When grandparents express favoritism or dislike of a grandchild it can cause self-loathing, hate, fighting, resentment, anger, bitterness, discontentment, disappointment, lack of respect, lack of self-respect and disloyalty.
The emotional scarring can occur not only in a grandchild who is shown disapproval but also in the grandchild who is favored. This may result from comments and rejection as an outcry from the other grandchildren who know what is going on. They may have learned of such favoritism through what their parents have said or have seen gifts bestowed on the favored child.
The grandparents may have spoken highly of whom they like better and they may take the child on outings to the child’s favorite place to eat, the movies, the zoo and so on. They may further exclude other grandchildren by taking trips out of town to visit their favorite if the favorite lives elsewhere and not make the effort to or never make a trip to visit the other grandchildren who live in the same town as the grandparents or in another town.
There are many reasons grandparents may have a favorite such as its their youngest grandchild. Its not always both grandparents set on a favorite sometimes its only one that chooses to display such affections. A grandma may decide to favor the youngest granddaughter and cause the grandpa to respond by acting in favoritism of the child. The grandma’s youngest granddaughter may be the last grandchild and she chooses an expression of favoritism towards the child as a way of feeling young. The grandma may feel it’s her last chance to see her dreams fulfilled through her favored grandchild.
Grandparents can cause distress in teenagers by setting up play dates with the younger favored grandchild. For instance, take the grandma who wants to visit with her daughter who is staying the week but wants her daughter’s child, the favored grandchild, to be entertained. The favored grandchild is under ten and very active.
So what does the grandma do? She calls another granddaughter, who is a teenager, to come over for a visit because her aunt would like to see her. When the granddaughter arrives instead of getting to visit with her aunt the grandma forces the child on her by saying, “Why don’t you visit with your cousin, she’s so excited to see you.” There are suggestions, made by the grandma, of playing cards, dolls, watching television and making a snack to eat.
The teenager may feel undervalued, unappreciated and nothing more than a babysitter especially if its repeated. The grandma may make things worse by using different tricks to con the teenager into coming over as a babysitter.
If grandchildren can see who the favorite is their parents can to. This can cause fighting among brothers and sisters, the grandparent’s kids, usually toward the parents of the favored. The siblings may also express their disapproval to their mom and dad, the grandparents, for their actions.