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NormanM, Author, lecturer and psychotherapist.
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DHP, ECP, UKCP Registered
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I am the grandmother of a 22 month old beautiful little girl.

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I am the grandmother of a 22 month old beautiful little girl. My husband and I keep seeing her father (my stepson) not show any attention to her. He has made comments like "we don't have time to hold her all the time". One day when my husband brought her home from watching her all day,(we watch her 1 day a week) she cried when he tried to leave and my stepson said to her "why do you have to be such a damn brat"!!
She will do that a lot with us but we show her love and attention as well as nurture and discipline her and tell her we love her when we watch her.

My stepson thinks she should "cry" everything out. (that Ferber method) but we think she needs more attention from her father since she also calls her grandfather "dada" all the time.
Please tell me showing a toddler attention is NOT wrong.

First of all, I´ll tell you right now that you may not like what I am going to say, but I would be doing you a dis-service by pretending that I agreed with you completely.

Of course showing a toddler attention is not wrong. However, much depends on how much attention and in what circumstances. Sometimes it can simply lead to the child thinking that what to most people is unacceptable behavior is in fact OK.

It is epecially damaging when it goes against the child´s parents style of parenting.

This may not be what you want to hear, I know. Nevertheless, you are the grandparent and not the parent, and for the child´s sake you must not undermine the parents, no matter whether you feel they are wrong or should change their ways. To do so, to tell them uninvited what they must do is going to cause real family trouble.

Please, do NOT dismiss what I am saying - have a look at the following websites:

It´s clear just how much you love that little person, and I´m sure it must be very hard not to express your opinions on how she should be brought up, but for her sake, and to ensure that she has a happy and supportive grandmother to turn to, that is what you are going to have to think about, unless there is a real crisis.

Best wishes to all of you,

NormanM and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I understand exactly what you are saying. I have been told that also and we are not the interfering type. Thank you for the confirmation.

I should also elaborate on my stepson's situation. He has always had issues showing emotion and I am sure that is part of it. He has problems with relationships. He has been on and off with he baby's mother. Literally this is now the 4th time they have gotten back together, since the baby has been born. So there are other issues.


I guess I hoped there may be a gentle way to let him know the baby wants more affection from him. Thank you again for your help. Leslie

There obviously are other issues Leslie. I hope is getting mayure enough to deal with things responsibly.