Quantcast

Jump to content

Chat


Photo
- - - - -

Not Allowed to Drive Grandchildren


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
93 replies to this topic

#1 Robh

Robh

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 06 January 2013 - 03:14 PM

We recently got into something of a disagreement with my son and DIL over having purchased car seats for our two grandsons. They are 22 months and 3 months in age. I took care of the older one on an almost daily basis between the ages of 2-1/2 months and 14 months. I then went back to work four days a week, but we are still very close, and since we live only 10 minutes away, we're still able to see him and now his younger brother, 2-3 times a week, usually spending the better part of the day together at least one of those days. I've always known that my DIL was very protective, but assumed that the apron strings might loosen a bit after the 2nd one was born. In anticipation of being able to take our older grandson on outings (and at some point the younger one as well), we recently purchased two car seats (the same model as his parents bought). During a recent visit to our house, my wife happened to point out the car seats (still in the boxs) to my DIL as she was leaving, while my son and I were putting the kids in the car. After they left my wife told me the DIL had gotten upset when she saw the car seats, and told my wife very bluntly that she "hoped we could return them, because it was never going to happen". My wife was also somewhat upset by this reaction, but neither one of us wanted to make an issue of it. A couple days later, my son called me and said he needed to talk to me about something. He said that my DIL was very upset by us having bought the car seats. He said they had decided that for the forseeable future, they would be the only ones that could drive ther children, and wanted our promise that we would never violate their trust by driving our grandchildren anywhere without their permission (which apparently they were never going to give). I replied that we had no plans to do anything behind their backs, but would like to be able to take at least the older child on short outings. He reiterated that they would be the only ones to drive their kids, and said it was nothing personal since no one else would be able to do it either. I told him other people weren't their grandparents, and it didn't really help telling me that they trusted us as much (or in this case little) as everyone else. I told him we were very hurt and diappointed by their decision and hoped they would reconsider. We haven't spoken to them, or seen our grandchildren in over a week now. We are both in excellent health, I just turned 60 and my wife is only 50, so I wouldn't think that would be a concern. Has anyone else had to face this issue, and how did you handle it?

#2 homeygfunk

homeygfunk

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 1347 posts

Posted 06 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

I keep a car seat on hand because I never know when it might be needed and not just by the grandchildren. I am not restricted from driving them around but if I were there are emergencies that happen and usually this means things need to change. I was once not allowed to see my GC but things were happening that my son could not get under control without help and he finally had to ask for my help. I hope that things do not ever get bad enough for your son and DIL as I do not wish bad luck on anyone. Maybe they just need to cool off and think about it for awhile. They may never change their minds about the driving issue so I would let that go, It is more important to have a relationship with your family. Give it a few days and then call and tell your son you understand about the driving and you will back off but that you hope they will still visit. Maybe your son and DIL will be ok with that.

#3 rosered135

rosered135

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 12882 posts
  • LocationNortheast, U.S.

Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:10 PM

Welcome Robh! And I'm so glad you brought this problem to us! You and your DW (dear wife) can rest assured that many GPs have dealt/are dealing with this issue! Due to the increase in traffic on the roads, the number (if I'm correct) or traffic accidents and overall concern with child safety, more and more parents are deciding that, up unti a certain age, their kids will ride with no one but them (the cutoff age varies from parent to parent).

I know you feel distrusted and disrespected, especially since you're not only GPs but have been such a big part of your grandkids's lives. But it's not so much a matter, IMO, of trusting or respecting this/that person, as it is of just having a general safety rule and applying to all (b/c if you make an exception for one, then another will ask, etc...) And I hope it brings you some comfort to know that this scenario is not unheard-of.

In fact, I faced this issue with my 1st DGC (dear grandchild) until till she was almost 1-yr-old and with the 2nd, also, though not as long (yes, some parents do get less protective with the 2nd child but not all). Since DH and I didn't let people drive our kids, anywhere, till they were schoolage, I basically understood(we would have allowed the GPs to drive them as babies but they never asked). Also, b/c my dear, wonderful mother was way overprotective in many ways, one of them being that she rarely let us ride with anyone but her or my dear dad till we were close to adolescence! Though I didn't agree with my mom's strict precautions about this, I understood that some parents are just very afraid when it comes to their kids and cars. So I simply accepted it. Now, only a few years later, YDD (younger dear daughter)/their mom trusts us GPs (and even some others) to drive the kids many places. Sometimes she even asks us to!

As for your situation, I'm glad that you told your DS (dear son) that neither you or DW would do anything "behind (his and DIL's) backs." I'm afraid, though, that the fact that you then went on to argue may have irritated him and even made him doubt that he could really trust you on that score. (I'm sure he can, but he and DIL may be questioning it)... sigh...

I'm sorry that you haven't spoken to them since that convo or had a chance to see the GC. As the "nanny granny" to my own 2 granddolls, I realize you must miss them terriblly. I'm not clear, though, on whether you and DW are avoiding them b/c you're "very hurt and disappointed" or they're avoiding you b/c they're "hurt and disappointed" and maybe angry that you and DW can't seem to accept their decision as the parents.

Either way, the good news is that I think this is very easy to solve! If you and DW are the ones who are keeping your distance, then, IMO, you'll need to think about and talk over, which is more important to you - seeing your DS and family or "feeling trusted" (my words) enough to drive the kids places when you do? If it's the first, then all you need to do is make up your minds to accept their decision and begin reaching out to them again. If it's the second, well, ok, I get it, but then I'm afraid you won't be seeing them, for a while - and, sigh, it will be a choice the 2 of you made, yourselves .

If DS and DIL are the ones keeping you apart, then, IMO, the best thing to do would be to call or email them and let them know that you've decided to accept their decision, period. And that you understand that it's their right as parents to make it. No arguing, this time. No asking for exceptions for the older child or for "short outings" or b/c you're GPs. And, of course, return the carseats and don't buy any again, until further notice. But, first, you'd have to talk it over with DW and see if she's on the same page. And you'd have to be able to mean it and follow through.

If so, then who knows? Maybe, in time, DS and DIL, like my YDD, will let you drive one or both kids, here or there. It may be a long time in coming. And It may never get to the point where they ask you to do so, the way my YDD sometimes does (though it might). But, at least, you'd be spending time with them again and enjoying each other. Please let us know what you decide and how it works out!

ETA: Having read homey's reply, I can see just putting the seats away "for emergencies." But that's all.

#4 Baga

Baga

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 65 posts

Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:14 PM

Only your DIL knows why she was so upset about the car seat/driving issue. And it sounds like your son is the conduit to your DIL on this one. I agree, call your son in a few days and ask what is really going on. I would find it hard to believe the issue is really about the car seats/driving.

#5 Guest_Kalana_*

Guest_Kalana_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:50 PM

I think it could be quite related to your daughter-in-law's need to be with her children in the car. Maybe she has had an accident in the past or someone she knows has had one. Moms can be very protective of their children, sometimes moreso than other people think is reasonable. However, whatever reason she has for not wanting anyone to take her children anywhere in their car, it's a reasonable reason to her. I can remember never wanting to leave my children with anyone, and I deeply trusted my parents and my husband's parents. Looking back, that thought was over the top, but even so, it was what I thought. As grandpa, you have to honor your grandchildren's parents' wishes. I don't think it has a thing to do with you personally. After all, you have been trusted to be with the children for great lengths of time. It's just the driving.

Try not to be hurt about this. As the children grow, things might change. If things don't change, you can do so many things with them that will keep you in their hearts.

I second the idea to talk about it with your son and daughter in law. This doesn't need to be a big deal unless you make it one, does it?

#6 Sunshine1002

Sunshine1002

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1355 posts
  • LocationSouth FL

Posted 06 January 2013 - 06:30 PM

*DIL* here. Did your DIL/DS specifically *ASK* you to buy car seats for their kids? If the answer is no I can see why your DIL is mad, I would be too.

It doesn't matter *how* you are related to your GKs. Your DIL/DS said no driving them around. Period end of story. Their not comfortable with you or anyone else driving their kids. Lots of parents are like that, myself, husband and SIL included.

Your not "less" of a GP because you can't drive the GKs or take them places. Stop blaming your DIL for the whole thing. I wouldn't push it any further than you already have.

Apologize to your DIL/DS tell them you are sorry and should have asked or discussed something like this first.
  • PinkRedYellow and BBCllama like this

#7 homeygfunk

homeygfunk

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 1347 posts

Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:04 PM

*DIL* here. Did your DIL/DS specifically *ASK* you to buy car seats for their kids? If the answer is no I can see why your DIL is mad, I would be too.

It doesn't matter *how* you are related to your GKs. Your DIL/DS said no driving them around. Period end of story. Their not comfortable with you or anyone else driving their kids. Lots of parents are like that, myself, husband and SIL included.

Your not "less" of a GP because you can't drive the GKs or take them places. Stop blaming your DIL for the whole thing. I wouldn't push it any further than you already have.

Apologize to your DIL/DS tell them you are sorry and should have asked or discussed something like this first.


I think the real question is did they ask you not to buy car seats before you bought them? When there are kids the natural thing to think is that they will need car seats. So unless this issue is discussed beforehand then there should be no reason to get mad just a reason to clear it up with all involved without all the nonsense that gets brought into it.
  • CarpeOmnia1 likes this

#8 SueSTx

SueSTx

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 6474 posts

Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:08 PM

I personally do not understand why if yoiu had no car seat while doing day care for the first child why you would think you would need one now.

Both of our adult kids and their families live out of town. If we leave from our home to go out to eat together, we either have to take our larger vehicle or ride in their smaller ones.

When our first granddaughter was about a year old, daughter and I discussed me getting a car seat and I bought the kind she suggested. We used it often, but usually one of the parents was driving and we were passengers in our car.

When son had his daughter, we bought a car seat like theirs at about one year old and installed it in his vehicle so when we were visiting we could all go together in his pickup because it was bigger than her car. None of the grandparents have even driven with her, and she will be four this week.

All parents are different and all grandparents need to not necessarily "ask permission", but follow their lead where their own kids are concerned. I'd return the car seats and tell your son and DIL that it has been done.
  • homeygfunk likes this

#9 crazyat60

crazyat60

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 80 posts

Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:21 PM

What if there were an emergency? Maybe then you would need that car seat for the little one.

#10 TNBebah

TNBebah

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 139 posts

Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:49 AM

I understand that you and your DW are upset about this. If I were faced with the same situation and had bought carseats ahead of any discussion I would probably apologize to DIL. Let her and DS know that I wouldn't ever take their children in the car with me without them making a specific request and then they would have to move car seats. I would return the car seats. I know that emergency's happen and the first inclination is to keep the car seats. But.....right now I think that you even having them is going to bother both DS and DIL. They may even stealthily explore the house looking for the car seats and then that would prove to them that you were planning to take the kids out on the sly.

I don't think their not allowing you to drive the children is anything on you, I think it's probably just a decision they have made. I never really thought about this before but my MIL and FIL never drove my children around when they were car seat age. My mom did. She was the caregiver of my son when he was 1 month to 6 months old. She had to have the car seat because she would bring him to my work so I could feed him during the day. Other than to transport him to me she never took him anywhere else (that I know of ).

Try not to take this personally and don't let it effect the relationship that you have with your DS, DIL, and GCs.

I will admit instances where you are trying to be a help and then end up doing something they are displeased with do hurt. The hurt will linger. With my DS and DIL I've found that I have to just accept their decisions at face value and comply (even though sometimes I can't make any sense of it).

#11 Robh

Robh

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:23 AM

I'd like to thank eveyone for their thoughtful responses.

Although we're still upset with my son and DIL over this situation, we'll do whatever is necessary to maintain a relationship with our grandchildren.

I'll try and post an update as to how things work out, and look forward to contributing to this forum in the future.

Thanks again.

#12 rosered135

rosered135

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 12882 posts
  • LocationNortheast, U.S.

Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:37 PM

Glad you appreciated our responses, Robh! I just want to underscore Kalana's point that DS and DIL obviously trust you and DW if they've turned to you for childcare. It's just the driving that's an issue and, as they told you, they feel this way where everyone is concerned, not only you and DW. I know you don't like being treated "like everyone," but the point is that it has "nothing to do with you, personally." I hope everything works out and I look forward to hearing from you some more!

#13 PhalenMum

PhalenMum

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 765 posts

Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:32 AM

it kind of bugs me, as a mom, that you wrote

I've always known that my DIL was very protective, but assumed that the apron strings might loosen a bit after the 2nd one was born.


it bugs me because these kids are both under 2, WHY should a mom stop being as protective of her older child once a younger child comes in to the picture? She is their MOTHER, it's her JOB to be protective.

and while I feel that you should have asked first before buying the car seats, it's your money and you can do what you want with it. but the children are THEIR children and if they don't want their kids to be driven by you or your DW then it is THEIR choice. It's not something they decided just to be mean to you, it's a parenting choice they made for their family as a unit.

all you can do now is accept their decision and realize that being upset with them won't do you any good
  • Sunshine1002 and lovinben like this

#14 WhichWayU

WhichWayU

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2294 posts

Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:41 PM

I sincerely hope you can come to a place where you accept the limits of your grandchildren's parents without turning it into some kind of personal insult. It seems like a lot of unneccesary suffering you're causing yourself. The parents obviously like you, they trust you, they spend lots of time with you, they let the children spend lots of time with you. Why suffer that situation? You are hugely blessed and loved ... and why turn it into something ugly for no reason. The driving thing is not about you. You are taking it personally and it has nothing to do with you. You're just the one making a theoretical request. The parents not wanting their child to be driven by anyone except themselves is not about you. Its about them and their children, period. A grandparent is not a parent, and these parents don't want people who aren't their parents to drive them. So whether you're a grandparent or however more special than anyone else in the world doesn't change that you're still not the parent of those children and (hopefully) won't ever be. If you want to continue to make it all about you and make it an "issue", of course you can (and you have). And how long this "issue" goes on is exactly as long as you are unwilling to accept the parents are the boss of those kidlets and their (very reasonable and normal, btw) parenting limits are theirs. I think you'll find peace when you can accept and respect that.

You might not like hearing the word "no" and imagining your own grown child is daring to set a limit on you, but your feelings are not your son and DIL's fault. And your unreasonably personalized feelings about their across the board parenting limits are not something they should be expected to accomodate. Following their inner voice to properly parent their children is always going to come before placating the other adults in their life who care about them. So you are blessed in yet another way - that your grandchildren have parents who care so much and so well for them.

Read around these groups a little and you will see that all of your many blessings are not something to be taken for granted. Turn those parents off with your its-about-me attitude and vague do-whatever-I-want-or-I'll-be-hurt threats to your son (a form of emotional blackmail) and you could easily lose some of the beautiful bounty you already enjoy.
  • Sunshine1002 likes this

#15 tedybearnana

tedybearnana

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 821 posts
  • LocationDeep in the Heart of Texas

Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:58 PM

first, Robh, it 'is what it is'. 'them that has the gc, rule the world'.

second, that's sad. i'm very sorry for you. if i were in your position i would have 'sort of assumed' that as i had been trusted with the oldest gc to keep all day from 2 1/2 mo's to 14 mo's, that this certainly wouldn't have been a problem. trust is trust, IMO.

my ds and dil chose to move over 70 miles away from us, to be close to their jobs. i am 64 and dh is 71. for the lst 6 months of our oldest gs life (he's now 5 1/2) they came over or had us over frequently - weekends, etc. at 7 mo's dil evidently decided we were 'trustworthy' - we could now go out and get him out of daycare, bring him home IN THE CAR SEAT THEY SUPPLIED FOR US - and even keep him overnight!

along comes gs #2. (he's a little over 2 now). we were able to get HIM from daycare and drive him the over 70 miles home AT TWO MONTHS and keep him over night! then, we realized as he got a little older, that gs#1 was becoming extremely jealous of the little one. we changed our policy, due to that and the different in their ages. we started getting them 'one at a time' - (dil and sil have provided all car seats so they are in seats they approve of). of course, that doubles our 70 mile trip - 140 miles round trip! dh is slowing down and the long drive is getting harder, just due to the tiredness - not that i don't trust him with our gs's.

yes, we are blessed - but that was a LONG 7 months to wait the lst time, not knowing if we would ever get them. bottom line in my thoughts, tho they say this will never happen, maybe they will have a change of heart some day when it is 'convenient for THEM'! then the ice will be broken.

parents are strange creatures. while we're allowed to get them and drive on almost 70 miles of freeway, they have never, ever had a babysitter! either they don't go, or they ask us to babysit. for instance, their work Christmas party - we went out, kept the kids and spent the night in their guest room. worked for all of us - we really didn't want to drive over an hour home that night. i know that when i was a little over a year old, my parents wanted to go to Colorado with mom's inlaws for 2 weeks. mom's parents kept us. when they got home (and i KNOW we'd been well taken care of), mom's mom was holding me - mom stretched out her arms to take me and i turned my head away and wouldn't have anything to do with her for a week! i had evidently felt abandoned by her - (maybe that's why my mom so much favored my bro, well, ONE of the reasons!).

parents are sometimes even stranger! my parents gave me a lot of freedom at an early age - by 2nd grade, at least, i was having and going to sleepovers with my friends. i had some friends whose parents NEVER allowed them to go to sleepovers. it's such an individual thing with families.

the thing is that different parents feel different ways. mine were open to lots of things with us as babies. we were open to THEM being with our children - tho they only wanted the oldest - AND it was before the years of car seats, anyway! eventually i ruined mom's playhouse by insisting they alternate kids, which we do religiously. if it's the 2 year old's turn, the NEXT turn is the 5 year old's. period.

i don't think this is about carseats, particularly. it's about how your dil feels about EVERYONE, especially HER children. i understand you felt hurt by that - and it doesn't make much sense after you babysat for the 2 1/2 MONTH old - BUT - it is what it is. take what you can with a smile and pray for more. eventually, i believe, things will change. just work hard to 'go with the flow' and keep a positive attitude and enjoy those grandkids no matter what the quirks the parents may have at any given time! keep a good attitude, apologize in case their feelings were hurt, let go of YOUR hurt feelings and do whatever you havae to do to be able to be with those babies. you're wasting days that you will never be able to get back again. as my 'know it all ds says' - IT IS WHAT IT IS.




#16 blondiex46

blondiex46

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Locationoutside of philadelphia

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:24 PM

I am sorry, unfortunately we can't assume anything when it comes to our GC, I am curious tho, what about her parents...so they pick up and drive the children anywhere? Also, I am assuming you changed car seats b/c they grew out of the infant ones...and if there wasn't an issue with the infant ones, why would there be an issue with the 2nd one. Personally, I think that the DIL feels like you over stepped your bounderies and didn't "ask" them permission, which honestly I wouldn't have either.....sometimes you walk on eggshells with some of these DIL's (it doesn't seem to be the same with the husbands of the daughters).

It is hard to let go of the hurt feelings because you didn't mean anything by it and didn't even think there was a problem, I wouldn't have....I bought a booster seat for my grandson, in case I needed to pick him up at school or preschool in case of an emergency, and guess what I needed it...As far as talking to them to "clear the air" that I have no opinion on....

Sandy

#17 tpansysweety@yahoo.com

tpansysweety@yahoo.com

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:15 PM

I new here, and I have been involved with raising all nine of my GC so far with a set of twins on the way. There was a time with one of my daughters where I wasn't allowed to drive her two anywhere, not because of my driving ability, but the traffic issue. But that all changed, when I had to go to Orlando with them, when thier father had been involved in a horrific car accident. Thankfully he survived with very little permanent damage. My daughter flew to Orlando and when she got there she realised that she needed not only her two daughters but me as well. So, I had to drive with them 7 hrs not including stopping time to Orlando. When we got there, it was such a relief to my daughter to have us there. She came crying into my arms to let know know how crazy she was to think that way about the driving issue, which I was expecting the opposite. But, my daughter said to me, that she was being totally irrationable and paranoid. I'm glad I have never betrayed her trust with driving the GC around for the two years she didn't want us to go anywhere. Now, after that episode had passed several years ago,( they are 11 today and 9 1/2) thier Gruncle and I are going to purchase a fifteen person van to cart the GC around so we don't have to take two vehicles when we go to the water parks, or vacations, when school is out. Even a trip to McDonald's required two cars. But, during the summer I do Grammy Camp. Our house has a pool and a covered area for them to play, do projects, picnics whatever the GC want to do outside. Once a week, we go to the free movies the local theaters show. We also do the Kids Gulf Coast Discovery Day over at Bellingrath Gardens just outside Mobile, Ala. We take a trip to Biloxi, Miss. over the summer for two days. We go to Port Canaveral and much, much more. My four D's, and my son all work and their spouses. They all love the fact that I'm the way that I am and not afraid to take them to anywhere I go. They have learned so much and without not being able to drive, they wouldn't be exposed to as much. My two cents worth.
  • tedybearnana and domke519@comcast.net like this

#18 rosered135

rosered135

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 12882 posts
  • LocationNortheast, U.S.

Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:19 PM

@ tpansy - Welcome! You sound like a very wise, loving and fun mother and GM, all at the same time!

I'm concerned that you may be using your full email address, however. You might want to alter that, a little (or a lot), for reasons of privacy. If so, just click on your username at the top-right of this page, then My Settings, then Display Name and follow the instructions there. If you have any problem with that, please email help@grandparents.com.

Delighted to have you aboard!

#19 PhalenMum

PhalenMum

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 765 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:28 AM

Also, I am assuming you changed car seats b/c they grew out of the infant ones...and if there wasn't an issue with the infant ones, why would there be an issue with the 2nd one.


See now I'm confused, I didn't read it as they replaced baby seats with new ones but bought seats for their car without previous seats being in their car.

#20 steelersrox

steelersrox

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 55 posts
  • LocationTennessee

Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:26 AM

I read the post as they have not had car seats before and decided that they would purchase the seats in hopes of taking the oldest GC on outings. Sounds like no one else is allowed to drive the children anywhere including the DIL's parents.

OP - did you ever express to your son and DIL that you would like to take your OGC on outings? Please don't be hurt over this. I really don't think that this is in any way a "shot" at you but a general rule (a smart one I might add) for everyone. It may not be your driving (or other GP driving) that worries DIL but all the other drivers on the road. There are some real speed demons out on the roads!!!