Grandperants treat my children diffrently

Leoni - posted on 04/13/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )




my in laws treat both my children very diffrent, my son the oldest they cant get enough of him they will take him out take him on holidays buy him gifts and do anything he wants. but my daughter they ignore they wont watch her at all they dont pick her up and comfort her when she cries, how can i try and make them treat them the same?


Charmaine - posted on 04/13/2009




I for one would not be tolerating this sort of behaviour as it is so wrong. Surely your husband can't be happy that his parents are acting this way, or is he one of those ones who thinks you're overreacting and justifying their behaviour. I would certainly be talking to my husband first and then both of you talk to them united and tell them their behaviour is not acceptable and needs to change. To this day I remember how my grandmother used to tell my brother 'Let's go and get some lollies and not give your sister any'. Regardless of what people say children do not forget and your inlaws need to learn that if that is how they are going to act then there will be consequences as not seeing them. That sort of behaviour doesn't come without any long term effects. I cannot understand for the life of me why people act like that, especially with children. I'm sorry but there are no excuses.


View replies by

Brandi - posted on 03/11/2013




I'm looking for some insight that is somewhat like this but in reverse. I am a mother of three. My first kid was with a man that has nothing to do with us. However his mother is still in great contact, she's like my real mom. She lives 6 hrs from us. Now I am remarried to Jake and have the two little ones with him. Jake's parents live 16 hrs away. I have always kept the children together when they visit the grandparents. None of the grandparents treat the kids differently, even the grandmother that has the son that ran out on me and my 1st daughter. There is a six yr difference between my first daughter and second daughter (10 & 4). I feel that my oldest doens't get to do things her age when they all three go somewhere together. So I have decided to send my 1st child to the grandmother, the one that her son has nothing to do with us, home. And send my younger two to Jake's mother's home. Well, Jake's mom got upset, told me that I hurt her. I told her this was my decision because my 1st daughter needed to be away from the younger ones and they need a break from each other. She took it personal and wanted to know if I think they can handle the three themselves or if I think they treat my 1st child different than my 2nd and 3rd child. I told her no, that I thought she does a great job but I did this only because I know how my oldest doesn't get to do anything her age does and the kids needed sometime away from each other. She says that it still hurts but that it's just something she will have to deal with because she lives so far away. I don't understand that statement she made. We make at least two trips up there a year. Please....if I am wrong in letting my kids go to two different grandparents houses? I hate she feels this way, is she being selfish or am I? My own bio parents aren't seeing them at all during their spring break but they respect my decision. I don't know what to think.

Shari - posted on 04/13/2009




You should not let them see either child if they can't treat them the same.  My grandparents did the same to me and my brother.  They had 3 sons and I was the first grandchild.  I was the little girl they always wanted.  My brother is just 10 months younger and they barely acknologed him.  He became really resentful and became involved in drugs as a young teenager.  He's 45 years old, in and out of prison, bad relationships, still fights his addictions, and is a bad parent himself. 

You can not let them make your daughter feel unimportant and not good enough.  It would be better for them not to be involved with both of your children.

Has your husband talked to his parents about this.  He should!!  And then tell them the reason for your descision.  If they appologize to you guys and your children, then you all spend time with them.  If they show they have changed let them see them, but ask your daughter what happened when she was with them. 

I hope this helped give you an answer and I hope the situation improves.


Katherine - posted on 04/13/2009




Ok first your husband has to have the conversation, we are talking about his parents and- depending on how well he stands up to his parents and how his conversation skills are- you may want to practice some. Second don't let them have one without the other or after they have taken your son out they can't have him again until they spend some quality time with your daughter (depending on how well you'll trust them with her ) Plus I would cut back on the amount of visits if they don't respond and change their behavior. Don't use your kids as leverage but don't let your daughter think she can be treated like less.

Teyaka - posted on 04/13/2009




Let your in laws know that what they do for one they need to do for the other as well. When it comes to watchin the kids... if they have room or time for one then they have time for both. Why don't they like your daughter anyway? What did she do to them?

You daughter didn't chose them as grandparents. If they can't accept her than they shouldn't be able to accept her brother either. So, let them know that if they can't treat the kids the same then you may stop coming around them. Its not fair to the children.

[deleted account]

Hmm...My in laws and my family have been great to my child so far.  But I look at this from another angle-I have a grandmother who has never been involved in my life.  When my twin cousins were born a year and a half after I, she started virtually ignorning the other grandchildren she had, and was not even present at the birth of one of my younger cousins, born just a few months after the twins.  As we've grown up, she hasn't been interested in us-she missed my wedding, and last week when I had severe preeclampsia and had to have an emergency c-section to deliver my son, she didn't call and check on me-someone had to call her and tell her that she had a great grandson and that her granddaughter was ok.  Sometimes it hurts a little that she is that way-I feel like she doesn't want me and I don't know why.  But my parents have been there for me when she wasn't, and since she doesn't live closeby it wasn't always shoved in my face that she spent more time with some of her other grandchildren.  It's also helped that my parents acknowledge that there is a problem with her behavior, and don't try to pretend that what she's doing is ok.  I hope that you can resolve the situation with your in laws.  But if you are not able to, just reassure your daughter that she has done nothing wrong and that the problem is with her grandparents-and maybe refuse to let them do things for your son if they won't do them for your daughter.

Dawn - posted on 04/13/2009




My in laws were the same. I made a point of telling them if they wanted to buy presents for one they must do it for both. If this was not going to happen then my son would not be taking any more gifts or going out with them again. My mother in law said she had not been aware she had treated them differently and had done it to help me out not to upset .It might be that you need to talk to them and share your concerns before your daughter is aware of it herself.  Remember you are the mum and you would not allow any one else to treat your children this way Iam sure you would send them on their way . Be brave and get it out in the open not just for yourself but for furture relations between grand parents and kids.

Kim - posted on 04/13/2009




My in-laws treat my kids the same way. My oldest son is treated like the king. They want to play with him and talk to him on the phone all the time, but they could careless if they see or hear from my younger son or baby girl. They buy my son toys and will buy my younger ones nothing or something so pathetic I throw it in the garbage as soon as they leave. I have talked to my husband about it and he has talked to them about it. However, they don't seem to care. I'm lucky enought that we live 9 hours away from them now and we are supposed to be moving to Seattle which will put us 39 hours away. So we won't have to deal with them. :)

Helen - posted on 04/13/2009




Personaly i dont think siblings should be separated for holidays trips etc. You need to tell them "they either both go or neither goes" If you are not tied to them financially this is much easier.

I have exactly the same problem with my in laws. Although my husband runs the family business which pays for their retirement (a very expensive one i might add!) they completely ignore our son and treat their daughters child like a princess. They will occasionally feel guilty and buy him lots of expensive toys and clothes but in his whole 9 months they have never once come to our house to see him despite nearly daily invites (they live 10 min drive away). They also treat my husband and his sister in the same way. My husband is either ignored or accused of being a bad son ( despite working 7 days a week and paying for everything they have) where as is sister can do no wrong despite not working even though she is able to, and scrounging off them for everything (thereby scrounging off us!!!) i wish we could move away but unfortunatly we are tied to the buisness by our debts and morgage.

[deleted account]

Quoting Heather:

Hi, my husbands mother favors my step son over my children. It is very hard!!! My son doesn't even think she is his grandma. Just for Easter, candy was bought for only one child, I just bit my lip. It helps to talk about it. Put yout anger and resent from it into Gods hands.

Wow! This is not something to bite your lip over and it is not OK. In the posters case and in yours, you must talk to the grandparents about their behavior. They may say that they do not realize that they are doing it (and inside you will be saying "yeah, right") but it will put them on warning that YOU have taken notice and it will not be tolerated anymore. I'm sorry if I sound so strongly about this, but I have been that other grandchild that took a backseat, and it hurts! It is not something that you get over and it does carry over into adulthood. My mom regrets to this day not speaking up about it.

 My sister is the "golden" child who basically has been given everything by my grandparents (she is actually my half-sister and that is probably the rationale for the behavior... she is somehow more deserving of affection since her bio-dad was never in the picture. Nevermind that my dad adopted her from the get-go and she has always been treated as his own). It started small when we were children, but as we grew up, the favortism became noticeable to everyone (she was showered with gifts and if my parents tried to dicipline her for her behavior, my grandparents stepped in). Now that we are adults it is very painful and has actually come between my sister and myself. She grew up with a sense of priviledge and entitlement from this behavior and basically became very spoiled. In my grandparents eyes, she could do no wrong and has since adopted this attitude as her own.  It may  not seem like a huge deal, but it is! Take it from someone who has been there, step in and be an advocate for your child. They do not deserve to take a backseat to their siblings.


PS... as a stepmom, I will not tolerate preferencial treatment between my kids. They are ALL grandchildren.

Rebecca - posted on 04/13/2009




This is serious... you need to sit down and have a serious talk with them. Very calmly point out what they are doing and ask them why this is. They need to know what is right and wrong. Remeber these are YOUR kids. You have the right to not visit!

Heather - posted on 04/13/2009




Hi, my husbands mother favors my step son over my children. It is very hard!!! My son doesn't even think she is his grandma. Just for Easter, candy was bought for only one child, I just bit my lip. It helps to talk about it. Put yout anger and resent from it into Gods hands.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms