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3yr old granddaughter
sadsandra
Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 2:44 PM
Joined: 12/31/2013
Posts: 1347


our 3yr old ggranddaughter is here for the summer she saw her poppop just 45 days ago she was his heart.  Now she won't go to him she says he acts different and is scared. She knows he's sick she was around everyday of her life until we moved .What do you say to a 3yr old
Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 3:35 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16855


Read her Maria Shriver's book, "What's Happening to Grandpa?"

Iris L.

Bjjca
Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 3:42 PM
Joined: 4/29/2013
Posts: 1259


Yes, it's a wonderful book.
Jo C.
Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 5:20 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 11564


While this book is a good one for children who are just a bit older, it will not be easily grasped by a three year old; it is still a bit over their heads.

 

I do not know what sort of behavior is putting your dear little granddaughter off; can you explain a bit more?  When specifically did she begin to exhibit this withdrawal from him?  Was it right from the first moments she was in your house, or was it after she sat on his lap or other such dynamic?  Could he have inadvertently hurt or scared her when she was alone with him?

 

I went back and read your Profile and there are some behavioral elements regarding your husband that seem to be a bit upsetting even for grownups, and little ones are certainly attuned to grown up behaviors even if they do not clearly understand them; I never underestimate their intuitiveness.  Your granddaughter, even though she is so tiny and only three years old, may be picking up some of these dynamics from your husband.  While she may not be able to define this in words, it may be making her feel very uncomfortable and perhaps even a little afraid.

 

When you look at your husband, what do you see "different" about his behavior?  Is he acting out a bit more?  Is he irritable at times, is his hygiene less than positive?  Is he rather threatening in some way, even if it is not directed at the little one?  You have described much about how he presents in your Profile, and I wonder if some of this is coming through?

 

I would suggest that you not force the issue, but let her stay with you.  If she is fearful, I would not force her to sit on his lap, to go and hug him, to leave her in a room alone with him, nor would I continue to encourage her to interact with Grandpa.  I'd let her find her own comfort zone.

 

Personally, I would let her stay by my side as she wishes without saying anything about Grandpa, and if I were in the room with Grandpa, I'd let her sit by me without forcing her to go and interact.  Perhaps, little by little, she will become more comfortable with her Grandfather and how he is now at this point in time. 

 

Perhaps as she becomes more comfortable, she will begin to warm up to him once again.  And also, she is separated from her mother right now for the entire summer; that too can be unsettling to a small child and they may not verbalize it. 

 

By the way, I noticed in your Profile that you mention that your husband has considerably ramped up his cigarette smoking.  That is NOT a good thing for a child, (or anyone); so I hope there is some way this can be curtailed or to have him smoke on a porch or patio so the child is not exposed to the second hand smoke.

 

Here's hoping that little by little this all works out okay.

 

Johanna

 


w/e
Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 6:02 PM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 1751


Sadsandra, She is only three years old and I bet she is super cute!!!

  I never had to explain to a youngster that my husband was sick so I don't know really what to say...

 Your darling granddaughter is very, very little so I think that you CANNOT really 'explain' to her what is wrong with Grandpa in a way that she can understand. She might feel overwhelmed in hearing that her loving Grandpa is sick... I would be extremely careful...She cannot 'comprehend' that her Grandpa has a boo-boo. I don't think that a three year old brain is developed enough for that level of 'reasoning'.... I am not a child psychologist... it is only how I see it. 

   DO NOT underestimate her feelings !!! She intuitively knows that something is not 'right'... so give your darling granddaughter her space, give her time, offer her comfort, give her plenty of reassurance and hugs and kisses... DO NOT leave her alone with your DH, even briefly! Maybe you can involve both of them in family activities: go for a walk together, listen to music, dance, color, play with her dolly and her other toys... Make sure that the time the three of you spend together is pleasurable... and don't get in a battle with your husband in front of her.

I hope you have a lovely time with her... children are sooooo cute at that age!!!


Jo C.
Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 6:47 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 11564


Oh gosh, that brings up some of my favorite memories.  Three years old is my very favorite age.  They are just so awesome!  They believe everything they see and are enchanted by so much.  It is the very best age for Disneyland.

 

I love to read stories to them and play with their doll houses with them, and set up blocks to make garages for tiny cars and make noises and put on music and pretend we are flowers or trees growing, and sing silly songs, and SO much more. And they still cuddle.  And they laugh and laugh and laugh until they fall down when we play kazoos!

 

Oh, boy; now I am really missing having a toddler around!  They have marvelous imaginations, but they tend to take things a bit literally so it makes for interesting times.  Bring on the crayons and my goodness, don't forget the book, "The Gingerbread Man,"  I read until we get to "that" part, then THEY recite; "run, run as fast as you can; you can't catch ME, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"  They get So excited doing that.  I remember one day when three year old Victoria cajoled me into reading that book ten times!  Finally, my tongue was ready to fall out and I had to beg rest.

 

Seems to me, that our little ones are the greatest gift, ever.  They really do put the "wonder" in "wonderful."  I am so humbly grateful for the experience.

 

Johanna


Bjjca
Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 6:48 PM
Joined: 4/29/2013
Posts: 1259


I have a 4-year old granddaughter, a 6-year old grandson, and a 7-year old granddaughter.  When both granddaughters were 6 weeks to three years, we kept them at our home while the parents worked.  My husband loved playing with them, chasing them, playing games, reading books, he took them places and they adored him.  For the past year, he went fast through stage 5 and 6.  He can now hardly walk, can't remember who they are.  He watches them play and is always absently smiling.  They notice their grandfather is off.  Their mothers and I sat down with them and explained that Papaw's brain is sick, he can't remember things, how to play, their names, but he loves them very much.  The older ones seem to "get" it, but the youngest didn't grasp that much.  She will go over to him and say, "sorry you're sick" and pat his hand.  He doesn't know what she is doing, but it seems to make her feel better.  Tell you're granddaughter the truth in 3-year old terms, kids are very intuitive, as long as you're not upset, she'll be ok.  This is just my opinion, I'm sure others have better suggestions.
Teresa99
Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 6:58 PM
Joined: 11/28/2012
Posts: 2225


My almost four grandson does not want to do much with grandpa either.  My dh does not do anything with him.  They are ok when the three of us eat together but that is about it.  TThe grandson is developing a wonderful sense of humor so we tell jokes while we eat.

Teresa99


sadsandra
Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 7:18 PM
Joined: 12/31/2013
Posts: 1347


i tthink some of you hit the nail on the head .He always played with her she was his little princess. Now he doesn't keep himself the way he used to and his communication with her is forced and she's no dummy. As far as leaving him alone with her never she won't allow me too .She knows his brain is sick .he'll leave the room , she'll say poppop is going to shave again.
puppydog
Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 8:31 PM
Joined: 1/9/2013
Posts: 69


 I also have a young granddaughter. I agree with all the wonderful advise. The only thing I would add is that small children tend to view the world as revolving around them- by which i mean - "is it my fault he acts like this towards me now? Did i do something wrong?"

We give lots of reassurance that grandpa loves her very much, but he got sick. She did not do anything to cause it (nor did we), she cannot do anything to fix it (nor can we, but the doctors are trying). 

We encourage her to color pictures to give to him

 She will draw pictures of her and him- and tell us "this is before he got sick." The pictures often give us the best opportunity to "talk". What are you doing in the picture? Can you draw a picture of you and grandpa doing something fun you used to do?" "Is thete anything in the pucture that is scary about grandpa being sick? Etc. 

She talks a litte, or a lot. Just depends. - then bounces off to her next adventure. 

She is grieving too. 

(I will tell you, we do buy some toys/stuffed animals at times and tell her grandpa asked us to get it for her, that he is so sorry he cant play like he used to, so he wanted her to have something she could play with.)


puppydog
Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 8:48 PM
Joined: 1/9/2013
Posts: 69


We also make it ok to be sad.... I tell her sometimes i get sad because he is sick, do you feel sad sometimes? She is only 4, but she will talk about feeling sad...