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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1124
Experience:  I have my bachelors degree in psychology. I worked with children. Since then I have raised and still raising 3 wonderful boys.
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I am a grandmother of a 4 year old. Her mother is an only

Resolved Question:

I am a grandmother of a 4 year old. Her mother is an only child and the 4 year old is an only child. My daughter in law is a lovely person and has treated me with kindness and respect 100%. Her parents are great people also but my grand daughter pushes me away when the other grandmother is present. She allows that behavior but I cant help but feel terrible because I am also on my own very very close to my grand daughter. Last night at an event where we were all together my grand daughter ran to the other grandma and (the other grandma is not concerned about my feelings of course and says she is just a child) I was pushed away repeatedly. The only thing missing in our family life for me is to be more comfortable when all of us are together and it would be great but out of respect to my daughter in law do i suck it up like a man? Can I avoid situations where I will be treated unkindly? I got up to go home without saying good by last night not mad but hurt and when they asked me I said I told them my grand daughter pushed me away several times and I think she feels if she is nice to me she is unfaithful to her other grandmother.
My daughter in law now feels bad. What advice can you give me...maybe I should grow up...Thanks do I apologize? I had not seen my grand daughter for 2 weeks...
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.

jenhelant :

Hi, My name is XXXXX XXXXX X would love to help you. Please give me a few minutes to read your question carefully in order to give you the best response possible. I will request more info if needed. Thanks


 

Customer:

I have to go to exercise in a few minutes so if at a point I dont answer you will know I will be here for another 20 minutes then out for an hour and 15 minutew thanks

jenhelant :

Thanks for letting me know. I will then turn this question to the question and answer mode that way we can continue at your availability and it will alert me when you are responding as well as alert you when I respond to your email. Your feelings are understandable because you love your grandaughter so much and this hurts you. However, 4 year olds do not have control of their feelings and sometimes can push their own parents away. I think you hit the nail on the head when you say she may think subcounciously that she is not being loyal to her other grandmother. Can I ask you a few questions. You can answer when its best for you then we can continue.


 

Customer:

Go ahead this is important thanks

jenhelant :

Does she see her other grandmother less than you, same, or more?

jenhelant :

If you could tell me examples of how she treats you that would help as well.


 

jenhelant :

Examples of how she changes and what does she do in front of the other grandmother.


 

jenhelant :

What type of relationship do you have with the other grandmother?


 

Customer:

Yes but I am soo involved with her too as the parents allow me to be...I also have not seen her much the last couple weeks as I was organizing for my daughter in law who is expecting again and has a lot of things stored at our house and redecorating for children a lake house in missouri where we live most of the time and will enable us to have family activities there with our other 2 grand children as well...


 

Customer:

this isnt the fist time this happened, the other grandma is blindly in love

jenhelant :

I think it is good you let your daughter in law know. What was her response and what type of relationship do you have with her?


 

Customer:

India pushes me away, only wants to be near the other grand parents like she thinks she is not being loyal to them if she likes me


 

jenhelant :

I will review your answer and let you know if I have more questions. Thanks for the information. Would you like me to leave it in this chat or switch it over as I explained?


 

jenhelant :

How long has this been going on? Is this a new thing or going on a while? Has anyone realized prior. I apologize for all the questions. I just want to help the best that I can.


 

Customer:

the other grandma is oblivious to me she usually was like that before with her daughter in my presence she talks over me like i am not there she does not care about my feelings at all and i have to accept that i dont want to make a problem, I would not call her at all a friend because friend is a special word she is there but not a deep person she only wants her family and that is HERS and she tries later to sort of patch it up but it is a standard behavior, she wont change i dont think it is very deep, I could talk to her but my daughter in law is first, I am confused

Customer:

I have a GREAT relationship with my daughter in law

Customer:

I suppose it has always gone on as mom is not worried about me...ja

Customer:

My daughter in law felt bad last night but said I shouldnt read into it but I thought is was a good opportunity to bring it up in a nice way, of course for them it isnt nice to have someone say they are uncomfortable but...

Customer:

I am going to exercise now thanks back in an hour

Customer:

they also say sometimes she pushes her parents away


 

jenhelant :

Ok, I am still reading...I will switch it over and you will have my answer in your email. We can also continue there as well. Have a great time and try not to stay upset.


 

Customer:

I think anyone who was aware would notice it my grand daughter treats me very well alone, I always take 2nd place with my daughter in law and encourage my grand daughter to ask mom or be with mom first I know my place but i have some limits and dont want to be in situations where i will get upset and hurt unless you tell me for my daughter in law i should accept the things i cannot change and after last night never bring it up again and live with it...i need help thanks! bye for now

Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you so much for all of the information it was helpful.

I want you to understand that your granddaughter does truly love you a lot and please do not feel bad when she does this behavior. I know it is difficult, but really it is not personal to you. Children especially at that age have a tendency to live in the moment and love who ever they are with at that time. She does not think she is hurting you. Subconsciously she could not want to feel disloyal to them, but much more so she is just having a good time and doing what comes natural. She is not trying to hurt you and it does not mean she doesn't love you.

I get a sense that you may close up a little when all of you are together. The fact that you told me you left without saying good bye does indicate that maybe you change a little when around everyone rather than alone with your granddaughter. I am not saying it is your fault at all nor is it your granddaughter's fault. It is something actually very common in children. For example if you see once her ignoring you this may make you feel sad and therefore subconsciously you may not be acting the same with her as you do when you are alone. She may feel this and she will not think anything wrong about it, but she may gravitate towards the other grandmother especially if she is giving all the attention at the moment. Even with husbands and wives I hear mom's complain because the child is with them all day then the Dad comes home and it seems like they are all over the Dad. This usually switches over many times. Also, some people have natural ability with children and the children are attracted to this. If the other grandmother is loving it up and you kind of distant yourself that would make your granddaughter go to her even more. Especially since the other grandmother does not try and include you with things. Also, the fact that the other grandmother that does not treat you well. The granddaughter can pick up on this and this can also play a role. In addition the fact that the grandmother does not also try to include you makes it more difficult as well.

The best thing that you can do is just do your part. Do not allow your granddaughter's relationship with her other grandmother or anyone else to control your feelings nor your relationship with your grandaughter. I see you wrote you let her go to her Mom first and that is understandable, but would not want to be 2nd to anyone else. It is considerate of you that you think that about the Mom and do not want to intrude on their relationship, but in a sense also understand that there is no need to be in competition with others. Your grandaughter may even gravitate toward a cousin or aunt and that would be her new best friend. Many things can grab the attention of a 4 years old and they will change their "best friend" at any particular time. The best thing is for you to continue to grow your relationship with your grandaughter. Enjoy her alone and with others there. Try not to compare relationships because you can not base your relationship with her on who she pays more attention to. It is much deeper than that. She is only 4 years old and still so very young. As she grows this will all change. It's not about sucking it up and just letting it happen. It's more about enjoying her and changing the way you look at the situation. Look at the situation more positive and you will be happier. There is a belief called the Pygmalion Effect and it is the belief that the more positive you are then the more positive your actions and reactions will be therefore the outcoms in situations will be better. Therefore, have a good time. Don't leave without saying bye or sit there hurt and upset. If she is with the other grandmother go ahead be happy for her and go and enjoy other people. Then when there is a chance go to your grandaughter and try to get her attention. If you are hurt subcounciously you will close yourself up, but if you think positive then your body language will change. Be natural and don't read into it so much. She is so young. In a few weeks she may be ignoring both of you and spending time with another. I know it hurts, but that is how kids are and it is normal behavior. It happens all the time. Something that would be great is if you and the other grandmother could put aside your own relationship and just enjoy your grandchild together. That could bring all of you closer and have a nice time together that could be an enlighting happy experience. You can all play a board game together, have a snack and talk, or even go somewhere together. That would be nice if you all could manage that.

As I was saying before build your relationship over time with your grandaughter. That way when she is older you both will have a special bond. Regardless of what type of realtionship she has with others is not important in this sense. However, in regards XXXXX XXXXX relationship with her you will both have built and grew a wonderful relationship and this will last a lifetime. So, please do not let this innocent behavior of hers allow you to change and end up hurting your relationship with her even more. Just continue to love her and understand this is not meant the way it looks. You both do have a wonderful relationship and it will continue to grow more and more each day.

On another note if your grandaughter is disprespecting you then you could have a talk with the parents. If she talks rude or something in that fashion. That should not be allowed and that would need to be taught to her and explained that is not a good behavior. Since it has already been opened up with your daughter in law you can explain to her how you felt, but you understand she is a child and your just going to continue to love her and grow your relationship with her. (If this is what you want to say ofcourse), but you could also get her view and ideas if you like, but I do not think this is something necessarily that needs to be corrected unless she is disrespectful. However, but just based on the attention I would say that is as I have explained for you to build with her overtime and do not allow these moments to control the relationship with her because your relationship with your grandaughter means so much more than that.

There are some way you can talk with your daughter in law if you like to help your grandaughter include everyone, so she can build her relationship with everyone. For example making sure she says hi and bye to everyone not ignoring. Making sure if its a birthday or a holiday have her go next to the person that gave the present and thank them. Just these basic things will teach your grandaughter to respect everyone and not ignore them as well as you. The response I gave above was more about her spending more time with the other grandma and not you, but in regards XXXXX XXXXX she is ignoring you completely. This would fall into the category as I mentioned before in regards XXXXX XXXXX Her mom would need to be responsible in making sure she greets you and everyone, as I stated thanking for present, and etc. Basic respect and attention needs to be taught to your grandaughter by her parents, so she will treat everyone with kindess and respect. That is very important. This can change if she is ignoring you completely, but as for extra attention all goes back to what I have explained above.

I truly hope this was helpful, but I am here and we can continue if needed. Stay positive and enjoy your grandaughter.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your response i appreciate it very much!!

Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
Anytime! It truly is my pleasure.

All the best to you all!
Jen Helant, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1124
Experience: I have my bachelors degree in psychology. I worked with children. Since then I have raised and still raising 3 wonderful boys.
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