November 23, 2011,
M.B. asks from Oklahoma City, OK on November 22, 2011
My Mom Favors My Oldest Child.
I noticed a few post regarding this topic...re: what to do when your mom or grandparents favor one child over another and most people advise to talk to them. Well, my mother favors my 4 year old daughter over my 2 year old son and my 10 month old daughter. This is sooo obvious it's insane. I HAVE brought this up to her a couple of times and she calls me over sensitive and crazy.. (example.. this past two weeks, mom took her fave home after school almost every single day but in 2 weeks has not asked my son to come over at all.. oh yes..actually on wednesday, on the phone, she asked him if he wanted to come over the next day and he said yes.. and then the next day she never did.. and she said she was going to pick up her fave from school and take her home to her house for a bit.. and i mentioned that she offered to take my son and she acted like she didn't even hear me). I don't know for sure if she knows that she's doing it... i think she does b/c when i talked to her this evening about it , her excused to why this is happening is not consistent.. i.e.. first she says that i'm not making him accessible to him.. rofl.. really? how not? -- you never ask for him.. then she says, well, you don't ask me to take him.. uh.. well, i never ask you to take your fave either and you just offer.. another one was... well, i just prefer to talk to my fave (she doesn't actually use that word) because she's four and communicates better.. uhh you prefer??? oh and the last one is.... he says "no" a lot.. umm yes.. he's two and it's a phase and we've just been ignoring some of it depending if it's an iportant issue or not that he's saying no to... ----- the few times that she has HAD to keep him for a few hours b/c of favorite's dr's apptmnts and what not. she said he cries for a couple of minutes but then they have fun and he's really sweet... i brought that up.. but she didn't respond to that tonight.. i could go on and on...so i want to call her and say .. hey, if you can't figure out how to bring equallity to all this then you won't see any of them... however, i feel bad for the "fave" bc i don't want her NOT to see her grandparents.. but i feel sooo bad for my 2 year old.. he sees what's going on.. and i told my mom that if she keeps this up then his "no's" with her are going to perhaps get really bad one day b/c he's not going to care for her and not want to spend time with her and what not.. oh and to mention.. mom always complains that my son doesn't get disciplined enough or not harsh enough as i discpline my eldest.. uhh.. yes.. he gets disciplined plenty.. but there is a 2 year difference.. that's A LOT in kid years.. so i cannot discipline them the same.. and she babies her fave too much.. i mean i'm ok with grandparents spoiling their grandchildren and all but my parents live down the street and some of its just too much.. like when they are impatient with her eating slow then they will feed her instead of letting her finish eating on her own.. or today she started letting her read books on the potty (b/c brother is learning to use the potty and has to sit there awhile so he gets books.. (she did too when she was learning but now she just tries to act like the smaller kids)) which i know aren't that big of things.. but when you work on your kids independence all day long and for them to go to grandmas and go backwards rather than forward.. it's annoying.. (and i know people read on the potty but she never did that.. she went in took care of business and was out..) she doesn't need to be in there sitting reading playing with tp for 15 min...) SO, i guess my question is:; (sorry about the rant) should i give her the ultimatum mentioned earlier? learn to be equal or no granchildren at all?
(and just fyi.. these kids are with the same husband and everything - i just bring that up b/c i know sometimes gp's can favor children b/c of diff dad's / mom's what not... but this isn't the case.)
thanks for any input! Blessings!
@momma l. - of course she'll take the kids if i ask her too but i don't need to ask her to take the 4 year old.. she just does.. it's not about my convenience.. it's about building a bond with her grandchildren.. God forbid something happend to my 2 year old.. how would she feel that she barely spent any time with him.. barely any hugs / kisses snuggles.. i'm aware of the age difference.. and personality difference.. but being a grandmother is suppose to be something special not.."what's easiest and most convenient for me" and i hate to say it but she's not that much help.. b/c if she does take all three which has happened once or twice.. i have to hear how hard it is.. blah blah blah.. thanks for letting me know mom.. i'm with them 24 hours a flippin day!.. and why would i want to take them over there if i know she has a hard time with them all.... its just sad b/c she's not an old grandma.. i see 70 yr old grandmas at walmart with like 3-4 grandchildren various ages handling it just fine.. but nope.. not my mom... so i really don't think just letting it go will be an option.. but thanks for your input :)
D.D. answers from New York on November 22, 2011
Why are you letting your mom take your oldest to her house every day after school? Just because they live down the street doesn't mean grandparents get to pick and choose which child they want and when. Put your foot down and tell mom sorry but your daughter won't be visiting because it's not fair to the other children. Say it as often as needed to get your point across.
I have 3 grandchildren and at one time or another I've had each of them visit all by themselves however I usually take all 3 at once. Gives their parents a break and gives me plenty of time to cater to their every whim.
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M.L. answers from Houston on November 22, 2011
4 year olds are often easier to handle than a 2 year old. My in-laws are the same way, they prefer to watch my oldest or have him one on one b/c they have an easier time entertaining/disciplining him. Now that my youngest is getting older, they are more willing and excited to spend one on one time with him.
As for the ultimatum, it's horrible and ridiculous. It's easy to start to nitpick when you are already frustrated, but trust me, these are teeny tiny little issues, even if they don't feel like it right now.
Also, your mom may be right about discipline. My inlaws told me the same thing. We let the 2 yr old get away with tons. We disagreed. Then, I remembered, when my oldest was 2, we were much more firm with him. We tend to see the youngest as 'the baby' and not be as strict... it's a pretty natural parenting oversight.
Just breathe, relax, enjoy that you have a mom who is so willing to help out and be loving. If you want to cultivate that relationship, then ask your mom to take him for an afternoon, or to rotate days between the 4 and 2 year old visiting. Don't make it a battle, just make it a plan.
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D.B. answers from Charlotte on November 22, 2011
Tell her that it's junior's turn to go, and make it stick. I did that when my younger son realized that
grandad was driving away with his brother. Basically, I forced the issue. And that's probably what you should do too.
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G.S. answers from New York on November 23, 2011
Better that she takes them out together or not at all. It's not fair. My grandmother and mother did it with my sister. She was the most preferred and sided with her on everything practically. It's hurtful and the child will remember it all ways even at this age. I'm glad you brought it to your mom's attention.
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A.W. answers from Seattle on November 22, 2011
I can't relate to your situation as I only have one child, but I know that my MIL rarely would take my daughter until she was older - around 3 1/2. Maybe she just gets overwhelmed.
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R.B. answers from Dallas on November 23, 2011
First off, let me just say that my mom just passed a few days ago, so my answer is coming from recent happenings...
1. Be glad your mom is around and involved. Enjoy your time with her.
2. I have seen this with my own mother in-law. She enjoys girls more and the older grandchildren more. It is what it is, and she is not going to change (we have discussed this with her already and she sees no problem). So, therefore, we have the choice of accepting it (and her decisions) or not having our son ever see her again.
3. You are not going to change your mom.
4. There is a HUGE difference between a 4 year old girl and a 2 year old boy. My mother in-law only wanted to be with our son AFTER he was potty trained. She said she would not change diapers. And even now, she is not that thrilled with being with a boy (my son is now 9). Her favorite grandchildren are the two girls. She enjoys baking and cooking and going to Tea Rooms and such and, of course, does all of those things with the two girls.
I truly feel for you as I am the only one in my husband's family that doesn't have a daughter. So we get left out quite a bit. It is hard to see the other moms and their daughters out with my mother in-law at Tea Rooms and shopping days (of couse, they show me all the pictures and such). But, it is what it is and I am not going to change my mother in-law.
Not sure if any of this helped.
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C.T. answers from Santa Fe on November 23, 2011
Maybe she just cannot handle him and feels overwhelmed. That is how my mom always used to feel with my son - even at age 5 she would get overwhelmed (He is 7.5 now). She just could not handle that boy energy and his outbursts or his stubbornness. It would make her get extremely anxious. Another story: My dad and stepmom will invite my stepsister's older 2 girls over to their house for a week every summer but they do not invite the 2 younger boys. They say once they turn x and x (I forget - 6 and 8?) then they can come stay for a week. They just cannot deal with them. The girls are happy to read and do art and are more mature and the boys are both VERY active which makes my stepmom feel like she's going crazy. I personally don't think it is fair but it is what it is. She cannot do it. I agree with you that it is not fair. Have you asked your mom questions like, do you feel like "Timmy" is too hard? Do you feel overwhelmed with him? When he acts 2 and is difficult does it bother you? Do you simply prefer girls? Why? Try to get to the bottom of her feelings. But don't get angry at her...just listen. Tell her that he is starting to notice and feel sad when she only takes his sister. Suggest that they have one on one time without his sister so they can bond more. I'm SO sorry about this...it sucks. My mom prefers my daughter over my son and in general prefers girls but she is now good about being pretty fair and equal. When my daughter was born she was NOT fair and she showed a huge preference. After about 6 months I wrote her a letter about it accusing her of her actions and saying she needs to stop. She stopped speaking to me for about 2 months. We have not really had a deep conversation about this but at times she will mention this incident and she thinks of it as the time I was mean to her and said she did not love her grandson (which I did not say). So, it seems like she didn't really "get it" but fortunately since then she has not shown so much favoritism.
P.G. answers from Dallas on November 23, 2011
I have to ask if there is a lot more to this than the grandkid situation. If so, that has to be dealt with, either just by you in your own head, or you need to deal with her straight up on that.
If it's just this situation that's gotten rediculous, then lay down the law. She either takes the 2 older at the same time, or they take turns and each have special grandma time if she can't do both. Some people just can't do more than one, regardless of their age.