The Floor Is Yours

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By Rebecca Teti


Tuesday: Open Forum

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

This is the Open Forum Coffee Talk. That means ... anything goes. Ask a question, make a suggestion, share a story, offer some advice -- the floor is yours!

Rebecca Teti

Comments

  • My three-year-old routinely tells me she likes her Grandma more than me. She loves Grandma's hugs more, Grandma's stories more, etc. etc. It really hurts and makes me feel less like playing with her, because at bedtime when we talk about her day, she sometimes interrupts with, "No, YOU and I didn't do such-and-such! That was me and Grandma!" when it wasn't. I am feeling really hurt by this and am not sure why it is going on (beyond the obvious: that she sees Grandma once-a-week and LOVES the time they spend one-on-one together; whereas she has to "share" me with the siblings and with her dad + I am not always available for fun and games! Oh, and I discipline her, of course!) But is it normal for kids to talk like this long-term (loving Grandma more)?? And should we cut back on seeing Grandma so she will stop??

    Posted on Feb 26th, 2013 at 2:36 PM by unknown

  • Oh, for the record, I am a stay-at-home mom who has given rewarding career to stay home and raise my kids. I obviously don't expect them to appreciate or understand this, but I say it to underscore that I am with my kids just about 24/7 and don't "outsource" their care anywhere. I figured my three-year-old would be more attached / expressive of love.......

    Posted on Feb 26th, 2013 at 2:38 PM by unknown

  • It sounds pretty normal. My children do that too. I would tell my child that saying that they like Grandma better isn't nice and hurts Mommy, but beyond that, I'd let it go. The thing that I notice about children (including my own) is that the more time the child spends with a person, the less attached they seem to that person. I don't really practice attachment parenting, but I have friends who do, and none of their children ever seem to be anywhere near them as soon as they are big enough to walk away. And, if a child is sitting happily on Mom's lap during Mass, most likely, Mom works outside the home.

    Posted on Feb 26th, 2013 at 3:16 PM by Alice

  • I wouldn't worry too, too much and I definitely wouldn't keep her away from Grandma. I get hurt once in a while because my three year old daughter picks my friend over me if she' s tired and wants to be held. It's okay, though. She wants me the rest of the time. You might read her a story and say something like, "isn't nice to read together, just you and mom!" I would correct her gently if she says she did something with Grandma when she didn't. Mostly I would wait as unemotionally as possible and see if this doesn't go away on its own I'm a SAHM too. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed with the demands of house and four kids that I don't have the one on one time with my kids I wish I had and thought I would have. Sometimes it's good to take just one to Dairy Queen or to the library. Be at peace!

    Posted on Feb 26th, 2013 at 3:22 PM by Kelly

  • I wouldn't worry too, too much and I definitely wouldn't keep her away from Grandma. I get hurt once in a while because my three year old daughter picks my friend over me if she' s tired and wants to be held. It's okay, though. She wants me the rest of the time. You might read her a story and say something like, "isn't nice to read together, just you and mom!" I would correct her gently if she says she did something with Grandma when she didn't. Mostly I would wait as unemotionally as possible and see if this doesn't go away on its own I'm a SAHM too. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed with the demands of house and four kids that I don't have the one on one time with my kids I wish I had and thought I would have. Sometimes it's good to take just one to Dairy Queen or to the library. Be at peace!

    Posted on Feb 26th, 2013 at 3:23 PM by Kelly

  • I had to laugh--my current 3 year old tells everyone who asks (or doesn't ask as the case may be) that anything nice that she likes was given to her by Gram. Gram lives 3,000 miles away and does give nice things but NOT everything. I just roll my eyes and move on . . . I think it is all part of the very active imagination that kids around 3 have. If we talked developmental psyche I think it is more normal to do this then not.

    Posted on Feb 26th, 2013 at 5:27 PM by Lisa

  • My 2.5 year old daughter cries for our neighbor(Shell)when she doesn't want to take a nap or gets in trouble. Doesn't bother me in the least. I am a SAHM also, and I know she needs and loves me. I consider her blessed to have someone else she trusts and who loves her too. I also think its a good thing for kids to develop healthy relationships with other adults who love them. I would never cut back on time with grandma.

    Posted on Feb 26th, 2013 at 7:05 PM by Sarah

  • It's normal for kids to do this but I wouldn't allow her to say hurtful things. My son was 4 when I sent him up to his room for something and on his way up he said "Mommies are stupid" which, being a mean thing to say, is not allowed. Boy did I let him have it. He is now 15 and has never said anything disrespectful to me since that time because he knows severe consequences would follow. Kids feel negative emotions which is normal but they have to learn that they can't lash out at others. There are productive and unproductive ways to express frustration and it's our job as parents to teach them how to handle negative emotions or disagreement is an acceptable fashion. I also agree that this stuff can be a cry for attention. If you determine that she is already getting enough one on one time with you then don't worry about it but don't let her continue to say hurtful things. If you determine she is not getting enough positive attention from you then plan some regular one on one time. But it's your call, you are the parent and you make the rules on behavior, not her.

    Posted on Feb 26th, 2013 at 8:04 PM by Monica (mpmof2)

  • Thanks so much, ladies! I just can't "compete" with Grandma, who has more money, more time (for one-on-one), more energy (since she just sees my daughter one or two afternoons per week and can even take a nap before their outing if she needs!!), etc. I appreciate the encouraging words that my daughter's reaction is normal & that it doesn't mean we'll have a poor relationship our whole lives!!! You have no idea what all ya'll's words mean to me! I just cried and cried yesterday after she told me how much more she loved Grandma... (P.S. ~ Fascinating about the attachment parenting observation! In my own experience, I had a much nicer relationship with my own mom BEFORE she started homeschooling us. After we began homeschooling, I just remember her as crabby, exhausted, and a little bitter at my dad for not "doing as much" in the homeschooling realm. It affected us lifelong, sadly.)

    Posted on Feb 27th, 2013 at 8:45 AM by unknown

  • Continuing on about attachment parenting, my example about the homeschooling was just to say that mom and I had a better relationship when we were not around each other 24/7 & she was not trying to wear mom AND teacher hats. I say this, though, as someone who is homeschooling her own... so I just HOPE not to repeat history here!! This is part of why the loving Grandma more comments hurt so much, I think.

    Posted on Feb 27th, 2013 at 8:47 AM by unknown

  • Oh my goodness unknown, I could have written your post. Except in our house it is Daddy who is always #1. I admit that it hurts at times and can be frustrating when I hear, "Daddy do it!" with my husband all too happy to oblige. But I've found that if I just agree (e.g., "I think Daddy is great too. I love him so much I married him!"- it is the truth after all!) it blows over quickly. It was also a little bit of a wake up call for me in that my son is very sensitive to nuances such as tone of voice, eye contact, etc. I hadn't really realized that I often talked to him while doing something else, let exasperation creep into my voice, etc. Paying more attention to my communications with him has really made a difference.

    Posted on Feb 27th, 2013 at 11:56 AM by Alabama Mom

  • The reason I mentioned Attachment Parenting is that my friends who practice it often mention how independent their children are at such a young age as proof that it's not stunting their kids. I was homeschooled as well and have a very strained relationship with my parents. My sister and I feel like we lost our mom to the teacher and when I try to teach my own preschooler, I find myself losing sight of him as my son and not just another student. I think it's probably my personality since I know other families who don't seem to have this problem. Whatever the case may be, I'm sending my son to Kindergarten next year because a strong family seems preferable to a homeschooling family.

    Posted on Feb 28th, 2013 at 8:44 AM by Alice