs are cute. No way would anyone think they were like a dog's lead.

Jaycee5 Fri 14-Jun-19 10:30:00

I can't imagine enthusiastically hugging two children and not the third younger one. The whole things is very sad. I was the least favoured child in my family and she won't forget. Not everyone can like every child but there is no excuse for showing it.

BrandyButter Fri 14-Jun-19 10:58:53

I had complete opposite situation. Dil1wanted me to use reigns but I hated them and felt it is my Grandchild not a dog, I just really hated them. I obliged as it was her child, her rules. She has very opposing parenting to mine and we have a difficult relationship at times. She objects to my 'free-play' methods using mix and match objects like a bought toy but allowed to fill with grass or stones from garden, using kitchen utensils like pegs or plastic tubs for play etc. She insists on toys only to be used for the 'specific purpose' which drives me crazy. The cup towers they build as toddlers HAD to be stacked in size and colour order, he couldn't turn them upside down and fill with lego etc as that wasn't what they were 'meant to be used for'. Lego HAD to be made into the design on box not used to make bridges for toy cars. Needless to say he has grown into a very inventive child who is very strong-willed!! DIL2 had similar parenting ideas to mine so we get along fine, Dil3 is accepting we are very different but respects that in her care it is her way and in mine I can do my thing so that works as well. The child who had to wear reigns was very difficult to teach to cross the road and used to run off at every opportunity in the park and refuse to come back, it was like letting the dog of the leash! Both girls who never had reigns both have good road sense and obeyed the word 'stop' as soon as it was shouted, they still automatically reach for my hand crossing the road now and one is 10yrs. Are the differences caused by personality of child or use of reigns? I am not sure. I appreciate you said it is a complicated road you have to cross. I tended to use a buggy where possible and make them sit in it until we reached a safe area. The rucksac reigns are very nice though and don't look as much like a dog lead as the plain tyoe.

pinkjj27 Fri 14-Jun-19 11:00:28

I know this is very difficult as I am in a very similar situation with one of my 7 grand kids. However for whatever reason, weather she is spoilt and entailed, deeply hurt or psychologically unstable ( 3rd child syndrome ) she is reacting and she is still a child and you are the adult. I was one of four and by the age of 7 I was very aware my parents didn’t love me I was treated differently (by them at first then everyone.) I craved love and attention and grew up hurting with a very low self-worth. My siblings grew up seeing me differently too.
You say it will take a lot of effort on your part isn’t that what grandparents are for? Unless you want that little girl spending hours and hours in counselling feeling depressed and anxious trying to work out what she did wrong why she was so unlovable when her siblings were. Seeking out anyone she thinks will be desperate enough to love her as I did I suggest you may want to consider wheather that efford is worth putting in. Start of small focusing on her making her feel special making something about her. Like I say I know it’s not simple or easy as I am going through this right now but I know it’s not about me its about that little girl and making show her spirt grows not is crush at five like mine was.

paddyann Fri 14-Jun-19 11:00:56

I am shocked that any one would treat a child like this ,she's your flesh and blood for goodness sake ,Get over yourself and start acting like the adult you are ..or are supposed to be..Treating her daughter like a second class citizen wont endear you to your DIL and quite frankly I would understand why and if she decided just to keep all her children away from you .You either treat them all the same or have nothing to do with them!As to the reins her child her choice .

pinkjj27 Fri 14-Jun-19 11:03:18

I mean making sure not show I wish these post had an edid button

GG65 Fri 14-Jun-19 11:04:52

Describing a 5 year old as difficult and manipulative is disgusting. You speak about that little girl as though she were an adult. She is a child! You seem to be projecting your feelings towards your daughter in law onto your granddaughter.

To be honest, the rein situation or not, your daughter in law being difficult or not, if anyone harboured negative feelings the way you to do towards my 5 year old child, they wouldn’t be seeing ANY of my children.

montymops Fri 14-Jun-19 11:23:23

The last two messages seem unduly harsh. If there is a problem with hips knees etc - it would seem sensible to take precautions such as reins when in charge of a very young child. Surely this could be understood by all parties? Why did the daughter in law not realise this? It sounds as if the child may be autistic- and also there are some gulfs of misunderstanding which could be sorted by talking frankly to each other- all the best

Legs55 Fri 14-Jun-19 11:31:03

My Step-D's 2 children were adorable from day 1, they were well disciplined (by their parents) & we always loved having them to visit.

My Step-S's 2 were different, parents didn't discipline them in the same way, DH & never felt the same way about them as other 2 DGC however we never let it show. Since DH died I am no longer in touch with Step-S & family, can't say I'm sorry.

My DD has 2 lovely boys, challenging at times as they have so much energy but also very loving.

Try to spend time getting to know this little girl, talk to her, if she's anything like my DD at that age she was a real chatterbox & you have to respond or she will go on & on until you do. I hope you find it in your heart to try & learn to at least like if not love this child.

Treelover Fri 14-Jun-19 11:33:47

That’s very harsh paddyann.
Are you a troll?
Back to the problem which you have trustingly and honestly shared. I was talking about reins to my daughter only yesterday and she told me about these new back pack reins. I think they have their place though they were much despised when I was a young mum, as were play pens and dummies! I think I would use all three now! I also think that if dogs could walk on two legs we would hold their paws and the only time my dogs have to be on reins is near traffic. Toddlers don’t understand traffic either. I remember darting across a main road in London to my dad, he’d told me to wait, when I was a toddler and a bus stopped inches from me...I just remember him with his hands over his face I was s lot more worried about that than the bus.
And I have a very unkind DIL. For no reason. She is pregnant with her third daughter and already has two, I have never been allowed to be with them without her supervision. I have no other grandchildren and it does break my heart because I love young children. That’s the way it is and I have to fill my life with other things. And try and distance myself from them because the emotional effects can be very harmful as I have a terminal heart condition. I intend to live long enough to one day see these granddaughters grow and hope I can do some good in their lives. I have stopped sending them clothes as they are never acknowledged and I think it irritates DIL. They are four and seven and live over an hours drive away (scary M62 which I can no longer deal with) I send little fun presents to them every now and then and my son sends me thank you vids if I ask.
We all have to deal with the hands we are given. And it can be a tough one with male adult children when you are replaced by another woman who sees you as a threat.

BlueBelle Fri 14-Jun-19 11:38:18

She sounds as though she’s taking after her mother I would not bother just enjoy the others
What an absolutely hard hearted and nasty post Gonegirl you really must be made of stone I find it hard to believe you could consider thinking it much less writing it down Disgusting

Bordersgirl57 Fri 14-Jun-19 11:43:20

Whoa.... well that was the whole gamut of responses. Thank you so much for the helpful and supportive advice. Much of it has given me food for thought, though some felt a little harsh. Note to self: when offering advice on a forum - be gentle.

However, what I am formulating is a plan to gently spend more time with just her, offer to take her out over the school holidays and hopefully gradually develop a relationship with her, make her feel special without the boys always there. I do hope that this will be well received by her mum and I've got just enough optimism left to think that maybe, just maybe, her mum and I might get back to something resembling the good relationship we used to have.

Dinahmo Fri 14-Jun-19 11:52:45

I just don't understand the thing about reins. Many of us wore them when we were young. I can't help but think of the Jamie Boulger case everytime this subject is mentioned. If only he had been on reins!

Gonegirl Fri 14-Jun-19 12:00:36

Just being factual Bluebell. No point in putting yourself through the wringer over a child you are not going to be able to change.

Be nice to her. Love her if you can. Hope that she changes as she grows up. But she sounds perfectly well looked after at home. You really don't need to "rescue" her from her mum.

Gonegirl Fri 14-Jun-19 12:02:25

Actually, we are not talking about reins. We are talking about those lovely little rucksacks that they have now, with a discreet handle for the grownup to hold. Children generally love them. Great inventions.

harrysgran Fri 14-Jun-19 12:20:47

Enjoy your relationship with your other GC in time she might come around don't let her see she is stressing you out and don't try too hard children go through lots of different stages not all are likeable you sound like a lovely caring grandma might it be that DIL is a little jealous of the great closeness and relationship with your other DiL

paddyann Fri 14-Jun-19 12:43:46

I dont think it was harsh at all treelover just honest.If anyone had treated my daughter differently from my son I'd have told them to their face,to either grow up an dbehave like an adult or be prepared to lose contact with ALL the children.Thankfully both my parents and my IL's loved our children and both of mine are real chatterboxes..still are as adults .Whats the problem with a child who wants to talk to you? As to "hoping that she changes as she grows up" thats nearly as bad.Shes a child who will develop and grow how she does NOT in a way just to suit her grumpy ..not very kind granny.The number of grans on here who would love a chatty 5 year old in their lives and then this! No I'm not a troll ...I am a human being who loves children ,I've never met one who I couldn't get on with .

ReadyMeals Fri 14-Jun-19 13:19:22

Maybe she just has really bad PMT or something. That could explain the bad temper for days on end. On the other hand if you don't care about that side of the family, and don't particularly feel the urge to see the grandchild, then don't bother with them. You've managed like that for 5 years, so what prompted you to post about it after all this time?

Bordersgirl57 Fri 14-Jun-19 13:31:30

Just to clarify - re DIL that I am in a good relationship with - we made a conscious decision not to talk about the other one as we are all trying to build bridges not make the situation worse.

I'm not trying to rescue or change the wee girl, her parents are encouraging her to have a sleepover and she wants a relationship with me. An overnight stay is a big ask when we don't know each other and it seems wise to spend some daytime time together first. The age old problem of having put my hand in the fire and been badly burned several times is what is making me hesitate.

However, the wide and varied response to my initial post has been enlightening and I choose to take the positives, examine my own feelings and try again to establish and renew the relationships.

I somehow naively thought Gransnet would be a gentler more wise platform than F/B. I guess folks are the same whatever medium is used.

ReadyMeals Fri 14-Jun-19 14:02:29

Well yes, I am sure the kid would prefer to get to know you a bit before a sleepover. At 5 she probably doesn't have enough experience to anticipate that she's gonna feel a bit strange by the time bedtime comes around. Can you have video chats with her? That would mean you can minimise the time actually spent with her mother and would ease you in more gently.

Chinesecrested Fri 14-Jun-19 14:06:07

Personally, I think all people are different and that includes children. Some are more likeable than others, some are irritating or difficult. Don't blame yourself. You obviously do the best you can. You've got a brilliant relationship with all the others.

Jaye53 Fri 14-Jun-19 14:40:46

Agree with other posts that reigns are sensible hmm

tickingbird Fri 14-Jun-19 15:14:47

Why do we always have to pretend we like children? Although we should never, ever be spiteful or nasty to children, we don’t have to feel guilty because we aren’t too keen on some of them.

I have been in a similar position and when you don’t get the opportunity to bond with a grandchild from birth they are just another child unfortunately.

Your DIL massively overreacted and I don’t see why you have to go crawling on your knees to her. You’ve been very good indeed to this woman and she should show you some respect. As for having the GD and all that entails I wouldn’t I’m afraid.

Callistemon Fri 14-Jun-19 15:15:38

She never stops talking - just keeps going till she gets a response
I wonder why you don't respond? Small children do tend to do this, repeating themselves until they get an answer; if you are distracted and don't answer straight away they just go on and on.
My DD from being very tiny did not stop talking from the minute they opened their eyes until they went to sleep, even when playing they would be talking to their toys. DS would ask persistent questions until sometimes my head was spinning!

She wants to spend time with us but only on her terms.
I think that's normal too - when we looked after the DGC everything else, apart from the absolute essentials, went on hold. Obviously, as parents, we couldn't do that, but I think that grandparents are allowed to.
I don't know if you still live in a flat, but if so, perhaps she needs to be taken to a park to let off some steam too.
She's too old now for reins but I do agree that they are a good idea for toddlers; I bought those little backpacks with a rein for mine and wished they had been invented when my DC were small.

Do you think you are nervous about loving this child and showing her affection, hugs etc in case her mother decides to cut off contact again?
She will notice the difference between your relationship with her and that with her brothers - children can be very perceptive.
Try to relate to her, make time for her, hug her if she wants to be hugged and you may surprise yourself.

If she does have other problems then it's up to the parents about following those up but I would be extremely cautious about mentioning them, especially to her mother.

Callistemon Fri 14-Jun-19 15:17:08

this one GD who I hardly know at all.
And, of course, that means she hardly knows you either - so she may be bewildered especially if you are cold towards her.

tickingbird Fri 14-Jun-19 15:17:23

ReadyMeals - she posted about it because she wanted to. She doesn't have to justify anything to you or anyone else on here.

Gonegirl Fri 14-Jun-19 15:21:11

Bluebell actually I find your post to me quite offensive. I don't think I'm the one being "nasty". Look closer to home.

janeainsworth Fri 14-Jun-19 16:47:43

when you don’t get the opportunity to bond with a grandchild from birth they are just another child unfortunately

What nonsense.
Not every grandparent can see their grandchild within hours, days or even weeks of the birth.
It doesn’t stop them loving the child and building a relationship with them.

ReadyMeals Fri 14-Jun-19 16:58:14

tickingbird thank you for the lecture. I asked because it might have been helpful to know what had changed in the situation to trigger the doubt. As it happens a later post by her explained it further.

Tillybelle Fri 14-Jun-19 17:27:43

Bordersgirl57. I'm sorry to hear about this. I've been thinking all day actually and still can't get any really good ideas.
So with apologies for being such a poor help today (I'm not at my best) I simply want to wish you the best of luck and to say that as she grows up she will probably become easier. I do hope you get the opportunity to spend time with her and that her mother sees you as the caring and loving Grandmother that you are. I would hope she would understand your anxiety about the road safety issue earlier.
Time does heal and I really do hope this mother and her not-so-easy little girl will get to know you properly. I have to say, it is sad that they are missing out on you while the mother is holding back. Maybe she has some cultural issues and feels a bit "different" and on her own, surrounded by her family who are all from the West? Could you boost her morale a bit?
Wishing you much happiness with all your family and hoping this all works out for the best. Will you be able to let us know how it goes? flowers

Saggi Fri 14-Jun-19 17:40:28

Even if you don’t like your little granddaughter at all ...she sounds like she needs all the cuddling and unconditional love she can get. I feel sorry for her and I don’t know her. Next time you see her just cuddle her...just a brief cuddle ...ask her how she is ...and what she would like to do today ; if your looking after her) . If she doesn’t respond matter... next time you see her do exactly the same . I had this problem with my granddaughter...she was lovely til she started school...then went right off me...she would play up no end with me....I refused NOT to love her and she soon got the message... my love was unconditional and always there , no matter what she did or said to me. friends and as loving as she ever was. Not easy, but worth the work and effort. Good luck

Mollyplop Fri 14-Jun-19 17:54:46

Bordersgirl57 I admire you're honestly and I do think some people are being a little harsh. You are obviously a caring person as you are bothered by your feelings for this little girl. Hopefully by spending some time together things will get easier. Xx

Tillybelle Fri 14-Jun-19 18:05:45

Regarding the cuddling: Some children love to be cuddled and can even ask to be cuddled a bit too often - like when you are peeling potatoes! Others, in the same family, just don't want to be cuddled! I suspect I was one, and two at least of my Grandson's are the same. They are active, wriggly, on the go children and have been that way since they started to crawl! One even sat at the far end of your lap, bolt upright, looking around for things to do and if I tried to sneak an arm round him and get in a furtive cuddle he would wriggle away and push me away! It was not rejection! We were and are great buddies! It's just that some people aren't the cuddling kind.

I would try not to "over think" this part of your relationship. Indeed, if you can, try to be as relaxed as you can, despite the earlier set-backs, and just allow the relationships with your DiL and her little girl to unfold as an adventure. Try and keep a sense of fun about things and try not to be too defensive - we understand about the reins/rucksack! We would have done the same! But sometimes mothers are a bit insecure, it was her first/only daughter... maybe she has some different aspirations for her that we do not quite understand...
I did not know, for example, how terribly protective I would be towards my grandchildren and how much more safety conscious (or safety-scared!) I was about them than my own! You might be able to tell your DiL this, laughing at yourself a bit, saying how you protect your DGC so strongly. I remember taking DGS2 out in his pram and the path was bumpy for example. His head was bumping a bit. So I took him out of the pram and carried him, pushing the empty pram until the path was smooth!
I really do hope this DiL (by the way - I am not sure why I got the idea she was not from the West! Just my funny imagination! sorry!) anyway - I do hope she allows herself to get to know you because you clearly do want to have a happy and loving family relationship with her and her little girl. It would be such a pity to waste any more time not building those bridges so you all get together. Good luck and try not to worry! 🌈

Madgran77 Fri 14-Jun-19 18:07:36

The OP was asking for help/ideas about how to build a relationship with a GD who she clearly is finding difficult to love. To do so she described aspects of the child's behaviour

She also described how she upset her DIL and admitted that she realises that she should have checked first.

In other words she is not actually trying to justify where she is at, in fact she clearly feels unhappy about it!

On the basis of those two points words fail me as to why some posters feel the need to be so unpleasant, unhelpful, unconstructive and on occasions just plain nasty!! Why does she need to have all that thrown at her rather than constructive ideas on how to improve things, as she clearly wishes to do?!! Dear, dear me!!

Bordersgirl57 Fri 14-Jun-19 18:08:34

I think we've exhausted this subject! Many thanks Mollyplop and Tillybelle. I've thought of a few things we might do together over the summer - might come back with the results in the autumn. Fingers crossed it's a completely different picture. (we have hens and GD wanted to name the light brown one - we readily agreed and I sent her some photos today. I do try).

Tillybelle Fri 14-Jun-19 19:14:54

Madgran77 Hoo I agree! Indeed, Bordersgirl is so honest, she has probably done herself down a bit. I feel someone trying very hard to send her love to her little granddaughter and DiL here. I do hope all works out well for them. With such a loving Granny I feel it will.

Doodle Fri 14-Jun-19 19:21:15

She’s only 5 years old. Can you even remember being 5. Cut her some slack.

Callistemon Fri 14-Jun-19 19:26:48

^ I've thought of a few things we might do together over the summer^
Oh good, let us know.

I do wonder, too, though, if you are holding back because your DIL could possibly withdraw contact again and you are hesitant to form a strong bond with your DGD.

I hope all works out for you.

Bordersgirl57 Fri 14-Jun-19 21:11:53

Just texted them to offer to take her out in town for a couple of hours a few times over the summer. Knocked over (in a good way) by the immediate positive response from DiL and the wee girl sent me a WhatsApp voice message suggesting about 5 things all to do in one day!!!!! I might have to manage her expectations! I voice messaged her back (first time ever). I'm cautiously optimistic - not for my relationship with GD but wary of mum. Hope it's misplaced.

Madgran77 Fri 14-Jun-19 21:55:04

Bordersgirl That is great and really constructive! Good luck flowers

Sara65 Fri 14-Jun-19 22:19:40


We had a similar experience to you, our oldest granddaughter was a little horror at times, but it didn’t stop me loving her, in some ways I think I loved her more, because her confrontational behaviour didn’t win her any friends, and I always felt sorry for her, it was like she couldn’t see what she was doing, but she’s grown up, she’s a young woman, she’s affectionate and sweet, and has at last found her own way

Please don’t give up on this little girl, Bordergirl, she’s your grandchild just the same as the others

Starlady Fri 14-Jun-19 22:25:14

"It's a truly terrible thing to admit that I really don't like this wee 5 year old - for so many reasons - and a lot of them are to do with her mother and only some to do with her."

Thank you for being honest about this ^, Bordersgirl. IMO, more of your problems w/ this GD may come from your anger at her mum. For example, the fact that you don't always respond when she's seeking your attention (if I read that correctly).

"I always want to spontaneously hug all the grandchildren except this one GD who I hardly know at all."

Again, than you for the honesty. Please don't beat yourself up about feeling this way. You can't help how you feel, and you can't force yourself to feel what you don't (yet, anyhow), especially since you really don't know her that well. But are you acting on your feelings? And is it when the other GC are present, too? Are you rushing to hug the others while ignoring her? I hope not, but I think that's how some posters are taking it. I hope you give hugs all around when your GC are there, even though you really don't feel like hugging this one. You can't help how you feel but you can help how you act - you can make sure you don't show favoritism in any way.

Please remember, her mum's behavior towards you is NOT GD's fault.

I think it's great that you want to have some visits just w/ this GD alone. But you also need to treat her the same as the others when her brothers or the other girl cousins are there. Also, I trust you realize that gifts should be of equal meaning/enjoyment to each child, and not obviously different in price (kids won't realize if one gift is way cheaper than another, but the parents will).

Anyhow, I'm sorry GD's mum made such a big deal about the rugsacks. I know she didn't want them for her children. But she should have understood your problem. I'm sorry you two weren't able to work that out beforehand, and that she kept GD from you for so long. I'm glad you have access to her now, though, and wish you the best as you work on your relationship w/ her.

Starlady Fri 14-Jun-19 22:31:44

Thanks for the update, Bordergirl! I LOVE the way both DIL and GD want GD to spend time/have a relationship w/ you! IMO, it's good that you are all on the same page about that.

As for GD's many suggestions, I would choose 2 or 3 of them to do on one day, if feasible, and 2 or 3 for another day, etc. Let her know you want to make sure you have enough activities for each outing. Wishing you all the best and looking forward to updates!

Elvive Sat 15-Jun-19 13:07:47

She is a good wife to my son and he is very happy and loves her very much, she is also a good mother and takes care of the children well

Be thankful and leave the poor kid alone

( if this is true at all)

agnurse Sat 15-Jun-19 18:08:56

If she said no reins or handles, and someone doesn't feel equipped to take a child without them, the appropriate response is to say "I don't feel I will be able to take them". Not to go behind the parent's back and just do it anyway. (Directed generally.)

This child is 5. She's a preschooler. Preschoolers have big imaginations and sometimes big feelings. It would be difficult to say if there is something pathological in her behaviour given that she is so young.

Onestepbeyond Sat 15-Jun-19 21:59:42

Is her Mum an alcoholic by any chance

tickingbird Sun 16-Jun-19 11:48:23

Janeainsworth Not nonsense at all. Obviously I didn’t mean from the minute the GC is born. For heaven’s sake don’t take everything so literally. I meant from when the GC is small. I love my children and grandchildren. For reasons beyond my control one GC was absent from my life for many years. She came back as a 12 yr old. She didn't know me and I didn’t know her. She practically lived with me until her 2nd birthday. My point is - if you don’t establish and keep a bond the child becomes just another child. We shouldn’t feel forced to love a child just because it’s related to us if we have never known said child. I love children and would never be nasty to one but true love isn’t something you just turn on like a tap.

tickingbird Sun 16-Jun-19 11:53:58

Madgran77. Totally agree with you and have posted similar on other forum posts. If people have nothing constructive to say then move on. Always some nasty poster waiting to jump in carping and criticising.

janeainsworth Sun 16-Jun-19 15:06:15

Not nonsense at all. Obviously I didn’t mean from the minute the GC is born. For heaven’s sake don’t take everything so literally. I meant from when the GC is small
With all due respect tickingbird that wasn’t what your previous post said at all.
And if we are not supposed to take your posts literally, how do we know how to interpret them?

It’s ok, don’t bother to answer that hmm

grannymags Sun 16-Jun-19 17:23:02

Shame on you bordersgirl57 to say you don't like a wee 5yr old gd ok she may be a little difficult but is that not when grans come into their own to offer help and advice.... I suggest you don't punish her because you don't like the mother

oodles Sun 16-Jun-19 19:08:43

If GD has a good time mum will be pleased, and if you're pleased that's a good thing

Madgran77 Mon 17-Jun-19 08:10:55

Grannymags why "shame on you"? Borders has been honest about her feelings, is not comfortable with tem and is asking for help/ideas with a situation that she is unhappy about. If you had read her follow up post she has used some helpful advice on GN , has made some steps forward to rectify things and has thanked Gnetters for their support. No shame in being honest about feelings to an appropriate audience, listening to advice and acting on it!!

knickas63 Mon 17-Jun-19 09:05:31

5 year old girls ARE manipulative. My stepgrandaughter is the same, as are a few others I know. Although it is not easy, I see it as a cry for attention, so I make sure she is never treated differently to my natural grandchildren. I hug her when I see her, I make sure to give her time to talk, and when she is nasty to her (almost but not quite) stepsister, who is three, I try to discourage without making it obvious that I think her behavioiur is vile. She is a victim in a situation she has no control over. She only sees her father when her mother allows it. He adores her. I agree that your little five year old is suffering from feeling the bad vibes and just being 5! Give her love and attention, even if you have to fake it for a while.

Callistemon Mon 17-Jun-19 14:47:17

I wonder about the term manipulative? Is this more American psycho-babble? I am very wary of some of the terms used nowadays.
Adults can be manipulative, I think that perhaps children just 'want their own way' because a five year old will see the world on their own terms, as it relates to them without the experience or knowledge to always understand how this affects others. Some may, of course, have more empathy than others.

When you say her behaviour is vile I wonder what she does: Is she naughty, jealous of her little stepsister, then spiteful towards her and reacts in the only way she knows how?

I do think you're handling this in the right way, though, knickas63, well done, and what a pity her mother is not allowing her to see her father as much as they both probably need. I wonder what her mother is telling her too?

I hope the OP has read your post, it's the best way forward.

kwest Mon 17-Jun-19 22:47:18

If someone is brave enough to open their hearts here then maybe we should not be so quick to be judgmental.

Bordersgirl57 Mon 17-Jun-19 23:51:29

Thank you kwest, madgran and tilleybelle. Things are looking good.

Madgran77 Tue 18-Jun-19 08:08:19