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Question
Posted by: Flippa | 2011-01-29

Irritating Grandparents

Hey,

My husband''s parents are losing the plot. We unfortunately cannot afford to give them money anymore and they told us to eff off. So now we are not talking to each other. My son has a birthday next week and they want to see him, and only him, not my other son, me or my husband. I really don''t want to invite them into my house if they act like imbeciles. The last time we were together, I got slapped on the bum and my youngest son got slapped on the head, for being 15 minutes late.

I also don''t want to drop off my eldest son with them as I am worried what they might do and say to him, he is only in creche and not old enough to defend himself. My husband was told that he was useless and would be a failure when he was older, whilst growing up. Who is the failure if the children must support you?!?

My husband feels we should invite them for the sake of our eldest son but I don''t want to see these people. We cannot afford to hire out a party venue so that the tension will not be in our home.

What is a gal supposed to do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Not much sign of gratitude from them ! While most children may want to help their parents When it is possible for them to do so, parents should not assume that this is their right. THEY chose to have children, and having done so it was indeed their duty to bear the costs of raising those kids. But having children is not a guaranteed insurance policy that you can then retire and expect them to support you.
If they have failed to make proper provision for their older age, that's their responsibility, not yours.
It is unaceptable for them to set conditions on seeing one of your sons but specifying that you, your husband and especially the other son must not be present - either they can make a friendly visit to the whole family, or not come. They should not be given the power of dicatators. IT also sounds like a really bad idea for the oldest sone to visit them alone. Not without the rest of yourselves as chaperone.
It is not a benefit for your elder son to see an embittered pair who may be psychologically abusive to him and spread their own bitterness. He loses nothing if he doesn't see them until they become more reasonable.

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5
Our users say:
Posted by: Romany | 2011-01-31

Your hubby is right.
Invite them to your home.
Maybe for afternoon tea? It does not have to be for a long period of time.
That way, you are allowing them to see the kids.
If they do not want to do that, so be it then.
Don''t feel guilty about this. It is YOUR husband and YOUR kids. They had their turn.

Reply to Romany
Posted by: Wise Owl | 2011-01-30

It''s really such a pity that the old folk are behaving in this fashion. I do believe that the young must respect the older folk, but in turn its a 2 way street. Crafty/Selfish old folk have to be put in their place, gently but firmly. Very often the older folk believe that they can say what they like and behave in the same manner and to hell with everyone else. No way ! They have no right to be prescriptive of what they want or don''t want from you or their adult children. Stand your ground and demand civility. Keep your youngster away from them under current circumstances, they sound as if they could be a bad influence.

Reply to Wise Owl
Posted by: Outsider | 2011-01-29

I would not give in to their manipulation and find it very in-considerate and heartless that they only want to see your one son - how would that make your other son feel.

I would however be firm with them and let them know that in light of everything that has or is taking place with the money situation etc. you and your husband would feel more comfortable if they were to come to your home on his birthday.

If they really do want to your son for his birthday then they will come and am sure they will behave as you would have other guests. That way you can keep an eye on your son and they can get to see their grandchild on his birthday.

Hope it works out for you!

Reply to Outsider
Posted by: Jane | 2011-01-29

Sorry but it''s your sons birthday- if he wants to see them then let him.

Reply to Jane
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-01-29

Not much sign of gratitude from them ! While most children may want to help their parents When it is possible for them to do so, parents should not assume that this is their right. THEY chose to have children, and having done so it was indeed their duty to bear the costs of raising those kids. But having children is not a guaranteed insurance policy that you can then retire and expect them to support you.
If they have failed to make proper provision for their older age, that's their responsibility, not yours.
It is unaceptable for them to set conditions on seeing one of your sons but specifying that you, your husband and especially the other son must not be present - either they can make a friendly visit to the whole family, or not come. They should not be given the power of dicatators. IT also sounds like a really bad idea for the oldest sone to visit them alone. Not without the rest of yourselves as chaperone.
It is not a benefit for your elder son to see an embittered pair who may be psychologically abusive to him and spread their own bitterness. He loses nothing if he doesn't see them until they become more reasonable.

Reply to cybershrink

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