"I don't like how Grandpa hugs me"

  1. I'd like to hear some advice about how you'd handle this situation.

    My FIL is in his 80's, lives nearby and has a ton of grandchildren who also live nearby. One of my nieces, about age 16, used to visit him regularly but stopped because she said "I don't like the way Grandpa hugs me." He does like to be affectionate with his grandchildren and he is especially fond of his granddaughters. I've seen him with them and it never seemed lewd or inappropriate to me. My other niece, who is the same age, recently lost her father and it's nice to see them side by side, with him holding her hand or having his arm around her etc. But this niece doesn't like it. She says her own father is not physical with her like this so she's not used to it. It's awkward for her to tell her grandfather where her limits are (and he would probably be hurt/offended if she did) so she chose to just stop visiting.

    Is it better to just respect her need for her grandfather to be "hands off" with her, and if she chooses not to visit anymore so be it? Or should someone have a talk with her and explain that he lives alone and he needs physical contact? I remember as a teenager going to visit old folks homes and I would let them do things that I might have otherwise felt uncomfortable with (not too extreme of course, but let's say a simple hug and kiss) because I understood their need.
    •  
  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Dear Abby or Margo had something like this not too long ago. Let me see if i can find it.
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
  5. by   JeanettePNP
    Thanks. I don't think he's quite that aggressive but maybe that's how she perceives it. I think I'll let this one go.
  6. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Is it better to just respect her need for her grandfather to be "hands off" with her, and if she chooses not to visit anymore so be it? Or should someone have a talk with her and explain that he lives alone and he needs physical contact?
    Maybe some sort of compromise? Maybe part of the reason she doesn't like the hugs is because she feels trapped, like if she wanted to step back, she couldn't.

    I don't think she should do something that she's clearly uncomfortable doing, though.
  7. by   CHATSDALE
    neice not visiting is a good solution...she needs to do what works for her
  8. by   txspadequeenRN
    This is so very sad. I would give anything to have one more hug from my grandpa.
  9. by   CritterLover
    Quote from txspadequeen921
    this is so very sad. i would give anything to have one more hug from my grandpa.
    :yeahthat:


    i don't know if it that glass of wine i had with dinner or what, but this has me on the verge of tears.

    i would so love to have one more hug from my grandfather, wo died when i was 10.

    do you think you could talk to her about it? to me, wore than not wanting to hug him, is that she isn't even visiting him. i can't imagine living near my grandfather and not wanting to see him.

    i agree with the other that she shouldn't be forced to see him if she doesn't want to, but i can't help but thinking she'll regret it.
  10. by   TazziRN
    Waitaminnit, guys.....I know it's sad to think about a lonely grandpa who wants to hug his grandkids, but what about the girl??? What about her boundaries? I agree that it's sad to stop all visits as a way of handling this, but what about the girl's mother talking to him (or the OP, if the mother is not a good choice) about how she just doesn't like to be hugged? Bring it across as she doesn't like to be hugged by anyone, not just Grandpa.
  11. by   JeanettePNP
    It's better not to bring it up with him... he'll just take it personally and rant about it and nothing will be accomplished. This came up in a conversation with SIL (not this niece's mother) about how we need to get organized and make sure Grandpa gets a visit with a child or grandchild every day. There really are enough of us without niece and she shouldn't be bearing the entire responsibility of making sure Grandpa has regular company.
  12. by   TazziRN
    I didn't mean she should be responsible for visiting, I mean that she shouldn't have to stay away completely. Can she visit with other family members and just stay in the background? If yes, problem solved. Or at least bearable.
  13. by   JeanettePNP
    Yes, I understand what you meant.
    It's sad because I understand both of them... she shouldnt' have to put up with touching she's not comfortable with, but I do understand his need for physical contact. Fortunately my kids are very cuddly and don't wriggle away when he tries to hug them... He visits us one day a week but we worry about the other six days.

    Thanks for the input, everyone.
  14. by   live4today
    Respect a child's right not to be hugged if they are uncomfortable with being hugged, or feel eerie when hugged by someone...doesn't matter if the person is a relative or not. Never force affection of a child onto someone else! If Gramps needs daily physical contact, let the adults who feel he needs this be the ones to fulfill that need. Trust the feelings the children have who find Gramp's hugs uncomfortable. It's how they feel. Best to get to the bottom of it than ignore it. 80's or not...gramps is still a human being who may not be hugging every family member/child the same. Just my two cents.

close