Valued Contributor
Posts: 880
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

Re: My granddaughter ..please help...

It is so hard to answer as every situation is different.  I agree with the posters who say to get down on their level.  I am blessed to live only a little over an hour from my grands and see them often.  From day one I have always "played" with them.  We always enjoy our time together.  At their house we play or go to the park and my house we swim or bake.  I refuse to do the "buy a gift" strategy.  Do I ever buy them things, on occasion but I tell them every time we go to the store you don't get a gift.  If they do something extra special, like care for my cat when we went away their payment was a trip to the store to get a special gift but it was payment for a job well done. They now ask for me to chaperone field trips if mom can't make it!  Not my favorite thing but if they want me to I would never let them know that.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,844
Registered: ‎09-01-2010

Re: My granddaughter ..please help...

[ Edited ]

From what I’ve seen, every grandparent wants that “excited to see me” reaction from their grandchildren.  My maternal grandparents certainly did, and they were willing to buy our attention.   


My most special time spent with my Papaw was sitting on his lap with the Christmas catalog and pointing out all the things I liked - -not wanted, just liked.   With Mamaw, our special time was spent looking thru her jewelry box, and her cutting paper dolls for me from the Sunday comics.   I have all of her jewelry, as well as the last paper dolls she cut out for me in 1971.    


Please do not buy your grandchild’s attention, earn it by finding something to bond over, and you will capture her heart forever.  

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,513
Registered: ‎10-27-2010

Re: My granddaughter ..please help...

The parents can insist on politeness, but they cannot make a child like you. It’s no one’s fault. All you can do is spend more time with the child but don’t try too hard or force it, because that can backfire. 

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,082
Registered: ‎06-03-2018

Re: My granddaughter ..please help...

anything you can do for some one on one time with her might help. I think kids just want your attention and want to feel special. And tell her how you feel about her too and hopefully she will start to open up. Maybe she just needs a little extra love. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,401
Registered: ‎08-20-2012

Re: My granddaughter ..please help...

My granddaughters and I were so close when they were that age. I truly wish that for you. What drew them in was arts and crafts. We colored and painted. Many different projects. The youngest just smeared purple over her paper and said Nana I’m done. Always told her good job. She went in the family room and played with Lincoln Logs. Would love to relive one of those days. You will find a way I just know it. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 31,240
Registered: ‎05-10-2010

Re: My granddaughter ..please help...

I think her parents are handling it like she's 9 or 10 and it's a bad manners problem.  She's only 5 and that fact that when you get to spend TIME with her at a family function or event, she warms up to you and has fun with you, is a very good thing.  There is a connection but you haven't developed a bond.  You do that by spending one on one time with her on a regular basis.  It doesn't have to be a whole lot of time, my friend 3 & 4 year old grandsons out to breakfast every Saturday morning.  The boys prefer McDonald's and on the way home, she takes scenic route and the sing along to silly songs on the radio.  It's "their special time" with her.  She isn't being unkind or rude at all, she's being a 5 year old.  If you don't live close enough to spend quality time with her, Skype.  Arrange a regular time when you can chat with her, hear about her friends and sing songs.  She can tell you what's bothering her.  As grandparents, we have to put some time effort into bonding with our grandchildren.  Just as we do with any other relationship.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,637
Registered: ‎07-15-2016

Re: My granddaughter ..please help...

[ Edited ]

Disclaimer:  I don't have any children, but I once spent an entire year as a five-year-old.



I would let the child trust her instincts and not force her to "be nice" to anyone.   

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,258
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: My granddaughter ..please help...



I've only read a few replies, so pardon if I'm repeating suggestions others have made.


Our granddaughter is an only as well and is 5, entering Kindergarten the second week in September, so our granddaughters are much the same age and at the same stage in life.


From the get-go, my husband and I have made it a point to be "a part of her life."  Since she was in infant, we've had her over several days a week.  Now that she's been in pre-school, we pick her up 2-3 days per week.  Our living room, which is rather more like a great room, looks more like a playroom.  LOL!  Leela and I bake together.  Just 2 days ago, because it was so hot outside, I told my husband we should do Easter Eggs with her, because she love making them and she LOVES hard boiled eggs.  So, she was really surprised to find out she was going to be able to do one of her most favorite things.  Plus, I got out my set of painting brushes and palette, placing drops of color in each depression, and she hand painted a few eggs, too.  Then we went swimming in the pool for 2 hours.  Then she wanted to watch Paw Patrol, which we limit to 30 minutes.


On other occasions, she'll want to spend the entire time building with LEGOs, as she has an incredible engineering mind.  I'll always interrupt with snacks and stuff, and, we always do go to the pool during the summer.


My point here is that one fosters lasting relationships with our wee ones through lots of planning and follow-through.  It just doesn't happen by magic.  And, through all of these experiences in her 5+ years, we've come to know our Leela, why she does the things she does, why she thinks the way she does, etc.  I know her just as well as I know her Mom, my daughter, or nearly so.


I would bet money on spending more one-on-one with your granddaughter would equate to a change in the dynamic between the two of you.  Remember:  time is of the essence, as it doesn't stand still.  I'd work out a plan soon, sit down with your daughter and SIL, letting them know of your desire to spend more time with your granddaughter.


Wishing you success.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,516
Registered: ‎03-26-2010

Re: My granddaughter ..please help...

If you don’t see her often this is fairly normal...she may be shy, I don’t think forcing her will help it may hurt....the only way to remedy this is to spend more time with her.

Take time every day to enjoy where you are without a need to fix it
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎01-23-2015

Re: My granddaughter ..please help...

Thanks for all the responses to my request for help with my sweet granddaughter...Things have improved...spent a lovely time with her today...When I arrived she was smiling but said she "was feeling a little shy" so I played with the pets for a bit and then began interacting with her....much improved. I did talk with her parents, too. It'll be fine....she starts kindergarten on Tuesday...excited for her but it means less time with her...all part of life, yes? Thanks again....