What To Do If You Think Your Grandkids Don’t Like You

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Have you ever felt like your grandkids don’t like you? It’s an unpleasant thought, but I am here to say that it is normal and that it probably isn’t even true, as you are grandma, AKA everyone’s favorite person! I know that having someone try to reassure you doesn’t always work, so I hope the following points I make prove it isn’t true because you, grandma, are loved beyond measure!

What to do if you think your infant grandchild doesn’t like you 

Crying baby in a Santa hat
Flickr/Branden Williams

This one will be short and sweet, as you already have kids of your own and know how babies work! While they may cry when you hold them, it is probably because they are hungry, tired, need to be changed, or need a little reassurance from mom or dad. Babies are brand new and just figuring things out – don’t take it personally!

When they are babies, however, it is a great time to begin bonding with them, so when the baby is calm, take the opportunity to hold, soothe, kiss, and cuddle with them as much as possible. 

What to do if you think your toddler or preschool-aged grandchild doesn’t like you 

Little girl in Elsa costume is over it
Flickr/Donnie Ray Jones

Toddlers are strange yet fascinating creatures. On the one hand, they are still so little and baby-like, but on the other hand, they are busy, mischievous, and opinionated. Regarding the latter, toddlers are at the beginning stages of figuring out and regulating their emotions, so expect outbursts, tantrums, and words/phrases that they don’t necessarily mean. 

For example, if your toddler grandchild insists they don’t like grandma, it is probably just them saying they want their mom or dad, or they are lashing out because you didn’t give them their way on something. Don’t take it to heart, grandma, because in the next 5 minutes or so, you will be back to being your grandchild’s best bud.

What to do if you think your elementary-aged grandchild doesn’t like you 

Grumpy granddaughter

There is SO much growing and changing from the time a child enters kindergarten to when they finish 6th grade, and with that comes hormones, big emotions, and a craving for more independence. While just one of these things is hard enough, combining the three can lead to mood swings, isolation, and pure grumpiness. My tip for this age group is to give them space and let them know you’re always here if they need you. You may get some sass or attitude in response that makes you question whether or not they even like you, but don’t take it to heart. 

(Another great rule of thumb is talking to their mom or dad! Express your concerns to them, and they will try to remedy and reassure you to the best of their ability.)

What to do if you think your teenage grandchild doesn’t like you 

Teenage boy from California

Ah, teenagers – you remember being one and raising them, and now your precious grandbaby has transformed into one. Where does the time go? At this age, grandparents feel they are no longer liked by their grandchild due to less communication, a la phone calls or video chats. Teenagers have their own lives, and while you will always be a vital part of it, they will choose their friends and interests more than their family. Hang in there!

Unless your teenage grandchild has flat-out said they don’t like you, there is nothing to worry about. Once again, however, you can consult your grandchild’s parents for reassurance or help fix the situation if needed.

What to do if you think your adult grandchild doesn’t like you 

Woman who is not in a good mood
Flickr/Eduardo Mueses

Just as they were when they were a teenager, your adult grandchild is busier than ever with school, a job, their family, and so on, which pushes extended family further down the list. While bonding can be more difficult when you don’t see or talk to your grandchild as much, you can still send cards and encouraging messages to remind them they are loved and that you are there for them should they need you.

If you do approach them about whether or not there is an issue, and they say there is, it can be a gut punch, BUT it also opens up a dialog that can mend your relationship. If the advice above does not work, I believe having a sit-down conversation can do wonders, especially if it clears up the issue. 

I hope you never have to use this guide for either reassuring or repairing your relationship because I know that having a rift with your grandchild is utterly earth-shattering! Keep in mind that there usually isn’t an issue, and if there is, beginning a dialog could clear things up within minutes. Hang in there, grandma – you are loved, and you’ve got this! 

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