Grandma wants to have visits with one son but not the other...What would you do?

@jstaubin (423)
United States
July 13, 2009 3:51pm CST
My mother in law takes our two boys camping every year and though there has been problems with this in the past, this year it went really bad. You see our youngest son was born premature so he is leagally blind in one eye, he has some hearing loss and he has ADHD. Now these are all things that make taking care of our son a little more difficult but he is eight years old and these are all things that our families have known from the start that he might have to deal with. Now apparently our oldest son who is also ADHD behaved like a total angel. He did no wrong. While the younger son didn't listen very well and apparently ticked his grandma off. Now here's where my problem comes in. She called me to tell me how horrible of a child my youngest son is and that she does not want to take him anymore. She is only going to take my oldest son and leave the youngest son at home. She made this phone call while my children were still with her and our youngest son heard her. So on top of my instant outrage that a grandma could treat a grandchild that way our son believes that Grandma hates him. So what do I do? How to I help to heal my child's broken heart? and how do I handle my mother in law? What should I say to her? Should I say anything?
2 people like this
9 responses
@mzz663 (2780)
• United States
14 Jul 09
I always hated when someone treated one of my kids different, my mom always had her favorites and I never liked how unfair it was, especially when it's something that is out of control of the child. You could let her know that if she don't take them both, she takes none. that usually works, but there's always the risk that the one she don't want to take will get treated badly. You could send the one she wants and spend time doing something special with the other one, kids tend to like going to the park, a movie, going to get ice cream, fishing, whatever....as long as they get to "do something special" that seems better than going camping. OR You could just not send either of them and let her know how unfair you think it is for one to go and not the other. They're kids and kids seem to remember everything and their young lives shape their adult lives. There is always the possibility that she made the call in front of him just as a threat that she won't carry out..... You should talk to her and let her know what you think and give her your decision.
@jstaubin (423)
• United States
18 Jul 09
I want to thank everyone for all of the words of advice and encouragement. This week my husband and I sat down with her and had a long talk that unfortunately did not end well. We found out that she had not only called to tell us how horrible he was but she also told him to his face. Something that our son did not want to tell us. So at this point she is not allowed to take either one of our children and unfortunately her son and her are not talking right now. I hope that temper will cool and that we will be able to still have her be part of our lives but that might take some time.
1 person likes this
@mzz663 (2780)
• United States
19 Jul 09
I'm glad you talked to her and am sorry that she isn't talking to her son. One day, just like your sons, I hope she decides it's time for her to grow up and realize all the problems that she could be adding to both of your sons lives.
• United States
13 Jul 09
Wow. That's really insensitive! It sounds like something my own MIL might say. I would either tell Grandma that she needs to take both kids or neither, or I would plan something really fun for both boys so that they don't miss the camping trip with Grandma so much. At the very least, she owes your youngest an apology for hurting his feelings. As I said, it was insensitive of her to say something like that while he was in earshot. Kids remember that kind of stuff for ages.
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
13 Jul 09
I also believe she should apologize to him for her poor behavior. That type of comment can really set up a child for failure. Mari
@patms1 (522)
• United States
14 Jul 09
I've read the other letters and I agree with them. She should not see either one of them but this is going to cause a problem with the other child. You are going to have to sit down with him and explain how even though you understand that he want to go with her but how would he feel if it was him she did not want. You do not say what your husband had to say about this. I think you have to remember that your youngest son because of his health has been the center of attention. Now the older boy wants to be the center and this is how he is getting it. I think you may have to let him go if he insist. Be careful what you say to your MIL because she sounds like a female dog who would tell the older boy she will not take him because of you and his brother. Please let me know how it turns out.
• Canada
14 Jul 09
Hi Jstaubin, Sorry to hear that this stuff is still continuing in this day and age. I've been going through a similar situation with my mother my whole life. She thinks my sister is perfect and I'm the bad seed, the loser. I don't have children of my own, what if you told grandma that if she can't take both of your boys. Then maybe she shouldn't take either of them. Maybe you could take both your kids on a fun vacation yourself. That way your one little boy doesn't feel bad about who he is. But I would let your mother know that she hurt him.
• India
14 Jul 09
if this kind of situation arise then i must go for reasons behind it and as far as possible will take the important steps to make the situation healthy from both ends. i think you should give time for some experimental tricks to b successful.
@us2owls (1681)
• United States
13 Jul 09
This is pathetic. She would take them both or none - but then on second thoughts she wouldn't get to take either one. If she makes calls like she did where the kids can hear her then she doesn't need to be around them except under supervision. Hope their father supports you if you decide to do this. He should put his childrens welfare before his Mothers feelings. She obviously doesn't care about the childrens feelings so why should your family care about hers.. Good luck.
@dlr297 (5416)
• United States
13 Jul 09
I would make sure she knows exactly what she did to your child, how bad she hurt him. Your son might have felt her feelings toward him and that is why he was miss behaving in the first place. If i were you she would not take one child with out the other.
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
13 Jul 09
I agree with CJscott. I would discuss it with her son and at very least I would not allow her to take one without the other. It is unfair to the child that cannot help that he has disabilities. I would also try to make him understand that "Grandma" was just mad at his behavior and upset. It's not that she doesn't love him. (regardless of the truth) Maybe he could work on his behavior and given another chance, but I wouldn't let the oldest go to punish the younger brother. Good luck & Brightest blessings, Mari
@CJscott (4182)
• Canada
13 Jul 09
Were I in your position, I wouldn't let her take either of my Children any more. If she can't be fair to them both, then she should get neither, I wouldn't even let her come near my family any more. It is nice to have a Grandma, but if she were to treat my children that way, I would just make friends with one of the nice old ladies that lives down the street or something, and forget that lady was even part of my life. But, you probably can't do that, seeing as it is your Mother in Law, and so your other half would be totally against it. So, you would have to tell her, exactly how you feel about what she said, and the fact that she said it in front of the little one, and you would need to get her to explain to him, that she doesn't actually hate him. Before you could let her take any of the children again, and even then, she might treat the one way differently then the other, once they are away.