Question: My son who is 29 is married about 5 yrs. now with 2 children a 7yr old and 10 month old. They are not letting me see my grandsons and are telling the oldest who is very attached to me that I choose not to see him. I have been good to them, accepted her when she got pregnant before getting married, lent her money to pay for college because she was afraid to borrow from her folks, let them move in with me when the first baby was born and now they treat me like this. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been invited to their home. I even gave my grandson a birthday party at my house because they didn’t have time to plan anything and my daughter in law did not come. I invited them over for Christmas and they came over with such long faces like they hated being here. I live 10 min. away and yet they have gone to see her family who live 5 hours away more. They never make an effort to see me. My son says I treated him horribly his whole life and I treat him different from his brother. I tried to explain that all kids are different but you love them the same. I would like to maintain a relationship with them so I can see my grandkids. I have left messages to try to resolve this matter but they don’t answer and don’t return my call. I hate to see my grandson hurting. When I was there last he was so sad and didn’t want me to leave but now she has banned me from coming over and maybe from calling because they do not return my call. Should I keep trying or just give up. M.
Answer: Dear M. This may have something to do with young adults wanting to be totally in charge after years of feeling helpless as children. It has to be that way…they simply can’t run the show but many learn to hate their “keepers.”
When they start a new family in a new home, they sometimes make up new rules. The idea is to do parenting perfectly and that never works, of course.
Why adulthood has to be seen as “pay-back time” I have no idea…yet it is clear that many young adults seem to see it that way. In your case, you seem to be the “bad guy” for helping them get started, (which they probably interpret as their inability to manage on their own at first, which is true.)
In the process of this totally unnecessary tug-of-war for power, your grandson is getting hurt…that’ really sad. They don’t seem to care and that’s even sadder.
I think your only course of action is to withdraw and still be available. Everything else you do seems to make matters worse. Blessings, Luise