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Not bonding with GC

Started by Grieving, July 17, 2012, 06:52:01 am

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Grammie

In the olden days you got a nice long stay in the hospital if you had a boy.  I think I stayed 4 days with both my DC.  No more!  They want you out ASAP.
Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.   
~ Denis Waitley ~

Karenna

Quote from: Grammie on September 11, 2012, 09:32:23 am
. DIL followed behind him saying "that's okay you don't have to do anything you don't want to do".  Gee I can see that statement sticking.  Wouldn't it be nice if they would say this is the book we're reading for advice or at least discuss ideas with GPs rather than expect us to be mind readers then get mad and ignore us when we make a mistake?


I feel a little bit like a quiz show contestant while reading this thread.  I'd bet that DIL allowing him to refuse to hug you came directly from Gavin de Becker's book, "Protecting the Gift," which my DIL also read.

It's about protecting kids from violence and particularly sexual exploitation.  De Becker says that it should always be ok for young kids to set physical boundaries.  The compliant child who hugs on command can easily become the kid too shy to say no or too afraid of disobeying to run away when the creepy neighbor touches him inappropriately.

Anyone baffled by other seemingly strange parenting practices?  I'll guess the source if I can.

Grammie

Thanks for the info Karenna.  Funny how DIL seems perfectly comfortable with GS hugging his preschool teacher but doesn't encourage him to hug GM.  I'm not dangerous.  Heck I've driven a school bus for 17 years have child abuse clearance.   I think DIL is more afraid the GC will love me more than her DM. So much for that now that she destroyed my family. 
Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.   
~ Denis Waitley ~

Scoop

Grammie, I don't think you understand.  It's about letting the child determine who s/he wants to hug and not forcing them to hug someone just because that other person wanted it.  That forcing them to hug when they don't want to  basically sets them up to be easier targets for sexual abuse from others.  I.E. I'm not allowed to say 'no' when Grammie wants a hug, so I can't say 'no' when xxxxx wants an extra long hug ... and a kiss ... and .....  It's just not a path that you want to start your kids down.

And it's NOT personal Grammie.  It's not that DIL wants GS to like his teacher and NOT like you.

Honestly, my Mom has NEVER forced a hug from my DD (DD is not always 'huggy', she's allowed to say 'no') and they're VERY close.  Hugging is not the ONLY way to foster a relationship with your GS.  In fact, you would probably get more mileage by playing Lego's.


Grammie

Well Scoop the next time DS told GS to give me a hug he replied yuck, so yes I did take it personally since no one corrected that behavior! 
Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.   
~ Denis Waitley ~

Pen

Grammie, I understand how painful that must have been. I think that behavior should have been corrected because it's rude and hurtful to tell another human being they're yucky. I agree that children shouldn't be forced to hug anyone, but they should be shown how to treat others with kindness.

As with most things we can go a bit too far putting some of these childrearing theories into practice. IMO a child can quickly learn the difference between a GM & a creepy person who means to harm them. GM = good hug, Creepy/Stranger = no hug. I have a feeling that in some cases adherence to a particular theory is used to keep ILs away. Not in all cases, but in some. Of course the Ps have every right to do so, but it's very hurtful to the "other" GPs. Grammie, it sounds as if you understand what's happening in your situation.

How about some middle ground? When my toddler DD met her GGM (my DH's GM) for the first time, she was too shy to hug her. GGM was a stranger, was in a wheel chair & had a scratchy voice. She desperately wanted a hug from her first GGD. I didn't force DD to hug GGM, but I tried to make her feel comfortable so she'd choose to do so later, perhaps when we said our goodbyes. I encouraged DD to take a chance & she went for it. It made GGM very happy & DD, although disabled, grasped the concept that GGM was OK to hug & that she didn't have to also hug everyone who asked.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

pam1

I heard too much from DHs FOO about how wrong I was in my child-rearing practices.  And I don't prescribe to any particular theory, just common sense and a little free range.  DHs parents were/are helicopter parents.  So, we are pretty different as parents.  But anyway, I became really tired and jaded from their comments and their insistence that DD hurt them because she didn't like being crowded.  I'm not a perfect parent, my kid isn't perfect.  But, I think I've done a good job so far. 

So, when they did make a big deal or acted hurt (over what I considered minor) and wanted a big deal made over them, I quickly got tired of their antics.  No, I don't punish my child in front of people.  We usually talk it out in private.  We don't make big scenes.  I also would not have her be embarrassed for acting like a child.  DH talks a lot about the shaming his parents did and I will not do it. 

At the end of the day, it would be me irritated and DD wanting nothing to do with them due to their insistence of getting their grandparent experience.  It didn't work out so well in the long run.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Grammie

Pen, the hug isn't the problem at this point. Can't try something new without communication.  DS has refused to talk to us for nearly 8 months.  The hug incident happened at a family gathering 4 months ago.  When we were with DS he was pleasant and friendly to our face but it was over the minute we left the party.  There is no longer a relationship to work on and seeing the GC anytime soon is unlikely.
Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.   
~ Denis Waitley ~

Grammie

Pam1, I'm sure your comment was a general comment but I would like to clarify for the record that I never interfered with DSs child rearing and did not act hurt.  With the hug incident I laughed and said "well I'm going to take a hug anyway".  I picked GS up and he squealed and giggled. Then I put him down and DH repeated the action.  We had a minor incident with DS and DIL last year over holiday plans.  They made a mountain out of a mole hill and the dispute took on a life of it's own.  They refuse to let go of the past and their displeasure with us keeps growing.  We patiently addressed each incident they complained about.  Then they proceeded to twist our explanations and read things into our words.  We apologized, explained and justified until we were sick of it and we refused to discuss it any further.  I'm sorry but when someone comes into your home to stay for 3 months then complains to you later that you did things to upset them like leaving clothes in the dryer or napping in the TV room or giving the children a small amount of candy at Easter you start to wonder if there isn't some sort of a problem that has nothing to do with you.  We were very good Ps but DS is portraying us as evil. DIL insisted that we needed counseling and basically told us we would not see our DS or GC if we did not go.  I'm not the one who needs counseling.  We spoke to a counselor who confirmed that they are not being rational.  YS and 2 other family members have tried to reason with OS and are frustrated and baffled by his sudden hatred for the Ps he adored and admired until recently.  There are concerns over his emotional well being.  His DW gave her parents the same treatment for over a year because of perceived interfering from them.  We have backed out of the situation hoping that he will see the issue more clearly.  Right now all we can do is wait and pray for the best.
Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.   
~ Denis Waitley ~

Karenna

Sorry, Grammie - I was not trying to suggest that you were a danger to kids.  I was just sharing my best guess as to the origin of the idea that "you don't have to hug anyone you don't want to."

Pen, in the book De Becker suggests this rule because young children CANNOT reliably determine who is creepy and means to harm them.  Yes, they probably will avoid the weird guy watching them play while sitting in a panel van.  But most sexual violence doesn't come from strangers.

What about the overly involved youth pastor who keeps inviting them out for ice cream?  Or The famous football coach who generously runs a camp for underprivileged kids (Sandusky)?  Or their best friend's dad, who keeps issuing invitations for slumber parties?  Maybe they're good people with innocent intentions, maybe not.  But they are EXACTLY the sort of respectable people that parents often force small children to show affection to.


Grieving

While I don't feel qualified to give anyone advice since I can't solve my own problems, I would like to interject my opinion. As an elementary teacher, I have seen my share of these children who are not forced to do anything they don't want, 'talked to'  as if they were equals, not allowed to 'fail' or be wrong(everyone is a winner)---and it isn't pretty. 

First, I don't care how you approach it, everyone is not a winner......and children are the first to realize it. Praise becomes meaningless when it is given for every little thing.  I think we are just beginning to see the results of young adults who were raised in this fashion---entitled, unable to deal with life, no manners or empathy for others, its my way or the highway attitudes.  Yes, I realize that all generations have similar thoughts, and these are hard times. However, I don't think Depression babies would have behaved as young adults today do.  I have heard Boomers called the ME generation, yet they(we) have nothing one this new one. Yes, I realize that not all turn out to be this way.  Neither my DD nor DS feels or acts entitled, both are in 'giving' professions, but even they seem to find the things that DH and I dealt with at their ages difficult. Balancing work, household chores , life just seems to be so dramatic for them and their friends, whereas we (like Nike)just did it. Never thought of getting a sitter so I could go to grocery store because it was easier. I just expected them to behave. I even took a toddler to school with me, sat her in back of class with toys.

DS is very smart, always took advanced classes, was far ahead of classmates in any grade, subject, etc. for K forward. He was not athletically or socially as gifted, so we tried very hard to keep him with his peers while at the same time, challenging him. During a meeting with school officials, he was asked 'What he thought he should do' regarding his placement. His reply was 'Isn't that your job?"  Children want and need guidance.

While I agree that some GPs(and people ) can come on too strong (not saying you did, Grammie. I watched my Ps overwhelm DBs children who were not used to them,when they visited.), I disagree that GC should be allowed to chose whether to hug GM or not. I think you and DH handled it perfectly, although DIL could have and should have made it easier by a gentle reminder that we love Grammie, and she needs a hug because she is leaving. She certainly should have addressed the 'yuck' . Waiting until later does not usually work, although a discussion later about hurting feelings, etc. might reinforce the teachable moment.  Waiting does not always work, as they will have forgotten what it is they did.
A hug from a GP while in DMs company is a far cry from a hug from a coach in the shower. Have to really disagree on that one. Anything can be taken too far. Are we banning all hugs from fathers/mothers as well, since there are many cases of abuse from parents?

My own children delight in telling me how, when they were young and put in time out to "think about what they had done" that they just agreed with everything I said because they had no idea what they had done.  ;D A hug from a GP while in DMs company is a far cry from a hug from a coach in the shower. Have to really disagree on that one. Anything can be taken too far. Are we banning all hugs from fathers/mothers as well, since there are many cases of abuse from parents?

I am really surprised that teacher hugs child. Touching children has become such an issue. One that I have struggled with, because with young children who are crying or hurt, your first inclination is too hug, or touch comfortingly. Young children also want to hug and touch me---especially during reading time--just as I had to learn to use gloves when child was bleeding, I have had to overcome that inclination as well.

As I said, these are just my opinions and observations. I seemed to have gotten carried away, sorry.

Grammie

Grieving, great response!  I used to back off when bus kids tried to hug but no more.  If they initiate a hug I usually let them hug and I pat on the back and thank them then gently back away and redirect their attention.  OS an YS were raised together in the same house with the same values. OS was a wonderful DS until a few years after he married.  YS is divorced and went through some difficult times but never once stopped communicating with us.  He is the one who relates to our life struggles just as your DC seem to relate to yours.  OS seems lost and confused.  Everyone who knows our family attributes his change in behavior to DIL and it breaks my heart.  Not only because it has cost me my DS and GC but it could cost him so much more if he crosses his DW.  Not a good position to be in IMO.
Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.   
~ Denis Waitley ~

Smilesback@u

Just want to chime in about hugs.  I was surprised because my 7th grader was so mad if he was going to be late to his CCD class, which is a Catholic class for students attending public school if you didn't know.  He would really hurry me along so as not to be late.  One day I walked him to class, and saw that his grandmotherly type teacher would hug each student as they arrived.  I saw my son be so very receptive to this warm gesture, that I saw a different side to him, a need that someone was helping meet.  We did not have any GPs visiting us as we raised our sons mainly because they lived out of state.  Anyways,  I also experienced an adult male friend tell me that he did not like hugs, did not want hugs and it would be nice if I would not assume that everybody wants one.  I learned something there too.  So everybody has a history and is an individual to be respected.  So it really depends doesn't it, whether to hug or not?  Just asking first, Can I give you a hug?  has been working for me.  I usually get hugs too -- love them, give big warm hugs, like my handshake -- I mean it to be friendly  :) 

Grieving

Oops, sorry. I did edit my response, but I guess I didn't save it, so it is a bit muddled in places :-[  Fine example I am  ::)  Yes, Grammie, it is a fine line people who work with children have to walk.

Grieving

Smiles, I thoroughly understand what you are saying. I still struggle with hugs with adults. No problem with children, but, as a dear friend who is a hugger, said, She can feel me tense up when she hugs me. I am just a bit reserved, and it doesn't come naturally to me. I don't hug everyone I meet, but now, I can hug those I know are receptive.