web analytics
August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



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
A house sustained a direct hit Thursday, August 21, 2014 in a shelling barrage from Gaza. Miraculously, no one was home.
1 Israeli Wounded in Eshkol Rocket Barrage
Latest Sections Stories
(L-R) Rabbis Tzvi Mandel, Akiva Stolper, Meir Borovetz, Yochanan Ivri and Shlomo Rizel. (Not shown: Rabbi Shmaya Modes.)

A CPE class at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn was tailor made for Orthodox participants.

Lewis-081514-Anna-Ticho

“I didn’t choose the landscape; it chose me.”

Astaire-081514

Woe to us that we have to be put to death like common heathen and murderers!

The world sees the hand of God through us, and does not like it.

The Rebbetzin began campaigning to increase public awareness of the importance of saying Amen.

Some educators today believe that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder falls into an executive function category.

It’s ironic that the reality of death is often the greatest force steering the affirmation of life.

The theme of the event was “Together Let us Rebuild our Holy Beis HaMikdash on Tisha B’Av.”

Chaya Aydel Seminary has already established a close connection with France’s Jewish community.

All attendees left with fervent wishes for a swift and lasting peace in Israel.

How can awareness evolve from exploding stars?

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-081514

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.

Respler-080814

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.

My teachers like me and they tell my parents that I am a great girl with good middos.

Some yeshivish couples do not believe in going out with other couples, but that does not mean that the women cannot have social lives.

In my experience, modern schools tend to be more open-minded toward other flavors of Judaism.

I was called to the principal’s office and shown a picture my daughter had drawn.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: