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Grandma tells family that traditions are for biological grandkids only. AITA?

Grandma tells family that traditions are for biological grandkids only. AITA?


"AITA for telling my daughter that this activity is only for my bio grandkids and I am not going to change the tradition even if she wants to force the step-grandkids everywhere"


I will give some background, I am a pretty young grandmother. My daughter Jenny has two kids (9 & 13). My daughter remarried to a man that has his own children. So I have step-grandkids (11, and 10). So a total of 4 kids in this story. I will refer to them as bio and step grandkids to make it as clear as possible.

The bio and step grandkids don’t get along well. Watching from the outside it is easy to see that the two parents are pushing them together. I have heard so many complaints and informed the parents the forced bonding wasn’t helping. They didn’t take my advice and overall all the kids have to do everything basically together.

I have been teaching my bio grandkids how to sew for a while, every year we have been making making a blanket over a few months. The two kids love it and I enjoy the tradition. I informed the bio kids we will start soon on the project. They seemed excited.

I got a call from my daughter asking me to include the step grandkid. The bio grandkids were talking about the blanket and it made the other grandkids upset they aren’t invited.

So now my daughter called me to include them. I told her no. That this is just something I do with my bio grandkid. We have done this for years and I am not changing it.

I also informed her that forcing them into the tradition will not help the kids. They already dislike their step siblings. She called me a jerk and according to my other daughter it has caused issues in her family.

Edit: comments asked often


They have been married for less than a year, they have their own grandparents they don’t live close, I have invited them to join when the bio grandkids come over, I have only seen them at holidays ( I don’t even know if they want a relationship with me) if they are interested in sewing I would be willing to teach them but again I am unsure they are.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


Did the info really make them upset they weren’t included or is she making up another story to push them together again?

The OP responded here:


I don’t know, I plan to ask the kids later tonight when they get back from school. They said they were going to stop by tonight.


This is definitely a more info needed kind of thing. Do the step grandkids want to start a project? Do they even want to sew? Could you do a bio grandkids project at one time and a step grandkids project the other?

This gives each set of kids some time with just the parents alone and each set some time with just you, also important for building bonds. For what it's worth, not wanting 4 learning sewists in your space at one time is reasonable. You need appropriate space, enough lighting, enough good scissors, enough irons, etc.


I think I disagree with everyone. NAH for me. Grandma is doing her best to maintain traditions and to protect the bio grandkids from feeling like nothing will ever be just theirs ever again. I totally get it.

Mom is trying to create shared positive experiences, hoping that it brings people together. She doesn't want any kids under her roof to feel like 2nd class family members.

On the flip side, both are pushing the boundaries of ideal behavior by ignoring the valid concerns of others in the situation. None of you are AHs. But if you want something approaching a solution: do a.small project with all 4 kids, and continue the larger one with the "more experienced" sewers separately.


NTA, but you have to accept that she may cut off contract with your grandkids. Try to be there for them, you may have to go to court. Have you explained to DD that your grandkids are already getting he short end of the stick? Dont your step grandkids have their own grandparents?

The OP again responded here:


Edit: this response is about if the parents refused to allow a relationship with the grandkids. Which is all hypothetical at the moment. The kids already know. I know for a fact that if she kept me away the oldest would lose her mind. Also I am in walking distance from the school so it is not uncommon for them to just show up.

Really would be the worst ideas for the parents to do, it would probably break the family completely. I know I could go for grandparents rights. ( please remember that everywhere has different laws, and we aren’t making this a legal argument) I doubt it would come to that anyways The stepkids grandparents are not close but they are involved from my understanding.


They have a connection to their grandma, parents would be really awful to keep the kids away from grandma. Seriously, the oldest is 13 and definitely wouldn’t forgive the parents or will start to hate the stepsiblings since she most likely would blame them.


NTA. It’s a tradition you established with the bio kids. You don’t have to include others for any reason if you don’t want to. Your daughter has decided to treat and accept the step kids as her own.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to act as their grandmother now. They, I assume, still have their own grandparents to make memories with. For them, you are their step moms mother, not their new grandmother.

As long as you’re not rude to them, you don’t have to act like they have the same bond and history as the bio grandkids. Eh, find something else to do with the 4 of them. They don’t have to encroach on this specific activity.


Oof. Once again I am enormously grateful my step grandparents accepted 12 year old me and made me feel like I was welcome. Info: is this a recent marriage? Is it still in that stage of culture shock as everyone makes a new normal? Did you disapprove of this marriage?

My feeling from the way you have phrased it is a soft YTA. Your feelings of only wanting the bio grandkids are your feelings but if you phrased it the same way to all of them, that is likely to make it harder for everyone to reach a point of being more comfortable.

So, do you think the grandmother is in the wrong here? Is there a solution to heal these emotional wounds?

Sources: Reddit
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