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How do I make my mother see that she is playing favorites with the grandchildren?

I have three daughters. My oldest is 13yrs and when she was a baby I was a single mom and we lived with my parents up until she was about 6yrs old. I have been happily married for 5 years now and I have not only my 13 yr old, but a 5 yr old and a 3 yr old.

My 13 yr old is at her grandmothers every weekend. I am never asked if she can go there, it is just assumed. When the little ones ask if they can stay the night or come over I get every excuse in the book! For example: this weekend my parents were planning on going to the renaissance festival. They called to tell my 13 yr old that they would be going this Saturday( on her cellphone, they never call the house phone). When I asked them if they were going to take the little ones I was told that it was to long of a day for my mother and father to have the little ones without Mommy! What should I do? HELP!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 4:01 PM on Oct. 14, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (8)
  • Tell them that if they can't include the younger ones in a different outing/activity cuz 13 yo won't be going either if it continues. Sorry 13yo but grandma's gotta learn not to play favorites. LO's will get more hurt and scars their future relationship with grandma.

    Answer by Vero0724 at 4:06 PM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • it rpobably is easier on them to just take the oldest. It would be nice if tehy evened it out and spent some one on one time with the younger ones, but just by age the oldest will proabbaly get to do more. In a few years the 13yr old wont want to be with her grandparents and the young ones may get their turn. I wouldnt try to push your parents to take the little ones. If they do take themit will probably be for a few hrs and not all day or overnight. it is good your teen is spending time with them so I wouldnt want to do anything to stop that.

    Answer by ria7 at 4:08 PM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • Maybe they just prefer it when they have only your 13 year old because she can take care of herself and they don't have to worry about the younger ones. Seems kind of messed up but that could be it. My mom does the same thing with my kids. She usually takes my oldest, mostly because he asks her if he can go with her. The 2 younger ones usually stay home and I don't mind that. My middle child is getting to be old enough to where he asks if he can go too, and then she'll take him. I don't think it is necessarily playing favorites. Do they buy gifts only for the older one and not the little ones? That would be playing favorites. Try to see it from their point of view.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:23 PM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • My mom is like this. I have 2 from my first marriage and 1 from my second. My mother babies my oldest, calls my middle EVIL, and never spends time with the youngest. She will buy for the older 2 and leave the youngest out. Ex's parents have chosen not to be in the picture but DH's mother loves all three the same. When my mother buys for the oldest two and not the younger she uses this as an excuse. She says "I am their only grandmother but his (youngest) other grandmother will buy for him." DH has said numerous times that I should stop letting them go to her house until she can be nice to middle and include youngest and I am to the point that next time she calls wanting me to bring older 2 over, I am going to tell her this.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:35 PM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • I would bet money the main reason is they feel especially bonded to the 13 yr old. She lived in their home the first 6 yrs of her life. On top of that a 3 and 5 yr old are a lot more work. You may need to gently tell them if they are going to spend time with just the 13 yr old they need to be faire and spend time with just the 5 yr old too. Or plan something where you can all go.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 4:39 PM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • "When I asked them if they were going to take the little ones I was told that it was to long of a day for my mother and father to have the little ones without Mommy!"

    When this happens, ask if you can all tag along. Like other posters said, maybe they bonded more with the 13 year old or they would rather enjoy their day peacefully then have to worry about potty breaks and such. Do they spend no time at all with the younger ones? Or they just don't take them out and have them spend the night?

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:02 PM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • I agree with the PP who said they bonded with your oldest daughter. This is just like my DH and his grandparents. MIL was a single mother until he was five years old. Long story short, he spent tons of time with them, summers, etc. His half sisters have been ignored by the grandparents. It has caused a lot of trouble. I'm sorry to say, nothing has changed even after all these years. Maybe it's because his mother refused to say anything. Maybe it wouldn't matter. My suggestion would be to try to get a handle on it though. Believe me, it will cause problems down the road. You might also try to explain that they don't just call your daughter and make plan without consulting you first then go on to the playing favorites. Good luck.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:31 PM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • MIL did the same thing to my kids. She wanted my older one and not my younger one. After about two outings, I told her that they go together, or not at all.

    Answer by Pnukey at 8:59 PM on Oct. 15, 2009

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