Why Am I Not Interested In My Grandchildren? 5 Usual Reasons

Grandparents are often envisioned to dote on their grandchildren whenever they come around. While it’s an adorable stereotype, not all grandparents are like that. A few might not find their grandkids all that interesting, and they might feel upset or bothered by their own indifference.

It’s perfectly fine. There’s nothing wrong with you for not being interested in your grandchildren.

You might not just find your grandchildren interesting to be around. You might feel that they’re just adding to your workload. You could just be quick to tire from their antics.

You might have expected more than you got – which is fine, so long as you don’t hold it against your grandchildren. Or… you might just not be good with kids!

Grandparents might feel guilty for not being invested in their grandchildren’s lives, but there are a lot of valid, rational reasons to explain this detachment – that don’t involve you being a failure. Give us a chance to convince you that there’s nothing to be ashamed of!

You Just Don’t Find Them Interesting

woman thinking deeply

There are people you might meet in life that you just don’t click with. It doesn’t matter how kind, well-spoken, or charismatic they might be – something about them just doesn’t appeal to you.

Family is no exception – I bet you’ve got relatives that are off your Christmas list too!

Sometimes your grandchildren can be part of that less-than-prestigious group. It’s not their fault in the same way it isn’t yours. You can’t force yourself to enjoy someone’s company, and you shouldn’t ever be ashamed of that. It’s really that simple!

What Not to Do

That said, this doesn’t give you the excuse to mistreat them. While you might not find your grandkids all that interesting, you shouldn’t ever make them feel that way. Children can be very impressionable, and a moment’s “honesty” could stick around in their thoughts for years.

Recognize that you don’t find your grandchildren interesting, but never make them feel that it’s a personal failing. You may not enjoy their company, but they deserve better than your judgment.

You Feel Like They Add to Your Responsibilities

little girl ignoring her grandma

Grandparents put in a lot of effort to get where they are in life, working themselves to the bone to care for their children decades ago. They’ve done their share of labor, and deserve a comfy retirement. Alternatively, they might still be swamped with work in high-demand occupations.

You might not be interested in your grandchildren because they represent additional obligations.

Babysitting is always a challenge – especially for new parents. They might have to call in a favor from the only people they know who can deal with energetic children. It might progress to a bit more than an occasional favor, which tends to happen with both parents working.

Grandparents might be expected to pick up the slack here, despite their own responsibilities (or comfortable retirement). Some parents might just leave the child in their care and do what they want, which can lead to some understandable irritation from the elders given the situation.

By the time the parents do come back, there’ll be a lot of frustration and resentment incurred, making future reconciliation difficult to facilitate.

Think of it like turning your hobby into a career. For some people, they’d thrive, while others would lose their enthusiasm for the task. Maybe your grandchild fell into that mental framework due to circumstances, in which case your feelings towards them are completely understandable.

What Not to Do

Just because you don’t find your grandchildren interesting doesn’t mean you’re allowed to make them feel unwanted. If their parents put you on the spot in this situation, talk to them about your misgivings. Don’t drag your grandchild into this interpersonal conflict.

You aren’t obligated to like or enjoy their company, but you’ve still got to care for them. They’re still family – children, no less – and they deserve to be treated decently.

You Feel that They’re Exhausting to be Around

frustrated grandma

It could be that your tolerance for childish antics went down with age.

Children can test anyone’s patience, and maybe you’ve just reached the point in life where you can no longer pretend that you aren’t tired of it.

Constantly dealing with the consequences of your grandchildren’s impulsiveness isn’t just taxing on the mind, but your body as well.

They could be overstepping boundaries and making a mess of the home you painstakingly manage. Maybe they’re being too loud or annoying, and until their parents get home you’re the one in charge of putting up with their chaos.

In short, you might find your grandchildren uninteresting because you’re exhausted in their presence. Once again, how you feel about this is perfectly understandable. Just be mindful not to hold it against them – if you want to tell someone off, save it for their parents!

You Got Disappointed by Your Own Expectations

Your grandchildren may not be all you thought they’d be. You expected otherwise and found that they didn’t measure up to your expectations.

It’s okay. You shouldn’t be ashamed of your own expectations. People tend to have their own assumptions about things, even when they try really hard not to.

Acknowledging these judgments lets you process the feelings they come with. Pretending that they don’t exist, on the other hand, has a habit of cultivating subconscious resentment over time. The last thing you want to do is lash out at someone who doesn’t deserve your anger.

Your grandchildren are still young here – they’re learning on the go from nothing but experience!

You’re allowed to have your own expectations, but you can’t hold them to it. You can guide your grandchildren towards improving, but never fault them for trying and falling short.

A lot of people aren’t comfortable with their own judgments, but acting like they don’t exist won’t make them go away. It’s better to process your feelings – however uncomfortable they might be – and understand how they’re influencing your expectations.

Obviously, don’t ever tell your grandchildren that they’re a disappointment. You can’t ever turn it around in a constructive way. They aren’t who you’d have preferred them to be, but that doesn’t mean you should love them any less for it!

You Might not be Good with Kids (And That’s Alright!)

screaming child in front of her grandma

To put it bluntly, some people aren’t good with kids.

And yes, some of those people are parents.

That doesn’t make them bad caregivers. It just means that they need to work extra hard to give their children the care they deserve, and that can obviously take a toll on a person.

Parents can be great caretakers but struggle with handling children. You might be one of those people who raised a good child but had to work twice as hard for half the results. There’s no shame in being less receptive to undergoing that whole ordeal all over again.

Some grandparents are closer to their grandchildren than their parents are to either. Others drop by once in a blue moon with candy and stories to tell. Others restrict their visits to holidays alone.

Maybe caring for one set of growing rugrats was enough for them…

Recognizing you aren’t the type of person to dote on your grandchildren is a choice – it’s just as valid as choosing to dote on them! Grandparents should act as they see fit. They shouldn’t be worried about trying to fit some preconceived mold of what they “ought” to be.

Don’t let anyone else force you to believe otherwise. Don’t force yourself to be interested, because children can tell when someone is straining to humor them. You might not be interested in your grandchildren, and that’s okay – you don’t plan to love them any less for that, do you?

Final Thoughts

If you aren’t interested in your grandchildren, don’t force it! There’s nothing wrong with not being invested in their lives, but it always helps to unpack why you might be feeling that way.

Care in the ways you find comfortable. You don’t have to like your grandchildren to love them.

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