23 answers

3 Year Old Grandson Says Hurtful Thinks to Grandma.

My husband and I frequently babysit our grandson who will be turning 4 in August. Lately he has been refusing to hug me. He adores his grandfather and sticks to him like glue. They play all the time. When my husband is not around we are fine and also play together. Yesterday we all went out and he would only hold his grandfather's hand. We bought him a sucker and when he was tired of the sucker he would only let his grandfather hold it for him and not me. That night when I was taking him home, I was zipping up his jacket and asked for a little hug and again, he would have no part. I was feeling really bad and then I asked him, "why don't you like hugging me anymore." and he replied, "Grandfather is sweet and you are not sweet." I was shocked and hurt. I went upstairs and cried. My husband had to take him home. What should I do. Today he is with us again and I am feeling so rejected by my little 3 year old grandson.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I want to thank everyone who responded. You all made me feel a whole lot better. It's been 35 years since I had little ones and one forgets about how they behave and how their little minds work. All of your responses were really helpful and I useful. I decided to ignore him for awhile and then took out a new game and started to play by myself. He immediately was interested and asked to play. After that we took a walk to the park and had a great time and ending the day with a trip to the ice cream store. I think the biggest problem is that I tend to be cleaning up, making food and disciplining him, whereas my husband just plays with him. It's the end of the day and he will be going home soon -- a much better day then yesterday. I pretty much took everyone's advice and again I want to thank you all again for your time and inspiring words.

Featured Answers

Aww, I'm sorry, Grandma. I think kids do this quite regularly, esp. when they are little. My daughter thinks her grandpa is more fun than her grandma; I think it's because my dad plays more and grandma is more of the disciplinarian. It really is just a phase -- and I really like what Andrea C said below!

2 moms found this helpful

reminds me of a story about my own childhood. Apparently, when we were little, my brother would close the door on my grandmother, and try to blcok her from entering the house. in his case, we can only assume, that he resented my mom's attention being divided. i don't know how she won him over, but I can attest that they grew to have a strong relationship.

maybe if grandpa (his now favorite person) acts like being with grandma is the cat's meow, it might help to sway him.

good luck

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I know it hurts, especially since he's 3, but remember he's only 3. Give him some space, don't set yourself up for him to test your reaction like putting him on the spot about hugging you. He doesn't understand the emotional side, and he's probably picking up on your hurt. Try to be fluid about the affection, make it like a game, Grandma's gonna hug you here I come, boys love to be chased. Then pretend like you're not going to hug him and sneak in for a hug, instead tickle him. Just make it playful, he'll come around. If he's a Grandpa guy right now, give him some space. Don't you worry, he'll come to you in time.

6 moms found this helpful

It's a normal phase for kids to go through at this age, preferring one parent (or grandparent) to another. My own kids went through it and my step-dad was sooo hurt for a long time. They eventually grew out of it.

The biggest thing is to not react. Just go along with it. The more attention the behavior gets, the more it will continue. And don't take it personally - it's just a phase! (As far as what he said, don't read much into it; you put him on the spot and kids say crazy things; again, don't take it personally).

4 moms found this helpful

My son was the same way with my mom. Pap was all about fun & Grammy was the one for "work"--making lunch, etc.

Let me tell you a secret--he LOVES her the most! (Cue song: "You always hurt the one you love...")

Not saying it's correct behavior but sometimes little boys are like that.
My son is now 8 and he & my mom have an incredible bond.

Here's an idea--kind of ignore him a bit. He'll wonder what's up.

4 moms found this helpful

My 3-year-old told me that, "he wants a new family" and that he doesn't love me...and frankly, I am pretty darn good mom; I'm loving and infinitely patient if you ask me. But, he's 3 and is entitled to his feelings. I would try and actually have a little conversation with him; "why do you think grandfather is sweet?" of course, they also say very weird things when you ask them these questions. Honestly, my son is extremely close with his dad, they play together by the hour and as a consequence he is also obsessed with his "Opa" rather than his "Oma"--he's coming around (it's my in-laws so it feels awkward for me too :). I know it's impossible, but try not to take it personally and perhaps try and arrange a special outing just for the two of you...ice cream? My experience is that 3 year olds are pretty fickle little people, but fun nonetheless!

3 moms found this helpful

Please don't cry over what a little child says to you!! Didn't you survive raising kids? Teenagers? This is normal for little kids. My older daughter favored her dad for years. It's nothing you should take personally. And for goodness sake, never let him see you cry.

3 moms found this helpful

He's being a 3 year old. As hard as it may be to not take it personally, try not to. Continue to do your best enjoying your grandson. He'll come around eventually.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm sorry your are feeling hurt. My son does this every once in a while with his grandparents and my husband and myself. When your grandson responds like that, don't let it be the end of the converstaion. If he says that you aren't swete say something like "Oh yea, you wouldn't believe how sweet I am. I am so sweet I'll get you a tooth ache." Then snatch him up and give him tons of kisses. At this age they are just trying to get a reaction. He doesn't mean it. He loves you very much I'm sure!

3 moms found this helpful

It's a phase. He's a child and has no idea how what he says will be taken. You're the adult... you need to ignore it and continue to love him and play with him. My girls did this too - and not just to their grandma, but also to their awesome dad as well. It hurts, yeah, but the more you push him to hug you or play with you the more he'll push back.

3 moms found this helpful

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