Parenting

MIL ignoring my son :

I'm heartbroken. Over and over again I see my mother in law completely ignore my 15 month old and it hurts. In every family gathering, she just ignores him.

It started a few months ago. It sometimes is when we are alone with them or on a larger group. For example, we brought him over to her house on Mother's Day which is 2 hours away and I cooked her lunch. We said she could just relax and spend time with our little guy while we ran the kitchen and she spend the whole time standing in the kitchen while I cooked. My son just sat and played with his grandpa.

When my son was first born she packed her bags and stayed here for a whole week even though we asked her to please give us sometime until we were ready for house guests. We have been working hard to create boundries while still making an effort for her to spend time with him. She now decided to ignore him. Maybe she is mad at me and wants to make a point. Im not sure. She will insist to come to our house and we will pull him out of daycare for the day so she can spend time with him. Last time, I got home from work and she was upstairs doing her nails while my father in law ran after our son. God knows what happens all day. I will not pull him out of daycare for the day anymore when she comes to visit.

She also picks favorites. My brother in law has twins and she compares them all the time, makes terrible comments about one of the boys and ignores him really. He is only 5. I feel like she is heading the same way with my son.

My little man is a very happy, smiley, easy going boy. I can't imagine why she would do this but she does and it's awful.

Not sure what to do about this... My parents live overseas and she is the grandma that will be around most of the time. Just to think he might have his feeling hurt in the future really makes me sad. Any advice on how I should handle this?
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Re: MIL ignoring my son :

  • It sounds like she's not really into kids.  Not all women are, not all grandma's are what you image to be the ideal grandma.  As hard as it is, I would try not to take it personally.  It sounds like you just need to change your expectations of the type of grandma she'll be.
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  • Hi. I hope you are right. I try not to take it personally but its hard when i see that she Actually dotes on one of the twins grandsons. She will sit with him and play for hours including last weekend when she ignored both my son and one of the twins. The twin who she doesn't care for is old enough now that he notices and asks questions: "why does Grammy only likes My brother" etc. it hurts him and it makes me sad to think my son might feel the same way when he is old enough to understand.
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  • She sounds cold.  Unless this is a completely new thing, I would just let him enjoy his grandfather!  Sounds like they have a great relationship!
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  • image icoelho:
    Hi. I hope you are right. I try not to take it personally but its hard when i see that she Actually dotes on one of the twins grandsons. She will sit with him and play for hours including last weekend when she ignored both my son and one of the twins. The twin who she doesn't care for is old enough now that he notices and asks questions: "why does Grammy only likes My brother" etc. it hurts him and it makes me sad to think my son might feel the same way when he is old enough to understand.
    ' Limit their interactions then. She sounds snooty and playing favorites. My mother lives across the US and DH's mother is very rarely in his life. Not everyone has the classic grandparents.
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  • image Holls2011:
    image icoelho:
    Hi. I hope you are right. I try not to take it personally but its hard when i see that she Actually dotes on one of the twins grandsons. She will sit with him and play for hours including last weekend when she ignored both my son and one of the twins. The twin who she doesn't care for is old enough now that he notices and asks questions: "why does Grammy only likes My brother" etc. it hurts him and it makes me sad to think my son might feel the same way when he is old enough to understand.
    ' Limit their interactions then. She sounds snooty and playing favorites. My mother lives across the US and DH's mother is very rarely in his life. Not everyone has the classic grandparents.

    This.  Honestly, at the end of the day it's her loss.  If she chooses to ignore him and dotes on other grand kids, that behavior is on her.  Yes, it's hurtful when someone treats your child that way.  It would hurt me as well.  But your son sounds like he is loved a lot by others and is happy and that's all that matters.


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  • My MIL is the same way. Every time we see them, my FIL plays with DS while my MIL sits there, or putzes around the kitchen. They live 5 minutes away and have seen DS#2 3x since he's been born. 2 bday parties and mother's day. She has only held him once. She fawns over my SILs girls. We've been dealing with this for 2.5yrs now, and I've just come to terms that it is what it is. Hopefully DS doesn't see that she favors his cousins.

     

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  • I think you should have you DH talk to her. Is he on the same page and sees how hard it is on you DS's cousin who is older? I think something should be said, and it should be your DH who says it.
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  • I don't think there's anything you can do. She's an adult and is going to do as she wishes.

    I had a similar experience with my mom's mom. She had her favorite grandchild and disliked the rest of us. She always made snide remarks to us and hated when ever she had to be around us. In the end it just made us not like her. As much as it hurt my mom's feelings, her mother never changed no matter what my mom said to her.

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  • I have a grandma who played favorites and ignored us. Its really no big deal, honestly. That's just how the woman is, you can't change it and therefore you move on. That grandma of mine is always really into herself and only talked about certain grandkids when we all went to visit on Sunday. I stopped going to visit at about 16 or 17. Why go? Now when I go to visit, I hear about how the ones she always talked about never visit her. Even though they live in the same town. Oh well...

    She won't change. Don't let her get you down. Focus on the relative who do care.

    LO has a grandpa who won't pay attention to her. I have the "I don't care" attitude towards that too.. she has my dad who loves her very much. She has a step grandpa who loves her. Wth does she need that grandpas negative attitude for anyway? Its not needed. So eff it.. ya know? Who has time to care about those who don't care about you and your LO?

    Next Mothers Day, spend your mothers day on you. I would just let DH give her a call and leave it that since she doesn't give a crap.
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  • image icoelho:
    Hi. I hope you are right. I try not to take it personally but its hard when i see that she Actually dotes on one of the twins grandsons. She will sit with him and play for hours including last weekend when she ignored both my son and one of the twins. The twin who she doesn't care for is old enough now that he notices and asks questions: "why does Grammy only likes My brother" etc. it hurts him and it makes me sad to think my son might feel the same way when he is old enough to understand.

    If she's going to act that way, maybe you can try fostering the relationship between your DS and his grandfather, especially since it sounds like they already have a good one.  It's going to be your MIL's loss in the long run, even though I know it hurts you and the grandkids she's snubbing.

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  • As previous posters mentioned, she is not going to change. Sucks that your son has a crappy grandmother, but he certainly isn't the only one.

    The only behavior you can control is your own. Definitely don't pull him out of school when she visits.

    Just be a good mom and let her be a ***!y grandma. Nothing you can do about it.
  • image Gnugirl:
    As previous posters mentioned, she is not going to change. Sucks that your son has a crappy grandmother, but he certainly isn't the only one. The only behavior you can control is your own. Definitely don't pull him out of school when she visits. Just be a good mom and let her be a ***!y grandma. Nothing you can do about it.

    This is how I approach the situation too. SO's mom sees DS maybe once a month for 10-15 minutes. That's her choice. She actually saw him one time from the day he was born until he was 2.5 months old...and she lives 10 minutes away. My mom, on the other hand, is, if anything, over involved. So, I let them each do their own thing. He'll grow up knowing that my mom is more attentive and more of a grandma than SO's and that'll be her own fault. I had a grandma that was like SO's mom when I was growing up and it never hurt my feelings. I just knew that she wasn't "fun" and the other one was.

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  • image ByeBabyBunting:
    I think you should have you DH talk to her. Is he on the same page and sees how hard it is on you DS's cousin who is older? I think something should be said, and it should be your DH who says it.

    Yes he is definitely on the same page and he is the one who is hurt the most by all this, honestly. But I think you guys are right, I can't let this get to me. Can't avoid her completely because it would keep FIL away from my son and he is great with him. He will just get extra love from grandpa. Wish I could just avoid her completely
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  • Yeah...that sucks.

    Focus on the relationships with the family members who ARE involved and positive influences (i.e. his grandfather, it sounds like). Her loss.

    My mother is hands off with DD but my father is much more involved. Does it make me sad? Yes. But I had to adjust my own expectations of what kind of grandma she is able and willing to be and while it's been hard to accept that, it's easier in the long run than continuing to hope for something that's just not the case.

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  • She may be making a point about "respecting your boundaries" in a really immature way.  Just talk to her about it.  It's amazing how immature and petty people can get as they get older.  
    I give up trying to get a ticker.  I have a DD that is 2.5 years old and is awesome.  Maybe I'll add a quote to distinguish myself.  Hmmm.  How about...

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  • image icoelho:
    I'm heartbroken. Over and over again I see my mother in law completely ignore my 15 month old and it hurts. In every family gathering, she just ignores him. It started a few months ago. It sometimes is when we are alone with them or on a larger group. For example, we brought him over to her house on Mother's Day which is 2 hours away and I cooked her lunch. We said she could just relax and spend time with our little guy while we ran the kitchen and she spend the whole time standing in the kitchen while I cooked. My son just sat and played with his grandpa. When my son was first born she packed her bags and stayed here for a whole week even though we asked her to please give us sometime until we were ready for house guests. We have been working hard to create boundries while still making an effort for her to spend time with him. She now decided to ignore him. Maybe she is mad at me and wants to make a point. Im not sure. She will insist to come to our house and we will pull him out of daycare for the day so she can spend time with him. Last time, I got home from work and she was upstairs doing her nails while my father in law ran after our son. God knows what happens all day. I will not pull him out of daycare for the day anymore when she comes to visit. She also picks favorites. My brother in law has twins and she compares them all the time, makes terrible comments about one of the boys and ignores him really. He is only 5. I feel like she is heading the same way with my son. My little man is a very happy, smiley, easy going boy. I can't imagine why she would do this but she does and it's awful. Not sure what to do about this... My parents live overseas and she is the grandma that will be around most of the time. Just to think he might have his feeling hurts in the future really makes me sad. Any advice on how I should handle this?

    Edit because I hit Post too soon.

    The bolded part may very well be correct, if she's anything like my own mother is. 

    I am sorry you're going through this. The pain is indescribable. I wish I had words of wisdom, but I can only commiserate. 

    Maybe you could find friends whose parents are excellent grandparents. That's what DH and I have done. We have some friends with kids, and THEIR parents are basically our DS's grandparents. They dote on him more than my parents would ever think of doing.

    Hugs to you. 

    "To me, you are perfect."
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  • image izzourclue:
    She may be making a point about "respecting your boundaries" in a really immature way.  Just talk to her about it.  It's amazing how immature and petty people can get as they get older.  
    This is my take.  She saw the boundaries, and now she's going to the opposite extreme.

    Here's the thing- you all have to work w/ who she is. Not who you want her to be.  She plays favorites w/ her other grandkids, you had to set boundaries with her.  Is this reaction really all the surprising??? 

    And I agree- it's HER loss.

    As far as your son goes and his feelings... the less you make an issue of it, the less you "point it out", the less he'll realize there is something "wrong".  My DS is 4.5.  He has a GREAT relationship w/ my parents.  My ILs - not so much.  And my MIL actually ignores him alot.  He doesn't seems phased by it. HE doesn't have any expectations around "how grandparents are supposed to act" or that "one set treats me "this" way, but the other doesn't- why not?". 

    And I'm sure as heck not going to point out that there are differences. Each relationship is what it is and we'll talk about my ILs in a positive manner w/ him, and he's fine with it. THEY may be sad that they aren't closer to him, but that's on them. He really is unaware.

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  • Ditto ECB. I bet your Ds will not be as hurt as you are. He will eventually figure out that that Gma isn't the cool/fun one and will gravitate away from her naturally. That's sad for your Mil, but you can't force her to act a certain way.  Just try to accept the fact that she sucks as a grandma and you will have no love lost over it. 

    Have you talked to your Bil and Sil about her favoring a twin?? Maybe your Dh and his sibling can have a heart to heart with her.  

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  • Also, I think I would speak up if I heard her saying negative or hurtful things about the one twin. Ignoring is one thing, actively /sayingdoing something to hurt an innocent child is another... 
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  • image LaurelBee:
    Ditto ECB. I bet your Ds will not be as hurt as you are. He will eventually figure out that that Gma isn't the cool/fun one and will gravitate away from her naturally. That's sad for your Mil, but you can't force her to act a certain way. nbsp;Just try to accept the fact that she sucks as a grandma and you will have no love lost over it.nbsp;Have you talked to your Bil and Sil about her favoring a twin?? Maybe your Dh and his sibling can have a heart to heart with her.nbsp;nbsp;


    My SIL has talked to me about it and mentioned her son gets really sad and now acts up anytime she is around, which makes things worse. She has no idea however of the nasty things my MIL says about the little guy. I told my husband he needed to talk to his brother and tell him what's going on. I always make a point to tell my mother in law whenever she compares both twons that every child is different and they don't have to like the same things. My FIL has stood up for the little guy once too. She is a pretty awful person.

    The other thing is everyone refers to the twins as "a and b" for example from the order they were born. She makes a point to say "b and a" anytime she refers to them and lists the one she likes first. She is the only one in the family who does that
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  • All I can say is I'm sorry, I totally understand and its not you or your son and their is nothing you can do about it.

    I have 2 girls, ages 5 years and 7 on Father's Day.  My MIL is not an easy person and we don't have the best relationship (no one has a good relationship with her including her 3 kids).  When my girls were younger, she made an effort but she was never an infant person so never really held the girls much or anything but as they got older, she got more involved.  It didn't last long and we would notice that she would chose to just not come visit at times when FIL came or she would not join us when we were at their house.  My SIL had twins in Jan 2012 and since then, my girls might as well not show up to things if the twins are there.  My other SIL had a baby a few weeks ago and I can't wait to see what happens when we are all together.  My girls have never said anything about how their grandma treats them and the rest of the family makes up for it (one of my BIL's has made comments to us about how she treats my kids).  We have started limiting when we see them in the last 2 years for other reasons related to my MIL so I am sure in my case - it is all related.  MIL has many issues including depression and she choses to just not deal with it so we chose to just not be around much.  Its a logn story (and I'm skipping lots of details) but let you son enjoy the time with his grandpa and leave it at that.  MIL is making a choice to miss out on time with her grandchild and nothing you do will change that.  

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