web analytics
September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



The Importance Of Grandparents

Respler-072613

Dear Dr. Yael:

Regarding your recent column on in-laws, here are my views on the subject – based on my experiences. I hope they’re helpful.

Both my paternal grandmother and my mother-in-law, despite the substantial achievements of their sons’ children, rejected their sons’ families in favor of their daughters.’

I always think of the Alfred Hitchcock movie, “Psycho,” wherein the grown son so closely identifies with his mother that he is jealous on her behalf of any other woman he finds attractive. He essentially takes on the identity of his mother and becomes murderous.

My experiences with my paternal grandmother and my mother-in-law were similar. They both identified so strongly with their daughters that they became jealous and resentful of their daughters-in-law. They would not attend the weddings and bar mitzvahs of their sons’ children, essentially distancing themselves by being supportive primarily of the daughters’ families. They ignored the accomplishments of the sons’ family members, who attempted to forge relationships with the grandmothers. When visiting these grandmothers, the pictures on the walls would be suddenly changed from full display of the daughter’s family to those of the son’s family. Of course it was always expected that the minute the company left, the wall pictures would return to its original display.

The daughter-in-law must understand that jealousy is at the root of the problem, and it cannot be overcome by confrontation or any similar means. Based on my experience, if you consistently show kindness, the grandmother will, at some point, find a grandchild that she identifies with or wants to take pride in. This allows for your family to be re-introduced into her life. Keep in mind that this may take many, many years to happen – if it happens at all.

In my case, my mother-in-law compared my daughter’s beauty with her own picture as a young adult. This propelled her to show up at her wedding. She did this after refusing to come to two weddings and a bar mitzvah of our children. So take heart: you never know if or when jealousy might be overcome to the extent that the grandparents want to enjoy the nachas of identifying with your family. But don’t push it; that will backfire on you.

Ultimately, if you are aware that jealousy is at the root of the problem, you can take solace that you and your family are doing well. You can thank Hashem for these blessings. I believe that it is far better to be shunned due to jealousy than to be pitied due to ongoing issues. Be careful to avoid arrogance by not extensively discussing the virtues of your family members to those who are prone to jealousy. This can only fuel more envy.

Finally, do not worry about the grandchildren. So long as they have good parental relationships and communication, they will be fine. On the positive side, they will learn that family relationships have complexities that are not always rational or controllable. They will also learn that despite disappointments that they will inevitably experience, respect and kindness to parents and grandparents remain essential qualities that must be practiced. With this knowledge, they are better equipped to understand and react more maturely to future complex relationships.

I hope my thoughts on this issue offer comfort and are helpful.

Dr. C. L. W.

Dear Dr. C.L.W.:

Thank you for your insightful letter regarding your challenging plight.

It is truly painful when grandparents ignore their son’s children. All grandchildren should be treated in an equally loving manner. It is amazing that you were able to process what happened to you and deal with it in the best possible way. While you would not be at fault if you felt hurt and decided to shut out your in-laws, you seem to have taken the high road by continuing to try to form a relationship between them and your children.

The grandchildren will likely be fine, as long as they have good parental relationships and understand that their grandparents’ detachment has nothing to do with them. Nevertheless, it is still their loss, as a good relationship with grandparents can be a treasure and an additional source of self-confidence. It also leads to a positive sense of self.

I implore all grandparents to take a good look at their relationships with their grandchildren and to try to strengthen them – whatever the emotional and physical costs. Grandparents have a special role, as they are generally not burdened by the day-to-day raising of their grandchildren and thus are able to give them undivided attention and love. Grandparents sometimes don’t realize how their love can affect their grandchildren in a positive manner.

The jealousy that a mother-in-law may have toward her daughter-in-law for taking away her son and then successfully creating a beautiful family with him may be an underlying cause for her behavior. This is surely not a rational way to feel, but jealousy is not a rational feeling. Your techniques will likely be effective if this is the case. So if you continue to show kindness and love to someone, the recipient will hopefully be able to eventually overcome his or her jealousy and return those feelings.

Thank you again for sharing your experience and helpful advice. Hatzlachah!

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Importance Of Grandparents”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Gidon Saar Resignation Announcement
Minister Gidon Saar Unexpectedly Announces Resignation
Latest Sections Stories
Ganz-091214-Fifty

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

Goldberg-091214

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

Women's under-trousers, Uzbekistan, early 20th century

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

The interpreter was expected to be a talmid chacham himself and be able to also offer explanations and clarifications to the students.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

“On Sunday I was at the Kotel with the battalion and we said a prayer of thanks. In Gaza there were so many moments of death that I had to thank God that I’m alive. Only then did I realize how frightening it had been there.”

Neglect, indifference or criticism can break a person’s neshama.

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

The assumption of a shared kinship is based on being part of the human race. Life is so much easier to figure out when everyone thinks the same way.

Various other learning opportunities will be offered to the community throughout the year.

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-091214

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

Respler-090514

I recently met a wonderful woman who writes poetry. With her permission, I am sharing a poem she wrote about time.

What can we do to help him stop feeling so sad all the time?

Perhaps you can reach a compromise during this news frenzy, whereby you will feel more comfortable while he can still follow the latest events.

There could be no Jewish-themed books and, as such, the lack of knowledge these boys displayed in regards to many of the topics we read about was clear.

Upon hearing that he did, the owner sent him the atarah – all shiny and new – to be returned to me. I was reunited with my father’s precious gift.

A prominent shadchan recently articulated a dilemma she’s facing.

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/the-importance-of-grandparents/2013/07/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: