How do I get my 10 year old daughter to like her grandmother.
August 15, 2009 11:13am CST
My daughter has had a very distrant relationship with her grandmother, we live 4 hours by plane away and try to visit as oftern as possible. Each visit during her years her grandmother has found it difficult to socialise with her in terms of playing games taking her out, talking to her etc. She gets on very well with her grandfather who spoils her and never tells her off. These grandparents are on my husbands side as she has the best relationship with my parents. During the past 3 weeks her grandparents eldest son of 47 passed away and after the funeral have come to visit for a couple of weeks which has seen some difficult moments. We have a younger daughter who is 2 1/2 years and has taken a liking to her grandparents and the grandmother has been sitting drawing, hugging and paying alot of attention to her. The older daughter sees this and I am not sure if it brings up memories, jealousy or anger. The grandmother as you can imagine does not say much and this I feel is making it very difficult for the older daughter to have a conversation with her grandmother. Even when her grandmother goes to give her a kiss on the cheek she pulls away, when she asks what she is doing she shrugs and ignores her. I have sat her down and explained how this is very rude and very bad behaviour and she has to realise that her grandmother has lost someone very close to her which is very sad and she has to try and make an effort. I was hoping someone else has been in this situation and can give me some advise.
• United States
17 Aug 09
My mother is already 61 years old, and I have a nephew that is almost 9 and I think he had some issues somewhat like this. Even though he lives in the same city he rarely ever sees her, and she is so much older that they have nothing in common. Well, what she does is tries to entertain him or get him interested in things he has never tried or done before, that she knows how to do, like play a piano, make some really tasty candy treats, etc. Also, she showed him how to play this really cool game, and was asking him questions while they were doing this. I know boys and much different from girls, but this definitely caught my nephews attention. I hate to say it, but a lot of kids I know are "bought" by their grandparents which is bad, but it works, which sucks lol -- example: My sister in law's mother is a millionaire and she buys many expensive gifts for her grandsons and now my nephew is always asking for her. My mother is always hurt of course, but she has her "homely" ways of getting his attention as well.
17 Aug 09
Thank you for your input This grandmother has never done anything with her granddaughter she was always more interested in her appearance more cosmetic when she would visit and go out with her grandparents, is her hair straight and neat are her shoes clean is her face clean and her clothes clean and tidy, you cannot play in the mud/sand or water puddles etc. I would even pack a lunch with her milk bottles and she would tell me she was too big to have bottles so she wouldn't have a drink until she returned home, they would never put her raines on in public as she didn't think she needed them and if she went near water or traffic her grandfather was watching he. She has never taken her on a train, bus,to a park to play only to walk by or a cafe to sit and have a meal only in the evenings with her parents - the grandaughter grandmother bonding has never been there. Even though my relationship has not been a close one over the years with my in-laws I have never put words into my daughters mouth to make her dislike her grandmother and I have never spoken ill of her infront of my daughter, we stay with them, and they come to visit each year. Her other grandparents they have a great bond with her and have always shown an interest in what she has and is doing. I have been trying to enforce to her that it is rude to ignore someone and that we have to make a big and bigger effort, but how long do you keep trying if 10 years has already gone by and the relationship seems to be getting worse. The other evening before they flew back home we all went out to dinner and Grandmother looked at her and said are you sulking because no one is paying any attention to you then turns to the younger grandchild and smiles. I am not sure anymore, I know they have recently suffered a loss of their eldest son but whilst she was here she took no interest inwhat my daughter was doing in her schooling, music nothing we had to explain it to her. Maybe time will heal these wounds and they will find some common ground.
17 Aug 09
A child always responds to love. I can see clearly that this grandmother has never taken any interest in the child or shown any love towards her. A child has an inbuilt radar and immediately gets to know who love them and who dont. If your mil had gone even one step towards her, Im sure your daughter would have made a tentative step towards her too. Now by trying to give so much attention to the little one and still neglecting the elder one is creating a bigger void in her life. I think you should as a parent, along with your husband, sit and talk it out with your mil. Make her see sense. She is a grown up and Im sure she can bridge the gap if she wants to. Try asking the child also. Maybe she has suffered at her hands and is too scared to tell anyone. Anything is possible. I think a thorough look into will help. Ask your daughter to open up without fear and that you are there to help. All the best.
• Garden Grove, California
17 Aug 09
theres an old adage you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. there has to be a reason she doesnt want to socialize with her grandmother, haS her grandmother 'been sharp with her, maYbe she really doesnt like your older daughter. I know when I was little my stepgrandmother' didnt like children at all,they wanted me to be friendly'with her aNd i just could not do it. the woman really disliked me. she told me I was an imp of Satan and scared the bejabbers out of me.I think she was just a little mental.
15 Aug 09
I don't think it is anything to worry about. Some kids pick and choose who they like. She will like her grandmother eventually. Have the grandmother continue to try and bond with her but do not push her. I have a daughter aswell and she does the same.She bonds more with men than women. Maybe its a daddys little girl thing. Good luck.Not to worry.
15 Aug 09
Have you ever asked her as to why she dislikes her grandmother? You have told her its rude to not like her grandma, this is something like imposing your views on her and as a mother you do have a right in this but she too has her own mind. Maybe something which her grandma does or does not, makes her resentful. And now with this younger kid and grandma getting real close, its going to become more difficult for the elder child and you. You can also talk to the grandpa and seek his help on this as he seems to have a lot of influence on the elder kid.