Birthdays and Holidays

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Okiegtr, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. Okiegtr

    Okiegtr New Member

    Hi all, new member here, what a blessing this forum is!

    I am hoping to find some advise on my situation from a perspective that is not emotionally attached to it, as I am. I really need some perspective on how to act on birthdays, holidays, and other dates of significance when your child spends the rest of the time avoiding you. How do you communicate love and the desire to maintain a relationship when an adult child is pulling away?

    Thanks for your advice.
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Let adult child come to you. Play hard to get. Dont, dont, dont be needy or clingy. That will make it worse. Adult child knows you love her. I dont know the back story...maybe he or she met a SO who is trying topull you apart? Or you refused money and now are being punished? Either reason or any reason, clinging and groveling will only make it worse.

    Say hi and smile then go on with your evening and your many other loved ones. If this is very distressful to you, seek therapy. In todays world many adult kids "divorce" their parents. With sky high divorce rates and the ease of moving far away, dumping your family is seen by many as acceptable. in my opinion its a mean thing for our adult kids to do and they know it. But they justify it.

    Take care of yourself. Your adult child can not be forced to have kindness or compassion for you. The best tactic in my opinion is to wait and see how it plays out...without losing your self love or self respect. I adopted a child who was already six years old when we met him, but loved him to death. When he married, he moved on without us at all and never looked back. All my begging and groveling just served to make me look and feel weak and pathetic to him. I do not recommend it.
  3. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I am not sure exactly what you are asking. Are you saying that Difficult Child only shows up when they know they will receive gifts and or money, and then ignore you the rest of the year?

    If that is the case, I would contact them ahead of time, ask if they would like to meet for lunch, give them a nice card, or a token gift certificate, and then if it goes well, maybe increase the visits.

    If they only want to come to your house and get their gifts and leave or be rude, then I wouldn't keep doing that.

    I have three grands that pretty much ignore us, but expect me to do a full meal deal at Christmas, get their cash, and leave. But, I am just the step grandma, so I will continue to do it for my husband.

    But I am glad when holiday season is over. Ksm
  4. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    OK, it sounds, sadly, that at least for now, your child is not interested in having a deeper relationship. It's hard to know why that might be without more of a back story. I think the way you communicate love and an interest in having a better relationship is to reach out now and then.

    If your attempts are rebuffed or ignored, the message is pretty clear. In that case you're only being used for gifts and money or other tangible things. It's hard to let go, but if that keeps happening, you might just send a card or give just a token and leave it at that or do nothing at all.

    I love to give gifts and show my love to my children; however, after being treated very badly by my adult daughter, I decided not to do anything regarding holidays and birthdays. I am unwilling to send the message that she can treat me badly and have me act as though her behavior is acceptable. This has been very difficult to do, but I believe I made the right decision.
  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Like the others, I'm a bit confused. I figure you mean one of two scenarios.

    1) They ignore you but expect to be doted on and given money or gifts on their birthdays and Xmas. Or,
    2) They ignore you including birthdays and Xmas.

    #2 is easier - let them. If you want to continue to show you care, issue an invite to dinner - maybe dinner out so you don't have to put yourself out much - and give them a gift card in a birthday card or Xmas card. (Or just buy them dinner and let that be their gift - after all, why does a grown-up need a birthday or Xmas present? Do they give them to you?) If they don't accept a dinner invite, then just mail them the card with a note expressing love and let it go.

    I'm assuming that there is no large family gathering for Xmas. If there is, invite them, but if they don't show that's on them. Mail them the card and be done.

    As for #1...really it's the same thing, only they expect the invite.

    My own son is now two states away. I text him once in a while, "Hi! Are you alive? :) " Or..."Happy Columbus Day." etc. I don't inquire into how his life is much other than "How are you doing? Hope all is well. Was thinking of you. Love you!" and things like that. I sent him some Xmas money and birthday money, but he was homeless - more or less. I'll likely do it again this Xmas.