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A Reader Asks: Should We Have to Share Our Grandson With My Sister?


Question: A Reader Asks: Should We Have to Share Our Grandson With My Sister?

My husband and I have negative feelings toward my childless sister and her husband, who were overjoyed when our first grandson was born--overjoyed to the point that they relate to him like grandparents. I know jealousy is responsible for part of our feelings, but we are partly filled with disbelief that anyone could be so insensitive to the intensity of our grandparent feelings and our need to spend what little quality time we have with our grandson alone and one-on-one.

To make matters worse, we live eight hours away from our grandson, while they are only two hours away and can easily visit back and forth on weekends. I have a close relationship with with my son and a positive one with my daughter-in-law, but they think that this is my problem. Are we being jealous grandparents? (By the way, we also have a great relationship with our grandson!)


Whether you are being jealous grandparents isn't the question. You have these feelings. You may as well own up to them.

I guess the big question is should you take any action about your feelings? I'm assuming from what you say that when you make the 8-hour trip to visit your grandchild, your sister and her husband often include themselves in the festivities. You'd like to have your grandchild all to yourself.

If your son and daughter-in-law say that this is your problem, you'll have to take care of it. I would level with my sister and tell her just what you just told me, doing it in the nicest way possible. Perhaps as time goes on, you'll feel more like sharing your grandson, but in the meantime being open but diplomatic is your best bet for getting more grandson time.

Response From Another Reader: This is a fairly common problem that I hear about from my friends, although it is usually between the two sets of grandparents. The amount of competition and one-upping that I hear about in some families is crazy! Sometimes the grandparents actually count the number of hours that they get to spend with their grandchildren versus the number of hours that the other set gets. And they love to try to outdo each other with gifts, outings, etc. I think it's ridiculous. Thank goodness both sets of my children's grandparents are sensible.

Adapted from a post in the Grandparents Forum. See more questions from readers.

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