Son feels slighted by grandparents

posted 3 months ago in Parenting
Post # 2
Member
1588 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - City, State

Do his grandparents know that he is upset that they seem to spend more time with her than they do with him? I’m sure it’s not intentional and if they were aware of the situation they would make amends. I would definitely start with just having a honest conversation about it.

Post # 3
Member
5437 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

throwawaybee2019 :  you’re right about kids being observant, you haven’t said anything to him about his other grandparents but he could be picking up on your vibes. It’s an odd thing for a four year old to pick up on, they take our cues for social situations.

I can see how you would be hurt that he seems to be second best, but just love him enough that he doesn’t feel second best. I don’t really know what else to say other than comfort him if he says things like that, remind him that he is so, so loved by all of the people in his life

You say that you’re fine with their relationship but I sense your hurt in the post and I bet your son is picking up on it. You can’t make them more interested but you can shelter him from that sense of loss, by correcting him when he talks about the other girl being more important and reminding him of how many people he has in his life who love him

Post # 6
Member
177 posts
Blushing bee

someone is saying something within the hearing of your son.   You need to figure out who it is and stop them.   No four year old has the emotional maturity and  insight to figure out that his grandparents are spending more time with another child.    He would need to be expressly told that his grandparents are doing X activity with the other child. He would need to be told we invited grandparents and they said no.    Stop telling him stuff.     Its okay for people to have varying relationships, it is up to you to teach him that it is okay and that his is loved and wanted.

Post # 7
Member
150 posts
Blushing bee

Speaking as a lesser loved grandchild…

You can’t make the grandparents want to spend time with your son.  It sounds like you’re doing your best to keep the door open so that they have plenty of opportunity to bond with him.  But unfortunately, sometimes people just play favorites.  Especially if their relationship with you is not particularly favorable, that treatment will inevitably trickle down to your child.

This happened to me.  I have zero relationship with my grandparents while they are happily involved in my cousins’ lives.  It hurts but “it is what it is” as they say.  At the end of the day, it’s their loss.  All you can do is keep loving your son and reminding him that none of it is his fault.

Post # 8
Member
5437 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

throwawaybee2019 :  my mother has zero interest in my daughter unless it benefits her somehow. My daughter had tubes put in her ears just shy of 2 years old and my mother was all about the medical stuff and then after the tubes went in, POOF, back to zero interest.

I was also hurt for her, like you say about your son. How could my mother not want to know the new words my daughter is saying, the new things she is hearing etc. I wasn’t hurt for me, I was hurt for her, so I understand that.

I shelter her from that sense of loss though, by what I mentioned above, I tell her all the time about the people in her life who love her and how lucky she is and how loved she is etc

I also like pps suggestion of talking to them, tell them that your son misses them and try and make plans. Hopefully they are receptive 

Post # 9
Member
5373 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

I think it is a stretch to think a 4 year old is “struggling” with this unless you are talking about it and venting your frustrations around him. 

Honestly I think you need to use this as a lesson to your son.  Who cares if she isn’t technically their grandkid?  She is someone in their life they are close to.  What if they were spending time with another grandkid?  Or their other adult children?  Just because they already have plans when you invite them to something doesn’t mean they are slighting your kid.  Perhaps you need to make plans further in advance. 

Post # 11
Member
1588 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - City, State

throwawaybee2019 :  I don’t think it’s inappropriate at all to make them aware that your son is upset about not spending as much time with him. I don’t think you can do much more than simply make them aware of the situation, obviously you can’t demand them spend more time with him. But, I think it is totally okay to let them know, after all they can’t fix a problem they don’t know about! 

Post # 13
Member
1079 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

These are your in-laws, right? What does your spouse say? In my marriage, my husband and I each do the bulk of the coordination/communication with our own parents. Granted, I might be more likely to say something directly to his parents once we have kids, but I think generally the message is better received coming from him.

Post # 14
Member
478 posts
Helper bee

I think maybe understandably you are struggling with the issue and projecting on the 4 year old. 4 years old don’t have the emotional ability to have those thoughts. I would stop telling him that plans did not work out with the grandparents.

Post # 15
Member
4522 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

throwawaybee2019 :  I have lots of nieces and nephews and honestly some of them are scarily very perceptive and some could have something big happen right in front of them and wouldn’t notice.

I sometimes secretly listen to conversations that my nieces and nephews have when they think no adults are paying attention and honestly they all try and one up eachother or poke at the younger ones to upset them and exclude them because they are little. Your son is probably very perceptive and I wouldn’t be surprised either if ‘Haley’ is saying stuff like ‘grandma took me to the park, took me to the zoo, bought me lego, made me cookies etc’ to show off to your son and assert her authority. Its probably being said quietly to him and out of earshot. I honestly don’t understand why so many bees are here saying that a 4 year old isn’t perceptive enough to pick up on the situation. My four year old nephew has no flies on his nose. He doesn’t miss a thing.

Sibling jealousy is also a thing and personally as the youngest of four, I was always jealous of all the things my older siblings were able to do and I wasn’t  because they were bigger. Your son is very much at his age to be able to perceptive and feel jealous of this little girls relationship with his grandparents.

Honestly, get your husband to have a chat to his parents and explain to them what is going on. If they are good grandparents, they will try to reassure your son that they love him equally and be more circumspect about innocently saying too much about this little girl around him. On your end reassure your son that he is loved by many people and maybe keep a closer eye on what is being said between your son and this girl when they are together, to see if she’s bragging and intentionally marking territory with your son. 

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