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nan123

Dil keeps the grandchildren from me

119 posts in this topic

I’ve had it with my daughter in law S keeping my son and grandchildren from me. S has always been cold to me and distant. S won’t come to my home, just after my youngest grand daughter was born she stopped coming over at all. I don’t know why. My son hardly ever comes over and when he does, he seldom brings my grandchildren with him if he does it’s usually just one of them. I haven’t seen my grandchildren together in two years now. What can I do?

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Are you able to visit in their home?

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I can't even bring myself to ring their house, let alone visit I just feel so unwelcome there. Instead I ring my son on his cellphone. Even then he's completely under her thumb and won't make arrangements without clearing it with her first. I'd just like to see my grandchildren and son. We used to visit when my grandson was smaller and my grand daughter a baby, I used to offer to baby sit but she said no. They put my grandson in daycare even though I offered to watch him at my house for free, that hurt but I accepted it was their choice. I know her parents have my grandchildren stay for a couple of weeks in summer, I've seen the pictures on facebook. I never get visits but they get to have them for weeks at a time. Why can't I at least get an afternoon visit?

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You are asking the wrong people.

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As a Mil, I suggest you and your husband ask your son if there is a problem or, if you can't handle it, ask your husband to talk to him. Two years is a long time. Have you tried asking before? When you get an answer, be calm, think about the situation, and do what you and your husband feel is best.

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I agree – you need to try again to speak to your son. It does sound like there is more to this than what you may be aware of. On the issue of them finding childcare and turning down your offer of free childcare –honestly – I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Though I know of a handful of situations where it has worked out well for everyone – I know of an alarmingly high number of situations like that where major problems were generated out of the grandparent’s generosity. For us – we went with a group child care situation with multiple care providers because we needed to know if one of them was sick or on vacation we had child care coverage. It wasn’t anything against any of our parents – we had to pick the best childcare situation for us. Many people believe that if a mother or father has to work that a family member is the next best child care provider – but that isn’t always true. And all too often battles arise over discipline, feeding, etc because the grandparent is *more* than a contracted child care provider and feel that they have a bigger say in how the child is raised. It is entirely possible that your son and DIL went with a paid child care provider to avoid causing any family issues or because they needed a child care provider set up that better fit their situation.

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nan what is your relationship with your son like, past and present? he comes over sometimes, and he brings the children, though quite rarely. so there's something there to build on. when you talk to him, i'd focus on your and his relationship. ask him what you can do to make it better with him and his family. make sure you don't make it seem to him like you think his wife is the problem, because that can cause more problems. good luck.

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"Even then he's completely under her thumb and won't make arrangements without clearing it with her first. I'd just like to see my grandchildren and son." This is the one and only part of this that I can speak on as I am not sure on the rest. You say he doesn't make plans before speaking to her and that is part of being in a marriage. DH and I do the same thing whether it be seeing family or friends. We also check with each other (or if the call comes at home things are always on our calendar) because I make all the medical appointments, I put all the birthday parties that our oldest gets invited to on there, and just information in general that is needed to know (school meetings, church plans, and on and on). Its a respect thing that they have between each other. I wouldn't expect that to change. You need to call and ask your son if there is a neutral spot for you all to meet up at. Pick a place you can watch the kids have fun and where its not her territory or yours.

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Sounds like you need to have another conversation with your son. A confident, mature man wouldn't be under his wife's thumb. And in the absense of any specific event that lead to this estrangement, I don't see why your requests to see them more wouldn't be met. The daycare thing is a different story. That is their choice, and you seem to have gotten over it, but I wonder if any drama resulted from that situation that may have started you all down the path you now find yourselves. Just keep reaching out to your son. And don't use guilt or make comparisons to your DIL's family or make it a bigger problem than it needs to be, just keep trying to make more plans. Of course he should run plans by his wife, but he should also be the one to keep his relationship with you and your grandkids strong. If he doesn't then really it's your son who is keeping you from your grandchildren, not your DIL. Good Luck

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I think a lot of other people have given you good advice but I would like to comment on something that you said. You said that you saw pictures on facebook of your grandkids at DIL's parent's house. It doesn't sounds as though you are very close with your Son/DIL, so do you really *KNOW* that the the other grandparents "get to have them for weeks at a time" or are you ASSuming that based on some pictures. that's a pretty darn big ASSumption. I'd caution you to stop assuming things unless you KNOW that they are true.

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I can't even take you seriously due to you saying it's all your DIL's fault--is your son a man? If so then he makes his own decisions.

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Hi OP, Check out the thread entitled "Mil's a bit of advice". It may provide you with a different perspective. The "under the thumb" comment, and ones like it, really bother me. Are you absolutely certain your dil is calling the shots? Wouldn't that make your son a big wimp?? As to the "free" daycare, you were kind to suggest it but I wouldn't take their rejection of your offer too personally. I would rather pay someone to watch my child because then they must follow my rules, or in the case of a daycare business, we will have chosen one fitting our philosophy, structure, and goals for our child. Maybe dig a little deeper into what's really going on with your son and his family before completely putting all the blame for your unhappiness on your dil.

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'I'd just like to see my grandchildren and son.' I have to comment on this part of your response. Maybe this is part of the problem. You only want to see your son and GC. What about your DIL? It is HER husband and HER kids first. Why are you excluding her? Would you really want to spend time with someone who was purposefully excluding you? I wouldn't. Parents and their kids are a package deal when the kids are young. You cannot expect your son to bring the GC and leave his wife at home. That is disloyal to his wife and an effort by you to separate them. Unacceptable. As for the daycare situation, having family as your regular daycare is usually the worst thing you can do...even free. Free daycare is never free in the end. When you leave your kids with a licensed professional, it is an employee/employer relationship. If you don't like something the caregiver does, you tell them, they fix it, everything is good. When it is family, it is uncomfortable, there is lots of emotions involved, caregivers tend to get hypersensitive, if the relationship is already shaky, the parents also will not want to have you sitting at home with their kids enjoying all the firsts and all of the things they want to share with them while they work. It is a bad situation all around. My mom babysat my oldest for a time. We ended that and now pay a friend to babysit. It is well worth the money to pay her as opposed to the 'free' care my mother would offer. When I need a sitter, I want to be able to relax and have fun...not worry about my mother nosing through my home, telling my kids inappropriate things, manipulating my family life, or giving her any indication that she has any say so in what goes on in my home. So for those reasons, I gladly pay for childcare as opposed to letting my mother do it. You also say that you 'can't bring yourself to call there'. Well, how do you expect your DIL to know you are willing to make the effort to have a relationship if you never call? The assumption by you that this is all her fault is mindblowing. You are mad that your son checks with his wife before commiting to anything? Really? They are a nuclear family, a team. Neither one should be commiting to anything without checking with the other one first no matter what it is. That is what couples do. My biggest question of all is, have you talked to your son about ANY of this? Or do you just silently stew and condemn your DIL for every perceived slight? Maybe with work and the kids and their day to day lives they are very busy. You are making a lot of judgements and assumptions though, and have not indicated a solid basis for any of it IMO.

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My husband and I have tried to talk to our son, he gets very angry. He says they are very busy and nobody is keeping the children from us. I told him I know I am not welcomed in their home, it's hard to explain she isn't impolite or rude, so I couldn't be specific like he wanted and he dismissed it as me being ridiculous. I'm not. I feel ignored and slighted there, she doesn't talk to me unless I ask a question directly, she busies herself in the kitchen or somewhere else for the time we are there. I feel she doesn't want me there. How can I not blame her? Since she stopped calling and visiting herself, I never see my grandchildren. If I did something, I don't know what it is, she just suddenly stopped everything. My son doesn't even call on Mother's Day or our birthdays.

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Call her this weekend and arrange a family get-together at a restaurant. Talk with her and arrange it. If she refuses, assure her that hey, you can understand, no big deal. But you wish she'd let you know if you've done something to offend her. You wouldn't want to hurt her but you get the feeling you have, and you would like to make amends. Then, if she eventually let's you in on the secret, apologize without excusing or explaining your behavior. Maybe it will help you see your gks.

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Someone asked what my relationship past and present was like with my son? He is my youngest, it used to be good, he shared his troubles and joys. He met S when he was 21. One day he stopped coming home for dinner, next he stopped coming home to sleep, my husband told him he'd better clean up his room when he hadn't been home in weeks, they came over and moved all his belongings out completely! Then they got engaged. It was only a few months since they met. I worried she was pregnant which offended my son, he should have expected I would worry, his elder brother was tricked into marriage that way. I also worried he was rushing things but he wouldn't talk about it and there was nothing I could do anyway. At first things went along pretty much as normal, they visited, we visited. It wasn't until my grandson was born that things started to become strained. We kept going and it finally broke down completely when my grand daughter was a toddler.

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Your son not calling on Mother's Day and other days is not her fault.

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"tricked him into marrying her by becoming pregnant." ma'am, everything you have told your son is being relayed back to your dil. And since you seem to have a case of chronic talkativeness before you've thought about the ramifications, this might explain why they feel alienated. Good lord.

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Why is it not her fault? Until she stopped everything, I got visits, gifts and calls on mothers day. To me it seems as if she's somehow convinced my son to ignore our existence, why is anyones guess S has had two years to talk things over. I did send my son an email inviting them to talk it over, he refused saying he was too busy with work and his family to indulge my imaginary problems. I thought I was his family?

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GD it! Call HER! Not HIM! Not email! Don't ask IF, ask WHEN you can get together for a nice, light, polite, superficial, easygoing, non-critical get-together! And then try the script I gave you. You're just ticking off your son. ALL of you are " at fault" here!

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"Why is it not her fault? Until she stopped everything, I got visits, gifts and calls on mothers day." Do you truly believe that your DIL is preventing your son from sending you a Mother's Day gift or calling you on Mother's Day? Do you think that she takes away his phone on Mother's Day just to prevent him from calling you? Isn't it more likely that your SON has chosen not to do these things? Perhaps because he's upset with you for suggesting that his wife was trying to trap him into getting married. Or maybe he's just annoyed that you keep accusing his wife of deliberately keeping the children away from you? Doesn't that seem like a more reasonable explanation for why calls and gifts on Mother's Day have stopped? I think it would really help you if you could stop blaming your SON's behavior on your DIL. BlueEyedGirl wrote up a great comment about this just today... I think there are just too many variables to place *blame* on one person anyway. I think I understand why some MILs do it - if they have a good relationship with their son - they can't fathom that their son would ever push back on them so it must be coming from the DIL. But by assigning blame to the DIL, a mother is ignoring several considerations. 1. Yes - you have a good relationship with your son - but by nature your life does change when you get married. It isn't a bad thing - it is a necessary thing. When you get married you have this entire new life, new family, new home, new responsibilities, new expectations, etc. Some things HAVE to change in order to make your new life a compromise. Example - a young man marries and moves out of his parents' home and into a home with his wife - for years he's been eating dinner with his parents every night- that's obviously going to change. Silly example I know – but you get the point. 2. By assigning blame to your DIL – you are ignoring the fact that your son is perfectly capable of speaking for himself and making decisions for himself. If he tells you that THEY made the decision together –you should take him at his word – regardless of what you may *think* is going on – HE is presenting a united front on that decision. 3. By assigning blame to your DIL you are implying that your son isn’t “man enough” to stand up for himself. When in all likelihood – you aren’t used to him standing up for himself “against” you and for someone else and it hurts. So you don’t want to believe that he would do that to you – so you choose instead to believe that DIL is somehow controlling him to bend him to her will. That’s insulting – to everyone involved. A son CAN and SHOULD express himself to his wife if he doesn’t agree with her – and most that I know do so. 4. “He does it just to keep the peace.” I hate this statement. I really do. I haven’t met a man who does everything his wife says just to keep the peace. I realize they do exist – but I think that is the battle cry of every wronged mother of a son. He has chosen his wife and yes – he does have to live with her and whatever her expectations are – but he is equally able to have expectations and a voice – and if he is giving in to her to “keep the peace” instead of striving to have a balanced, equal relationship between himself and his wife –he’s got bigger problems than keeping the peace. 5. “She controls everything.” Again – if that is true –your son has bigger fish to fry. 6. “I didn’t raise him like that.” Well here is my question – HOW did you raise him? Did you raise him to be independent and able to make his own choices? Or did you raise him to always concede to you as his parent? Anddoes every parent really expect their adult child to always continue in the way they were raised? Example: My youngest brother and I were raised in the same house….by the same parents. We are very different. I’m a conformist – I still carry on the traditions, attend everything I’m “expected” to attend, do everything I’m expected to do. I’m a pleaser – and it has come back to bite me a few times in my life. My youngest brother was always going to go his own way – and he married a young woman who feels very much the same way. So they’ve created their own traditions, they’ve gone their own way. We were *raised* to react the way that *I* react. But that doesn’t make his choices less valid or less his own. Just because he is choosing to do things differently doesn’t mean he is going against the way he was raised. Adults are allowed and encouraged to make their own choices. My biggest problem with always assigning the blame to the DIL is that is just too easy. Blaming the DIL covers all manner of issues and allows you to ignore what might really be going on. Before always blaming the DIL – I think you need to look at the heart of the problem. Yes – I realize that sometimes the answer is STILL going to be “it’s all her fault” – I never assume that every DIL is innocent by any stretch of the imagination – I’ve met some doozies! But by automatically putting the blame on your DIL you may be missing out on an opportunity to fix issues and create a better relat

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My eldest son was tricked into marriage, by a woman who knew he would honor his commitments because that is the way he was raised. My youngest knew that, it was a valid concern and I don't care if he told her that. I didn't want to see him making the same mistakes as his brother did and I wanted to support my son. I'm his mother and she should respect that. I tried calling, there is no reply. There's never a reply unless I call my son on his cell and even then it goes to voicemail half the time. How can I apologize when I have done nothing wrong? I've always treated her the same as my own children and helped them out when I could. S is the one who pulled out and so be it if that is what she wants, it's sad but I can live without her. I do want to see my son and grandchildren she has no right to stop me from doing that.

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Is he really under her thumb or do they just have a normal marriage? Husbands and wives consult each other to avoid the confusion of making plans that conflict. If he asked for a specific instance and you could not think one of then sit down now and put it on paper so you will not have to rack your brain to remember them. Time goes by and I will have to write things down or I will lose the point entirely. And then there is the "imaginary" thing your son mentioned. If you can't remember them but you just feel slighted then are you really reacting to anything or just reacting?

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I am reacting yes, but what she is doing is real. She is slowly but surely pushing me out of my grandchildrens and sons lives. My son was always open to me in the past, even when they first married and after my grandson was born. S is subtle but she's engineering this.

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*** I do want to see my son and grandchildren she has no right to stop me from doing that. *** Unless she's physically restraining her husband and children, she's not exactly stopping them from visiting you. OP, your son and DIL are sending very clear messages as to how much contact you can expect. You've pushed on this issue, and here's what he's told you: "He says they are very busy and nobody is keeping the children from us." "I told him I know I am not welcomed in their home, it's hard to explain she isn't impolite or rude, so I couldn't be specific like he wanted and he dismissed it as me being ridiculous." "I did send my son an email inviting them to talk it over, he refused saying he was too busy with work and his family to indulge my imaginary problems." In EVERY ONE of these instances, it is your son talking to you. Not your DIL. Your son. He's made it clear: "If you want to see the kids, come on over. And if you don't feel welcome, that's your problem, not his." Going through previous posts, it seems like you and your DH have had an antagonistic relationship with this young couple since they got together -- possibly in reaction to what happened with your older son. I can see now why S "has always been cold to [you]." Because you treated her with suspicion, as if she was going to "trap" your younger son into marriage. And when you voiced this unsubstantiated accusation to your son, you also insulted his judgment. Granted, nobody in their early 20s has the wisdom of King Solomon, but they also don't like being asked whether they're making big mistakes. When parents set themselves against a young couple, one of two things typically is going to happen: They'll split up, or they'll take on an us-against-the-world mindset. It sounds like the latter has happened here. And to your son and DIL's way of thinking, you don't respect them as a team. So they are circling the wagons against you (to mix metaphors). I do think you're right in observing your DIL was the one who was keeping interactions with extended family going, and now that she's no longer bothering to make the effort, your son's not really doing everything she used to do. This is going to be hard to fix, as your DIL has obviously decided that she's done dealing with you and your son has made it clear where he thinks the problems are.

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