Author Topic: Is this the norm w/ Grandkids?  (Read 7233 times)

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PennyandPleased

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Is this the norm w/ Grandkids?
« on: September 05, 2012, 02:09:06 PM »
I'm not really asking for advice on this - more just curious if this is something that is normal with all families...

My DF's younger sister has a son who is 1 year old. From day one when they found out the sister was going to have a baby there was constant conversations between DF's Mom (MIL to keep it easy) and other Sister (SIL) that they would be the priority for holding/playing with/ interacting with the new grandson. Every chance they got they would say things like "We will always hold Grandson first when we visit", etc. The sister and grandson live a 90 minutes away so visiting them is kind of a day trip (there is ALWAYS traffic so it's actually more like 2 hours) and the few times I have gone with them I've never been able to hold him or interact with him because the other sister and MIL were the ones who would get to play with him. Even DF barely gets to hold him.

They act this way no matter who is there. At the first birthday party the MIL held the grandson the whole time even though there were about 20 other people there who wanted to spend time with him and play with him. If he crawls over to someone else they usually intercept him and bring him back to them.

I've never said anything to them of DF because I honestly don't care and we occasionally go visit just the 2 of us and we get to play with him one on one then. I have no siblings and no great grandkids or any little kids on both sides on my family so I have no clue what is the norm.

But is this how everyone's parents/siblings are with their grand kids? Or is this not normal? Just curious what people's thoughts are on this...

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: Is this the norm w/ Grandkids?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 02:14:33 PM »
This is not normal in anything I've seen.  I don't know of any grandparent or aunt/uncle who wouldn't let anyone else play or hold the baby.  That's just strange to me. 

Chickadee

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Re: Is this the norm w/ Grandkids?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 02:15:14 PM »
In my experience it is not normal at all, not to mention very rude to the others who would like to hold the baby. I'm the youngest of 4 kids, and the first grandchild came along when I was 10. Of course, being ten years old, I wanted to hold my niece all the time. A real live baby doll  :D!

No, your MIL and SIL are being very selfish and rude. Do they act that way when the other set of grandparents are there?

ETA: Do they also insist on holding the baby when it is time to change the messy diaper?

PennyandPleased

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Re: Is this the norm w/ Grandkids?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 02:19:00 PM »
They are not quite as "brave" with him when the other grandparents are there. The other grandparents are super sweet and quiet so they sort of just hang back, although they are very involved.

I never thought what they were doing was normal but I didn't know if it was because I have never been in this type of family situation.

As an example: one time the cousin of the grandson's father was sitting on a couch and they put grandson next to him with a special baby table so he could eat some little snacks and SIL said to the cousin: "Don't you think you should let his grandmother sit there?" The cousin was too nice to argue and moved. I remember seeing that and being kind of floored.

Luci

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Re: Is this the norm w/ Grandkids?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2012, 02:22:07 PM »
I hope that's not normal! We just try to hold the baby if we can and no one is particularly possessive about the whole thing.

If he crawls over to someone else they usually intercept him and bring him back to them.

That is a good way to teach the child to be shy and insecure with anyone else! We let what happens just happen.

We have 2 children, 6 grandchildren, and innumerable nieces and nephews and greatnieces and nephews and I have rarely seen this behavior even when the other grandparents were aroung.

Even when our grandchildren were tiny, there were times that we only held them a few minutes, and times when we held them almost the whole visit.

Zilla

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Re: Is this the norm w/ Grandkids?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2012, 02:26:37 PM »
I have seen it.  But has he actually said, "Hello there little guy, my turn!"  smile brightly and hold out his arms?  Or play with him on the floor and if they try to intercept say, "Oh I am not done yet, will bring him to you when I am though." and go back to playing with him.


Or simply talk to his sister about it and that he wants to spend some time with the kid and would appreciate if they would talk to the mil and let him loose for a bit.

cicero

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Re: Is this the norm w/ Grandkids?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2012, 02:39:27 PM »
what? they *called* the baby before it was born, and they got *forever* rights? sounds weird to me.

the *only* *possible* explanation i could think of is that Younger SIL doesn't *want* anyone else to hold the baby (for whatever reason). and she enlisted her mom and sister to make sure this doesn't happen. i know it sounds bizarre, but I also know that there *are* people who don't want any to hold their baby.

I'm not really asking for advice on this - more just curious if this is something that is normal with all families...

My DF's younger sister has a son who is 1 year old. From day one when they found out the sister was going to have a baby there was constant conversations between DF's Mom (MIL to keep it easy) and other Sister (SIL) that they would be the priority for holding/playing with/ interacting with the new grandson. Every chance they got they would say things like "We will always hold Grandson first when we visit", etc. The sister and grandson live a 90 minutes away so visiting them is kind of a day trip (there is ALWAYS traffic so it's actually more like 2 hours) and the few times I have gone with them I've never been able to hold him or interact with him because the other sister and MIL were the ones who would get to play with him. Even DF barely gets to hold him.

They act this way no matter who is there. At the first birthday party the MIL held the grandson the whole time even though there were about 20 other people there who wanted to spend time with him and play with him. If he crawls over to someone else they usually intercept him and bring him back to them.

I've never said anything to them of DF because I honestly don't care and we occasionally go visit just the 2 of us and we get to play with him one on one then. I have no siblings and no great grandkids or any little kids on both sides on my family so I have no clue what is the norm.

But is this how everyone's parents/siblings are with their grand kids? Or is this not normal? Just curious what people's thoughts are on this...

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VltGrantham

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Re: Is this the norm w/ Grandkids?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2012, 02:42:12 PM »
Not that you really asked, but here's my two cents worth.

As others have said, it's not "normal" by any means.  And if this is a family you plan to marry into and you also plan to have children, now is the time to discuss whether or not you intend to allow this to go on with your children and whether or not your DF, then DH, will be backing you up.  If your future IL's are this pushy, I can see the potential for some serious problems in the future.  And I would want to know now, rather than later, exactly what I was getting myself into.

My MIL tried something similar when DD was born, but DH and I did not allow it to happen and DH totally backed me up.

snowdragon

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Re: Is this the norm w/ Grandkids?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2012, 02:44:59 PM »
Not normal. It's not even normal for interactions outside the family.
It's rude both to the grown ups involved and rude to the baby.

Sharnita

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Re: Is this the norm w/ Grandkids?
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2012, 02:46:58 PM »
For some perspective, we were at my nephew's first birthday.  My mom (his grandmother) gets the chance to see him pretty regularly.  She deliberately kept put of the way and did not make an attempt to hold him or get up close because she knew there were several relatives there who did not get to see him very often, especially on the other side of the family.  She felt like it was only fair to let them have their time on his birthday and she would more than make up for it in the days to come.  I am sure if she asked they would have passed him to her but she kind of stepped back so they could enjoy him without making a production out of it.

Luci

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Re: Is this the norm w/ Grandkids?
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2012, 02:50:39 PM »
For some perspective, we were at my nephew's first birthday.  My mom (his grandmother) gets the chance to see him pretty regularly.  She deliberately kept put of the way and did not make an attempt to hold him or get up close because she knew there were several relatives there who did not get to see him very often, especially on the other side of the family.  She felt like it was only fair to let them have their time on his birthday and she would more than make up for it in the days to come.  I am sure if she asked they would have passed him to her but she kind of stepped back so they could enjoy him without making a production out of it.

Sounds like a sweet, understanding lady. I hope she is as low key all of the time!

TootsNYC

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Re: Is this the norm w/ Grandkids?
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2012, 02:59:32 PM »
Not that you really asked, but here's my two cents worth.

As others have said, it's not "normal" by any means.  And if this is a family you plan to marry into and you also plan to have children, now is the time to discuss whether or not you intend to allow this to go on with your children and whether or not your DF, then DH, will be backing you up.  If your future IL's are this pushy, I can see the potential for some serious problems in the future.  And I would want to know now, rather than later, exactly what I was getting myself into.

My MIL tried something similar when DD was born, but DH and I did not allow it to happen and DH totally backed me up.

Although I think the OP should also be prepared for any subsequent grandkids to just not be as important.

This isn't normal, and it's a little bit pathological. It's not about the baby--it's about them, and their status, or something. But it's not about the baby at all.

My own grandmother never wanted to hold the baby, because she would rather get to *look* at him (when you're holding the baby, you're a little bit too close). Where she wanted to be was right *next to* whoever had him, so she could watch.

My own mom would do what Sharnita's did. My MIL wouldn't, but it would be because she was just so enthusiastic. But she doesn't hog the kids!

Hmmmmm

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Re: Is this the norm w/ Grandkids?
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2012, 04:04:08 PM »
I have seen this behavior once by my MILs certifiably nutty friend.  She was a complete and utter control freak and wanted the center of attention at all times.  And since she couldn't compete with the new grand baby she instead made sure grand baby was always within her grasp there by regaining the center of attention.

LizC

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Re: Is this the norm w/ Grandkids?
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2012, 09:36:46 PM »
Definitely Not Normal.

Neither set of grands gets to see our kids often, but my parents, who have a *slight* advantage in time over my MIL, always hang back a bit if MIL is present, to maximize her time with the grands; MIL and my parents all defer to my grandparents (The Greats) if they are present, because they see the kids even less.

Weird, and a bit rude, and definitely something to talk about before marrying into the family.

Bluenomi

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Re: Is this the norm w/ Grandkids?
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2012, 09:51:34 PM »
Not normal, that sounds very possesive!

Grandma needs to learn to share, you can't be the only person who gets to hold the baby and once he's a toddler, he isn't going to want to be held all the time