Professor's House

When Your Children Don’t Like Their Grandparents

There really is no such thing as a perfect family! What you may have imagined, may never come to fruition and this can come full circle when it comes to grandparents and grandchildren. There is this ideal created that all children will instantly and always be in love with their grandparents. But what happens when your children don’t like their grandparents? Should you force the issue and make them spend time together?

The answer is a tough one.Even if you don’t always agree with your own parents and hold some resentments about the way they treated you, most adult children still want their child to have grandparents.And they want their children to love their grandparents.In return, they hope and pray that their parents will see the error of their ways and magically turn into those grandparent type people that are depicted in Disney movies.The problem is that just because some people get older, doesn’t mean they change.And being a grandparent isn’t everybody’s dream come true.Your kids may not like their grandparents because the grandparents seem distant or unable to relate themselves. If this is the case, then you should confront your parents when your children aren’t around and see if they are interested in a relationship. If they are, try to come up with a plan that works for them and is predictable to include your children in their lives. If they seem unwilling to bend or meet you half-way, just know you have done all you can and make sure your children don’t feel snubbed.

Another reason that your children may not like their grandparents is because they don’t get to spend enough time with them. This could be because you don’t allow them to or because the grandparents are so busy living out their retirement dreams that grandchildren don’t fit into the picture. Either way, relationships take time to create and just because we are related to someone, doesn’t automatically ensure that we love and adore them. The best thing a parent can do is try and allow time for the relationship to blossom and see if it does. Instead of thinking on the larger scale of visitations, be satisfied with simple trips to McDonalds or chatting via Skype or e-mail. Remember, nobody can live up to your expectations all the time and just because you think things should be a certain way, doesn’t mean that’s how they will be.

You also need to take a look at yourself. Often, adult children who have pent up resentments or anger towards their parents will unwittingly show this to their children. It might not be a spoken word, but more of an action or presence that you have when the grandparents are around. Your kids will pick up on this.Often adult children, will make comments about grandma or grandpa in front of the kids that show their dislike or distaste for the grandparents. And while you may not mean it as a way to shut them out from your children’s life your children may feel they have to choose sides. Most of the time they will choose yours out of loyalty. If this is the case and your children are old enough to understand that you don’t particularly ‘love’ your parents then explain it to them. Tell them that although they weren’t great parents to you while you were growing up, you still think that they will be wonderful grandparents. Remind them as well that the grandparents love them. This shows them that you don’t feel threatened by them seeking out a relationship with their grandparents.

There are also plenty of times where the grandparents don’t really like their grandchildren. Yes, this hurts! A lot! Generational issues and traits often have adult children and their parents at odds at how to raise kids. You probably don’t do everything in the same way that your parents did. You might even have a child that is a bit of a brat or uncontrollable at times.Your parents may not enjoy spending time with them because of behavioral issues. Your parents may not understand behavior disorders or your techniques at discipline. Although frustrating, chances are you are not going to change their mind. Rather than try to force them to spend time with your kids, make sure that you are present so they don’t have to be the disciplinarian. If the grandparents tend to be harder on your kids than you are your children may feel threatened by them and unsafe. Your only safeguard is to supervise and be present when they are together with the hopeful outlook that a relationship and understanding will develop.

If your children do not like their grandparents, it is up to you as the adult to try and figure out why. Depending on your family situation, you may be able to help this relationship with counseling or by making changes that can bring the two generations of family together. It can be disappointing to feel like the extended family is at odds and often the reasons have nothing to do with the children. They could be issue with your spouse, or the other set of grandparents or issues with the fact that your parents think you expect too much. One thing however is for sure. Children have a lot to gain by staying in touch with and remaining close to their grandparents. Although they may not be nominated for the grandparent of the year award, there is something that your children can learn from them. Try to be patient, compassionate and at all times work from a place of compromise and understanding. If it doesn’t work and you know that you have tried everything to bring the two of them together, then don’t worry about it. If your children are adamant about the way they feel, then trust their intuition and allow time to heal the wounds. You might be surprised how things come full circle in the end.

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9 comments

fester September 11, 2015 at 10:55 PM

I hate my mother in law.

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Betsy June 26, 2016 at 2:21 PM

My MIL does this but to the oldest grandchild. I think she does this because she feels bad she’s an only child. She goes and does fun things one on one with her but never my daughter. It’s annoying and unfair. When my daughter is old enough to notice, that’s when there will be a problem.

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Lee July 25, 2016 at 1:33 PM

Never did like my grandpa, he was a bully, didn’t shed a tear when he passed away. Don’t care for my grandma on that side either. My grandma on my mom’s side is okay I guess, I don’t hug her though. People always try to paint some picture of a grandson who loves his grandparents and hugs them and all of that, that never was my family, I was never close to my grandparents and never wanted to be. My mom for instance doesn’t even call her mother mom, instead she always calls her by her first name and my mom’s sister does the same, I call her grandma but they never call her mom, my family is just not tight with each other. I’m the same way, I tend to avoid any get together such as Christmas with relatives, I don’t have anything in common with my relatives at all and don’t like being around them. I probably should put my age since whoever reads this will probably think I am some little kid, no I’m not, I’m 37 years old.

Like I said some families just are not tight, and I chose to avoid my family and not have anything to do with them, it’s not that I hate them all, it’s just I have nothing in common and I find them all rather annoying and they get on my nerves.

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Joe August 7, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Sounds like not a kid needs some therapy.

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Pascal Bell-oconnor November 5, 2017 at 4:22 PM

All are different and need thought

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Secret February 15, 2018 at 3:40 PM

My grandma is soo evil (dad’s side) She always wants my parents to fight. My mom is changing my dad to be a better person. He did turn into one well until my grandma came along. She schrutinizes everything ever buy from the shops and etc. SOO ANNOYING!!!

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me April 6, 2018 at 10:44 AM

My mom (their paternal grandmother) is very kind and thoughtful and caring but the kids have spent more time with the mother’s parents and so when that grandmother died the kid decided to hate the remaining grandmother and it has really caused a great deal of hurt feelings on our side of the family. Its as if there is some competition or something going on and she wishes we were dead instead. very disruptive and bad feelings abound. Seems like kids are always more geared toward the mother’s side of the family. Its a shame.

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L October 15, 2018 at 8:21 AM

I can understand this. I don’t get along with my grandma at all (maternal). She’s constantly being passively aggressive and saying hurtful things to me, but then she’ll turn around and pretend to be the “elderly victim” and claim that I hate her. Smh. She’s belittled me in front of my husband who is a hottie (I’m a plus sized woman). She says to my husband…”Will you look great, I can tell you work out!” And then looks at me pitifully and says “Liz, aren’t you worried?” As if to say I don’t deserve or look good enough for my man and she’s made that sort of comment on multiple occasions. Not to mention things that I’ve told her in confidence (trying to trust her) she spread the news to the whole family and humiliated me. She’s always saying things to lower my esteem or make me feel unworthy. I’ve told her off once and now I’m just learning to stay away from her. I brought her an expensive bag she’d been eyeing thinking that maybe my thoughtfulness of noticing she’d been eyeing that bag would make her happy, but she brags about the bag and still treats me like trash. I have given up. My emotional health is much more important

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Deborah Pellerin Pellerin October 31, 2018 at 9:12 AM

The Holidays were a big part of our family. My daughter got married. Her mother in law said they did not have any family I opened my home up to my daughters in laws they stayed 5 to 6 nights we fed them. All the time this mother in law was stabbing in my back with my daughter. Very evil and a big shit stirrer. This will be the 2nd year I will not be with my daughter my little grandson 2 and I’m sure not my 19 year old granddaughter because Me and my husband has chosen to not let these in-laws of my daughter back into our home. I pray for my daughter my grandson wish them well. I wish them well.

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