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Do you have grandparents who just refuse....


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to be interested in your dc's activities? How do you deal with it?

 

Once again it is time for the County Fair. Dc have projects and exhibits which have received awards. Their 4H club also has a dog show. It is only once a year. Dh's parents have only come to watch once in the past 5 years, yet his dad goes to the fair to sit in his political party's tent and hand out flyers.

 

These grandparents are vocal about my dc's cousin and all of the soccer and baseball games they attend. My Dc show their dogs and they are getting very good at it, especially Dd, who may end up going to her breed's nationals this year. We are beginning to travel quite a bit for dog shows. The level of improvement both Dc and their dogs have made is impressive, especially this year. They are excelling at obedience, agility and showmanship and it is amazing to see how their dogs pay such close attention to them.

 

This is the most local show grandparents will have the opportunity to attend. All 3 of the local English Springer Spaniel breeders are coming to watch. But, Dh parents are making excuses about why they might not be able to come. My mil mentioned she has a hair appointment. :confused:

 

I insisted Dh call them back last night and be absolutely frank with his mother, telling her how many non-relatives are coming to watch, that it is only once a year, that Dc have become very accomplished, etc.

 

Now I'm wondering if I should have just let it go. But I know it hurts my Dc's feelings when their grandparents judge their activities not worth attending, and they have to listen to descriptions of their cousin's games.

 

Anyway, have you experienced this? How do you handle it?

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My in-laws were this way with my kids. It made me sad when I heard my 2nd son, who was about 8, tell his friend in the car that his grandma didn't like him. My kids, now that they are older, really want to have as little as possible to do with their grandma (fil has passed). Her loss.

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Dh is an only and his parents have zero interests in any of our children. They attend nothing and usually don't even call or send a card for birthdays. Sometimes they will pick a kid up for their birthday to go shopping, but most of the time they forget.

They might or might not stay in town for Christmas and even if they stay home, they may or may not spend Christmas with us.

 

There isn't much I can do about it. We just never expect them and the kids don't either. It's a happy occasion when they show up, but otherwise, we are well aware that they just aren't interested.

 

Low expectations apparently help reduce disappointment. :/

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to be interested in your dc's activities? How do you deal with it?

 

Yes. My in-laws are uninterested in our kids. They also disagree with homeschooling, though they have never directly said so.

 

My MIL likes to talk about her friends' grandkids and the things they do, I guess in the hope we will suddenly see the light and change our lifestyle. Fortunately for us they are not local; we see them once or twice a year.

 

I insisted Dh call them back last night and be absolutely frank with his mother, telling her how many non-relatives are coming to watch, that it is only once a year, that Dc have become very accomplished, etc.

 

Now I'm wondering if I should have just let it go. But I know it hurts my Dc's feelings when their grandparents judge their activities not worth attending, and they have to listen to descriptions of their cousin's games.

 

I would let it go. I wouldn't insist that my husband pursue them or beg them to come. If they aren't interested, it isn't important how many nonrelatives, etc. are going to be there. They are not interested.

 

If I was going to insist my husband say anything to his parents, it would be that if they continually talk up other kids' activities while ignoring yours in front of the kids, you cannot bring your kids to see them anymore.

 

As my kids have grown, they can see for themselves how uninterested their grandparents are. It's too bad my parents are dead, because my mom at least would be much more interested in them. But that's the way it goes.

 

We are building other relationships with people who appreciate our kids.

 

It's really hard, and sad, and I'm sorry for you and your kids. For me, I've reached the point where I don't care anymore. I'm polite with my in-laws and I try to talk to them about our kids' schooling etc but I don't push it anymore. They are ever going to care.

 

ETA: I have no idea how I messed up the quote box fonts, color, etc. I assume it's clear where I'm quoting!

Edited by marbel
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Yes. My in-laws are uninterested in our kids. They also disagree with homeschooling, though they have never directly said so.

 

My MIL likes to talk about her friends' grandkids and the things they do, I guess in the hope we will suddenly see the light and change our lifestyle. Fortunately for us they are not local; we see them once or twice a year.

 

 

I would let it go. I wouldn't insist that my husband pursue them or beg them to come. If they aren't interested, it isn't important how many nonrelatives, etc. are going to be there. They are not interested.

 

If I was going to insist my husband say anything to his parent, it would that if they continually talk up other kids' activities while ignoring yours in front of the kids, you cannot bring your kids to see them anymore.

 

As my kids have grown, they can see for themselves how uninterested their grandparents are. It's too bad my parents are dead, because my mom at least would be much more interested in them. But that's the way it goes.

 

We are building other relationships with people who appreciate our kids.

 

It's really hard, and sad, and I'm sorry for you and your kids. For me, I've reached the point where I don't care anymore. I'm polite with my in-laws and I try to talk to them about our kids' schooling etc but I don't push it anymore. They are ever going to care.

 

I'm thinking along the same lines. Considering not even inviting them anymore. We visit them and they visit us, but they have no interest in what the dc are learning or in their activities. My kids enjoy their visits to my in-laws. Mil plays games with them and will sometimes listen if they talk about 4H or skating. But, I know it hurts my Dc when their grandparents won't come to their activities. And, you are right, they should not be talking about the cousins activities. Maybe that's what needs to be addressed.

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My dad's mother was like this. We found out last year when his sister came to visit that she did this to her dc too. Iow, when she was with us ALL she talked about was how accomplished our cousins were. When she was with them all they heard about was how great we were. It was horrible and built a silent wall between us.

 

My mom's mom has started doing this in the past ten years. I told her about Dad's family and then asked WHY all she talked about were how great my cousins were. She said, "Juliana, you should know how amazing your children are without me telling you. So I tell you about the rest of the family, to make conversation, not competition."

 

Granted, none of my grandparents attended anything. Now my cousins go pick my gramma up to attend all their activities and since she retired she has been more involved in their lives (some of my cousins are the same ages as my older dc).

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I wouldn't invite them anymore or mention to dc that they aren't coming, etc.

My MIL will come to the occassional soccer game. She tried to watch an archery match and tkd practice once. I quit inviting her because, well, I got tired of extending the effort.

Now, she is moving away from 3 of her children and all 4 of her grandchildren, across the country, to live near one friend. So, part of me is grieving that she will NEVER have a relationship with my children, no matter how hard I try. The other part is glad I won't be feeling as guilty as I have been for the last 10 years that I'm not trying hard enough or doing something right.

The kicker for me was when she blamed me for the move. She said she didn't spend enough time with her grandkids and that I wouldn't let them come over and spend the night. She still doesn't get that my kids are terribly allergic to her dogs and cigarette smoke. Still. Y'all would have been so proud of me. I just stood and stared at her. The chirping, awkward silence lasted over a minute with me just staring at her. Ha!

The reason she's not in my boys' lives is because they were born the wrong gender. She wanted girls. She didn't speak to me for 2 weeks after she found out I was having another boy. Like it was my fault or something.

Anyway, surround your kids with the people who want to be part of their lives. Let go the ones who don't. My favorite "grandma" growing up was my dad's first fiance's mom. She was wonderful to us and I still miss her dearly. Grandparents can come from anywhere.

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Yes I did so those certain people are no longer welcome in their lives at all. My kids don't need their crumbs of affection, it is not worth it to me.

 

:iagree: My ILs are the same. It's their loss, not ours. Sadly, both my parents have passed away.

 

It just makes me all the more determined that when my kids are grown they're not going to be required to 'book' weeks in advance if they wish to see me :glare:.

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It was a factor in stopping communication w/my mother. She had zero interest in the kids on an ongoing basis. She couldn't remember their birthdays...but she'd swoop in, pay attention for a month or 2, then they'd cease to exist for months on end. It was hurtful for them, to be discarded time and again.

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My father has no use for my family or I unless he wants something. We only see him when we're shopping in town. I've learned to just treat him like an acquaintance now. One that can talk to the kids, but will never get to have a real relationship with them.

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I don't exactly have this problem, but one that is similar in a way. My MIL makes an effort to go to their activities, and will hound me about them if I conveniently "forget" to tell her when they are. The problem is that she goes, and then is overly critical about how the kids do. 2 years ago after taking DS to a gymnastics class, she went on and on to me in front of him about what a horrible job he did -- how he wasn't paying attention, wasn't focused, didn't put in much of an effort, did a terrible job, etc., etc. And she's not one to say it ONCE. Oh, no. She has to repeat it over and over to really drive the point home. That same year I was showing her videos of Peek Week at DD's dance school. One of the clips was of Hip Hop, which wasn't her favorite class or dance, but the kid stuck it out for the year so I have to give her credit for that. She looked at my daughter and said, "This is absolutely horrible! You're doing a TERRIBLE job!" I think DD was 5, almost 6 at the time. Yeah, she's a sweet lady. The kids had an art camp last week at a paint your own pottery place and last night they had an art show to showcase all the things they made that week. Guess who I DIDN'T tell about the show? My brother and my SIL came to it instead and said and did all of the socially correct things. I was afraid if I invited MIL, she'd criticize everything the kids made -- especially because the camp was for 8-12 year olds (we even had some 13/14 year-olds in it with their younger siblings) and where my kids were on the younger side, I knew their art wouldn't look as good comparatively, and that's what she'd focus on. She wouldn't focus on the awesome fish DS made on his tie-dye shirt -- probably one of the best things he's ever made. She wouldn't focus on the painting of the ocean DD made and how she used different blues to show contrast between the waves and the sky. Nope -- she'd focus instead on all the things they didn't do well. And yes, we've talked to her about this. She'll be better for awhile, and then revert back to being her charmingly blunt self. She lacks a filter, but at over 60 and NOT senile, I don't consider that a valid excuse to be rude and mean.

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Yes, my dad has no interaction/interest at all in my children (or me, for that matter). It's very sad to me. My mom (they divorced many years ago) is very busy with her own activities and interests and attends a token event from time to time, but overall she is very distracted and (dare I say) selfish. When I've spoken to her about it she gets very defensive and I always wish I'd never brought it up.

 

DH's mom asks for info/interaction to be emailed to her, but it is very one-sided as she very rarely calls or sends mail to my kids.

 

Re-married grandparents never acted as grandparents....mostly focused on their spouses and their own lives (same behavior as "step parents").

 

I've seen books on "How to be a Great Grandparent" and have wondered if they have, as well, and wondered what they think of their grandparenting. You know, I don't think they consider what "grandparenting" is. Again, I think they are acting (dare I say) selfish.

 

 

Makes me sad because my own grandparents were so dear to me and loved me so well. Even though they died a number of years ago, I still feel very connected to them and miss them dearly. I hope I live a good, long life so that I can be an amazing grandparent to my own!

 

I've explained some of this to my children so that they understand that it's not because of anything they've done/not done. I think they understand as well as could be expected for their age.

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I would let it go. I wouldn't insist that my husband pursue them or beg them to come. If they aren't interested, it isn't important how many nonrelatives, etc. are going to be there. They are not interested.

 

:iagree: Your husband has tried. I would use it as an object lesson to the kids: yes, it is favoritism, yes it is very rude, no you don't have to be like that when you grow up, and I hope you won't, now that you know how it feels. :grouphug:

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My in-laws are on the other side of the world and do not speak English, so no one is expecting them to show up, understand American culture, or know what is going on. :)

 

My dad has absoutely no interest in my children. He is more intereted in my dog than my kids. I bet my dad and step-mom know my dog's name, but can't tell you my kids full names. He never even acknowledged that my third son was born. He doesn't send birthday cards or Christmas presents.

 

As others have said, this is sad to me because his parents were dear to me. My grandmother is still alive, but my grandfather died when my oldest was 4 months old. However, they weren't the types to show up for my recitals or anything. They took me on vacations and I spent the night at their house. I even had several birthday parties at their home. So, even though I have no memory of them attending stuff, I had a real relationship with them.

 

Fortunately, my dad lives in a different state, so my children have not found his lack of interest hurtful. Unfortunately, my mom does understand the big picture and so she tries to do it all. She lives several hours away and still works full-time so she doesn't come to things, but she tries very hard to be the best at everything she can do. She adores my children. She thinks they are little angels. :D

Mandy

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My dad and step-mom have all but written off DS13. When he was little (maybe 4 or 5ish) he spent the night with my dad and step-mom and my step-mom "jokingly" asked DS which grandparents he liked better, them or my in-laws. DS begged and pleaded not to answer, to the point where he was crying. My step-mom badgered him and when he finally answered truthfully that he preferred DH's parents, my step-mom got all huffy and wounded. He has never felt comfortable with my family and has felt even less-so after that incident.

 

When we see my dad (maybe 3 times a year) he will say things like, "call me if you want to come over" but DS is just not like that. Even with my in-laws who he sees frequently, they ask outright if he would like to come stay with them on XXX day. Otherwise, DS's preference is to be home. Basically, you have to make plans with him, not the other way around.

 

Anyway, ever since then they have not pursued DS in any way. They sometimes call him on his birthday, never attend his parties, if they come for Christmas it is always weeks or months later. DS has played baseball for 9 yrs. and they have been to exactly 1 game, and not even all of it. He has done karate for 7 yrs. and they have NEVER been to one of his belt tests or even to his ceremony when he was black-belted. He has been in talent shows and other such events and they have never shown up. For the longest time he was the ONLY grandchild. Now that they have my step-sister's baby, they most definitely want nothing to do with DS13. If DS were to call my dad and say he wanted to go over, my dad would be all for it, HOWEVER, at this point DS feels so uncomfortable with them (particularly my step-mom) that he doesn't have the desire at all. He calls and invites them to things (usually by answering machine since they never pick up) but they rarely even bother to get back to him. He has learned not to expect them for anything. DS doesn't really talk about them at all so I'm not sure if he's hurt by the whole situation or if he really just doesn't care.

 

My in-laws, on the other hand, are FANTASTIC!!!!! They are supportive of EVERYTHING. They call all the time. They visit all the time. If DS invites them to something they make every effort to be there. They take him for a week at a time every summer, and now that he's homeschooling and both MIL & FIL are retired they ask for him to come down more often. When he's down there everything revolves around him (not in a spoiled kind of way). They go to baseball games, parks, zoos and they even took him to karate camp 2 hrs. away from us (4 hrs. from them) back in June.

Edited by contessa20
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My inlaws are the same exact way. They don't even acknowledge the kids birthday. When we move we are cutting them out because I can not take it anymore. They act all lovey dovey with the kids and act like a great grandma/grandpa in front of other people but when no one else is around they want nothing to do with the kids. I still have issues with dealing with it, but it is their loss in the end.

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My parents are very hands-off with my children. They love them, but really, their own pursuits are their first priority. It does hurt, but it's just who they are. Sometimes I get short with them when they start handing out excuses. My mom has an offer to have my daughter overnight, and she's been waiting for a couple months. Every time my kiddo asks, my mom says "I'll have to see what we have planned my next night off.." And basically always finds something better to do (cards with friends, outing with my sister, etc).

 

My mom works 3 days a week. :glare:

 

I just let it roll usually. It stinks though.

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The only way to change it is to be the best darned gramma you can be.

 

:grouphug:

 

That's my plan. I never want my grandchildren to go through the hurt and disappointment that my children go through because of our parents. :glare:

 

My in-laws already have 12 grandchildren under the age of 11. My MIL actually said, " I hated going to my own kid's recitals, why would I want to go to the grandkids?" And then she is worried that she will hurt the feelings of one child by paying more attention to another. It's a big mess.

 

My mom lives in South America and I was very relieved to see her move. She made all sorts of promises to my kids, activities or sleep overs or whatever, but something ALWAYS came up and they were left broken hearted.

 

My dad is an awesome grandpa, when he can be, and the kids love him. He is super busy during certain season so he isn't around much in the summer. He is very involved when he can be though. In the winter months, he comes and picks oldest DD up for karate twice a week because he knows I can't make it happen to get her there. And he takes the girls to the movies a few times a year and lets them get a ton of popcorn and candy and see the new releases. He is pretty awesome. I should call and tell him that today. <3

Edited by Munchkins_mama
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I guess we'll stop pursuing a meaningful relationship with them beyond visiting. I had no idea how prevalent this problem is. Seems like we are in good company, and for that I am sorry. At least my mom is involved and super proud of her grandchildren.

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My in-laws already have 12 grandchildren under the age of 11. My MIL actually said, " I hated going to my own kid's recitals, why would I want to go to the grandkids?" And then she is worried that she will hurt the feelings of one child by paying more attention to another. It's a big mess.

 

 

I can sort of see her point, and at least she isn't trying to special to some and not others. I hope you all can have a big get together periodically and she can be fair to all.

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I guess we'll stop pursuing a meaningful relationship with them beyond visiting. I had no idea how prevalent this problem is. Seems like we are in good company, and for that I am sorry. At least my mom is involved and super proud of her grandchildren.

 

You are very blessed! I had a different problem. My parents were not involved with my kids at all. They loved them....or the idea of them....and liked to hear what they were up to, but could not bring themselves to be a integral part of their lives. They would come to very important things....but not the regular birthday party, soccer game etc. My mom did a bit more because she was bored after my dad passed.

 

I always just assumed the grandparents weren't interested....and would neglect to give dh's dad and step-mom the soccer or swim schedule....or when the kids play was etc. NOW, I hurt their feelings!:confused: Never meant to....and now I let them in on everything.....if they can't come ....oh well, but many times they really make an effort to come to even the smallest things.....

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I'm not a beat around the bush type of person. I would tell them point blank that if they don't care to see the kids do their activities, that is their choice, but to also *keep their traps shut* about the other grandkids activities that they did go see. Yes, I would probably use those exact words, too. That way, there is no misunderstanding what you mean.

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That's funny that you posted that--many years ago, before we even HAD children, my mil announced that "You better not think that I'm going to be one of those BABYSITTING grandmas!" My answer, "Well then, you'll not get to be one of those INTERFERING grandmas!"

 

:lol: Good for you!

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I'm not a beat around the bush type of person. I would tell them point blank that if they don't care to see the kids do their activities, that is their choice, but to also *keep their traps shut* about the other grandkids activities that they did go see. Yes, I would probably use those exact words, too. That way, there is no misunderstanding what you mean.

 

I am mostly the same way, which is why I asked Dh to call back and come to the point. My family just kind of lays it on the line, though I try to be sensitive to feelings. Sometimes, we go over the top and we apologize the next day or very soon afterward. We don't have a lot of hanging onto anger or manipulation going on. Dh's family has some sort of weird games they play with each other where no one says what they really think and everyone is left to guess what the other person really means or wants or feels. Lots of opportunities for miscommunication, very little room for growth in relationships. lots of grudges, and silent treatments. I suppose that's why I wanted him to call back. I wasn't really certain that he and mil actually understood one another. It's a continual problem.

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In my family, that's just not part of our love language (at my parents' level, anyway). They never came to their own children's games or competitions. Occasionally my dad would suffer through one of my orchestra concerts.

 

My parents are past retirement age now, so I expect even less. On rare occasions they come to something, but I never get the kids' hopes up or even let them know it's a thing grandparents commonly attend. If my kids ask about it, I'll make an excuse for the folks. There's no need for hard feelings.

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Dh's family has some sort of weird games they play with each other where no one says what they really think and everyone is left to guess what the other person really means or wants or feels. Lots of opportunities for miscommunication, very little room for growth in relationships. lots of grudges, and silent treatments.

 

Yes, that sounds horribly familiar. You're definitely not alone :grouphug:.

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Yes. We moved 900 miles away, so it's a non-issue now.

 

We didn't move *because* of it, but it sure made it easier to make the decision to leave.....

 

My kids were just getting to the age that they noticed (ie why is everyone else's grandma coming in from out of town for the dance recital and *MY* grandma who lives 5 minutes away chose to go on vacation that week. OR said grandma was getting her hair/nails done and couln't come to the Christmas show OR grandpa had a bunch of home chores/ errands to run - that took 2 days - before he had the time to drive the 5 minutes and meet his newest granddaughter days after she was born)

 

It was frustrating and hurtful to me on a regular basis. No matter how hard i tried, it was destructive to an otherwise okay relationship. Moving has removed the expectation....well, almost - I was still hurt my mom didn't come for baby's 1st bday - but whatever - her loss. It's better b/c it's not in my face on a daily basis

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My in-laws are like this. They have come to some of my ds' soccer games but mil complained about it the whole time. I know, though, that they do go to many of my nephew's sports activities. I don't think my children are aware of that, though, and I would like to keep it that way.

 

It used to bother me but I have just learned to let it go. I don't tell them about any of the children's activities, in fact, I don't tell them much about the kids. I figure if they were interested, they would ask and make an effort.

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Yes, unfortunately. My mil has very little to do with my kids even though she lives less than 3 miles away. She has missed ALL my baby showers, most birthday parties, and most all other special events including Tball games. I could care less whether she comes or not but I feel bad for the kids. She always says she just feels too bad to come (which I seriously doubt).

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Yes I did so those certain people are no longer welcome in their lives at all. My kids don't need their crumbs of affection, it is not worth it to me. This goes for my side and his side of the family.

 

Agreed! We don't do crumbs of affection either. MIL thought she could extend my DHs second class status to his (our) children. She didn't count on a DIL (ME) would could be the bigger b**ch. Now she whines about not seeing our kids because her golden son moved out of town with his kids, and suddenly she wants to be Grandma of the Yr w my kids. Um, no. Here's the bed you made, MIL, enjoy lying in it! Besides we don't want to sit around and hear about the other fam.

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My in-laws are like this. I know they love the kids, but never make an effort to do anything with them. They're only about 25 minutes away! They come for birthday celebrations but even then my FIL is standing there, literally with his hat in his hands, like he can't get out of here fast enough. :001_rolleyes:

 

But, they can both be critical (of everything) so I don't push it. It's their loss. Fortunately my parents are very involved with them, despite living a solid hour away, and my kids adore them. So I don't think they really feel any kind of a grandparent "void."

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Both sets of grandparents are divorced, so we have four 'sets' of grandparents.

None are involved or interested. :tongue_smilie:

 

We do live 500+ miles from family, so that accounts for some. But when we try to involve them - still, nothing.

 

I sort of give my parents grace. Besides the distance, I think we get left out because:

My sister was a teenage mom years ago so my parents became grandparents very young and now they have great-grandchildren the age of my child.

And my baby brother has a large family with lots of young kids. They run around to all their activities and vacation with them.

My child is just one of 20-some grandchildren and great-grandchildren under the age of 14 on that side of the family.

 

My in-laws, though?

I don't get them.

DS is only grandson. They have two granddaughters from SIL.

My FIL, just this past year, realized he had never spent a holiday or birthday with DS so spent a week with us at Christmas. We had a wonderful time - lots of great memories. I was so thankful he realized on his own that he is missing out on his grandson's life.

I should probably give MIL grace, as she raised her two granddaughters so is probably tired. Still. This is her ONLY chance at actually being a grandmother! She has no interest.

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Honestly, I would let it go and not make a big deal about it, especially in front of the children. (I don't mean to imply that you were.) My MIL was like that to an extent; she was basically a kind and decent person, but didn't take much interest in the lives of our children. Maybe she was just tired of all of that, who knows. (She had 7 children herself!) My husband and I tried to have the attitude of "funny Grandma!" instead of "poor us." I don't want to fill my children with self-pity; I want them to be aware that no one is perfect and many have a lot of quirks and problems and life still goes on.

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Well my kids are the only grandkids in town, so there is no comparison going on here. But I will say that my inlaws only attend some things. My oldest played upward basketball and they came to one game. They've come to one piano recital and did attend my daughter's spring ballet performance. My kids love it when they come but they don't expect them to come to everything. A once a year dog show doesn't sound like that big a deal but what if it is something they really hate to do. I know it sounds selfish but think about it from their perspective. Sitting for a few hours (is this thing outside?) Watching an event they don't really connect with... I was asked to go to my brother's graduation ceremony. I do not comprehend graduations at all. To me they are something you fight traffic to watch very boring speeches by people you don't know or care about. So I whined quite a bit about it. Well, behind my brother's back. And I ended up going. And hosting an ice cream party after. So maybe I'm not the best example of how it's ok to skip family events you don't feel like going to. My rambling point is, I guess I can sympathize. They should be more considerate when talking about games they attended. That may be a midguided attempt to get your kids interested in something they are interested in attending.

Edited by Mimm
typing on phone, yay
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Well my kids are the only grandkids in town, so there is no comparison going on here. But I will say that my inlaws only attend some things. My oldest played upward basketball and they came to one game. They've come to one piano recital and did attend my daughter's spring ballet performance. My kids love it when they come but they don't expect them to come to everything. A once a year dog show doesn't sound like that big a deal but what if it is something they really hate to do. I know it sounds selfish but think about it from their perspective. Sitting for a few hours (is this thing outside?) Watching an event they don't really connect with... I was asked to go to my brother's graduation ceremony. I do not comprehend graduations at all. To me they are something you fight traffic to watch very boring speeches by people you don't know or care about. So I whined quite a bit about it. Well, behind my brother's back. And I ended up going. And hosting an ice cream party after. So maybe I'm not the best example of how it's ok to skip family events you don't feel like going to. My rambling point is, I guess I can sympathize. They should be more considerate when talking about games they attended. That may be a midguided attempt to get your kids interested in something they are interested in attending.

 

Sorry, this excuse doesn't fly with me. The point of going is to encourage the grandchildren in their chosen pursuits, whatever they may be. It's also a great opportunity for them to put aside their feelings about it being boring (they do agility so I really don't see how anyone can find it boring) and say I care enough to see how much you have achieved. I've spent lots of time attending things I didn't think I was interested in. You know what? Sometimes the enthusiasm of the person involved was passed on to me. And it gave me joy to see how much that relative enjoyed what he/she was doing.

 

Bottom line...they are missing out hugely on a basic part Dc's lives. They are missing the opportunity to see the amazing growth and maturity in both Dc. And, that alone should bring them joy regardless of how they feel about the event. Ds & Dd don't just casually attend a dog show once a year. They train with their dogs daily and put their heart and soul into it. No way most 10 year olds can do what Dd is doing with her dog. Her leaders are amazed at what she has done in one year and so are all the breeders who have been helping her. She did the training herself and he's not an easy dog, AND we are talking about a kids who struggles with ADD. Her focus has improved in other areas too as a result of training her dog, but I won't go on with all it has done for her.

 

If they are hinting at my kids going the sports route then they are definitely wasting their breath. They just aren't interested. They love animals, 4H and all of the public speaking opportunities it provides them. To decide you are totally uninterested in seeing these accomplishments is like a rejection of who my Dc are. And, as you mention it is once a year.

 

So, maybe dogs aren't their thing....they can put on their big girl (or boy) panties and go anyway, cheer on their grandchildren and show with their presence that no matter what Dc pursue they are proud of them and support them. That's what relationships are about.

 

Or, they can stay home. And Dc know that Grandma #2 cares enough to see how they are growing and learning. I'm not meaning to be offensive, but that's the way I see it. We aren't asking them to come to every dog practice, piano recital, etc. Dc will figure out who's who and what's what. I still think it's sad.

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That's sad. You just have to give up that dream and move on. I've learned that with my own family. I just had to come to accept it as how things are.

 

My own mother lives in Chicago, and we live in Northern Virginia. When we go visit for a week (and stay with my sister) she makes excuses - it's her laundry day, or she is supposed to meet a friend at McDonalds, or some such thing. I love her, but she just doesn't try to connect with my kids. So sad.

 

Fortunately, my MIL and FIL live with us and they do get a little more involved in the children's lives, though not as much as they might. However, they are pretty old (my IL's that is).

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Yes, you may have noticed that I believe in attending even those events you don't feel like going to. :p I don't think there's anything wrong with you gently pointing out just how much it means to your children. I was only saying that I sympathize with being invited to support family at events you don't like attending. Just because you can't imagine someone being bored by agility trials doesn't mean there don't exist people for whom agility trials are mind numbingly dull. Personally, it sounds more interesting than a kid's basketball game, but oh well. :)

 

I'm glad your children get so much out of training their dogs. I really do wish my kids had something they were that passionate about.

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My parents live too far away to be involved in my kids' lives. My ILs live close enough to be involved, but we rarely invite them to kid events. They have busy retirement lives, 9 kids, and 20+ grandchildren. I know they do not particularly enjoy being obligated to attend grandchild events. It's just not their cup of tea. I'm not sure they attended many of their own kids' events.

 

Knowing that having them come to events really wouldn't be relationship-building, we have focused on having our kids participate in activities with my ILs - activities the ILs and kids enjoy. My kids garden with them, my oldest dd thrift store shops with MIL, etc. As a result, my kids have very close relationship with my ILs. I notice that their other grandchildren aren't as close, and I am sure it is due in large part to how we nurture the relationship. If we tried to force them to come to sporting events or dog shows, they wouldn't come, we would be frustrated, and no one would benefit. Instead, we meet them where they are, and everyone seems to be winning. My kids definitely don't feel slighted that the grandparents aren't at many activities (and I grew up in a family where my grandparents were at every activity I participated in).

 

I hope my kids won't expect us to attend events of their choosing. I hope we will be able to build our own special relationships with our grandchildren.

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My parents live too far away to be involved in my kids' lives. My ILs live close enough to be involved, but we rarely invite them to kid events. They have busy retirement lives, 9 kids, and 20+ grandchildren. I know they do not particularly enjoy being obligated to attend grandchild events. It's just not their cup of tea. I'm not sure they attended many of their own kids' events.

In our case it is not events, plural. One event, once a year---the culmination of an entire year's effort. But, yes, maybe celebrating dc's achievements isn't their cup of tea.

 

Knowing that having them come to events really wouldn't be relationship-building, we have focused on having our kids participate in activities with my ILs - activities the ILs and kids enjoy. My kids garden with them, my oldest dd thrift store shops with MIL, etc.

 

Okay, so, while your kids are with your in-laws doing these things, are they treated to a play by play of the latest soccer or ball game your in-laws attended and told how well their cousin played? My in-laws don't do any relationship building type activities beyond playing a game here or there or turning on the TV.

 

As a result, my kids have very close relationship with my ILs. I notice that their other grandchildren aren't as close, and I am sure it is due in large part to how we nurture the relationship. If we tried to force them to come to sporting events or dog shows, they wouldn't come, we would be frustrated, and no one would benefit. Instead, we meet them where they are, and everyone seems to be winning. My kids definitely don't feel slighted that the grandparents aren't at many activities (and I grew up in a family where my grandparents were at every activity I participated in).

 

Again, one dog show, not shows and, again, once a year. They voluntarily attend sporting events for cousins, so if my dc wanted them to pay attention I suppose they would if dc switched to playing baseball. I really don't know how my Dc can not feel slighted.

 

I hope my kids won't expect us to attend events of their choosing. I hope we will be able to build our own special relationships with our grandchildren.

 

You are correct, we did choose this event (again, one event). We don't invite them to many events at all. We choose this one with them in mind. It's close to their home and causes them the least amount of inconvenience. It only occurs once a year, and it is the culminating event for them in their 4H club. It is a time for us to celebrate and we hoped they would want to celebrate Dc's achievements. I would hope that as a grandparent in the future, I would want to attend such an event. But, I get it, they don't want to. I will not be trying to force the issue in the future. I still believe that says something about their 'relationship' with my Dc. It is going to be a limited one, by their own choosing.

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Yes, you may have noticed that I believe in attending even those events you don't feel like going to. :p I don't think there's anything wrong with you gently pointing out just how much it means to your children. I was only saying that I sympathize with being invited to support family at events you don't like attending. Just because you can't imagine someone being bored by agility trials doesn't mean there don't exist people for whom agility trials are mind numbingly dull. Personally, it sounds more interesting than a kid's basketball game, but oh well. :)

 

I'm glad your children get so much out of training their dogs. I really do wish my kids had something they were that passionate about.

 

I know you were just sympathizing. I do try to see their POV, which is why we don't invite them to a lot of events. I am annoyed with them right now, so my response might have been too strong. I apologize for that.:001_smile:

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