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Problem Solving => Grandchildren => Topic started by: Glenda on May 22, 2012, 05:14:26 am

Title: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Glenda on May 22, 2012, 05:14:26 am
Hi all.  This weekend my ds, dil, & gc came for a visit.  My oldest gs, he's 6, told me, in a moment alone, that he had written my dh & I a letter titled dear grandparents at school.  He brought it home & wanted to give it to us....but after talking with his Mom, our dil, they decided to give it to her Mom.  Gs said that they gave it to her because they don't see her as often.  I have to say I am hurt by this action.  Those little grandchildren things are such big things to a grandparent.  I told my gs not to worry about it, told him he could write us another letter.  It is obviously weighing on his mind if he felt the need to tell me.
Now a little background.  His other gm, & her boyfriend, live 5 minutes away from ds & dil, the same distance as us.  The reason they don't see Gramma as often is because she has a lot of problems.  She drinks too much, dresses like a teenager, makes promises she never keeps, & pulls huge, attention seeking stunts.  Gramma had a fire in her oven in her home, she blamed a poltergrist, there were knives sticking in her wall, she again blamed a poltergeist, even going so far as to have a priest come & bless their house.  There is never anyone else around when these "poltergeist" activities happen.  My dil doesn't believe for a minute there is a poltergeist, she told me that herself, she believes her Mom did it.
So...why does my dil reward this behaviour with the special little things from gc?   My dh & I are the ones that are always there for them, & these little things our dil does really hurt.  I am the full time caregiver of my gc so to know dil took something that was meant for us, & gave it to her Mom, well.....that's unbelievable, & I feel gs was confused by his Mom doing this, or he wouldn't have mentioned it to me.
Should I just let this go as I do a million other things, or should I talk to my ds about it?  This one really hurt!!
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Pooh on May 22, 2012, 06:01:49 am
I'm sorry Glenda.  That had to be hurtful to hear.  What's the saying, "Out of the mouths of babes."

I would let it go.  Sounds like you have a good relationship with GS and I love that you told him he could write you another one.  I know it was hurtful for you, but do you think DIL is still trying to reach out to her Mother?  DIL can't be proud of her Mother's behavior and with GS saying they don't see her as often, it sounds like she's not very involved with GS.  I'm sure DIL is hurt by her Mother's actions and maybe she is still trying to get a better relationship with her?
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Glenda on May 22, 2012, 06:20:17 am
Hi Pooh, & thanks.  I was leaning towards letting it go, again.....I am hurt, but I will get over it.  This type of thing happens often & it's just so frustrating to me to always have to be the one to let it go.
Dil & her Mom have a tumultuous relationship at best, so maybe she is seeking to have something better.  I wish she would find another way to do it tho...taking something that was meant for us, & giving it to her Mom, I don't think gs gets it.  I worry about him, watching his Mom reward someone for bad behaviour, has to be very confusing for him...I wonder how gs felt when his Mom took something special he created for us, & just gave it away to someone else.
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Doe on May 22, 2012, 06:58:51 am
Quote from: Glenda on May 22, 2012, 06:20:17 am
Dil & her Mom have a tumultuous relationship at best, so maybe she is seeking to have something better. 


This is what I thought might be going on.

Sometimes there's a gap between being the bigger person, doing what the bigger person would do and how you really feel, isn't it?    I read somewhere that it's not that the brave person doesn't feel fear, he just goes ahead and does the miraculous feat in spite of it.   I think it's similar to being the bigger person.  Sometimes you hate it, it feels crappy, but you do what you know is right because you have your integrity.  It sounds like the other GM is lacking that.

I'm glad for you that your GS loves you and wanted to write a letter to you for his project.
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Glenda on May 22, 2012, 07:18:36 am
Thanks Doe.  Ya, that's pretty much it.  I try to put gc first, & do what I think is best for them.  It's not always easy when I really want to scream!!  I am very lucky that my gs feels he can talk to me.  After years of dealing with this kind of stuff you'd think I'd have a thicker skin, but I still get hurt.  Sometimes I just can't believe the things dil & her mom do.
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Pen on May 22, 2012, 07:23:31 am
Glenda, I feel for you. It's nice to have the tangible signs of a GC's love as well as hearing it verbally. I'm glad your GS spoke up and let you know what happened, and I hope he indeed writes another letter; that was a great suggestion!

What is really worrisome IMO, aside from the antics of a clearly unbalanced GM, is how DIL is dismissing the true feelings of her own child. If that happens often it may cause GS to doubt his own feelings about a lot of things as he grows older.
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Pooh on May 22, 2012, 07:27:48 am
And if this is something that happens often, maybe you could approach DS about it, but from the GS side, not yours.  Something casual like, "Hey, GS was talking to me the other day and said something about making us something but then it was given to his other GM.  He was very confused and wanted me to know he had made me something.  I told him it was ok, but I thought you should know that I don't think at his age he understood why something he made for one person went to someone else."  And then kind of go on.....

If you make it sound like the actual "thing" didn't bother you, but you were concerned for GS, maybe it would be taken better?  Maybe he makes alot of stuff at school and they didn't think it would be a big deal to pass some on to the other GM?  I'm just thinking out loud.
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Glenda on May 22, 2012, 07:38:05 am
Hi Pen.  Yes I am concerned about gs, how he feels, & thinks.  I feel that dil did what she wanted to do, & not what gs intended. I wonder how things like this will affect him going forward. 
Pooh, that is a great suggestion, I may mention it to ds, from gs's perspective. If gs makes a lot of stuff at school I haven't received any of it.
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Pen on May 22, 2012, 07:43:54 am
How do you think DIL will handle your suggestions? Is she amenable or would she be upset w/GS?
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Pooh on May 22, 2012, 07:47:59 am
Isn't this the DIL that pitched a fit awhile back for you taking GS on a walk? 
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: luise.volta on May 22, 2012, 07:51:51 am
We can get stuck in "why?" There is no sense to the senseless and looking for logic and change takes time and energy without positive results. Your DIL is up against it with her mom and your DS has a problem MIL. That's more than enough for them to have to juggle without input from you about how it affects you...which I'm sure it does. Sending love...
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Glenda on May 22, 2012, 08:06:07 am
I worry about what dil will do too, that's why I said I "may" talk to son, but am still leaning towards not saying anything.
Louise, exactly!!  There is no reason, there is sense, & no one has ever cared how it affects me, but I care how it affect's my gs, so I probably won't say anything.  I want to keep the lines of communication open between my gc & my dh & myself.  I think that is the most important thing.
As I said, it's just so frustrating, always having to be the one to bite the tongue.
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Glenda on May 22, 2012, 08:07:06 am
Yes Pooh, the very same dil who pitched a fit a while back.
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Glenda on May 22, 2012, 08:39:56 am
Just to clarify, when I say no one's ever cared how it affects me, I mean family members, not WWU members!!  Here is a great community of loving, caring, wonderful people.    :)
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Pooh on May 22, 2012, 11:10:12 am
I remember that story and if I am also remembering correctly, your DS hasn't been very accepting of talks either?  If that's correct, then I still think, although your may start bleeding a little...biting your tongue will be best.  I would hate for either of them to get onto GS for telling you that and then him be afraid to tell you things.  I would say he very much appreciates having a GM that listens to him.
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: herbalescapes on May 23, 2012, 12:07:22 pm
I know you are hurt, but try to put yourself in your DILs shoes for a moment.  She probably has very conflicted feelings about her own DM and feels bad that her DM isn't as much a part of her kids' lives as you are - rightfully so, but it can still be upsetting.  She probably saw what she thought was an opportunity to do a kindness for her own mother while hurting no one.  She didn't expect you to ever find out and who would think a 5 yo would be conflicted about it.  Probably thought it'd be out of his mind 5 minutes later.  I toss in my hat with people saying let it go - even if the situation repeats.  Try to look at the other GM as "there but for the grace of God go I" and remember how much more you do have.  Rather than being scarred for life, your GS just may learn some compassion out of this situation.  If you bring this situation up even just with your DS, you run the risk of being portrayed as petty and mean spirited and find yourself missing a lot more than just a card. 

I know it hurts, but good luck with everything.
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: constantmargaret on May 23, 2012, 05:32:40 pm
If it were me, next time I was with GS, I would say, "Remember that letter you wrote for me? I would love to know what it said. Do you think you could remember what it said? We can write it down right now, and then you can give it to me. Or you can just tell me. Would  you like to do that?"

I understand why you are hurt that you didn't get the letter that was written with you in mind, but aren't you dying to know what it said? You could make this into a precious moment between you and your GS.

Damage control......
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Glenda on May 24, 2012, 08:14:46 am
Hi herbalescapes & constantmargaret.  I understand dil trying to have a better relationship with her mom.  There are other ways to do that though, then giving something her ds made to her mom when it was meant for someone else.  I wonder how dil would feel if her ds made her something, & my ds gave it to me & she found out about it.  I would most likely be told I have to give it to dil.  There would be fireworks, yelling, & crying involved., & how dare anyone do that to her!  sigh....  It's just wrong. 
I am dying to know what was in the letter.  Maybe I will ask gs if he would like to recreate it. 
Pooh, ds has been a little more receptive to talks than he once was, but I don't think I will say anything.  I love my gc & I do have a good relationship with them.  The letter would have been nice to have, I would have put it in the scrapbook I have for him, but having contact with dgs is far more important.  :)
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Footloose on May 24, 2012, 10:26:11 am
Hi Glenda,  How lucky for your GS to have YOU!  It sounds like he comes from a line of females with issues so he hopefully will model behavior after yours.  Best to just "let it go"  i know it was hurtful but out of your better skilled hands?

You GS sounds like a sensitive and nice boy and for him to talk w/ u says something about your relationship.  He's only 6 but wise enough to see unfairness.  He is leaning that the world can be unfair.  Talking about it with his wise grammy willl help.  Hugs <3
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: herbalescapes on May 24, 2012, 12:35:21 pm
Your DIL could have picked another way to make an overture to her own mom, but she didn't.  This may not really be weighing on GS.  Maybe he had forgotten all about it but when he saw you something triggered his memory. And maybe he hasn't given it a moments thought since.

Perhaps when he did the school assignment he wasn't thinking of which Gps to give it too.  Maybe he brought it home and said, "Mom we had to write a letter to GPs today.  I wrote this.  We don't have to send it to anyone, but I was thinking of giving it to dad's parents."  That might have lead her to suggest giving it to her DM since they don't see her as much.  It would be a lot different if he had, on his own and not as a directed assignment, written specifically to you and your DH.  But even in that case, the parents do get to decide with whom and how their own kids communicate.  Regarding your example of your DS redirecting something GS made for his mom, well, I think that's a whole different ball game.  She's his mom, not his GM, and that's a world of difference in many ways. 
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Pooh on May 24, 2012, 01:24:35 pm
IMO, there is no difference in titles when someone's feelings are hurt.  It doesn't matter if you're a Mom, GM, Aunt, Cousin, Best Friend, etc.  Finding out a child made something for you and it was given to someone else, no matter what the title, would make you feel bad and hurt your feelings.
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Footloose on May 24, 2012, 01:49:51 pm
Pooh, well stated!

herb, I am that child who was very creative and also had my many homemade gifts for another shanghaied by my mother either for herself or someone SHE wanted to impress.  I was pretty good at tools and creativity so I was tinkering a lot.  I got so I didn't show my mom the things and gave them away when i could.  If I did not make whatever for her too, she would always show exaggerated disappointment until I gave her one too.  I have seen very few of these gifts remain as she is famous for giving them away or throwing out.

The GS and GM were both disrespected here.

Yes, i still remember being 6 and having this and uther unfair things happen.  Bottom line, if the child means the gift should go to an individual, the adult should follow his wishes.  Many children are very good at the golden rule maybe because it is newly learned.  We may also need to learn or relearn it as well.

Just because other GPs here have it "worse", rude is still, just rude.
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Doe on May 24, 2012, 04:08:23 pm
I can't help but think that you won after all, Glenda -  They other GM has a letter that wasn't intended for her but you have a grandson who loves you enough to tell you that he meant that gift for you.  He's not going to be deterred by his DM and GM - that's priceless!
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Ruth on May 24, 2012, 06:01:05 pm
I think I discussed a situation similar to this here a while back, in a similar rant, but here's what I did!  My younger g/s and I were at the plant store, looking around.  He saw a flower, and said he wanted to give something to mamaw (his paternal g/m) for Easter.  It stung for a minute, because it would have been nice if he's expressed wanting to give something to this grandma!  but I was enthusiastic with him and we bought the plant.  Well, Easter Sun we were at great granny's house (my dm) , and there was the plant!  Younger g/s looked at me a little uncomfortable, and suddenly I broke out into laughter and just said something about the plant having made the rounds.  He started laughing then hysterically also, and then it was over. Later, dd told me she got it all mixed up, she thought he meant it to go to THAT g/m and he was too embarrassed to contradict her.  Anyway, I learned an important lesson that day again about the value of laughter to diffuse unpleasant situations.  Just a suggestion, we can always try laughter and help out g/c learn to laugh about things when they can, rather than worry or stress about it. 
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: luise.volta on May 24, 2012, 07:38:16 pm
I'm not sure I would ask this but I would wonder why they didn't photocopy the letter and let GS do some coloring on the second one...so you could have one, too. Or guild him through making a second one from scratch. Sending love...
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: herbalescapes on May 25, 2012, 05:52:52 am
Just because someone does something that hurts us doesn't mean that person did anything wrong.  I have a sister who eloped, and my parents were deeply hurt by that.  However, my sister was in her 20s (i.e., a full-fledged adult) so she didn't do anything wrong by eloping.  That doesn't mean my parents were wrong to be hurt. 

In this case, the mother acted on her perogative as a parent to dispose of her child's schoolwork as she saw fit.  That doesn't mean the GM is wrong to feel hurt.  It would be a little surprising if GM didn't feel hurt!  But should GM say anything further about this?  I say emphatically, "NO WAY!"  The chances are slim to none that anything positive would arise, and there's a great risk of bad fallout. 

It is possible that the DIL didn't know GS intended the letter for his paternal GPs.  If it was a school assignment and started "Dear GPs" and not "Dear GM Mary and GP John"  the DIL couldn't know just by looking at the letter (since we don't know the content, we'll assume there was nothing particular in the body) which GPs were the intended recepients.  Perhaps GS bought the letter home and showed it to DM and before he said which GPs he wanted to have it, she jumped in with "Let's send this to GM Jane."  And GS made no protest.  Maybe he did say he wanted to send it to paternal GPs and DM asked to send it to her mom and GS agreed.  Maybe the mom found it in the bookbag and asked to send it to her mom and GS agreed.  Maybe mom found it and sent it off w/o asking (again, her perogative as a parent), and later when GS found out, it was a done deal so he didn't say anything.  Or if he did, what was DIL supposed to do?  Tell MIL her letter had been sent to the other GM?  That would have been mean.  It's also possible (though highly unlikely and I offer this just in my role as devil's advocate) that GS actually intended the letter for his other GM but something clicked in his head when he saw this GM and he was afraid she knew or would find out and be hurt, so he told a little white lie.  It's also possible GS told his mom he wanted to send the letter to his paternal GPs and she told him too bad she was sending it to his other GM and didn't cave to GS's tears. 

What could happen if OP brings this up to her DS?  If DS comes back with a story at odds with what GS said, what's the next step?  It'd be wrong to interrogate GS just to prove his parents are lying.  If he's really upset about the incident, it's a bit mean to bring up the letter at all.  If he's not upset about it, he could become upset and a bigger mess created.  The DIL could easily use this to start sidelining the paternal GPs. DIL could say, "well, since you're so upset about it, I'll get the letter for you, but you know, my mom is upset about how much more time you get to spend with GKs.  since we can't increase time spent with her, we'll have to cut back on time with you."  DS/DIL could also tell GS that since GM gets so worked up about his school projects and it's not good for her health, he shouldn't make anymore projects for her. 

I don't think OP has enough facts to pursue this further.  It's all based on something a 6 yo said and 6 yos aren't known for getting all the facts straight.  I've seen many instances where people decide to confront an issue before verifying the facts and they end up with egg on their faces (or worse).  There will never be a way to prove beyond doubt that the DIL knew the letter was meant for her ILs.  Without that proof, too many good things can be risked.

I originally wondered about just making a photocopy, but while a nice idea, the parents weren't obligated to go that extra step.  And GPs don't have a legitimate complaint about parents not going an extra step.  There are plenty of nice things we can all do that we just don't do.  That doesn't mean we are bad. 
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Pooh on May 25, 2012, 08:15:12 am
What about the positives?  What about if DIL didn't realize it would hurt someones feelings and the answer was, "Oh, I'm sorry.  I just know Mom doesn't get to spend much time with GS and I thought that might make her realize he thought about her.  I'm having issues with my Mom not being a good GM and I'm trying to think of ways to clue her in.  I'm sorry.  I didn't think GS would say anything to you about it.  I didn't realize it was such a big deal to him.  I'll talk to him and thank you for being understanding."

I guess that's my biggest issue with the people we have problems with.  Why does it have to fall on the GM, in this situation, to have to worry that even if she was asking something because her GC seemed upset, and did it in a nice way, to immediately have to pull back for fear that exactly what herbal said would happen?  Automatic "I'll just cut your time back for that."  Same thing with DILS that feel they can't ask something nicely of an MIL that is difficult for fear of being griped at, causing problems with DS, etc.

What has happened to people being able to communicate and admit they were wrong?  I bet there is not a MIL, DIL, GM, Mom or whatever title here, that hasn't had their feelings hurt, and maybe unintentionally at times, that would hug/respect the other person if they asked something and got that response and say, "Thank you for clearing that up."  And yes, assumptions can do us in.  But the only way to get the facts is to ask and to talk.  Can't ask or talk because of fear of response?  Catch 22 and I think the root of many of the issues for all the titles here.  That's where walking on eggshells come from.  Fear.

And I'm sorry, but saying that GP's don't have a legitimate complaint about parents not going the extra step, hit as Scoop said the other day, a hot button with me.  I would never say that a parent doesn't have a legitimate complaint about GP's not going the extra step.  For all those DILs here (and we have many) that are hurt by their/his parents not being involved with their children, that would be so awful to tell them they didn't have a legitmate complaint.  They do and I think that same respect and compassion should be shown to all people, all titles.

And now I'll put myself in time out.
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Footloose on May 25, 2012, 08:23:39 am
Pooh! Don't dare take a time out! LOL! I fully ditto ur wise words! Jeesh, ppl! Say what u mean and mean what u say but don't be mean about it! :o
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: Pooh on May 25, 2012, 08:32:10 am
Lol.  I put myself in time out when I know something has really hit home for me.  I'm not going anywhere, I just know when it's time for me to move on to another thread.
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: constantmargaret on May 25, 2012, 09:32:02 am
Sure, there's no law saying anybody has to be fair, or considerate, or thoughtful, or kind or go the extra step for you.

But isn't that why we're all here? Because somebody didn't?

I know niceness is not a requirement in this world. But the lack of it, to quote Ruth, sure takes the sweetness out of life. It doesn't cost anything and it's salve for the spirit, whether given or received. In my life, nice matters.

I think the letter should have been given to its intended recipient, and to give it to someone else was disrespectful, dishonest and controlling.

Pooh is there room for me in time out?
Title: Re: Grandchild's letter.
Post by: luise.volta on May 25, 2012, 09:33:00 am
This is a thread that I think most of us have voiced our thoughts and feelings on. Once we reach a certain point it is probaby time to turn toward other issues rather than get too ingrained into going deeper into the nuances of the subject at hand. We all get to take what we want and leave the rest...because there are always multiple views. That's the beauty of WWU.  Sending love...