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5 year old's behavior with grandmother
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5 year old's behavior with grandmother

I have a granddaughter that is almost 5 and an only child.  We live in the same town and I see her regularly.  She is very close to her parents and ohter grandparents, especially the grandmother.  Despite spending time with her playing, taking her to events, etc, she is saying things like, "I don't want to go with_.  I want to hold your hand, (her mom's), not_.  I want to sit next to you, (her mom), not_"  It's to the point that I am noy wanting to ask her to do something, or help her, or whatever, because I don't want to be rejected.  I know I am obsessing about it but it is very hurtful and I don't know what to do.  She is my only grandchild and I guess I would love to have her be excited to see me, be appreciative of me, etc.  sometimes she won't even respond when I ask her something.  The other thing is that she is totally different with the other grandmother.  That grandmother is like a playmate with her, and when they are together, she won't answer the phone, everything is up to the grandchild - where do you wan to go to eat, and everything revolves the granddaughter.  She will be on the floor playing with her just like another child would.  The other grandmother has no rules and will says she will not reprimand her.  So I understand and see why she prefers her, even over her mom, when they are together.  I don't know what I should do, as a result.  Do I become the playmate and not have any rules and let her call the shots to endear myself, or what.  Somehow that doesn't seem right to me.  This past holiday we were at my house with bith grandparents and parents and granddaughter and she wnted the other grandmother to sit next to her, and when I went to sit on the other side, she said she wanted her daddy to sit there.  What is a bubbe to do???  I've talked to her mom, who is my  daughter-in-law, and she said she doesn't know what to do.
Just as history, I am divorced from my son's father, and my son and I have had our difficulties, and therefore he gets easily annoyed, intolerant, and will "lose it" when it comes to me.  With other people, he can contain himself.  I feel and told him that our granddaughter picks up on his, what would appear as lack of respect, his body language, etc, and I think that this feedas into the behavior toward me.  When she is spending time with me they will say, "you always have fun......"  but if his behavior shows that he has a hard time with me, wouldn't that transmit to, "Why should I want to go play with_ when my dad doesn't want to be with her."  
Thank you.
wellness1
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your response.  I'm sure she knows it bothers me.  How did you contain yourself?  Were you in situations together with the other grandmother where your grandchild showed his obvious preference?  Like would he say he didn't want you to do this or that and asked theother one to do it?  I don't want to be rejected especially in front of them?  As an aside, the grandmom has been with my ex for almost 30 years and they are not married so she really isn't a blood gradmother but my son and grandchild are her only ones so she, of course, is a grandmother.  
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Avatar_n_tn
That's what's interesting.  The other "grandmother" is my ex-husband's girlfriend and NOT my d-i-l's mother.  Her mother is in another state and is not very attentive as a mother or grandmother.  In fact, my d-i-l would kill to have her mom be here and attentive like me and the other "gram."  I would say the other "gram" probably feels sorry for me too.  The other evening when they were all here for dinner, I went o clean up the kitchen and the other gram would have never done that.  She would have the everything stay put until granddaughter left. Maybe that's part of it.
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13167_tn?1327197724
wellness,  I think you should get on the floor and play with her!  (If you're mobile enough to do that,  that is).  That's what grandmas are for - we are lucky enough to have both grandmothers living and active,  and I'm absolutely amazed at the patience they have playing with my children.  My youngest son invented this game of "hide and seek",  only it was an object that he would hide and the grandmother would go look for it.  EEKS,  what a BORING GAME I HATED THAT GAME,  that's the story of my life,  I spend too much time searching for lost items anyway.  But the Grandmas did it,  amazingly.

Also,  if your son treats you with disdain of course his child will too.  I think you really need to rattle some sense into him not to treat you so disrespectfully.  It's not like he's 7 - he's a grown man.  

Best wishes.
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree with rockrose. Unless you're physically unable, get down and dirty and have a ball! That's what it's all about!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you.  I do play with her on the floor and outside and all around.  It's just that I  may answer the phone, or wash some dishes and I'm not great about sounding like a horse.  In other words, I'm not gret at being a 5 year old but I certainly give her attention. What I'm told is the other grandmother will not do another thing but be with her playing the whole time she is over.  No phone answering, no cooking, no emailing, 100% granddaughter time.  No reprimanding for anything.  No rules, no boundries.  Is this realistic or healrhy? wellness1
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Avatar_n_tn
No, in that case, it's not realistic. Play with her, and then set your limits. She can't have play and attention 24/7. Good luck to you!  She sounds kinda spoiled by this other lady! no offense intended of course. Maybe you'll be the one to straighten it out!
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Avatar_n_tn
That's what I think. My d-i-l says she can't say anything about what the other gram does and how she treats Hannah.  Monday we have an appt at the pre-school with the psychologist to see what she says.  It's a free service and I want my d-i-l to hear as well.  I feel so badly about this that I feel like seeing if there is a child this age that would appreciate a grandmother type, not instead of Hannah, but in addition to.  I would love for a child to be excited to see me like I was when I saw my grandparents.  I did tell my d-i-l that and maybe I hurt her feelings but I have a need obviously.  My d-i-l says she asked Hannah and Hannah says she loves me.  So none of us know what to do which is why I am glad to be talking with you all and also see what the pre-school psychologist says.  I feel like chopped liver!
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Avatar_n_tn
Well, the one thing I can say is that, you can't change the behavior of the other Grandma, but you can decide how you handle it. And I think that you're doing okay aside from hurt feelings. I know it probably really hurts you, that she seems to love the other one more, but that is not the case. Let me explain. I feel she loves you just as much, but of course she will want to hang around the other lady more, she gives her everything she wants afterall, I would probably do the same thing if I was a little girl. Most of us would, your grandaughter is getting the time of her life from this lady, and is spoiled, so it's not a wonder she seems to prefer her. But that doesn't mean she doesn't love you. What you have to remember is,  there will come a day, when all the stuff this other Grandma does for her, and lets her do, will be far less important to your grandaughter, and she'll start to grow and mature, and it won't matter how many cookies, or clothes, or late nights up watching tv this lady lets her have,  or how often she plays outside or in the sand box with her, she will eventually come to desire a more mature and introspective relationship with her Grandmother's, and you will be able, ready and willing to give that to her. You can let the other grandma be the silly over the top, spoiler, and you can remain the sensible, loving, kind trustworthy dependable Grandma that will always be there for her, no matter what. She goes to the other Grandma to   get   "Things"  whether it be material, or way too much attention.  But she'll come to you for love, guidance, reassurance, and advice.  So, play with her as much as you can, get down and dirty while she's little  but stick to your limits , dont' give her everything she wants, and remind her that no one can play 24 hours a day and that when she's at your house, there are rules. This will teach her respect, and that's a great gift to give her.  Become the Grandma she'll adore and idolize when she's a grown into the young woman she will eventually become. As for your son being rude and disrespectful to you in front of her, my suspicion is that the therapist will say that is Very damaging to your grandaugther and highly inappropriate of your son. Tell him he needs to get over whatever anger he's got for you for the sake of his kids. Tell him to stop acting like a baby, and get over it. And that you need and have the right , to have a good relationship with your grandaughter. Don't worry, your grandaughter is not going to stop loving you, just because the other grandma is a door mat for her.   I hope it all works out!  By the way, my Grandma Never spoiled me Growing up (my other grandmother didn't either) and I didn't hate either one of them, they were at the top of my pedestal.   Take care and update if you get the chance!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your note.  I am sitting here typing between the tears.  tonight I invited my son, his wife and Hannah to go see the Zoo Lights at the Redi Park Zoo in Tucson.  When they told Hannah she said to her mom, "I want to go with you."  And, of course, her mom said they were going too.  My d-i-l says that when the other gram is around, Hannah only wants to be with her instead of her mom.  Of course, she welcomes the down time!  Thanks again.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Sounds like Hannah prefers her other Grandma to anyone and everyone, including her parents! Well, try not to take it too personally. And I bet the visit with the school psychologist will help some. Perhaps your son and his wife will come to realize the damage this other lady might do to Hannah's behavior by spoiling her too much. Well, I hope it all works out for the best.  I bet it will in the end. Just try to stay positive. Update if you get a chance. And Merry Christmas.      :-)
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you.  today I met with a pshchologist at the pre-school where my  granddaughter attends.  She said to not fuss over her, not go over to kiss and hug her or ask for her to do it to me and to have her parents not make a fuss about it wioth her.  I'm supposed to go over and say hi and not fuss over her.  She said she is rebelling and liking getting reactions from me and her parents.  She also said it may take her up to a year to even notice something is different.  So the parents are not to ask her what's wrong or to over and hug me, or anything.  but I'm to continue seeing her of course and when she wants me to scratch her back or whatever before bedtime, to do all those things.  Play with her, make cookies, all the things I do, but not to make a fuss.  In iother words, back off.  I am going through a little bit of a grieving process tonight as I feel so much hurt and pain.  I'm supposed to tell y son and d-i-l to not make her come hug meor make a fuss either.  She is liking getting reactionsf and attention from everybody.  If she is impolite or ignores me when I say hi, my son is to say, WE don't talk to Bubbe that way.  Make it a we not you.  She said it is not because I may do something else for a few minutes when she is here.  that is not the reason.  she feels it has to do with the vibes she is getting from my son sometimes.  So I feel like I've been stabbed and I feel a loss. wellness1
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm so sorry you're having to go through this, I know it must be hurting you a lot, to be treated this way by your son and grandaughter, but I agree with the therapist. Try to follow what she suggested and see if that has any effect on her behavior. Just be there and be Grandma, but  take a step back, and let her see what she is missing by being unaffectionate towards you. I really feel she will eventually come around. I think your son making it a We issue instead of just directing her will help, as she'll see that she's to treat you with respect and love. And I think your son, and D-I-L need to be loving and kind to you in front of her, and if they aren't , then it might be part of the problem with Hannah.  At any rate. Try not to be too sad, as I know she loves you, just doesn't show it in the same way she does with others.  Perhaps you stepping back and giving her space, will teach her a lesson, and she'll begin to crave your affection.  Of course, I would not cater to her, or let her get away with breaking your rules, so I hope you stick to your guns on that front.  Good luck! It will be okay!
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