How to handle uninterested Grandparents?

[deleted account] ( 26 moms have responded )

One side of my daughters grandparents are excited to be a part of her life, but my other side is uninterested. I include them in everything. I send emails, pictures, updates, invites to every part of their grandaughter's life. They don't ever respond and act uninterested. What's wrong with this picture? I'm not asking for over-the-top involvement or anything. I would just like to see them take pride in their grandaughter, my baby, and all that she brings to our family. I guess you can't change people. It's just disappointing.



So, here's the real question. Do I continue to include them or just wait until they act like they want to know her?

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Brandice - posted on 09/15/2010

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I have this problem as well, but it's my husband's parents that aren't interested. Oh sure they say they are, but they really don't care. I can say from experience that you should keep inviting them, even if you know they won't show. I made the mistake of not including my in-laws because I knew they wouldn't come and they've never let me live that down. Inviting them is the right thing to do because it shows that you did reach out and that they're the ones that didn't.

Emma - posted on 09/16/2010

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my nana wasnt interested in me a while lot when i was a kid. When i had my daughter i said something to my mum about her being a better nana than what i had, she swore to me that she was gonna be a heaps better nana. She tried to take bub when she was very young, too young for a night away from home my partner and I felt. After that, she took bub for a night every month or so. Now, i hear very little from her, unless its convenient to her. Ive stopped putting in an effort with either my mum or nana, to see how long it takes them to show an interest. It took a month of me not making ANY contact with my mum for her to call and ask to visit. My rule has been for each time they make an effort to call, i will return the effort, no longer will I chase her to have a relationship with her (only) grandchild.

Lea - posted on 09/17/2010

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Hi Candace, I'm sorry this is happening. I've been reading some of the responses given. While my children don't see both sets of grandparents (my husband's mother lives on the otherside of the world) I cannot relate. But, I'd say if you're really frustrated and are ready to tear your hair out about it then just ask them. Do you want to get to know your granddaughter? Do you even care that I spend a lot of time trying to make you apart of her life? If you are not interested in your granddaughter please tell me now so I bother you any more. I know wanting her grandparents in her life is a good thing...if they are good examples and will help enrich her life. While I haven't had problems including my parents and their spouses in my childrens lives, I have made a point of not encouraging contact in the past when I felt that the way they were conducting their lives was not something I wanted my children exposed to. And that could be whatever you want it to be..whatever you're comfortable with. You're her mother. You are responsible for your daughter's emotional, physical and mental well-being. As she grows older she will notice when you're upset and one thing little don't like is to see their mommy's upset. They get upset on your behalf. I know. Good luck with what you decide. Family relationships always takes work. They don't just magically develop on their own.

Montana - posted on 09/14/2010

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Thats exactly how it is for me too. I dont count them out but I dont count ON THEM either. If I get comments like "havent seen the kids in a while" I look at them and say "you know where we live." We call them just tio chat but its really for the sake of the kids. You dont want to exclude them. How old is she? From experience they have gotten much better as my daughter has become older. I dont know what it is. I have spoken about it with them and they think that WE dont want their involvement and to me thats just rediculous. Theyre the grandparents. It will get better it just takes a LOT of time and a LOT of patience.

Lisa - posted on 09/18/2010

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Wow, I am so happy to know that it is not just me. I only see the one side at christmas.

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26 Comments

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Ashley - posted on 09/29/2010

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Well this can turn out long so hear we go if you want an honest opinion of course the end choice is yours but its very hard on children to have a grandparent that only cares about them when its good for the grandparent then can totally ditch them when they are 'bored". I myself was one of these kids that had a grandparent like that and now it seems my own children have a few grandparents like that the worst one is my mother in law shes a real piece of work but we wont get into all that your just interested in the grandparent part.. she was terrible with our first little girl never saw much of her and when she did want to see her she would get us to meet at a coffee place so she can have her grandpa time there in a public place so that when people ask if she was a grandmother she could roll her eyes and say yes but im way to young for it ( she was 17 when she had my husband and he was 18 when we had our first )after a bit of this her n my husband got in a fight and didnt talk to each other she wouldnt come to the oldest first birthday nothing then would turn it as us who made it that way.. we had another baby 6 months after the first turned 1 she never so much as called to see how things went she didnt care never saw this baby til she was almost 1 so we did the bigger person thing and invited her to baby number 2s birthday well guess what she was still a no show so after that we decided that was enough she wast goin to be one of those people that can walk in n out whenever she wants to because its not fair to the kids so we ended it she now has NO contact with us and is not invited to anything and that includes are wedding that we just had on the 25th my husbands father is not happy about it because him n her are back together another long story so im sure we will be hearing more drama from that side but for now thats how it is she is not welcome father in law always is but not her!

Ruth - posted on 09/18/2010

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I understand how you feel, My father-in-law lives in the U.S. and dosent seem to even care, We e-mail him pictures and send some as well, Send him presents on his Birthday and Christmas.....Heck I e wrote on his wall the other day that he was going to be a Grandpa again!! And nothing!! He even removed all the tag's I posted on the pictures of the boy's....He hasnt sent them a gift or card in ages, Not that he needs too send them gift's but are you telling me he cant spend 57cents or whatever a stamp cost too say hello??

Anyway's...Sorry about that!! Just try and make the best memory's for them, becuse in the end it's what Mommy and Daddy dose for them they will always rember!!

Kelli - posted on 09/17/2010

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im going threw that my real mom does not act interested in my kids my husbands mother has taken my son to go see her and she literally told my mother in law that she wanted nothing to do with him so i just dont try i figure maybe someday my mother will realize what she has missed out on

Carisa - posted on 09/17/2010

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My sister has a similar situation...my parents are very involved, but her in-laws are not. I would just keep inviting them, then you know you have done all you can. I know for my niece and nephews, it has made them very close to my parents. I know it's a bad situation, my sister vents to me a lot.

Laura - posted on 09/17/2010

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Your child should feel like their granparents are their for them even if their not. I know as a mother I don't want to wait until the relationship is totally damaged and then try to pick up the pieces afterward. I know you can't (and you shouln't) shield your child from all heartache, but I think when it comes to family it is the right thing to do. I grew up with a very close family bond to my cousins, aunts uncles, you name it. My husbands family did not they fight and swear any time their is more than two of them in the same room, We have to quickly make an excuse and get out of there. Also my daughter is the only child in his family on both his mothers side and his fathers. My aunts and uncles still have children that aren't even teenagers yet, so what i do is make up for the missing space and invite more of my family. My daughters great aunts and uncles and my much younger cousins are invited. Plus you'll see as your child gets older all they really care about is the other kids that come. If you don't make a big deal in fronte of them, the less they will notice. It will just seem like a normal thing to them. Keep all the events happy for them and focus on the positive. Don't make the grown up problem the kids problem. Invite them but don't expect them. They I am sure are set in their ways. Don't try to control the situation. Just concentrate on making happy memories for your child.

Emma - posted on 09/17/2010

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i have this same problem also, me and my ex partners family have never really been close, just chatted once in a while, in 06 i had my daughter and things were ok they seen her often, offered to take her etc and the family, in 08 i had my son interest for a few months then gradually got longer and longer between visits, and there was a thing of just takin my daughter at one point as if they had doubts my son was related or summet thats how bad it got, since my daughter starting nursery at age 3 she became a dinnerlady and would use that time at skool to see her and not see her through week but boast to everyone that she was the best grandmother, more recent contact is every 4 weeks or so just for a few hours when they get in contact ( i do this coz i constantly got told they were busy, so now i wait) now her dad is being the same and it breaks my heart that they still ask for him after all this he can go 2/3wks without seeing them and he only lives 20min walk away!!! and he still classes himself as a brilliant dad. and now all his family are annoyed that i took their son through csa coz he wasnt paying for them either, now kids are 4 and 2 1/2.

Pamela - posted on 09/17/2010

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hi that is very difficult to deal with i have a similar thing ... i think keep sending what you do and just dont have any expectations at least you will always know you tried there is nothing more you can do unless you get your other half to have a word or something like that ... but really i do feel your pain its very stressful and not a nice situation ... best of luck

Carly - posted on 09/17/2010

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Oh how i can relate to you candace my husbands parents live with us downstairs and don't have anything to do with our son she (his mother) has even walked past him in the street how awful is that? however they chose to be like that I can't give you an answer,but i 've been told it's there loss they ar e the ones missing out one day they'll relaise as i'm sure will your family good luck!!

Barbara - posted on 09/16/2010

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I understand how you feel. We deal with the same thing. We don't live near either set of grandparents and only one grandparent shows interest in my kids. I ignore the g-parents who show no interest in my kids. Certainly their actions will not lead to a close relationship with their g-kids but I don't think they care. It's their loss but my kids have one incredible g-parent who adores them.

Ginger - posted on 09/16/2010

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I also had this issue... My Dad passed away in 1997 my son was 2.. Well even before he passed I can remember my mother would buy things for my sisters baby but not for mine? My Dad even made her go back to the store once and buy for my son??? But, Since he passed it has really gotten bad.. My son is now 15 and she has not called or came to any of his birthday partys? I remember when my son was six he came to me very upset and asked me "mom, why don't grandma love me anymore!" I told him that he needed to ask her that question! Then next time we were at her house he asked her. She cried for about 2 min.. But, since then she still has nothing to do with him. I had another baby in 2008 she came to the hospital but she never even held my daughter?? I think that some people are not ment to be parents/ grandparents!! That is just the way they are!

Charity - posted on 09/16/2010

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I know that some people are not sure how to respoond to a baby, but become more interested when the child starts to walk and talk, maybe it will be that way in your case? Anyway, I would continue to include them, but don't count on them, and definatly talk to them about your concerns, they may not realize they are giving you that impression.

Tiffany - posted on 09/16/2010

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You know, when I first read your post title I was going to respond saying maybe they don't know how to react to a baby, as many grandparents don't or don't want to be considered "nosey". However, as I read on I noticed that you said you've included them and no response. I would kindly just maybe ask them why they don't respond and if they give you a lame reason then just kindly put it that you won't waste your time, money, or energy. I know that really sucks for your child but hey! if they want to be involved THEY should at least be doing SOMETHING to show it. You've done your part, now it's on them.

However, if they have a "good" reason (as I hope maybe they would) then you'll know and you can try to work out the reason they gave you. Communication is always key.

Good luck!

Amy - posted on 09/15/2010

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im kinda going through the same thing, my grandparents on my fathers side are very interested in my sons life and my mothers side isnt, well my grandma on my mothers side is, and also my own father hasnt even talked to me since a month before my son was born, i just stopped updating the people that i dont think deserve to know my son .... he's a miracle, and a such a joy and will only be shared with people who want to be in our lives

Cynthia - posted on 09/15/2010

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I would talk to them and let them know your concerns. Let them know that it bothers you that they don't take the time to get to know your little girl, and that she will be all grown up before they know it and then it may be too late for them. Children aren't stupid and they know who cares about them and who doesn't. This way, you will have done your part, there will be no doubts about your feelings, and the blame cannot be laid upon your shoulders. I would also plan a dinner or BBQ after the "talk", and invite them over. See what happens. If they take the initiative GREAT, if not, you have done all you can do and now it becomes their burden. Part of being a parent is protecting your child from anyone who would hurt them emotionally, as well as physically, and unfortunately, this includes grandparents. Good luck hon.

Sarah - posted on 09/15/2010

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we had a similar problem, my oldest son Bradley it was his poppy on his fathers side, acted all interested, but never called or made any attempt at all until this summer, they now have a hobby in common, fishing which they now does every weekend during the summer. Now my mother doesnt want anything to do with my youngest, its over a childish reason, she doesnt like his name. hes 2 and a half months, so dont feel bad about it, if their old enough to have something in common with each other try to incorporate it with them if not just wait until they realize that they are losing out not knowing their grandkids, i know my mother will never change, she is set in her ways and tried to turn my family against me over dylans name and tried to disown me. But as for Darrons dad, things have changed and he is proud to be part of his life now.

Candy - posted on 09/15/2010

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I am in the same boat. It is my mom. She has everyone around her thinking she is a wonderful grandmother but not. I was told this and it helped me. It is their chose how they want to spend time with their grandchildren.Your kids will grow up and see them for who they are and make their own opinions about them. I love my grandmother dearly but her and my mom dont get along well. I still send photos. We still visit. My girls even call them on the phone. I had and have to learn that is their relationship with my kids and I cant control it. I can want better but that will not change anything. Your kids will grow up and they will see for themselves. You just have to be there and ready to answer the though Q about why grandma is this way or that. You need to be there when their little hearts are broken by them. I know with my mom she will soon start treating my kids in the crappy way she treated me. I have to be there for them. Good Luck. I hope our boats dont sink.

Nikkole - posted on 09/14/2010

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i wouldnt. if they are going to liek like this it mean that they really dont care. stop for a well and see if they respond back. and if they dont it means that they really dont care. i know its sad but they are some grandparents like this good luck

Lisa - posted on 09/14/2010

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Invite them to special events like birthdays or christmas's. If the come well yay. If the don't well they miss out on the wonderful moments in your daughters life. At least u have done the right thing by trying to include them it's up to them to do the rest.

Destinee - posted on 09/14/2010

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i would personally wait maybe giving them the cold shoulder for a while will wake them up a bit and spur some interest. just think even if that doesnt work do you really want your daughter growing up being around grandparents with that kind of attitude or growing up being adored and celebrated by her other grandparents like she should be? i wouldnt cut them out completely though just invite them to holidays and birthdays and then let them make the effort and just enjoy your daughter! my mother and father arnt realy interested at all either and my boyfriends parents sent a package when she was born and never called or saw her so im in a similar boat over here. either way good luck! and i hope they wake up and stop being so selfish!

Montana - posted on 09/14/2010

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just remember... if you "wait until they act like they want to know her", it will be harder later. You want them to see what an amazing daughter you have and they will in time. Im glad you posted this up here cuz I dont know anyone else who has this to deal with. Thanks... nice to know i am not alone

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