Grandchild Favoritism

By Doug Mayberry

February 24, 2020 4 min read

Q: I feel bad about it, but I have a favorite grandchild. My wife and I only had one child and didn't have the problem of comparing him with any siblings.

Now he has two children of his own, and I like my granddaughter more than her brother. She's very thoughtful and sweet. My grandson is sweet as well, but he's like a tornado. He creates a little chaos wherever he goes.

What's a grandparent to do?

A: Try your best to treat your grandchildren equally. Picking favorites will prevent you from seeing your other grandchild's unique and wonderful traits.

We all have people who we just click with more than others. Unfortunately, family isn't immune to this. But family favoritism can leave long-lasting resentments and insecurities.

Keep in mind that girls mature faster than boys. Be patient with your grandson. Immaturity doesn't last forever, but it can leave a bad impression.

People change over time, especially when they're young! When it comes to children and teenagers, whoever they are now, they're likely to be very different from in 10 years.

Allowing others room to grow might give you some pleasant surprises. Being a grandparent is great because you get to see your grandchildren grow up without having to deal with all of the ups and downs.

The healthiest families are those who strive to love, include and know one another. — Doug

TO SHARE, OR NOT TO SHARE?

Q: I was feeling very run-down and not quite right, so I went to the doctor earlier this year. Even though I knew there was a problem, the diagnosis was unpleasant. I have prostate cancer. We were lucky to catch it early on. It's very treatable but a major health wake-up call nonetheless.

I don't like talking about my health with my family, but all of my previous problems have been relatively minor.

Do I have to share?

A: Sharing your health diagnosis with the people you're closest to is in your own best interest.

Aside from keeping them in the loop, you will reap the benefits of a strong support network. You don't have to tell everyone, but people will notice that something's going on with you.

When you are undergoing treatment, it's hard to hide it. The healing process takes up a lot of emotional and physical energy, and the people around you will notice. Hiding your health on top of that sounds exhausting.

That said, you get to choose what to share and with whom — it's your health.

Your loved ones will want to help and support you but won't necessarily know how. When people blindly worry without information, they can become intrusive and solicitous. Telling people what's going on and what you need will help them help you.

When your energy is focused on healing, a little help goes a long way.

Healthy communication and boundary establishment will help get you through this. — Emma, Doug's granddaughter

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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