Talk About Marriage banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My grandson was over for the weekend recently and I let my son (child’s father) know that grandson would be here and he said he would be coming over to see him. My son has had an on-off relationship with the child’s mother for many years but since splitting up with her last year, she now has a live in boyfriend whom my grandson (aged 4) now refers to as his New Daddy or just Daddy. (My son is now referred to as Old Daddy).

My son and his ex have had a turbulent relationship and quite frankly I think they are better apart. My son is not a talker but my perception is he is finding it difficult to be around my grandson who, from time to time, naturally refers to his New Daddy. My son is becoming more and more distanced from the little boy.

I purposefully didn’t say anything to my grandson about his Dad coming just in case he didn’t turn up. Just as we were getting my grandson’s things together to take him home at 7.30pm Sunday evening, my son phones and says he’s coming over. I tell him grandson is just about to leave for home and by the time he gets here he’ll be gone and if he planned on seeing him he should have known to come earlier (he had the whole weekend for goodness sake !!! ).

Son said he would speak to grandson instead. Called grandson to the phone and at first, grandson’s face lit up (by then he knew it was his (Old) Dad on phone) but then his face turned sad and he hesitated before taking the phone. They spoke for a minute, after which his little face looked so hurt and he struggled do hold back his tears. All I could do was give him the biggest hug. I didn’t really trust myself to say anything that would be helpful at that moment so I just held him very close. After a minute he was chatting with his auntie and seemingly over it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I feel I need to intervene without interfering if that's possible. I feel both angry/upset and at a loss to know what if anything I as a grandmother can do to get my grandson’s immature parents to stop and actually put this poor child’s best interests first.

My grandson poops in his pants sometimes and I feel that this is somewhat attention seeking. (When he first started school he had a pooping accident and because the school could not immediately get his mom on the phone they called my son to come collect him. My son lives some way off and in the meantime the school again tried to reach his mom and she was able to quickly come get him). So I’m wondering if this continued occasional pooping is my grandson trying to maybe get my son’s to come see him if that makes sense.

In the past I’ve written both my son and his ex letters about the importance of keeping all the fighting and resentment away from my grandson. I have to say that my son is no angel himself and I am not sure how things stand currently with regard to him paying/keeping up with child support. When the ex doesn’t immediate get her way about something she threatens my son with not seeing the child anymore and one time she threatened me too when she wanted me to do something and I didn't act immediately.

I just want my grandson to be able to look forward to visist from his Dad, security and financial support from his Dad. And no game playing from either. (Apparently in the past the ex-girlfriend had said to my son how would he like hearing his son calling another man Daddy and, within what I would call no time at all, this is exactly what has happened following their final breakup).

It really pained me to see my grandson so upset at the weekend even though, with his 4 year old little self, he tried to brush it off.

Any thoughts / advice VERY welcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,568 Posts
The best thing you can do is help your grandson 'accept' what he won't be getting (a great dad), and become ok with what he DOES have. Trust me, it's the disappointment that ruins a child more than whether or not he sees his parent occasionally. It's better to just let him write your son off than to keep getting his hopes up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
OP, I have been thinking about this thread a lot since I first read it, mainly because I am about to be in the same situation, or close to it, because my 20 year old is pregnant by a guy that she has had an on again off again abusive relationship with. It's a very bad situation, and I am 100 percent sure it will not last.

This thread had me thinking about my future grandchild and what I would say about the daddy not being there. I really dont think that there is anything better to say or do than what turnera has said. It's just best for the child. You can only hope and pray that eventually the daddy will come around, but until then I would just spend time with him and dont mention his daddy to him because you certainly dont want to upset him.

I hate this for you. I know it's tough especially because he is your son, but just know that you can raise a child the very best that you can, teach them right from wrong, and lead by the perfect example, but they have a mind of their own and they will sometimes disappoint you. I have learned this the hard way myself. All you can do is pray that one of these days he will hopefully come around and be the father to his son that you so want him to be.

I wish you the very best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Turnera

I hear what you say about the disappointment. I just don't know how to prepare him for being ignored by his own father. I am uncomfortable with pretending that there isn't a problem and just saying nothing at all which is what I did last weekend.

In order to help him become ok with the situation, do I need to have a short conversation with him along the lines of somehow explaining that he must not assume that he will see his Dad when he comes over to my house and not to ever expect his Dad to come see grandson where he lives with Mom and step-dad!

But is it my place to say this - should I okay it with both the ex-girlfriend and my son first or just go ahead. I really don't know how to play this but I agree with you my grandson doesn't need the disappointment. And presumably if I do say something along these lines his Dad turning up will be a bonus .... or will it?

If my son phones when grandson is over in future - would I do best to ensure grandson doesn't know who is on phone and not let son speak to grandson. (I've already said to my son he should be sorting out regular telephone calls to grandson in between visits (to my knowledge my son has only seen grandson once or twice since last summer!) with no calls inbetween).

Further, perhaps I need to stop letting my son know that my grandson is coming over. In this case I'd be saving myself and my grandson the disapointment!

In the past I've told my son that if time goes by and he (my son) decided he's ready to be in my grandson's life, my grandson will likely totally reject him - and he couldn't blame him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,568 Posts
Thanks Turnera

I hear what you say about the disappointment. I just don't know how to prepare him for being ignored by his own father.
You just don't bring it up. And if a situation does arise where he might show up, you don't talk about it in case he doesn't (like you did), you don't make a big deal about it, and you have lots of other things ready and available to take his mind off of it. If he goes through 364 days not talking to or about his dad, the one time he does won't be as big a deal.

Plus, you talk - a LOT - about blended families, how some families divorce, how some people aren't meant to be together but that the ones who WANT to be together and SHOULD be together, will be. Let him see that he doesn't have to have his dad in his life to have a happy, fulfilling life. That there are many more ways to find joy, to be proud of himself, and that he can find other male role models. You may want to look into Big Brothers if his mom's bf doesn't work out, in fact. Basically, fill him full of hopeful info and don't harp on what he's missing. So that what he DOES have is good stuff and what little his dad offers pales in comparison.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi d4life

My son is 24 and I often wish I could knock some sense into his high IQ but low EQ head !

Thanks for your understanding of how frustrating it is when you try your utmost to raise a kid right but they don't act the way you believe they should. So embarrassing and very disappointing.

Thanks for sharing and hope things work out well for your grandchild in this area in the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,074 Posts
Your son may have had 24 birthdays but he's a selfish child and woefully unfit to be anyone's "Daddy". Somehow your years of instruction didn't take root and you're left with fertilizer. His relationship with his son is his business. If he wants one, he will behave like a father. Luckily, there's at least one other adult male who can love this kid. Your son apparently has better things to do. I'd enjoy my grandson and spoil him stinky. I wouldn't let my irresponsible son even know the child's comings and goings. If he was interested, he'd already know where his kid was. When my grandson wasn't around, I'd probably give my son an ear full. This child needs at least one level headed adult who puts his needs first. That may have to be you. As long as he gets love, it doesn't really matter where it comes from. The child doesn't know or care anything about DNA. He knows who loves him. Someday your son will wish he'd had set better priorities. Prodigal sons often eventually come to their senses but some just have to sleep with the hogs a while before they do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
Hi d4life

My son is 24 and I often wish I could knock some sense into his high IQ but low EQ head !

Thanks for your understanding of how frustrating it is when you try your utmost to raise a kid right but they don't act the way you believe they should. So embarrassing and very disappointing.

Thanks for sharing and hope things work out well for your grandchild in this area in the future.
You're welcome and I know how embarrassing and disappointing this is. It's awful! I feel like people look at me and judge me and I feel like a failure as a mother right now but I hope and pray that this turns out OK. I dont think I could have done anything differently over the years to prevent this. This is a result of bad choices that she continues to make.

This guy is 22, and completely dependant on his parents for everything.:rolleyes: I hope they both grow up real quick!

I think you are doing all that you can, and the child knows that you love him. That's what is important.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
...

Plus, you talk - a LOT - about blended families, how some families divorce, how some people aren't meant to be together but that the ones who WANT to be together and SHOULD be together, will be. Let him see that he doesn't have to have his dad in his life to have a happy, fulfilling life. That there are many more ways to find joy, to be proud of himself, and that he can find other male role models. You may want to look into Big Brothers if his mom's bf doesn't work out, in fact. Basically, fill him full of hopeful info and don't harp on what he's missing. So that what he DOES have is good stuff and what little his dad offers pales in comparison.
One of my nephews in law has turned out very well indeed without having a father around. So you are certainly right Turnera and I will now try and keep this in mind and be positive. My H does his best to be a role model to my grandson so I am grateful for this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Your son may have had 24 birthdays but he's a selfish child and woefully unfit to be anyone's "Daddy". Somehow your years of instruction didn't take root and you're left with fertilizer. His relationship with his son is his business. If he wants one, he will behave like a father. Luckily, there's at least one other adult male who can love this kid. Your son apparently has better things to do. I'd enjoy my grandson and spoil him stinky. I wouldn't let my irresponsible son even know the child's comings and goings. If he was interested, he'd already know where his kid was. When my grandson wasn't around, I'd probably give my son an ear full. This child needs at least one level headed adult who puts his needs first. That may have to be you. As long as he gets love, it doesn't really matter where it comes from. The child doesn't know or care anything about DNA. He knows who loves him. Someday your son will wish he'd had set better priorities. Prodigal sons often eventually come to their senses but some just have to sleep with the hogs a while before they do.
What you have said about my son is harsh but true.

I just don't understand my son and in all honesty I don't have anything new to say to him. I've said it all already and have also carefully (in what I think was a non-threatening reasoned manner) put stuff in writing for him to consider at his leisure. I think it's time I really came to terms with the fact that I cannot make their father/son relationship right and just concentrate on what I can do myself as regards to my own relationship with my grandson. I'm finding this hard thought.

Also, if at somepoint my gransdon asks me if his Dad is coming round what's the best thing to actually say. I'm sorry to sound so needy in terms of advice and wanting to be spoon-fed but I really want to be prepared and get it right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,568 Posts
I guess I'd say, "GS, I know it's hard to hear, but I really just don't know. Your daddy doesn't always do things the regular way, so it's hard to predict if he will come or not. But guess what? I got tickets to see Peter Pan for this afternoon! I can't wait to take you! And grandpa wants to go, too! Let's go find him!"

See how you told the truth, didn't trash his did, but also helped him see not to depend on him, but, most importantly, you CHANGED the conversation to another direction, so he won't dwell on it? That makes how his father is not a big deal and shows him life is great anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you SO much for this Turnera. I gave it a "like" but if I could have given it a "love", I certainly would have.

Its perfect for all the very important reasons you gave. I really do appreciate your taking the time to help me out with this.

On occassion in the past when my grandson has come for the weekend, his mom has asked me if my son will be coming over. Next time she asks I will just tell her of my approach (as you have outlined above) and the reasons for this approach. Who knows, she may wish to use this approach herself sometime. As much as she can sometimes be difficult, I know the absent father thing is extremely hard for her to deal with too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,360 Posts
What you have said about my son is harsh but true.
I just don't understand my son and in all honesty I don't have anything new to say to him. I've said it all already and have also carefully (in what I think was a non-threatening reasoned manner) put stuff in writing for him to consider at his leisure. I think it's time I really came to terms with the fact that I cannot make their father/son relationship right and just concentrate on what I can do myself as regards to my own relationship with my grandson. I'm finding this hard thought.

Also, if at somepoint my gransdon asks me if his Dad is coming round what's the best thing to actually say. I'm sorry to sound so needy in terms of advice and wanting to be spoon-fed but I really want to be prepared and get it right.
If he is truly hurt about his son bonding with the ex’s new boyfriend then he should be doing everything in his power to build and grow a relationship with his son during the times that he can see him. The pooping accidents do sound like attention-getting behaviour, that’s sad. Kids are so smart and it looks like since it worked to get daddy to come the first time, he is trying it again and again.

It’s really sad to have to witness that from your grandson but he will in time grow out of that. I would ask him about having accidents during the week when you see him and if he says no, offer tons of praise, (“Wow, what a big boy! You made it to the bathroom by yourself without accidents all week?! High five!”). Hopefully hearing that from you would be more meaningful to him than waging on whether or not he can make dad show up if he soils himself.

As far as grand-baby is concerned, I would continue to show him as much granny love as you can. Don’t talk to him about his dad’s absenteeism unless he asks you himself and don’t get his hopes up about dad visiting or calling when you have him with you. You and if married, grandpa, just keep pouring on the love and attention as best as you can. I know it’s hard not to say anything, so when it comes to mind, I’d suggest just walking over to your grandson and giving him a nice big squeeze (hug) and then going off to do something fun together.

If he does ask why dad isn’t here, I’d take Turnera’s advice. I couldn’t say it better myself. I think the more important thing is to give a simple answer and don’t dwell. Just do something else/divert and distract him with more love or fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
:)
If he is truly hurt about his son bonding with the ex’s new boyfriend then he should be doing everything in his power to build and grow a relationship with his son during the times that he can see him. The pooping accidents do sound like attention-getting behaviour, that’s sad. Kids are so smart and it looks like since it worked to get daddy to come the first time, he is trying it again and again.

It’s really sad to have to witness that from your grandson but he will in time grow out of that. I would ask him about having accidents during the week when you see him and if he says no, offer tons of praise, (“Wow, what a big boy! You made it to the bathroom by yourself without accidents all week?! High five!”). Hopefully hearing that from you would be more meaningful to him than waging on whether or not he can make dad show up if he soils himself.

As far as grand-baby is concerned, I would continue to show him as much granny love as you can. Don’t talk to him about his dad’s absenteeism unless he asks you himself and don’t get his hopes up about dad visiting or calling when you have him with you. You and if married, grandpa, just keep pouring on the love and attention as best as you can. I know it’s hard not to say anything, so when it comes to mind, I’d suggest just walking over to your grandson and giving him a nice big squeeze (hug) and then going off to do something fun together.

If he does ask why dad isn’t here, I’d take Turnera’s advice. I couldn’t say it better myself. I think the more important thing is to give a simple answer and don’t dwell. Just do something else/divert and distract him with more love or fun.
Many thanks for all your views on this Miss Taken. :iagree: and as far as I can possibly influence things, I will not let it be my grandson's loss that his real Dad is not around. In particular I like and will definitely keep in mind the parts I have bolded above. And if he poops in his pants again at my house I will just do the necessary to get him clean without any drama and move straight on to something positive.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top