Jama1868's picture


I have 2 children....a boy, 6 and a girl, 3. My parents are extremely close with my children but blatently favor my son. He spends signifigantly more time with them & always has. My daughter never really noticed/cared until just lately and although I know that she doesn't know yet that this is happening it will not be long before she does. I have tried to talk to my Mother about it but she denies it and gets very defensive. I wonder if anyone else has had similar problems with this issue & if anyone could give some advice. My husband thinks we should just flat out tell her that from now on it will be visit for visit with the kids, meaning if she takes our son, the next time she has to take our daughter. I'm not quite sure how to handle it. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated :)

acitez's picture

It could just be that 6 year olds are more fun and can enjoy outings more than 3 year olds. If it is really favoritism, though--

I wouldn't let her be alone with either child (or both). The problem with the visit for visit notion is that if your mom is resenting your daughter, she may be a little less than loving and patient. I don't think I would try to change her behavior, she's a big girl and it is not your job to teach her anything. All I would do is protect my children, both of them, from her playing favorites.

I wouldn't tell mom why I've decided that all visits are supervised, I would just tell her, politely, that no, little Johnny can't come with her to the zoo, but how about next Saturday we can all go!

If Mom brings up the subject that she used to be able to take Johnny, then you can tell her that you just like having all of you do activities together. If you are a working mom, you can say that since your time is limited . . .. If you are a home mom you can say that you need to get out more. It works either way.

Jama1868's picture

Thanks for the good advice :)
She doesn't resent my daughter, that's not my concern.
She treats them equally in all ways except in the amount of one on one time she spends with them. She seems to think that the one day a week that she babysits while I am at work counts for one on one time with my daughter since my son is at school. She also says she takes my son more b/c my son & I love each other very much but can't get along(we're to much alike) & she hates to see us argue. I was an only child & I was my Grandmothers favorite. I know how the other cousins in my family resented me for that & I hate to think that my kids may end up resenting each other I just don't really know how to verbalize this to her without her getting he back up!

tamz's picture

Let's face it, people have favorites. Your son came along first and your mother has a fondness for him that is special. I also agree that 6 years old is more fun and less work than babies and toddlers (you said this has been going on all along)... Your daughter has been a baby and that's a lot of work.

As far as your mother spending time with your daughter one-on-one while she is babysitting, that IS one-on-one time. Why do you think it is any less important just because it's scheduled?

I'm glad you let your mom know how you feel becase she is most likely playing favorites and should be careful to recognize the problems this could cause for both your children. I'm certain your mother loves your daughter like crazy, but she just has this fondness for your son that is different,paired with the fact that she thinks HE is the underdog in YOUR home.

Keep good communication with your mom and make sure you both are careful to do what is best for your kids.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

Maybe you can try a girls' day out. Take your mom and your daughter out for a day at the park, a trip to the mall, or even just a nice lunch. The boys can do their own thing that day. You can do this periodically so your daughter won't feel left out. Although I love doing things together as a family, I think it's good to divide the kids once in a while so they can do their own things too. Everyone is different and has his/her own interests, friends, etc. It's important that kids build their own identities. It creates independent thinking and a sense of self worth. Also, being around others, away from a sibling, helps build social relationships. Find something that your daughter likes to do, and spend time together doing it. Your situation is a bit tricky b/c you have a boy and a girl at two different levels. I have 2 boys, 15 mos apart, so finding an activity that they can do together is easier. Still, despite their closeness, I like to see them do their own things as well. Maybe this will help your parents better relate to their grandchildren so that they can divide their time evenly between them, even if it's not together all the time.

acitez's picture

I had this teacher. I thought I was her favorite. Years later, I was talking to some classmates. They each thought that he or she was her favorite. It sounds to me like your mom is spending appropriate time with each child.

Bre's picture

You really need to stress to your mom that she is favoring one grandchild over the other. Apparently, she does not see it that way. Give her examples of how she favors her grandson over her granddaughter. Maybe then she'll realize then.