I am in desperate need of help in the mother-in-law department.
I seem to be constantly apologizing to my two daughters-in-law
for things that I don't know I'm doing. Both of our sons
were raised as Christians but neither one of their wives are. But
both daughters-in-law claim we "crammed Christianity down their
throats." One of them is using our grandchildren as pawns
to hurt us by not allowing us to see them. We spent last
Christmas alone with no family.
husband is working as a foster grandparent at a local school to help
fill the void he has for our grandchildren. I teach vocal
music at school, and that generally keeps me busy, but the quiet
times only bring back to my mind that I have three young
grandchildren whom I will never get to know or love. Can you
please give me some advice on how to bridge the gap? I only
want to love my daughter-in-laws, but with walls between us, it's
I was sad reading that you are not allowed to see your
grandchildren. Do you think your children would let you treat them
(the adults) to a fancy steak dinner somewhere? If so, make it the
very best you can afford, and get a private room if possible.
Encourage them to get the most expensive food on the menu. Then
encourage them to get the most decadent double-chocolate dessert or
everyone is enjoying a final cup of coffee or soda or whatever, have
your husband start by saying something like this, "We just
wanted to ask your forgiveness for (make a list of all of the things
you have done or they THINK you have done). We didn't mean to shove
our Christianity down your throat, and we feel badly that's how it
came out. You don't have to change, or accept us back in your lives
or anything. We just wanted to make sure you knew how badly we feel
about our strained relationship and ask your forgiveness ..."
You will obviously need to fill in the details. After your
husband sets the scene, then you should add your own requests for
specific forgiveness. Do not mention the gandchildren. It's the
adults you need to woo back somehow.
may not change immediately, but at least you have made yourselves
vulnerable and taken care of your part of the problem. Parenting is
not an exact science, and we all make mistakes. If they still shun
you, you'll have to live with it. But my guess is that, in
time, they will soften. And when they do, I think it would
only be automatic that the grandkids would be a part of the
reconciliation. But don't place any expectations on them. Just pray
for them and serve them - without pressure -- in any way they
will let you. Take the entire family on a trip to Disneyland. Take
them for a week at the beach or mountains or camping or whatever.
It's worth a shot. Hopefully asking forgiveness will soften them.
Let me know if you want to talk further.