What would you do if your mother in law played favorites?

Do any other mommas feel like their MIL plays favorites between her grandchildren? How do you deal with it when your child is on the “losing” end? My LO is only 1 yr, so I know he doesn’t understand, but I don’t want him to grow up feeling unloved, and it really upsets me. Any time we point it out to her, she denies it. Any help or advice on how other mommas cope would be greatly appreciated!


How is she playing favorites?

I’ll be following to see replies, struggling with this issue also.


Simple don’t expose him to it he’s your most important job so protect him mentally physically and emotionally


My mil is the same, you may think you are just being sensitive but if you are feeling like that now, it wont get better. What i did was i stopped letting my in laws coming near me and my son. I concentrated on people who really loves and appreciate us. i explain it clearly to my son that we dont need to hate them but we dont need their bs. I dont want my son near anyone where he needs to compete with anyones attention to like and to love him. We will only get abuse and taken advantage that is so toxic. It has been 3 years since we last saw them. it’s the best thing that ever happened to us.

Keep an eye open. Some grandmas are better when kids are older.

Then she shouldnt see any of them.

My ex mil did this between the grandchildren. She favored my ex’s two boys over his daughter or our son. She also played favorites between her other son’s children as well. I knew it would happen, I watched her play favorites before we were even married…so when it happened I wasn’t shocked. Luckily, my parents are the bomb so they lose out none

My family did this. They are no longer in my kids’ lives or mine.

I just keep my kids away :woman_shrugging:

I actually feel bad becoz my mom favours my kids over her other grankids

Cut ties with granny :woman_shrugging:t3:


Could be that she is only comfortable with older kids. It’s hard to tell. There isn’t much information in the post.

I am going threw the same thing I am no longer going to let them be apart of my sons life it’s what’s for the best


My MIL does the same thing with my oldest niece. She would always favor her, and still does. She does it right in front of me when it comes to my daughter and younger niece. Me and my SIL repeatedly tell her this, but it doesn’t change a thing. I’d say it’s because she’s her oldest grandchild, but saying so would be enabling her to continue to do so. There’s really no excuse for it. I’m sorry you’re going through it too.

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I dealt with this for 12 years, my children are still dealing with this. The oldest(14) can’t stand either of the grandparents. They barely see them, the youngest(12 and the only boy grandchild) is starting to feel the same. Trust me when I say, your child isn’t missing out, the adults( who are assholes who should know better) are the real ones who are missing out all the love a child can give.

Can you give some examples? Are there big age differences? Maybe she’s not as comfortable with little ones? Not enough info really. If it does start affecting your kid I’d cut ties if needed

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My MIL does this… she favours her daughter’s kids over her 3 son’s kids… we cut contact as did her 2 other sons families


We had to deal with this with my FIL… he treated our kids differently than my SIL kids. So we removed ourselves and our kids from his life to an extent.


She has you and your husband. If you don’t start showing her that and speak of it in front of your child she will never notice a difference

She does this already…she is bold and not shy to speak her mind…idc what anyone says…i made her cry…just like what she did to my baby her granddaughter…idgaf who it is nobody disrespects me and my children …she knows i dont like Her…she dont like me or my kids …she shouldnt be a mean old grouch to my kids…i put up with her long enough of saying things to me…she can say what she wants to me just not to my kids…i found their dad at his moms…and thats where i left him…to this day he still lives with her smfh…he made his choice…so i made mine

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My mil don’t even know my kids birthdays. She don’t call, visit or attempt to contact them in any way. I was tired of seeing them hurt. I cut ties haven’t seen or spoken in almost 4 years.

She stops seeing your child until he can be treated equally.

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Ugh I remember pointing out to my MIL that she favores my step son and she had the nerve to tell me “oh, well his mom and dad aren’t together” I told her that’s not my fault, and she called me childish! I was SO PISSED!!! I deleted and blocked her and her side of the family on my social media for YEARS! I felt SO bad for my daughter at the time she started noticing the favoritism… My MIL worked in the SAME town we lived in, we were even on her way home from work and never once stopped by to visit my kids unless to drop gifts off and leave. I always felt she did that to buy my kid’s love and that too pissed me off. BUT she would always go out of her way to drive to another town where my step son lived and picked him up for the weekends ALL THE TIME! It took YEARS AND YEARS to let her back onto social media because I didn’t want her seeing pictures of my kid’s what so ever! Then one day I decided to stop holding a grudge because my kids missed their grandma even though I still didn’t want her in their lives because she ALWAYS favored my step son, but I had to put that shit aside because it really isn’t about me, it’s about my kid’s and if they want to see their grandma even though I wanted nothing to do with her, they did… I am still stand offish with my MIL. I mean my daughter is now at the age where she has a phone and my MIL has her number but doesn’t text or call to see how her day is. To me it’s like what is the point in even having her number in the first place?

We stopped speaking to her :woman_shrugging:
My hubby has 2 children with his Ex and 3 with me she favours the children he has with his ex and mine didnt get a look In they dont need them or that kinda relationship in their lives xx xx


It is harder when it is your own Mother. But cut ties.I love my daughter.

My in laws do this with our child. I don’t involve her anymore. As my child grew up he started noticing what I had seen for years. I just could not let anyone break his heart. Mom’s protect their children, even if it is from family.

I dont visit her. I hardly talk to her. I dont need them if that’s how it is.

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My Nana has favored my cousins over my siblings and I. It irked me when I was younger, but now I’ve just learned that there’s no point on going out of my way to be involved, because now she favors my cousin’s children over mine. It’s her loss.

Cut her off. My mother in law plays favorites with my brother in law’s son and her new husband’s grandchildren vs my daughter. She hates me so it’s like she takes it out on my daughter. I can’t stand her either and honestly it’s better my daughter isnt even around her cause I don’t need her growing up around her feeling not as loved or wanted.

My MIL had 13 grandchildren…some she was closer with than others. Two of her daughters lived with her when they had children…these children were closer to their grandmother than, say my children (her oldest son’s children), who saw her once a month or so. She knew the other grandchildren better and knew what the liked and what they were “into” as they grew. It never bothered me because my children had my parents to offset any distance or favoritism they may have felt from my MIL.


I try to spend time with each of my grandchildren individually so that no one feels left out or favorite. Only one of my grandchildren lives out of state but I’ve been to every school play, graduation etc. I don’t get why as grandparents we do this.


She can be the grandma you never really see. Also don’t do any events where the favorites and your child/ren can see the favoritism in gifts.

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Mine played favorites with just the youngest I stopped him from going over told their dad eiether she spends time with all or none

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Mine plays favorites between my kids and the dogs lol. She will flip out if my kids are a bit rough with the dogs.

I wouldn’t even bother with her. My mil refused to even acknowledge our kids for almost 3 years, they just had their birthdays not one card or phone call. We’ve seen them twice in them once maybe twice in the last year. They regularly see his sister and her baby. My other half has had enough of trying to build a relationship and her not bothering. It’s not like she even forgot our kids birthdays she asked me when they were in a message and I told her they’re exactly a week apart and her birthday is in the middle. :woman_shrugging:. We don’t need people like that in our lives, it’s sad for my oh that his mother don’t give a care in the world about us but I think he’s known that for a while now and it is what it is, he has us and my family and we all love him.

My MIL does not get to be involved in our kids lives because of this. It’s sad. Humblingly sad. Tragically sad. But she chose to be on the side of the fence she’s on. :woman_shrugging::v:

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I think that it’s okay to bond with one child more than the rest. My parents treat all our kids equal. My dad always takes my daughter to run errands. She’s the only girl in that age group and the boys usually are more concerned playing video games. She is always caring for grandpa. I think that’s ok. Blatant favoritism or exclusion is not ok and I would simply not come around as much. You can’t force someone to like your kid nor would I want to force my child on anyone. Kids will see it in their own.

We were in the same boat. We just didn’t go around as often, may be once a year if that. And we lived in the same town a few blocks apart.

Play the game back, but show her how it’s done right

Stop going around her now and he’ll never be disappointed by her. You can’t change how she is, but you can make sure your kid is never let down.

My step daughter is the “favorite” and our daughter together is the one forgotten. I used to let it bother me but now I realize the only people losing out is the in-laws. We don’t ask them to come around anymore and we don’t willingly engage regarding our daughter. She knows no different and is well loved beyond measure. I will never force my children to love those that can’t reciprocate. Since my husband and I have accepted that, it’s been easier emotionally to deal with.


Cut her off before it hurts him and he grows up wondering why.

Yep. Never calls or see or even asks about my boys, but her fb is all about her other ones…fuck her idc. The kids haven’t seen them since last Thanksgiving, and they live ten mins away.

Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about it until it becomes a problem with the little one. It could be years before she notices. Really, is it hurting anyone? Only causing grief and resentment between the adults. I have been there and trust me, you have a long road. But thats my 2 cents. Good luck!

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Used to let myself get upset. Now just ignore it. It will really drain you being upset over it. Your child has and will have plenty of people who love them.


She won’t change walk before it ruins your kids and your family. No kid should be made to feel less of the family because in my experience it fucking sucks and you can’t take that hurt away or fix it Unfortunately if you decide to try you will end up picking up the pieces wishing you hadn’t let your kids be hurt!

THEY are the ones missing out on precious moments with your child, your child isn’t missing out on them! I wouldn’t want to be around anyone that doesn’t care to be a part of my child’s life✌️

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My mother in law did the same to my kids .when they were old enough to understand they didnt go around as much so she lost out in the end .

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First of all, having been accused , I know personally how much it hurts. I also know how badly my parents felt when my SIL accused them of playing favorites. It was thee only time I witnessed my aging father cry . Both accusations were totally unfounded. Do not, I repeat , do not confront your MIL without discussing it with your husband. My father cried because while my SIL was ripping their hearts out , my brother was listening and stood behind his wife. My father cried for his relationship with his son. I will never, ever forgive either one.


My children are grown and my in laws played favorites a lot. My kids knew they were loved, because we loved them and took care of them. Now, as adults, they have no relationships with their grandparents. I think the in-laws lost out, because they are really good kids to know. But I was not going to force my children to be a part of their lives, if they were not going to treat them fairly.


First off it tends to happen in a lot of families. For now give it some time being that your child is little. If things don’t Change or if it gets worse then you can just stop letting him be around her. Instead surrounded your kid with love and people who show him love. Once you stop bringing him around mother in law she might get a clue. It isn’t always easy, but sometimes you have to cut out family who are a negative in your life. Both my parents and in laws seem to have their favorites although neither of them realize how much they favor one child’s family over the other. We just put up with it because it wasn’t that bad. They never bought things or did more for them or anything like that. It really depends on how bad the situation is.


My grandmother did this with her great grand children. I honestly ignored it. I acted like it didn’t matter and my daughter didn’t even think twice about it. My gran is 80 and can’t handle more than one kid at a time. My niece, the first born great grand child, was always spending the weekend over at grans and so when I called to see if my kiddo could, the answer was no. Until they moved out of state and she felt guilty for favoring one over the other.

I used to cry. We’d go for Easter and her daughter’s kids would have baskets made up with their names on them and my kids would get brown paper bags for their Church Easter egg hunt. I would show up with gifts for all of the kids and my SIL gave my kids cookies out of her pantry. We called my FIL on his bday to wish him a hbd on speaker one of my sons said how’s your day. He said good, all of my grandchildren are here. My son said no their not. Then cried when he hung up the phone. I tried so hard to be a part of their lives. I left my mother on my first mother’s to go visit my MIL with the baby. It was dinner time and we were told we couldn’t stay b/c there wasn’t enough food. Through the years it just makes me bitter towards them and I don’t bend over backwards anymore to try and have a relationship. I just don’t bother.

My MIL does it to my kids. Favors my daughter over my son. Okay… favored…my son started to notice among other things, and unfortunately, she is no longer in either of their lives. It’s awful trying to explain that stuff for almost a year.

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Do not put up with that. My grandparents did that to me and my sister. I was the favorite and it hurt my sister so bad. We are both in our 50’s now but the hurt is still there. I really wish my parents had stopped them from doing that. My sister got treated terribly. And everyone seen it but did nothing


Film the interactions your MIL has with the kids and have her view it. Get your MIL’s advice on how to help her correct it. If she still doesn’t think there’s a problem, then keep your daughter out of EMOTIONAL HARMS WAY. First, protect your daughter.

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My daughter has 4 children. HER MIL and FIL always favored my son- laws brothers kids. They were all around the same age. My daughter tried for a better part of 10 yrs trying to get her in-laws to notice her kids and treat them the same as the others. Never happened. I think my daughter had too many RULES and the other SIL gave her husband’s parents free reign. So of coarse they found it easier to deal with the other DIL. My daughters kids are now 17, 16, 14 & 11 and they are not that close to the other grandparents but they do see them occasionally. The kids and I are extremely close, so they know they are adored by me. But I must say that my daughter was not easy to please when the kids were little and I believe that affected the way the other grandparents acted. Thats how I seen it !

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I can relate, my boyfriend has a son of a previous relationship and we have a daughter together and is obvious the difference on how my MIL cares about her grandson but not my daughter. It hurts but my daughter has enough love at home and a awesome grandma (my mom) so I really don’t think she needs anything from my MIL.


My two girls knew from an early age that they were not liked at his parent’s home and they preferred to go to my parent’s home. I knew it but wanted them to see both familys. Should have not gone zround his so much Nd let him go when his dad insisted he come to help him do work on their 5 acre farm home.

This is my constant struggle my MIL has shown preference for my oldest to the point that my now seven year doesn’t want to go visit unless it’s a solo trip. Now my MIL is crying cause her grandbaby doesn’t want to go visit. I warned her eventually my little one would notice now she reaps what she sowed

My MIL did that for a few years. When we moved out of state, she understood her errors. She learned she couldn’t do that but it was too late.

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My MIL totally does between the 4 my son gets the short end everytime and it pisses me off …luckily my son is 6 and still hasn’t noticed but we sure do. And now we moved so far away thag the kids aren’t ever together at the same time now


As a grandma I can tell you that I love all my grandkids the same but I bonded differently with each of them.


Ignore it as much as possible. He’ll come to his own conclusions in time and she’ll be the one who loses out, not him. :slight_smile:

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How old are the other grandchildren? That makes a difference. Also how is your relationship with your MIL?.. if you don’t make her feel welcome then she won’t be.


If she is loving and spends time with your son, his Gramma, he is NOT on the losing end.

All you can do is tell them how you or your children feel. Sometimes it helps,sometimes it does not.

You can always act like she doesn’t exist :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Don’t force it. Limit time with that side. Don’t let your kids feel left out

My grandmother acted as if I didn’t exist even when I was in her face for holidays etc may she rip ( her son died in December I was born in January she never liked me at all it took to the third grand child came around for her to have a Christmas tree at her house . So my 2nd cousin is 30 something my 3rd cousin killed her self may she rip at 24 .
I’m 43 . So at her house for around 13 years no tree. Nobody told me my grandma was dying found out on messenger from my aunt after the fact …
So me and my 2 Nd cousin never had grandma love but when Amanda came she was the best grandma ever !

My MIL did this to my oldest (her step-grandchild). One Christmas she got the other 2(one my daughter and one my niece) girls the same Littelest Pet Shop toy. It was one of the huge stores with tons of animals. My oldest who had really wanted this, got a $20 dinosaur set. She was heartbroken. I got my children and their stuff together, pulled her aside and told her why we were leaving and left. The next day there was the same toy on our doorstep. I didn’t expect her to get another toy. But I also would never want my daughter hurt like that again.

My mom did this with my kids. Always asked for the girls but not my son. He has adhd and was a handful. I finally told her that I would bring him and a cake mix or brownies for them to make. So after 20 mins they would go in the oven. I would pick him up and drop off my girls. After an hour or so I go back and get them and desert for dinner. It worked!

The statement is very vague and without examples of exactly what the difference is I can not comment specifically.
But grandparents have their own parenting style raising their own, and you need to know the amount of bonding time and the age of your child will have differences as to how they will interact with children. There are going to be things they can do with a 3 year old that they cant with a 1 year old.
To be honest, you should just try to be the best parent you can be, than worrying about grandparents relationships with your child.

I agree my mil do the same my son is 3 he don’t know but it hurt my feel get so mad at my husband because what his mom do

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Mine favoured and the youngest sons children
My kids were secure enough for it not to matter but they knew.
Therefore they didn’t have much of a relationship with my kids…that’s their loss.

Take time with and make priority family and friends that make that time and take the effort with you. If you take away the power by not allowing it to effect you guys and just focus your time and energy on being a strong unit yourselves that MIL will be begging for time. And that means not talking crap to your husband about her, not letting it drive wedges and not giving it attention. You can’t change her or make her do anything. She has to realize it on her own. And being nice and not changing your treatment of her because you’re mad actually makes you more in charge of the situation. And it helps the kids not feel and see your view so they can have their own. Keep inviting and including but no need to beg.

My ex MIL didn’t show favorites with any of her grandchildren. She was stand offish to all of them.

My kids hardly know their paternal grandmother. My 4 year old has only seen her once when he was a baby. I don’t force the issue. Her loss. My kids don’t really know their dads family at all. Last year they got my daughter stuff for Christmas but not my 4 year old. They have the same father. That WILL NOT happen again!

Relay the issue with the MIL one more time and warn that it will not be acceptable. My boys are now 22 and 23, their dads family did it and my boys want nothing to do with that side of the family. When biological dad died my boys did not want to even go to the funeral due to these issues. This is seen and felt by the kids…stop them immediately. You are the parent, put your foot down.

My mom has her favorites me and my kids are not one of them we just stay away her loss

I dont think it really matters. Sometimes it just works out that way.

Don’t put up with it. If talking doesn’t work start distancing.

Yes it happens alot in our family. My mom(aunt adopted me when I was younger)(bio mom only spread her legs to have me and won’t talk to me even now that I’m in my 30’s and she hasn’t met my daughter and only met my son once)she does everything with my children!! My husbands dad lives in Utah and was just here last week visiting and was going to stay with us but decided to stay with his ex wife so he could spend every day with his other grandchild. My husbands mom lives in Florida and she only has anything to do with them if we visit her.
My bio dad and step mom, we only see them on the holidays. And my children already know that for their birthdays they get $100 from them and then a bunch of nice things at christmas…so they know who their favorite grandparent is. The one that spends the most time with them…
I explain things to my kids all the time so they understand, so you will just have to do the same thing and make sure that you and your significant other are there for them and will always be there for them when their grandparents won’t be

Live your own life my MIL took the other grandkids to Disney…oh well her loss … i took my kids !!

Yes definitely. Not just Grandparents. Famiky members in general.

Yep my three don’t mean crap to her unless she needs something from them.

My mother in law has 8 grandchildren… my 3 are not her favorite… she favors her daughters kids and her other sons (they were the first grand daughter and grandson)… my father in law doesnt play favorites and since he knows how his wife is doesnt allow her to do birthday or holiday shopping alone to make sure it is all fair…

In the long run it will be her loss… the kids pick up on it and it usually doesn’t bother them… it at least doesnt bother my oldest 2(9 and 7) my baby isnt a year yet so she doesnt understand… I also give them lots of love and so does those around us…

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We stopped seeing her because of it

Get them out of her life!

well my mother in law is not a fan of me… I was worried she would not love my baby. my mother told me the baby will get all the love he needs from her and Me. so there… love your child extra…

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Don’t bother forcing a relationship…

My partners mom favours her daughters kids over my step daughter but that’s because his ex wife took him away from his family they never saw them it was all about her family his brother had one with a woman exactly the same where as me I could never imagine not wanting your kids to have an amazing bond with all there grandparents but yeah naturally they will lean favour the ones they see more even if they don’t do it intentionally it’s because they have a stronger bond with the ones they see and spend time with regularly xx

I personally just ignore the ones that don’t acknowledge our babies. Our kids get more than enough love from my side screw his side :woman_shrugging:


Each relationship is different, because each child is different end the children’s parents are different. That’s just the facts of life.
How I wish my youngest would be able to know at least one grandparent in any fashion. She will never ever know the love of a grandparent. The only one that was left when she was born didnt recognize anything or anyone and only mumbled when she spoke. She was her bound and didn’t even realize this was her new granddaughter. And she died when my daughter was too young to remember her. Thank God for any love you can get from any of their grandparents. Not all kids have them.

I am the grandmother of 2 my oldest daughter has a boy my younger daughter has a girl. I adore them both ,but right now I do do more for the grandson as his mom is a single mother struggling to pay bills. If he needs clothes I get them. If they need food I get that. My younger daughter is married and they both have jobs so are more financially stable. I still buy for them and the baby just not as much and not as often .The grandson is 5 ,granddaughter is 4 months .I also don’t do extra in front of the other family, only done privately. Holidays they will receive equal gifts


Mine does play favorites. Her 2nd grandson is her favorite. Her and my son, her 1st grandson, were really close until the other one came along. She pushes them aside as they become teenagers and dont really need her anymore. All the grandkids see it but you cant tell her that.

My dad had a favorite out of the 3 grandkids, but we all accepted it even the other 2 kids. The other 2 certainly did not feel unloved at all.

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