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How to best handle grandparent favoritism?

I am the SAHM of a 5 year old son and a 2 year old daugther. My brother, who lives 5 mintues away, has a 7 year old son. My mother has taken care of my nephew full time since he was a newborn. Since my nephew has been in school, my mom continues to drive in everyday to meet him at the bus as well as take him to all his activities (during the summer and on breaks she watches him all day). When we see my mother, my nephew is always with her and thus my children rarely spend time with her alone (when we have asked her to babysit, she often cancels or says she is too worn out from taking care of "everyone"). My nephew is also materialy spoiled by my mother. My son has recently began to notice this and thus we tried to have a converstation first with my mother, who denied it. Then we tried to talk with my brother, who cut us out of his life. Any advice on how to best handle this situation is appreciated. Are we crazy?

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Asked by sqirlgirl at 11:57 AM on Nov. 5, 2010 in Relationships

Level 2 (4 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Sounds like he needs someone to step up and care for him. I don't think its really playing faves just taking more of a parenting roll.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:02 PM on Nov. 5, 2010

  • No you are not crazy. Depending on how old your children are, they will handle it themselves. When my son was 4 he realized that his sister was the favorite of my MIL. He started sayin how things aren't fair. I told him the truth and let him say what he felt. At Christmas, I told her if she wasn't fair, she wouldn't get to give to them. During regular times of the year, I just let it go. My son made his own decision and does not like her.
    If he is talking to her, and she ignores him, I tell him to "stop talking to her, she isn't listening." She doesn't even notice. I hate her for this, BTW!

    Answer by dancinintherain at 12:05 PM on Nov. 5, 2010

  • This is how it is with my family to. I find it extremely annoying. They always deny it. I don't know how they can, it"s blatantly obvious. Their reasoning is I'm so much stronger than my sister. Her kids need them more. Whatever. Their loss They don't change. Then they wonder why my kids aren't falling all over them when they do see them. They try to put on a show in front of people like they are great and grand parents of the year. FAKE!!!


    Answer by Shines3 at 12:07 PM on Nov. 5, 2010

  • This has happened plenty in my family not sure if there is anything you can do. When my grandma was alive she would drive over & get my cousins and drive them 1 block to school while my kids & brother had to ride the bus to school and we had to drive them blocks to get to the bus all while we all lived only blocks from each other we actually lived in the country at the time but it was only blocks from my grandmas house & my little brother was riding the same bus. My ex's parents always treated my ex sister in laws kids better then my own & they notice and would always say why do grandma/pa always treat Aunt Debbies kids better. I always told them I had no answers and if they wanted to know they could ask their grandparents they never did. The rift is just always greater when that happens. I suppose since she has been raising him she feels more obligated to do more. I don't know how to fix it I just know I hear this alot. Sorry

    Answer by Moms_Angels1960 at 12:12 PM on Nov. 5, 2010

  • This is exactly the situation that may parents were in with may dad's mother, and I was the grandchild that was NOT THE FAVORITE. Explain to you mother that your son is noticing that he doesn't get as much attention from her and it is hurting his feelings. Let her know that you understand how much she does for your nephew but that your children need attention too Also, look at is from her side, it seems that if she doesn't give your nephew attention/ things no one else will, where as you give your children what they need. I know it's not fair that "the squeeky wheel gets the oil" but please remember that it is not your nephew's nor your mother's fault that he is the "squeeky wheel". Try to explain to you son that his cousin does't get much attention at home and that is you grandma pays more attention to him, that is has nothing to do with loving him less or his cousin more.

    Answer by JLS2388 at 12:13 PM on Nov. 5, 2010

  • I have a simular situation...First off your mom needs to be told that she is not the parent that she is the grandmother. Second of all she is emotionally and mentally hurting her other grandkids by denying them the same love and attention. My ex's mom started off by becoming obsessed w my daughter. I left her son and moved far away so at this point I gained the upper hand. Well my second daughter she didnt go crazy over. I noticed this before I moved. Once I was far away and the grandma wanted to be in their lives I layed down some rules. My girls dont get seperated and they will not be treated differently. I had an issue come up and ignored them for a year now things have been great for two years. She repects me as the mother and cares for my girls equally. Also Some woman (especially ones going through the change or have children that are not close) tend to become attached to babys and may mentally not be stable.

    Answer by mymestey at 12:14 PM on Nov. 5, 2010

  • We have this in my family, and its totally understandable for you to be upset but you have to realize that your mother is a grown woman, capable of knowing that she's not spending enough time with her other grandchildren. You can't throw yourself a pity party over it because then you'll allow it to affect your kids too. I realize that my mother chooses to watch my nephews for my sister because my sister works and who better to care for my nephews than the grandmother? My mother has 14 Grandchildren and out of the 14, she sees 6 on a daily. My kids rarely get the time to spend with her and just like you, it upset me too but then I realized that I never wanted my kids to feel that my mother didn't love them so I took action and made sure that my kids atleast speak to her if not daily 3x a week so they can also have that connection with her too When she does come to see us, the kids are happy & there's less animosity.

    Answer by mom2mybabes at 12:38 PM on Nov. 5, 2010

  • no your not crazy...she may be for not all her grand-kids more fairly...but both sides of our family does it to our kids and us and after 13 yrs of it , it still hurts but you just let it go and they'll regret it some day , it's just sad for the kids you know

    Answer by angie3897 at 2:19 PM on Nov. 5, 2010

  • i know some grandparents (my parents are like this with my daughter.. no other grandchildren YET.(one on the way) some grandparents have helped take care of a certain grandchild because of a missing parent or a bad parent. she doesnt mean to do it. but look at it like this.. your son has both parents.. he may feel a little left out bc he doesnt get one on one time with grandma but your nephew doesnt have both parents.. my mom has explained this to me because she said she wasnt going to babysit as much or do as much anymore because my daughter as a mom and dad now (although its hard for her to cut back because she is soo used to it.) and also your child has 2 sets of grandparents.. your nephew doesnt.. im guessing.. though she still needs to try to make time for your son. my sister understands why my mom acts this way and when she decides to have children will understand why..

    Answer by Ross2010 at 8:45 PM on Nov. 5, 2010

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