A post about a person upset at the user’s parents for allegedly “not wanting to spend time” with their grandchildren has gone viral on Mumsnet, the UK-based online forum.
In a post shared on Mumsnet’s Am I Being Unreasonable (AIBU) subforum, where its poll received at least 214 votes, user Grimed asked: “AIBU to feel angry at my parents for not wanting to spend time with my children?”
The user said the parents “barely know” their grandchildren, who will be adults soon. The grandparents see them a couple of times a year and allegedly “show no interest whatsoever.” According to the user, the grandparents never ask after the grandkids or do any phone or video calls with them. “How can I move past this?” the user asked.
A grandparent’s involvement in the grandchildren’s lives can be mutually beneficial, research has shown. A 2018 South Korean study published in the peer-reviewed journal Aging International showed that those who participated in grandparenting “tended to perceive meaning in their lives and to exhibit relatively low levels of stress and depressive mood.”
Neha Vyas, a family medicine physician at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic, said, “We have noticed that grandparents who are involved in grandchildren’s, or surrogate grandchildren’s lives, are more active.
She continued: “They are entering their elderly years without as many aches and pains because they have something that keeps them young and keeps them mobile.”
A study of more than 1,500 children conducted by professor Ann Buchanan at the University of Oxford showed that a high level of involvement by grandparents in the lives of their grandchildren increased the kids’ well-being.
The study, published in April 2010 in the peer-reviewed journal Children & Society, found that children with a high level of grandparent involvement in their lives had fewer emotional and behavioral problems.
The user in the latest Mumsnet post said: “Sometimes I feel like I need to just get over myself and accept them for who they are and just think of it as their loss, but every few years I just get so angry about it, I mean they are great kids!…
“I realize no one asks to be a grandparent and maybe I’m the unreasonable one. I just want [to] know how to make peace with it really,” the user said.
Some Mumsnet users sympathized with the original poster.
User Letsbekindplease said: “That’s so frustrating. Has something happened to make them like this? Have you brought this conversation to them and if so what did they say?”
The original poster replied: “No, they just aren’t kid people, if I brought it up they would likely be defensive though, they are very much in their own little bubble.”
MintJulia said: “Be thankful that you don’t have to waste your family’s time on such self-centered people.”
R11zz said: “My in-laws are just like this. We hardly ever see them. They don’t know my children at all. It’s their loss and it is sad but they have no interest at all.”
User nutellachurro said: “YANBU [you are not being unreasonable] to be hurt by this. Your children will also pick up on it which is the worst part.”
RoutineLow agreed the user wasn’t being unreasonable but “ultimately by holding onto anger you only hurt yourself…you need to find a way to acknowledge that your feelings are valid, acknowledge that you can’t change the way your parents are, and then find some acceptance with the situation.”
TheUsualChaos said: “I would find that really upsetting too OP [original poster]…the way to make your peace with it is to simply make a conscious decision to give up on any hope of them changing. Have no expectations and give very minimal effort back.”
Knittingnanny2 agreed, advising the user to “just have no expectations, they [the grandparents] will never change…everyone is different. I’m immersed in my grandchildren and they enhance my life, I love watching them grow and love playing with them.”
Newsweek was not able to verify the details of this case.
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