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Girl Talk: Left Out Grandkid

Q. My parents doted on their first grandkids, but not my son. They rarely buy him gifts and don't seem that interested in him. How do I stop feeling slighted and resentful of my siblings?

A: They say that counting blessings always helps, so let's give it a shot: Be thankful that your son wasn't spoiled rotten and that you, with your infinitely better taste, get to pick out his cuter-than-cute clothing. Feel any better? Well, it was worth a try.

It's normal for moms in your position to feel slighted. To lessen the resentment, reflect on what you know is true: Gifts or no gifts, your parents love all of their grandchildren with all of their hearts. You will repeat this truism to your son someday when he wonders why you didn't send something on his kid's first Valentine's Day.

If attention rather than stuff is what you're after, you have to give to get. Your parents will share more of themselves with your son if you share more of your son's life with them, like the intricate details of his first checkup and his delight at his first Cheerio. And ask their advice when you're at a loss. It's not only helpful to you, it'll make them want to become more involved. Then when they start showing up unannounced or with a "vintage" toy that's clearly unsafe, you can stop resenting your siblings and start commiserating with them.

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