T Nation

Parents, Am I Being Selfish?

Ill keep this as breif as poss and bullet point most info:

My wifes parents have always lived in Africa but recently retired to Greece.

I have a 3 year old daughter, who has only met her granparents (on my wifes side) once when she was 6 months old and obviously does not remember them.

Visiting them in Africa was expensive and the last time we went was 2 and a half years ago.

We are all going out to see my wifes parents for 3 weeks in August.

My wifes parents want to come and collect their grandaughter now and take her back to Greece so they can spend more time with her and have her with them for the next 6 weeks until we go over there.

They are both in their 60's and are very capable of looking after her.

But here is my concern, I worry that if for example they go the beach they may not be fast enough to keep 100% check on her near the water etc.

My main worry is that my daughter is a real daddys girl and it breaks my heart to think that while she is there with away from me and my wife she may get homesick.

I am sure they would keep her very entertained and that she would enjoy herself, but she has no memory of her grandparebts and I worry she will miss home too much and feel a little lost being in a strange place without her mum dad friends etc..

Also I have to admit I do not want to be seperated from my little girl for 6 weeks, I am very over protective of her (I know thats not good and im trying to chill) and I would be worried sick for weeks wondering if she is OK.

They are going to see her for 3 weeks anyway, and now they live in Greece we can sure afford to see them 1 maybe twice a year now.

But is it fair of me to deprive them of quality time with their Grandaughter?

My wife says she would mis her loads but would be happy for her to go and spend time with her grandparents and feels it would be a good experince for our daughter.



May I ask where in Greece because I have spent some time over there and that may play a factor in it as well?


Not sure I could do 6 weeks away from my daughter. Also, do you think your daughter will get homesick staying with what are essentially strangers to her for six weeks. If I were in this situation I would explain that she is too young to be away from home for that long, and see if you can't shorten the visit to two weeks or something, then build up to longer periods of time. That would give both you and your daughter time to adjust.


She met them once BEFORE she could remember? Now they want her to be completely removed from her parents and placed into a situation thats foreign to her with people she doesnt know a thing about and has never met? Talk about scaring the shit out of a kid! I sure as hell wouldnt do that!


Hey there, I wanted to comment quick as this in my field. In my professional opinion, 3 is much too young to be away from her parents with people that she does not remember. I am sure she would have a great time, but I would think it would be frightening for your child to be away from you for so long, especially as she has no memory of her grandparents. I think 6 weeks is a long time for any child, but maybe in a few years she could go spend an extra week or two. Good luck with the choice.


Not a chance I would agree to send my child with people she and I didn't know very very well for that period of time.

I don't think your being selfish.


There's no black and white answer. 1 day is an eternity to a kid, let alone 6 weeks. Who knows if she will enjoy being with them. And the risks are real, especially in greece, not great medical care there in my opinion.

Personally I wouldn't do it, the kid is still quite young. If the kid had a lot of contact with the grandparents already and liked them, then, maybe not a problem. But if you are sending the kid to 6 weeks of insane boredom that could be a problem. Would be better if at least you or your wife was there too. Most animals, not just humans, don't like being seperated from parents.

But then, kids adapt.

Like I said, there is no black and white answer.

Also in my opinion, stuff the interests of anyone but the kid - at that age, should be playing golf, tennis, or playing a musical instrument. This is the age to become a prodigy!


Dude, I know where you're coming from. I've got a 2 year old and would NEVER let him out of my site for more than a few minutes with other family other than the wife. Dunno, I just feel I know him better than anyone else and can "handle" him better ... if you know what I'm saying.

My 7 year old daughter is going away with her aunt and nan for a few weeks later in the year. THAT I'm sorta okay with.

Personally for the young'un, I couldn't do it.


Lemnos Greece, not really a tourist Island, its in the north east Nr turkey.

Thanks for all the replies so far, my mind is made up that I don't want her to go, I just wanted to ask your opinions to check I wasn't being out of order depriving my in laws and daughter of time together.

Incidently I have asked my daughter if she would like to go and she says yes, but at 3 years old she cannot fully comprehend the diffrence between 6 weeks and 6 minutes, so I guess I will have to make this decision for her.


I agree that 6 weeks @ 3 years old is too long to be without her parents. The complications are just too daunting. If she was a little more self sufficent and actualy had a relationship with the G-folks i could see it, but not when she's for all matter of discussion helpless.



Its good that it's there, if it were Athens or some other crowded spot I would say hell no. Is there anyway you could shorten the time she is over there with just her grandparents? I think it would be good for her to have some alone time with them so that she could get to know them better and they to her. Maybe a week over there before you go?


IMO, it would be a different thing entirely if she had already a relationship with her grandparents. Maybe in a year or three, it would be feasible for your daughter to make a solo visit of some weeks. And at that time, she would be older and more aware as well.


Maybe, if we was to do this I would suggest after we have spent 3 weeks there with them so she has had 3 weeks to get to know them and the place with us there.

I still wouldn't want to leave her there though not even for a day!


My wife's parents live in Europe, and there is no way I would let my daughter stay there without me. There are other factors in my case like language barriers, but no way! And my parents are in their 60s and they took care of my daughter during the day until preschool age, and I did worry about them being able to handle her. If she took off in the mall, they were not fast enough.

And the thing is, she's not school age and just hasn't probably done all that much interacting.

I would say, AFTER first grade, 2 weeks max if she wants. At age 3, no way!


3 weeks is a long time for a kid that age(since you would be out there for the second 3, right?). If they were really insistent on it, I would agree with what was said before, about taking her out there, spending the 3 weeks, and then if things were going smoothly(she liked them, wasn't scared of them, etc.), then agree to a week or two. I wouldn't even leave my dogs with someone they didn't know for that long without a warm-up period with me or the wife there. Let alone one of my kids.

Not selfish at all, you're just looking out for the best interest of your child. Her parents should understand that, after all they had kids at that age once themselves.


Of course you are being selfish.

The title of the thread gave that away.

If you have to ask if you are being selfish, then most of the time the answer is YES!

But that being said, I'm with you. I don't want to let my 4yo son spend the weekend with my mom who lives 3 hours away because I'd miss him too much.

That and I am not happy that my mom spends a lot more time with our 4yo than our 2yo when we see her.

I would say to let your daughter make the decision, but I don't know if a 3yo is old enough to really make that call yet.


You know your daughter. I don't. I do know its not a bad idea to let her START getting used to being away from home, but 6 weeks is not a good way to start.

Has she done sleepovers? Has she spent time with her other grandparents? You want to ease a kid into these situations. I know I could spend a week away from home at 5, with people I didn't know, but 5 is older.

More personal bias: I feel bad for kids who don't have enough confidence to be away from home. That's just me. Again, I would start with baby steps.

Personally I would be tempted to let them have her for 1 week. One. Not six. One this year, you can add more the next year if she and you are ready for it.

P.S. I'm not a parent, I'm a busybody. :slight_smile:


Trust me, when your kid gets to be 13 you will be begging for the offer. For now, it is not like they are across town and you can easily go get her in the middle of the night because she wants to go home. This from the experience of my own daughter going to a sleepover at 4.This stuff happens no matter how secure a child feels. Too young to be a half a world away in my opinion.
I say let them have her alone for a night while you are over there so that you and the spouse can get away and play, and stay close enough if you are needed.-Jules


Sorry if I repeat what was already said, but I only read your post, then a couple others.

I think you're not being selfish at all. I wouldn't let my daughter go that long away from both her parents, and I even had a hard time letting my daughter go with my wife when she visited her parents in Los Angeles.

I would never have let my parents-in-law take my daughter for that long without either myself or my wife there.

Watching them for a night or even 2 days while I'm a phone call and a drive away is fine.

Tell them how you feel, and maybe word it diplomatically. Tell them they can visit, or you'll have to wait until either you or your wife can afford to go as well.

If they get upset, then they're the ones being selfish.


Just use the excuse that an emergency can happen at any time to anyone, and you don't want to take the chance of not being able to get to your daughter if something happened.