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I'm just going to assume that I'm not the only one here whose parents show obvious favoritism towards certain grandchildren. In my mom's case, it is towards my nephew. We haven't seen any family in 3 yrs. but I know enough to know it's going to be the same. She will ignore my kids and dote on my sister's son. The problem is, my kids are now old enough to notice. Especially since we'll be there for two weeks.

 

So what do I tell them when they ask why Grandma spends all the time with their cousin and almost none with them even though she sees him every day and my kids once every few years?

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My 16 y/o ds is the oldest of 10 grandchildren. My mother told him on Sunday night, "You are my favorite of all the grandchildren. I love you so much." :glare: She has done this for years. He was MAD. He viewed it like I did - how could she say that? What about all these other awesome little people in our house? (He is a super fantastic brother who adores his baby sibs, kwim?)

 

My mil has always favored my dss. Dh & I know it, but she is a clever woman and hides it quite well. I don't mind if she favors dss, so long as no one knows.

 

(She is Asian and he is the first born son of her first born son. It was going to be like that regardless.)

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Please don't say anything to your kids at all, and lend a sympathetic ear towards them if they come to you. Tell them you're sorry and you don't understand it either.

 

My parents definitely favored my sister's kids. They'd go see her every week, and she lived over an hour away. Getting them to come see us was like pulling teeth, and we were 10 minutes away.

 

My parents are both gone now and I miss them tremendously. Just yesterday I was going through a box of pictures of my moms and that old pain came back to sting. I got to see all the things they did with and for my sister's kids. Things my kids never got. It used to hurt me SO much but my kids barely noticed.

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So what do I tell them when they ask why Grandma spends all the time with their cousin and almost none with them even though she sees him every day and my kids once every few years?

"I don't know, why don't you ask Grandma?"

 

OK, not really, but I'd want to.:D

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I'm on the other side of this one - my parents favor my children over my brother's children - and I can tell you that it is very uncomfortable to have the preferred children too. Just wondering, would you be able to bring up the issue with your mother, when the children aren't listening? Chances are she'd deny the charge of favoritism, but could you maybe say something like "Look, I know you love them all, but when you do/say xyz, my kids feel as though you don't care about them as much as you do about their cousin. Some things you could do to reassure them would be ..."

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Same thing here. We drive 7 hours to see them for a holiday like Christmas or something and our kids got no special attention over the grandkids who live nearby who they see all the time.

 

Years ago, my mil felt a little guilty now and then about it, so she gave my ds a cassette tape of her reading through a children's Bible night after night with another grandson. To put it in context, he was living there with his mother and siblings during a marital separation, so it made sense to her. But my son (about 4 or 5 at the time) said, "Mommie, why is she reading to ___cousin___ and not to me?" because she would make little comments to him, etc. on the tape. I stopped playing it for him because it just hurt his feelings.

 

We only go 1-3 times a year, less as time goes on because it's not reciprocated. What's almost worse, though, is that every couple years, they will stop to see us for a couple hours on their way somewhere else! So it isn't like they can't drive. Sometimes it still makes me mad, but they've lost out on my ds's whole childhood. They have lots of grandchildren near them. I just hope that I would want to know all my grandchildren. (They are very even in gift-giving, just not time-giving.)

 

My kids did ask me about it and I did say that they should ask her (which they didn't). I think I also said that those kids lived closer so she knew them better.

 

They are really involved grandparents with most of their grandkids. I can't figure out whether it's that I'm the least favorite daughter-in-law (that much is really clear) and it taints my kids or if the distance is the barrier.

 

My mother favors my older two over my younger two. She gets push-back about it from me. It's not blatantly obvious to them, but it's there. So far the younger two haven't caught on to it. But it makes me :mad:

Edited by Laurie4b
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I'm just going to assume that I'm not the only one here whose parents show obvious favoritism towards certain grandchildren. In my mom's case, it is towards my nephew. We haven't seen any family in 3 yrs. but I know enough to know it's going to be the same. She will ignore my kids and dote on my sister's son. The problem is, my kids are now old enough to notice. Especially since we'll be there for two weeks.

 

So what do I tell them when they ask why Grandma spends all the time with their cousin and almost none with them even though she sees him every day and my kids once every few years?

 

I would not have the bold characterize my children's holiday. I'm a straightforward, direct person. I'd flat out tell my parents that if it happens, we leave.

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My 16 y/o ds is the oldest of 10 grandchildren. My mother told him on Sunday night, "You are my favorite of all the grandchildren. I love you so much." :glare:

 

My grandmother used to tell us all that (the bolded). In front of each other. All of us grandchildren look back on it fondly.

 

My own parents overlook my children. They most definitely favor my brother's kids. However, he lives on the same street as they do, and I live 10 hours away, so I "justify" it that way so that I don't harbor resentment. It still hurts my feelings when I send them an email about something special my children have done, and they reply with, "that's nice. We did that with *one of brother's kids* when they were little. They were super fabulous and wonderful." And the email goes on and on praising brother's kids instead. Dh and I have a running joke about it.

 

I guess it all comes out in the wash though, because my kids favor Dh's parents (who live near us). ;)

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we actually talk quite openly about it with the dc. they noticed, asked, and we explored possible reasons together. in the end, we decided that its her call, its too bad, and there is not much that will change it. she played favourites with her own kids, and that has carried over to the next generation. we also talk about how not to play favourites ourselves, because we CAN do something about that. we challenge one another to find one good thing about someone we dislike seeing, and then another....

 

we 've also talked about "just because someone doesnt' love you the way you need/want, doesn't mean that they aren't loving you the very best that they can".

 

and it doesn't mean you have to like it, either.

:grouphug:,

its hard.

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My DM is like this with my brother's two girls. They hung the moon and my dd is chopped liver in her eyes. (BTW, they are well aware of the situation and so sweet that they try to make it up to dd when GM slights her:grouphug:.)

 

I refuse to run interference for her. When dd was young, she didn't notice. When she started to see the difference, I just told her that GM was just that kind of person and there wasn't really anything we could do about it. And that regardless of her behavior, we needed to be the children and grandchildren God wanted us to be.

 

I know dd's feelings were hurt a little in the beginning, but quickly she came to accept it for what it is. The thing is, what I tell dd is true no matter how old you are. Actions have consequences. If an older person mistreats and neglects certain people, then those people will not develop a close relationship with them.

 

That's why it irritates me to hear people lament over how some elderly woman "has no visitors, her family won't even come hardly ever...". They don't know the backstory. They don't know that perhaps she never had the time of day to give to her family when she was younger. Now that she is reaping what she has sown, how is it their fault that her harvest is bitter indeed?

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Edited to add: Do not read if you were only wanting sympathy. This gives possible causes in case you were looking for assistance with the problem.

 

 

I would just tell them that grandma is closer to their cousin because he lives near her and they know each other so well. To be honest, in this situation I would expect grandma to prefer the closer grandchild. You say your kids see her every few years. That means that they have seen her 2 or 3 times in their lives. I don't see how they could be expected to have a close relationship with her or her with them. Of course, that doesn't mean that she should ignore them while they are visiting. Another possibility is that there is only one of him. I've watched my kids' cousins happily playing with each other and leaving the unknown one out (they know each other and are used to doing stuff together). I've seen Grandma taking the left out child and doing something to make them feel less isolated. If you notice this happening, the obvious solution is to get the cousin involved with their play. (I know the parents of the cousins I'm talking about are clueless that their kids are leaving out the dcousins. For that matter, so are the cousins themselves. It is not intentionally done or done in spite.) Of course, these may not be the case at all. Your mom may just be a jerk. I have just seen some situations where I could understand why the grandma favored certain grandkids. (And, they DO usually seem to favor the ones that they are helping to raise/live nearby.) If you really want your kids to have good grandma time without the cousin, you may need to arrange for her to come visit you. That way, there isn't a cousin around to have to compete with.

Edited by Lolly
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we actually talk quite openly about it with the dc. they noticed, asked, and we explored possible reasons together. in the end, we decided that its her call, its too bad, and there is not much that will change it. she played favourites with her own kids, and that has carried over to the next generation. we also talk about how not to play favourites ourselves, because we CAN do something about that. we challenge one another to find one good thing about someone we dislike seeing, and then another....

 

we 've also talked about "just because someone doesnt' love you the way you need/want, doesn't mean that they aren't loving you the very best that they can".

 

and it doesn't mean you have to like it, either.

:grouphug:,

its hard.

 

We also talk about it with our children. My mil favors ALL the other grandchildren over my kids. I actually heard my son tell one of his friends that "his grandma doesn't like him very much." It's sad because none of them ever want to visit her. It's her loss.

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My MIL favors my SIL's children. SIL, and her now-in-their-20s children, get everything -monetary gifts, personal property, vacations - from my MIL. My kids get a token small check on their birthday and Christmas. The favoratism is hurtful and my children are old enough to see and feel it.

 

Last year we asked MIL and FIL if we could come visit for the holidays (yes, we have to ask for permission to visit) and were told no because they always go to SIL's and there wasn't room for us. I asked them if they could stay home one year so my children could spend the holidays with them and they said no. My inlaws spend every holiday with my SIL, would it hurt them to spend one with us?

 

When my niece got married three years ago my MIL gave every single piece of her mother's heirlooms (china, jewelry, etc) to my niece. She didn't reserve one thing for my daughter, not one.

 

What makes this whole thing even worse is that my MIL acknowedges that my niece, the first grandchild, is her best friend in the world and she could never love anyone like she loves her. Makes me sick.

 

My daughter needed to have a second round of braces and we didn't have the money at the time. My DH asked his parents for a small, short term loan. They said no, they didn't have the money. Two weeks later they paid to have a new front door and screen door installed in our niece's house.

 

Makes me sick.

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My mom definitely favors my sister's boys, but they lived with her until just recently, and still spend a ton more time with her than my kids do. We went through a really rocky phase where anything that my ds did that didn't match up to what my nephew (sister's oldest) did led to criticism from my mother -- and I mean being told that ds was "weird" because he was really verbal and because he was an early reader!

 

Now the situation with MIL is even stranger..... from the moment I entered the family, when my stepson was 3, dh's nieces and nephews complained that MIL favored him. There was a big age gap, and I guess they saw him getting more attention as the youngest. When dd was born, MIL lavished attention on her, although I don't think it was excessive.... and then ds was born and there was a really obvious disconnect. Every other baby got a handmade blanket, visits in the hospital, tons of baby gifts, and ds got none of that. Every single year, mil "forgets" his birthday unless I make a big fuss about it coming up. I thought maybe MIL had just gotten worn out with littles, but when my great-nephew was born, I was proven wrong. MIL threw a massive baby shower for my niece and has spent tons of time and energy on that baby (well, he just turned 2, so I have to stop calling him that:D). Now my stepson and great-nephew get all of her attention, dd and the (now-grown) other grandkids get a bit of attention, and MIL and ds have a very rocky relationship. DS knows what is going on, and it is terrible to see.

 

I don't really have words of advice, just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in this. I make sure that I am available to run interference during MIL's visits so that I can distract ds as much as possible, and make sure he knows that I think he's great. HTH.

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My inlaws have always favored my sdd above our whole family. They have frequently invited her for dinners when extended family was coming from out of town but did not invite any of the rest of us. They buy her lavish gifts at holidays and then give my kids a cheap toy. When we have gone on vacation with them, they give my sdd the master suite, while my husband and our other two children all squeeze into a small room with a couple of bunk beds.

 

Once my SIL had her children they moved to positions 1 and 2 and my sdd moved to 3. They visit those kids more then they ever visit us and they live 7 hours away while we are only 30 minutes away.

 

When we have gone on vacations with them, they only want to spend time with my sdd. The last time, we were going to Disney and my husband asked them if they would spend one day at the parks with us. He said we were traveling to spend time with them. They told him they would. When we got down there, MIL said she knew she had said they would spend a day with us, but they would rather go golfing. That is literally what she said! To add insult to injury, my MIL has always been crazy about Disney and has spent a few days there every year with my sdd ever since my husband and I married.

 

They finally crossed the line with my sdd, totally disregarding our wishes once she became an adult and now we have not spoken with them in 7 months and likely never will again knowing MIL.

 

It's really kind of hard to understand because my kids are very loving, affectionate and sweet. Not perfect, but very nice kids even if I do say so myself.

 

Lisa

Edited by LisaTheresa
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Well, I'll be the odd one (I think; I haven't read all the replies -sorry, must dash this morning), but I'd actually have a conversation with Grandma ahead of time telling her just what you told us: that your kids are now old enough to realize that she prefers spending time with nephew and if she can't put forth some effort to be a loving grandma to them while you're there for this short time, you might have to rethink coming.

 

You're not telling her whom to love, you're asking her to be sensitive to your childrens' feeling for a few days. I don't believe in letting adults get away with bad behavior at the expense of childrens' feelings. I also don't believe people who do this don't know what they're doing and that it hurts other people. I've experienced it myself with my kids and we simply stopped putting forth the effort to visit.

 

As another poster said, if you're only looking for commiseration please feel free to ignore my post. :001_smile:

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Please don't say anything to your kids at all, and lend a sympathetic ear towards them if they come to you. Tell them you're sorry and you don't understand it either.

 

My parents definitely favored my sister's kids. They'd go see her every week, and she lived over an hour away. Getting them to come see us was like pulling teeth, and we were 10 minutes away.

 

My parents are both gone now and I miss them tremendously. Just yesterday I was going through a box of pictures of my moms and that old pain came back to sting. I got to see all the things they did with and for my sister's kids. Things my kids never got. It used to hurt me SO much but my kids barely noticed.

:iagree:

We have had the same experience with Dh's parents.

Hugs to you Denise!

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My mom has privately admitted to me that she prefers my children and my brother's children (both of home were homeschooled) but she does not show it in actual favoritism. All the grandchildren get her attention, her gifts and her love. She just prefers these children because they respond back to her in love. The other grandchildren are rude, take her and her gifts for granted (ie. no thankfulness) and barely give her the time of day. But I doubt that this is the kind of situation you are talking about.

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Yep, we see it here too. From all three sets of grandparents.

 

My MIL favors her granddaughters who lived with her for a while. The g-mother is my SILs bio-mom and dh is a step child, so I think it has to do with that also. We live a mile away from my SIL and her dds and I can't count the times that she has driven 2 hours to visit with them and don't even let us know that she and FIL are in town, let alone 5 minutes from our house. :glare: MIL is a good grandmother, but just closer to the other girls. I remember one year that she specifically asked me if I was bringing dd4 to a holiday dinner....dd4 is adopted....so, I guess she just thought I wasn't going to bring her with us? :glare:

 

 

My mother favors her granddaughters (one of my sisters dds) who lived with her off and on, but she also is very, very close to my sister so I think it goes hand in hand with that. She would go visit my sister when she lived 2 hours away, but wouldn't drive 15 minutes to my house. I lived 15 minutes from her for 7 years, and she came to my house 3 times. Each was for a brief visit around a holiday party and she Always left the event wayyy early.

 

 

My husbands bio-mom grossly favors her oldest son and his kids. Second place goes to dh's younger brother's family. Again, they see him more and the kids more. DH's younger brother had a baby about the same time we had dd12, and we lived in the same town. She drove over a snowy mountain pass to see him in the hospital, but never came to see dd12 at all. DD12 was about a year old before she saw her the first time. MIL even told the other mother to not tell use she had visited her. LOL Small town, small family....of course we knew. LOL

 

This is all quite ironic, considering every person in our families comment on how kind and sweet our kids are. They have said, numerous times that they are absolutely the best behaved kids in the family. So, it isn't like they are hard to be around or stressful.

 

I agree that time spent with the kids has a lot to do with it. But, in my family, it seems rooted in the grandparents favoritism of one of their own bio-kids. If they are closer to one of their own children, they make more effort to spend time with them, thus they are around the kids more.

 

My husbands bio-mom is the worst I have encountered. He actually confronted his own family when he was about 19yo to address the differences in how he was raised. It was prompted after he got a six pack of tube socks for Christmas and his brothers got nice, appropriate gifts. He really didn't care about the presents, it was just one more attempt by them to not even camouflage the differences. It was really good for him to get it off his chest.

One Christmas when he was younger, his brothers both got motorcycles and he got a very practical, small gift. When he confronted them, they did admit to it and tried harder after that.

 

 

For my kids, they aren't around these grandparents often enough to even know about the differences. I know, because I piece things together....it is pretty obvious most times. If it was to the point that the kids started noticing, I would say something. Just because I saw first hand how dh carried with him for years. I don't care if the grandparents favor some kids over others, but I do expect them to not make it apparent to my kids. I definitely apply the "don't ask, don't tell, don't make it obvious" philosophy here.

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So what do I tell them when they ask why Grandma spends all the time with their cousin and almost none with them even though she sees him every day and my kids once every few years?

 

I think you've answered your own question. Of course he's her favorite -- he's the one that she knows best and that she sees all the time. If he's even a halfway decent kid, she probably loves him very much.

 

I'm not suggesting that your kids aren't as worthy of the love and attention from their grandma, and I'm not excusing her behavior, but I can understand why she would feel closer to the grandchild that she sees all the time.

 

Is there any way you can call her in advance and remind her that your kids love her, and would really enjoy some attention from her? Let her know that you feel it's important for your kids to have special Grandma memories, too.

 

Cat

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I'm just going to assume that I'm not the only one here whose parents show obvious favoritism towards certain grandchildren. In my mom's case, it is towards my nephew. We haven't seen any family in 3 yrs. but I know enough to know it's going to be the same. She will ignore my kids and dote on my sister's son. The problem is, my kids are now old enough to notice. Especially since we'll be there for two weeks.

 

So what do I tell them when they ask why Grandma spends all the time with their cousin and almost none with them even though she sees him every day and my kids once every few years?

 

Dh and I are the only ones in our sibling sets with kids, so there's no favoritism between cousins. But both my mother AND my MIL show obvious preference for my dd over my ds. Dd is like a little adult in a lot of ways - she likes to sit and talk with the grown-ups and everybody loves it. Ds, though hilarious and delightful, is VERY high energy, rough-and-tumble...they have no patience for a little kid who acts like a little kid. :glare:

 

He's too little to have any idea, but if they keep it up I'll tell them in no uncertain terms that if they can't treat them equally they won't be seeing either of them.

 

My grandparents picked one of their 20+ grandkids to favor, and it's been incredibly obvious all along. The rest of us don't exist. My grandfather didn't even come to my wedding. He lives 20 minutes away...he just didn't feel like it. My grandmother came with one of my aunts instead.

 

People are crazy.

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I think we are very lucky in this regard. I'm not sure if my mom favors any of her grandkids. She is around my DD more than my brothers 2 kids. Also my DD is named after her. But she is fairly sensitive to it, because my grandmother (her MIL) had favorites. Luckily parents easily make up for grandparents quirks.

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We are dealing with the favoritism issue now, and to make matters worse, we live together. SIL's kids are 2 minutes away, and she is always with them. I thought when we started living together ds and Nana would get their old relationship back (they were very very close) but he can't compete with the other 3 grandkids, especially the girls. I believe my SIL has partially engineered the situation, being the drama queen that she is. Nobody can be as busy or have as hectic of a life as she does.:glare: I also noticed that she started treating him differently when he was diagnosed with Aspergers. Just last night MIL mentioned how she doesn't want to seem like she is forgetting about us, but the money she gets from babysitting the other grandkids is such a big help to them. (SIL pays for her visits to the hairdresser every month!?!?) I guess the rent we are paying, along with other major expenses, doesn't count. (We are paying $700 a month more than what we agreed upon.) I think this is how she justifies it in her mind - that it's a job. Ds is just starting to notice. I will have to say something eventually or leave. Perhaps she doesn't realize that as soon as we leave, they will lose the house. My FIL realizes that what she is doing is wrong, and has told her that her daughter is using her, but she refuses to listen, and has some pretty big blinders on. What really boggles my mind is that she was always very adamant about how she would never show any favoritism to grandkids. Dh, SIL, and BIL are all adopted, and were never considered 'real' grandkids by her FIL's family. In fact, when asked about them on his deathbed, FIL said they were not his grandkids at all. So she knows the pain I am going through and that I want to keep my son from experiencing. This was longer than I intended - it's a very painful subject to me at the moment.

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I'm just going to assume that I'm not the only one here whose parents show obvious favoritism towards certain grandchildren. In my mom's case, it is towards my nephew. We haven't seen any family in 3 yrs. but I know enough to know it's going to be the same. She will ignore my kids and dote on my sister's son. The problem is, my kids are now old enough to notice. Especially since we'll be there for two weeks.

 

So what do I tell them when they ask why Grandma spends all the time with their cousin and almost none with them even though she sees him every day and my kids once every few years?

 

:grouphug:

 

My family is very large, so while there ARE favorites -- there are enough adults that each kid is pretty well covered. And I wouldn't say "favorites" per se, as much as I would say "relates to better" (which just looks like favoritism).

 

I think some people find it hard to relate to family they see so infrequently and/or know mostly from communication, versus from everyday interaction. That doesn't justify your mom's behavior, but maybe makes it easier to understand and to explain to your children.

 

My best friend only takes her kids to visit her parents once a year. The other grandkids live locally. She has the opposite situation; her parents dote over the visiting grandkids and pretty well ignore or cast to the side their local grandkids. (This friend's twin brothers are good friends with my brother, so we get to hear both sides of the story.) It makes my friend's kids very uncomfortable because the cousins instantly feel in competition with them for the grandparents' attention.

 

I'd be honest with your kids. Let them know that it isn't that she favors your nephew but that since she DOES see him everyday it's much easier and natural for her to interact with him differently than she does with them. Brainstorm together ways your kids might find different ways to try and relate to Grandma while they're there. Call ahead and let your mom know that the kids love visiting her, and are hoping for some one-on-one time with her so they can connect more. If the visit is a bust, then at least you know you tried to address the situation as best you could from your place, you know?

 

It sucks to feel second loved. I'm sorry you guys are feeling that way, and I hope your mom is able to find a better way to show you guys just how much she loves you.

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I could go on and on but I think that the most hurtful thing ever said to my oldest two boys was from my MIL. After my current dh adopted them both we had a party, my MIL came and the first thing out of her mouth was, "Now you two are my grandsons for real". So for the last 6 years they were her fake grandchildren? :glare:

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No answer here, but mil is no longer here to deliberately hurt my children! YAY! It started with a temper tantrum when my second dd was born--mil had the fit outside because I wasn't having the c-section quickly enough. She needed to get to MT to see her "real" (her words) granddaughters. I guess mine were chopped liver???? My mil paid for one of her grandson's tuition at a Christian school, bought all his clothes and most of his food for 18 years--with the money that we paid her for the ranch. When it was paid off, I told her to go ask the other family--they had all the money. Mil couldn't be bothered to come to her gd's senior recital as she would be tired the next day. It wasn't a matter of g'ma knowing the other families better--we lived next door to her for heaven's sake! We pretty much dropped contact when 1) g'pa slammed one of the girls up against the wall for sitting in his chair and 2) when dd#2 was attacked by mil's dog. We relented after a few years and then dd was attacked by the cat, that was it. Mil attacked ds in her wheel chair a few years later at a family thing. And to top it off, mil deliberately made a point of leaving little things to her "real" grandkids. Oh well, I have nice kids and SHE missed out! I've been truthful to my kids and told them that g'ma was a bitter old woman, who didn't like people she couldn't manipulate.

I lived right next door to my mom when DS#3 was born, it took her 3 weeks to come see him!! What is wrond with people?!?

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