Gransnet forums

Relationships

Seeing grandchildren

(21 Posts)
fritherdog Thu 16-Apr-20 12:26:35

Our daughter-in-law has stopped us seeing our grandchildren for what seems a most ridiculous reason. Our second son (not the children’s father) split up with his girlfriend, who was our daughter-in-law’s sister. Since then I think, because we are his parents, she has told us we cannot see the children. It is terrible for us, I send them cards and have just sent the eldest his birthday present, but really have no idea if they get them. The last time I emailed my son(the children’s father), our daughter-in-law phoned me to shout that I was causing arguments in her house- I put the phone down and didn’t listen to any more. The time before when she shouted at me over the phone she was less than polite. We want to see our grandchildren as our relationship with them has been very good up to now. Any suggestions?

eazybee Thu 16-Apr-20 12:43:51

What is your son doing about this situation?

Toadinthehole Thu 16-Apr-20 12:46:04

Hello fritherdog. sorry if I’ve missed something, but is your son, who is the father of your GC, still living with them? Are they all ok as a family? You said you contacting them causes arguments, as if the relationship could be on the edge anyway. It does seem a bit bizarre, but in these times of lockdown, I can’t see there is much more you can do. I would just give them space for now, as regards phoning, but you could still write to them, unless they’ve told you not to. You can’t see them anyway at the minute. This lockdown may be at the heart of it somewhere, and nothing to do with the other relationship breaking down. It’s a horrible time at the minute, and you need to take care of yourselves. They’re more likely to come ‘ round’, if they feel less pressured.

fritherdog Thu 16-Apr-20 13:36:08

I think he is stuck in the middle- he is his wife’s carer as she has mental health problems, it seems that if he says anything in our defence he gets told off. But really I don’t know as he isn’t a good communicator at the best of times. I don’t know if I make things more difficult for him by texting

fritherdog Thu 16-Apr-20 13:36:49

And , yes my son lives with them

M0nica Thu 16-Apr-20 13:44:30

I would just lie low at present. As you say that your DiL has mental problems, constantly trying to contact your DGC is clearly only making the matter worse.

Problems like this can be a bit like insect bites, the more you scratch them, the worse they get. What is needed is for you to stand back and do nothing, possibly for a year or two, but you have to ask yourself the question, what is more important the welfare of your son, wife and grandchildren or your desire to see your grandchildren.

Starblaze Thu 16-Apr-20 13:46:06

I don't doubt the relationship breaking down between her sister and your other son is the catalyst but what else happened? Have you said anything negative about the sister? Why did the relationship break down? Did you take sides? Does he live with you? Why would your son need to defend you?

You can't see grandchildren now anyway so I would suggest you leave them alone for a bit and let things calm down.

fritherdog Thu 16-Apr-20 17:17:19

Thank you, sound advice, though hard as I want the children to know we still care. No I was careful not to take sides, the girlfriend has kept very quiet apart from being angry and upset at the beginning with my son (understandably). I just can’t understand what I have done except given birth to the boy who has left her sister. She seems to be thriving in a drama of her own making.

Starblaze Thu 16-Apr-20 17:19:06

Be gentle, you know she has mental health issues, this is not a good time for mental health. Let her get through it

TrendyNannie6 Thu 16-Apr-20 17:33:50

I would let the dust settle, I wouldn’t be contacting at this time,like others have said you can’t see anyone now, so try and be patient

fritherdog Thu 16-Apr-20 18:16:49

I will, should I continue to send cards, or stop that as well?

TrendyNannie6 Thu 16-Apr-20 18:23:04

If it was me, I wouldn’t do, I would give them space, much as you probably want to, I would just stand back 💐

Daisymae Thu 16-Apr-20 19:06:55

I think that you probably needs to make friends with your daughter in law, as hard as that may be. She obviously has issues but I can't see any other way if you want to maintain a good relationship with your son and GC. Its possible that they see you are not interested in them and target the children with gifts and attention, perhaps this is the root of the issue? Looks like its time to build some bridges here.

fritherdog Thu 16-Apr-20 19:11:18

Thank you- I will lie low for a while and when the virus lets us out will try again

Hithere Thu 16-Apr-20 19:24:49

These are trying times for everybody. Being stuck at home for weeks at a time does not help.

I am glad you agreed to lie low.

What does your son tell you about this problem?

Jomarie Thu 16-Apr-20 19:39:44

This is a difficult one I know - and advice will vary - but for my part I would say continue sending birthday cards to each grandchild but refrain from putting much in apart from "love from Gran/Nan" whatever they know you by. Don't be tempted to write anything more -
It's my experience that if you do nothing you will be damned and if you do something you will be damned - so Hobson's choice really - I personally would send a card only and hope for the best. Others will have a different opinion no doubt. Good luck

Smileless2012 Thu 16-Apr-20 19:47:06

I agree Jomarie there's nothing wrong with sending your GC
cards, it's not fair to them if the GP's they know and love suddenly seem to have disappeared from their lives.

Your son is in a difficult position fritherdog as his wife has mental health problems but that said, going along with her in preventing their children from seeing their GP's benefits no one, least of all the children.

fritherdog Thu 16-Apr-20 20:15:51

Thank you- I have plenty to think about

Hithere Thu 16-Apr-20 20:26:31

It is ok to keep sending cards if the parents of the child has not expressed something against it

If they say "we will contact you when ready, do not get in touch with us" - it is clear, no cards.

Lolo81 Fri 17-Apr-20 17:46:14

@fritherdog, are the cards you’ve been sending for specific occasions (birthdays, Easter etc)? The reason I ask is that receiving random cards for no reason could be seen as a “guilt trip” from your DIL - a way of coercing contact. My advice (like others have said) would be to give them space and refrain from contacting especially til the end of lockdown.

Starblaze Fri 17-Apr-20 18:34:50

Messages in cards need to be non guilt trips regardless.

NO (will make them feel bad)

"I'm so sad and I miss you"

"I really wish I could see you on your birthday"

"I have presents waiting for you"

YES (will make them smile)

"I hope you have a wonderful day"

"I love you"

"I can't wait to see you again"

Remember birthdays are about them, not you and how you feel.