Mothering Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,366 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's the deal....

I love my IL's dearly. They are weird and eccentric in their own (harmless) ways, and we get along fine for the most part. DS1 was born in Florida where they live. They visited us (we were about 3 hours away) probably a minimum of 3 - 4 days a month on average until we moved to San Diego. They have a wonderful relationship with ds1. They have always been there for us and have done some really wonderful things for us (i.e. dropping everything and driving the three hours to stay with ds1for a week when I was hospitalized unexpectedly with meningitis).

When we moved to SD, we were pg with ds2. They don't have much interest in ds2, partly, because they just don't "know" him. I understand thattheir relationship with him will probably always be different than that with ds1, andthat's fine (ds2 has that special relationship with my mom).

The problem is this. Whenever they send postcards, bday cards, etc. they address ds1's card to "King Nxxx" and ds2's cards to "K***" or "Little Bit". This is starting to bug me because ds1 is on the verge of reading and I don't want him to see the disparity. (As a comparison, my mom, while obviously having a special relationship with ds2, tries to be as "equal" as possible with both boys and reserves the uber-stuff for when she's alone with ds2.... does that make sense?).

I'm overly sensitive to this stuff I think, because growing up, my brother was treated like "THE KING" in such obvious ways by my paternal gp's ( Italian, my dad was an only child and my bro was the only grandson) and it made fora difficulttime for my sister and I. We resented my bro, my gp's, etc...

I don't want ds2 to feel "lessthan" like that...

I asked dh to say something and he was like "FINE, I'll tell them not to do that anymore" (and he'd say JUST that... no subtlety at all). That's NOT what I want... I want them to stop doing it, but I want to be sensitive to their feelings, etc... kwim? I don't want to hurt their feelings, as I'm sure they aren't doing it maliciously (like my gp's did), it's more like I want to "educate" them... they are used to me being weird LOL...

I guess I just need the words to say, or for people to tell me if I'm being unreasonable (as dh seems to think).

Thanks!

Lo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,323 Posts
I have no idea how you can approach it. But I can tell you that speaking up is the right thing to do.

My younger brother and sister are twins and all my life it was all about "the twins". Everyone but my dad thought the sun shined out their
He treated us all the same. It was awful being last or not thought of at all. The really sick part of it is that my sister feels the same way about how my brother was more important than she was.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,719 Posts
I think it should be addressed too, though I don't know what to tell you to say.

My dad and stepmom are this way with my nephew...my grandma was that way with my cousin.

Unfortunately, my kids already see the differential treatment, but at least it's a cousin and not within our own house. They can concur with each other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,738 Posts
My IL's treat ds1 the same way. I understand them not being totally close to dd1, they met her when she was 7, and not their bio-gd.

DS1 can do no wrong in their eyes and dh is way too much of a wuss to stand up to them. They spend way more time with him because "dd2 is just too much trouble"
: Maybe she wouldn't be if you treated them a little more equal.

Good luck with your situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,163 Posts
I am so there. Except we see the inlaws just about every week and they also treat ds1 like he is all there is and ds2/dd2 like they are afterthoughts. THey even got him a gift for their 2nd birthday. GRRRRR!
Anyway the route we are taking is addressing individual issues as we see them. (Please no more gifts on siblings birthdays) etc. . .And by helping encourage a relationship with the other children. We have had to put a hold on individual overnights for DS1 until his brother and sister each get a turn.
Being out of state makes it more difficult. But there might be something you can do to encourage their interest in ds2.
And if they want to call your DS1 "The King" then I wouldnt insist they stop but I would brainstorm an equivalent nickname for ds2 such as "Emperor so and so" or "Superboy".
Good LUck
Joline
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,366 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks! I like the idea of coming up with an appropriate nickname for ds2, but I wish they'd just do that on their own. I really don't want to go all postal on them about it... maybe I'll joke about finding ds2 a new nickname while they are here in a couple of weeks... see if they pick up the hint... if they don't get it, maybe I'll get less "subtle" until they DO get it LOLOL.

Thanks for the input... to hear dh, you'd think I was making a freaking volcano out of a mosquito bite!

Lo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,945 Posts
What about writing them a very nice letter about what great Grandparents they are and how lucky your dc are to have such terrific and involved Grandparents. Then about what a great nickname the "King" is and how special that is for ds1 and how looking forward to a great nickname ds2 is and that you are sure that by the time they come for a visit they will have the perfect one picked out. Then go on and talk about the various activities they can do when they are visiting and have each of the boys include a picture for them.

This way you are making it clear what you want and at the same time be polite and non-threatening. Then if they don't snap to and realize there mistake then you can take it up verbally.

Just a thought. I am anticipating my children will be completely ignored by my in-laws for various reasons and it just sucks that people who should know better don't do better. I hope that this resolves quickly and without heartache.

Jenne
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,550 Posts
What about just being direct?

Write to them as Jenne said - about how special ds1's nickname is, etc. Then say that you're concerned ds2 might feel left out and you think it would be wonderful if they came up with an equally special nickname for him. Share your experience with them if you feel comfortable doing so.

If you just hint around and they don't take the hint, then there's the potential that the situation could get worse without ever really having the chance to get better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,824 Posts
Well, I have a different take.

My borther was the only son of an only son (though there were to other grandsons). The favortism of grandparents for him was OBVIOUS (grandma had a pet name for him but for none of the other grandkids). Not only did they favor my brother over me and my sister, they favored me and my siblings over our cousins (the grandsons mentioned earlier).

My mom just rolled her eyes. In her view, my grandparents relationships with their grandkids was theirs to make or break. Us kids were all aware of the favortism, and it certainly didn't make any of us (inlcuding my brother) think better of them. But they were still great grandparents. Even my cousins have a good relationship with them. Human relastionships are not often pretty or perfect - they are often very flawed. Your kids will learn this growing up - better for you to be there letting them know that people not loving others fairly/not behaving best is not the end of the world (my mom let us know that with her benevolent eye rolls).

Good luck. Your sons will learn so much more about loving fairly and behaving best from you than from their grandparents anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,366 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by mamawanabe
Well, I have a different take.

My borther was the only son of an only son (though there were to other grandsons). The favortism of grandparents for him was OBVIOUS (grandma had a pet name for him but for none of the other grandkids). Not only did they favor my brother over me and my sister, they favored me and my siblings over our cousins (the grandsons mentioned earlier).

My mom just rolled her eyes. In her view, my grandparents relationships with their grandkids was theirs to make or break. Us kids were all aware of the favortism, and it certainly didn't make any of us (inlcuding my brother) think better of them. But they were still great grandparents. Even my cousins have a good relationship with them. Human relastionships are not often pretty or perfect - they are often very flawed. Your kids will learn this growing up - better for you to be there letting them know that people not loving others fairly/not behaving best is not the end of the world (my mom let us know that with her benevolent eye rolls).

Good luck. Your sons will learn so much more about loving fairly and behaving best from you than from their grandparents anyway.

Good point!! Thanks for giving me another perspective
I think that sometimes I just want to protect them from the same BS that I had to put up with as a kid... but in reality, the BS wouldn't have been nearly as bad had my parents done their job and explained stuff to me, given me their support, etc... I think you're right that if *I* (and dh) treat the boys fairly and acknowledge that people have different relationships, then it will all be OK


Thanks!

Lo
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top