Sticky Situation

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  • #613724

    jwashing2001
    Member

    My family has recently hit a sticky situation. With Succos aproaching i have asked my parents to come to us for yom tov. I knew they would say no because they always go to another family member who is considered the “favorite” by all the other siblings. My parents tried to make all types of excuses why they couldn’t come but I knew they just wanted to go to the other sibling. My parents always say they don’t have a close relationship with my children but i believe that it may be there own fault because they are always with the other grandchildren for shabbos, yom tov, little league games etc. My kids feel left out of the love their grandparents give the other grandchildren in the 11 years since my kids have been playing sports they have not come to a single game while going to many of the other grandchildren. My son who is already in the later stages of high school feels like he wants to say something. He feels that even though he was their first granchild he has been cast aside for his cousins. There is 2 problems with this. One is my son might take it out of hand and say something he might regret and two my parents help us alot finacially which im am very grateful for but i feel that just writing a check is not all a grandparent should do for their grandchildren and they should try to have a personal relationship with all of their grandchildren and not a select few. What is the correct thing to do?

    #1032727

    sem613
    Participant

    We had a similar situation. My grandparents always went to the same family for every yontif and never to us. Within a few years we became the “favorite family”. How? We, the grandchildren, built a relationship with them. I went to visit my grandmother every few weeks, and just sat and visited a few hours. We all made the effort to call every erev shabbos. We would offer to pick them up and bring them over for a stam Sunday night BBQ, and it really built a relationship to the point where I became extremely close to my grandmother and could talk her into coming to us for any yontif. Don’t start with trying to get them to come for a yontif, which means not visiting the other family, start small, just with a relationship for shorter periods, and this will grow too iyH

    #1032728

    from Long Island
    Participant

    I lived the same situation and this is what I have learned. There is NEVER a good reason to favor (overtly) one child/grandchild over another.

    There is NOTHING you can do to change the situation.

    You cannot protect your child from hurt feelings (and trust me, as a parent, this is very, very painful). Allow your child to express his/her feelings to you, NOT the older generation. Their reaction will only be to strike back to your child, which will permanently damage your child’s self-esteem.

    It is time you write a letter to your parents. It should be non-confrontational. It should only, factually list examples of neglect. ie: specific invites/turn-downs. little league games/turndowns, school events/turndowns, etc.

    End the letter stating that your children have been hurt by such benign neglect and you would like them to be aware of what has happened.

    You can end your letter with your love, for they are still your parents.

    Make sure your son/children read the letter. They need to know that you see/understand their pain, acknowledge the disparity, and are stating “their” case to your parents.

    It made no difference in my case, in the grandparents actions, BUT, it had an enormous impact on my children, knowing I knew, understood, and truly empathized with such a lop-sided relationship.

    Before Rosh Ha’Shana is a wonderful time to share your family’s feelings with the rest of your family.

    Good luck !!

    #1032729

    from Long Island
    Participant

    Re: Sem613: We did the same thing. We visited every Sunday. Brought the kids over for a quick visit. We sent them notes the kids made, cute things to hang on the fridge.

    We did this for 4 years. It had no impact. I am truly happy you were able to rebuild a relationship with your grandparents.

    Unfortunately, until my children were young adults and suddenly became interesting to their grandparents, they had little or no contact with them. No hugs, no birthday calls, gifts, etc.

    It broke my heart.

    #1032730

    Joseph
    Participant

    +1 to everything sem613 said.

    #1032731

    jwashing2001
    Member

    Yes but knowing the petty nature of my siblings this may start a competition and also we live around and hour away from them which is not crazy but hard to travel all the time while also working

    #1032732

    business1
    Participant

    Im sure youre parents love you and your children as much as the others. But for whatever reason, they choose to spend more time with the other family.

    Unless theres no communication between the two of you, I suggest that you try talking to them. Its possible that they arent aware of how you and your children are feeling.

    If your son really feels the need to express himself, he could write them a letter. This accomplishes two things. First of all, you could proofread it and make sure its good enough that youll still get your financial support and your parents wont be so insulted. Secondly, being that it will be in writing the anger wont be so apparent and theres no danger of him losing himself as he might if it would be a face to face confrontation.

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