Sunday, September 24, 2017

Need some grandmotherly advice-Not quilt related

Okay, this is definitely NOT quilt related but I'm extremely disturbed and need some advice.

You may or may not know that we been lucky enough to have had our 3 grandkids stay at our house for the past 5+ yrs, at least every other weekend, sometimes more often (I started out watching them on Fridays);  we have bedrooms for them (they are 7, 5 and 3) as well as all the toys etc -- they effectively live here on weekends.  We've joked that they go to boarding school during the week and come home on weekends.  We have absolutely loved every single minute of the time they are with us!!!  We feel very lucky, having always believed it could change any time (the oldest has started playing soccer, for instance, and doesn't come every weekend now).

What has been happening recently is that Emma, the 5 yr old, has been extremely more and more vocal about NOT wanting to leave our house.  Just a little bit of background---the 3-1/2 yr old boy is a big whiner (I say that with lots of love...but it's true).  He whines about everything.

So Emma, who is no shy violet and not easily manipulated, has always extended her stay with us by days;  when they were with us in Oregon, she stayed an extra week.   We took her to Hawaii in the spring, which we all loved.  She stays until Tuesday on weekends, frequently, before she started back to pre-school.   You get the picture.  She always asks for more time with us; 

Well, the past two or three times she's visited, she's actually said to us that she wants to stay with us FOREVER.  That she doesn't want to go back to her house;  she cries when we leave our house to bring her back (actually says, "take me back HOME.. [to our house]").  Apparently she cries when she's at her house, wanting to go back to our house.  They won't FaceTime me any more because Emma cries and misses me;  

So today we took Emma back after the weekend with us and of course she cried in the car and lamented going back.  But when she got home, she was crying about leaving our house and my daughter texted me that she thinks we need  to eliminate the sleep-overs.  I'm on the verge of being devastated.  I'm not sure what she's thinking... if we visit instead, I'd imagine Emma would beg to come back home with us etc etc.

I don't know what to do.  I said I was very sorry and that we love having the kids.  

Has anyone had similar experiences???


Hope this isn't too heavy for a Sunday afternoon.

anyway, we are heading up to the cabin tomorrow for a week or so away and time with some friends wine tasting up in Walla Walla.

Your thoughts??



  1. I think you've been wonderful having the kids. Being a great help to you daughter,obviously but she wants to be Mum and is gently telling you it's time to take a step back. You will still see them and be great Grandparents.

  2. I don't have any knowledge to give you any advice, but wish I could give you a big hug right now!!

  3. Your response was exactly right...and the right thing to keep peace in the family. Your daughter is probably feeling mixed emotions...maybe a little jealousy, a little guilt, and frustration with her daughter's crying for you.

    Give the situation a little time. Chances are there will be a lot more sleep overs to come. Things will work out in the end.

  4. Hi Randy ! I'm not grandmother but, after reading your post, I thought about 2 things : with her parents, Emma must go to school, she has a schedule to respect...but with you, there is no mother (or father) to remind her to do this or that... with you she is on holidays every minute !
    Maybe a few seances with a psychologist will help her to handle her emotions ?
    I hope this will help you... Big hugs !

  5. Tough problem! I agree with both Cecile and Darla. Perhaps using sleep overs on school vacations as a reward for not crying when it is time to leave. Perhaps you could visit at their house and if there aren't any scenes when you leave then she can earn a night at your home. Yes it is bribery, but not in a harmful way. It also shows behavior has consequences.

  6. I think everyone's ideas are great. I am trying to think of a way to get her to work through her emotions. How about this, if facetime upsets her have her write you letters telling you about all the fun things at school and her friends there, etc. Have her actually mail them to you. She could include drawings of things she loves in her bedroom. Then actually mail her a reply. Everyone loves to get real mail. Send her cute cards or postcards of your travels. She obviously loves you very much.

  7. Oh Randy, I am so sorry to hear this. Please call me if you want (need) to chat.

  8. This is a tough problem. I think it depends on why she wants to stay with you instead of her parents. It sounds like more research is necessary. It is possible that her parents aren't as fun, personality wise, maybe more serious. If there is a big income difference, you may be able to give her things that her parents can't. It is also possible, as Ellie said, that the parental responsibilities, working, chores, etc., is making the household more strict or less fun. It is also possible that something is going on at home that is not proper. There may be a neighbor who may be abusing her, for example. Talking to her would be best. If it is just that being home isn't as much fun, explaining that her parents would miss her if she stayed with you forever might help.

  9. Being a middle child can be tough. You're not as smart and clever as the oldest and you're not as cute and cuddly as the youngest. You get lost in the middle and overlooked. Being with you gives her lots of one on one special attention. I think her reaction is age appropriate and completely to be expected. Maybe she just needs a little encouragement and guidance on expressing her emotions. To love your grandparents passionately can't be a bad thing.

    1. Our minds are of the same bent, Melissa Ann ... I was thinking this same thing as I was reading other responses ... which are also good and valid. I'm the oldest ... I was the one who had to keep everyone in line ... I'm not 68 and at times catch myself telling my siblings what to do and get upset (at times) when they don't do it. I think her "alone" time with you makes her feel special and as the middle child she's doesn't feel special like she does when she is your entire world (alone with you). Also ... routines can be boring at her age ... staying with you breaks her out of a routine. Not having kids of my own I remember when my nieces and nephew would stay with me ... we had wildly fun times and I was the party aunt ... not many restrictions, over indulgence ... fun, fun, fun. I think it will all work out but for now you need to defer to her parents and adhere to a schedule that they outline. Kids don't come with owner manuals and they are all different ... it's hard but I'll be sending good thoughts and prayers you way. Call if you want to chat ... always here for you my friend. Linda