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.



20 Responses

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!!!

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    1. If she continues to act like this then don’t visit her again! Make it clear you do not wish to interact or speak with her. It may take her a while for her to get it but when she does try not to feel bad, no matter what she says it is not your fault. You are simply looking out for your well being and If you can’t avoid her just tell her straight up to leave you alone about how you look and ask her to not criticize your life, nicely. If she doesn’t listen then go ahead and feel free to use any words necessary to tell her to back off of your life, its your life after all. 😉

  6. 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.

  7. My grandmother is literally messed up. I had this big dream of becoming a doctor and help both people and animals since i was 7 years old. she has been accusing me of abusing her, being rude, having no manners. My mom knows i wouldn’t do something like that yet she agrees with her mom. I don’t feel safe in my own house and I don’t feel safe around my grandma because i feel like she is a pervert. she keeps barging in my room when i get dressed and she leaves her door open and gets dressed in front of me. she also keeps asking me to sleep with her and is always touching me. I told her to stop but she continues and my mom thinks that i am being rude. i used to go to the store by myself but then my grandma tells me not to and my mom just goes along with her. I feel like a prisoner in my own house and in her house because i am not allowed to go outside on my own. I am only 17 years old and I wanna live my life. But my mom’s mother thinks that I am her kid and tries to take control over me. If i don’t do what she tells me to do she gets mad at me for the stupidest shit. I don’t like the way she treats me yet my mom thinks that it is fine. She tries to force me to like her in which I am starting to hate her so much because she is causing so much problems. She is ruing my family. Sometimes I feel like she is faking this shit because somehow she remembers something from 70 years ago but can’t remember something in 5 minutes. My neighbor had a crush on me and my grandma knew about it and told the guy to back off. and that just recently happened and she still remembers!!! she walks in the middle of the road and i tell her to walk by the grass and she purposely walks in the middle. My parents tell her to walk by the grass and so she does. My mom doesn’t stand by me and my brother anymore instead she is protecting her mother which is understandable. My mom’s mom accused me of abusing her, said that she is scared of me and calls me an animal and told me to go back to India. I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE ABUSED HER!!! I have big dreams when I grow up! I want to be a vet, i want to be a surgical doctor, i want to work in the medical field. I told my mom that I never laid a finger on her mom. 1.she says oh its just the disease she has. AND then my mom just agrees with her mom that I do abuse her??? Not only that but i feel like I am losing my mom because she is not there for me and my brother anymore. I feel like she is turning my mom against me and my brother. I feel like my mom is not the same person because i noticed that every shit her mom says, my mom says it back to me. I wish my mom would just open her eyes and see what’s happened and see that she is the one who is being selfish because she wants to show off and prove to her siblings that she is doing a much better job at taking care of her mom. I wish my mom saw the fact that we used to be part of a family until she started bringing her mom to every vacation, doing everything with us. I feel like my family is breaking apart and we are not getting along anymore. we used to have a family vacation when it was only my parents, my brother and me. but now my mom brings her stupid mother with us and i feel like we are no longer a family because we get into arguments and her mom is the one who causes the trouble. what really pisses me off is that my mom is just siding up with her mom and is not protecting her kids. i have really nice natural think long curly hair. My grandma thinks that i look so ugly with it and tells me i need a hair cut. my mom just agrees with her. I’m not religious but my grandma is and my mom knows that i don’t believe in stuff like that. my grandma tries to tell me that i have to believe in god; my mom tells me that i am ignorant because i don’t believe in it.

  8. My grandma is the worst she favorites my cousins and doesn’t pay attention to my family. Me and my older brother try to tell her and my grandpa how we fell but they dont care

    1. I do not know what to think!
      I’m close to my grand daughters. It does not sit well with my daughter. I cannot decide what the issue. An example, I visited. She stated. Not too kindly . This is why they like you. You give them attention.
      It like a no win situation.
      But then she talks about her in laws. We always get in a fight when she does that.
      We once very close. I think.
      Her responses and attitudes are very difficult to understand. Now. She does not want to visit cause my husband. Next, another excuse.

      My granddaughters love me.

      This is a confusing mess.
      She very critical of anything I do. She once not like that. She hated her father in law
      Once, I visited thank giving. She invited. After two days. Or less. She yelled. You just showed up. Confused, you bet.
      Then I have caught her in a few lies.,

      Lastest. I bought another car. I did not expect this. Yours is better than mine. She works. She seems unhappy.
      I do not know what to do. I tried to help a lot with children. I’m not sure if she thankful . Or rather I never contact


  9. My MIL is mean to my teen daughter. I don’t really want her around my daughter at this point. It is really damaging for my daughter’s self esteem. She is passive aggressive and no matter how awesome my daughter is, she complains because she doesn’t speak “her” language. My daughter could speak her language but dislikes speaking to her grandma so much she just can’t do it. Lot’s of old hurt and resentment there. She is such a phony and narcissist it is painful. I love my kids tremendously and so blessed they are here, but if I had it to do over (and could still have the same kids)I would not get involved in her family at all, she is a nightmare.

  10. My mother wasn’t married to my father. My grandparents felt that acknowledging me was condoning the sin of my conception. I wasn’t treated the same as the other grandchildren and they even told me why. Now they can’t understand why I don’t visit and don’t bring their great-grandchildren to see them.

  11. I feel unloved by my grandchildren. I would truly love to have a close relationship with them. Do I force myself on them? They go to their rooms as soon as they get in from school and usually close their door. I have asked my daughter why they like the other grand parents more than me. She just says that they are more outgoing than I am thats all. For instance, a funeral. My daughters step mom passed away. My daughter stayed in town by her exmother in laws house. The mother in law took control of the children and even left the funeral without even bringing the kids over to see me before leaving. I feel shunned by them totally as they never even looked my way to say hello or good bye.,. What do I do.

  12. My grand parent loves to compare me to my siblings and cousins. She gives me headaches. She is sooooooo whiny. She never appreciates what I do and how much work I put into things and classes. She freaked out when I recently missed 1 class out of the whole year, threatening to take away all of my electronics, so in short I HATE MY GRANDPARENT, and BTW, yes I purposefully vented on this site.

  13. My sons 4 children do not acknowledge either myself or their grandfather. They do not call, their parents do not bring them to visit. When I go to their house they don’t even say hello until their father says aren’t you saying anything to Grammie. Why should they be asked or told? We give them money on their birthdays and they never call to say thank you. When I can’t buy them gifts at Christmas I send money to their parents for them and we still do not hear from them. This Christmas 2021 my son called late in the day and said the kids would call later, well here it is Dec 29 and still no call. It like they only want what we can give them, always. We are very upset .

  14. We had a wonderful, fun filled relationship with 2 of our granddaughters for several years and saw them almost weekly. Since covid our DIL has become very cold and distant to us despite all the help and support we’ve provided themand a genuine effort to keep things open and friendly. The oldest GD, now 10 has also withdrawn and we have heard from the younger GD that she “hates” grandma. Never had even 1 open conflict or issue but the frequency of visits has tapered to almost nothing but last minute excuses leaving us alone with a family’s worth of Thanksgiving food etc. We are now being openly shunned by the oldest GD and have few chances to see the younger girls. Their dad seems brow beaten and we can’t expect any help from him or the DIL family. The girls are committed to spending time with them. We also just paid rent for the family weeks before being shunned without even a thank you. At the moment retreat seems the best option. I don’t think we could bear another heartbreak like losing another GD and I suspect the well is being actively poisoned for the future.

  15. Since my child was born it was good for about a month or two but then it started on the downhill slide. My parents tried to control, manipulate and tell lies from time to time. I hated it with a passion because I had to make up excuses as to why I was doing certain things that my parents wanted me to explain and if it wasn’t good enough they’d ask me again. My parents wanted to control and manipulate us whenever they could with phone calls, un-announced visits and un-involved caretaking. But my parents would always love to look after my BIL’s child whenever they were coming to visit or need to do something without any hesitation. My parent had once barged inside my house without any consideration of knocking first as they bolted inside awaking us up as she was thinking the worst. Yes, we had slowly distance ourselves from my parents and that of my in-laws because they were clearly not interested in helping us in baby sitting juties from time to time. It was horrible how we had to visit them 9/10 and they rarely visited us. Now we’re living further away and yes keep in contact but not what it use to be. Since then we found out both my parents have an illnesses (not saying what) that’s what I feared now they would ideally like more visits just like before but sorry to say it’s not happening due to the distance which needs to be travelled, past history of always visiting them and their controlling / manipulative ways. I’m happy the way things are as it’s given me more freedom to become the person I wanted to be instead of a wanna be robot that my parents want me to be.

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