Something is Missing

The Gosselin children have clean faces, adorable matching clothes, and lots of playthings, some in multiples of six. They live in a nice house with a big backyard, and a great driveway for riding on their bikes and the many other ride-on toys they own. In their short lives, they’ve been taken on trips to Disneyworld, the Outer Banks, a Utah ski resort, and even Hawaii. They have two stay at home parents, who say they are the most wanted children in the world, and they even have a nanny to care for them, so what is the something that is missing?

What’s missing is the individual, totally engaged attention a child can get when they have a grandparent or two in their lives. I’m that kind of grandparent. When I take a child to my house or on an outing for the day, they are the center of my attention. Whether we are at the farmpark, a playground, a fast food restaurant, or playing a board game at my house, my mind is on that child, what he or she is doing, how they are doing it, while they are doing it.

The dynamic is different from parenting. When I was raising my sons, even when I was reading to one of them, or helping him with his homework, my mind was divided. I was wondering what the other two were doing, whether I’d have time to pay some bills, empty the dishwasher, fold the laundry. As a grandparent, I can put all that aside when I have one of my grandchildren. Being a grammie is the best thing I’ve ever done. I love doing it and I love seeing how much the things we do together mean to my grandchildren.

It makes me sad that the Gosselin children have no grandparents in their lives. I know that some grandparents live far away from their grandchildren and can’t spend time with them like I do. I know that some grandparents don’t have the time for or interest in spending time with their grandchildren for various reasons, and I know that some people feel that their parents are toxic and don’t belong in their children’s lives. I’m not sure that any of these examples fit the Gosselin children’s grandparents. For one thing, Kate’s parents and Jon’s mother were in the twins lives, before the sextuplets were born. For another, Kate’s parents actually took care of the twins when Kate was in the hospital before and right after the tups' births.

There is another thing missing from the Gosselin eight, and that has to do with history. Oh sure, when the kids supposedly asked, “where did I come from?” their parents took them to the NICU to show them where they were born and spent the early part of their lives. This answer isn’t going to satisfy them forever. Grandparents supply history, history that helps a child learn not just where he or she comes from, but helps them understand who he or she is, and what family he or she is part of.

I have four grandchildren, with two more on the way. The older boys are four and a half and five. They love to look at pictures of their fathers as babies and children. They ask which picture on my desk is of their dad, which ones are of their uncles. They understand that their fathers are brothers and that I am their fathers’ mom, as well as their grammie. They understand that they are cousins, that they are connected to each other, and that in some way, I am part of that connection.

My grandchildren are curious about those who went before them. I show them pictures of my parents, who are no longer with us. I tell them about my mother, who would have just adored them. I tell my older grandsons that their middle names start with E, because her name started that way. I show them pictures of themselves as babies with Papa, my father, and tell them that our only little girl so far is named after him.

As they get older, they and their siblings will want to know more about their ancestry. I remember learning that three of my grandparents came from Russia, and asking the only American born grandmother, where her parents came from. I wanted to know all about the countries and people that made me who I am, and I think most people do. I’ve read that this is part of the reason that adopted children who love and adore their adoptive parents, search for their biological parents. There is something in most humans that wants a history, that wants to know all about the ones that gave them their hair and eye color, their skin color, their ethnicity.
Jon Gosselin can talk about being half Korean, about having roots in Hawaii. He can even take his children to Hawaii, and perhaps someday to Korea, but the human being that made him half Korean, that tied him to Hawaii, is missing from his children’s world.

The children are going to want to know more about their grandparents as they get older. Mady, Cara, Alexis, Collin, Aaden, Leah, Hannah, and Joel talk about their Asian faces, but there is a whole other side to their heredity. Where did Kate’s grandparents live, her great grandparents? When did her ancestors leave their native lands to come to America, and where did they come from?

Grandparents pass on stories about their own children, stories Mom and Dad might wish to forget, but stories that make parents real to their children. My grandmother and my father were not close. There were some hard feelings, definitely deserved, between them, but she is the one who told me stories about my father. Those stories made me laugh, and realize things about the little boy behind the man. My grandfather on my mother’s side didn’t speak English well. He told all of us the same story over and over, in Yiddish. Yet, I told that story to my kids, and told stories about him, and the funny things he did when he traveled to Florida with my family when I was a child. I’ll be telling my grandchildren about Poppy, too, once they are old enough to understand who he was, because he was quite a character. Grandparents pass on history to their grandchildren. It’s part of our job.

Something is missing from the lives of the Gosselin eight. It’s a chance to have individual time, baking cookies, playing board games, reading books with an older person, who is able to concentrate completely on you. It’s personal history, put forth by someone who was there, and it is stories from the past that formed the future. Something is missing in the lives of the Gosselin eight, that can provide all of the above, and that something is grandparents.

Submitted by Grammier


Alexandra said...

Thank you for this post. It is so absolutely true. My grandparents serve as the link to my family history.. and even though every time I see them they tell me the same stories over and over, I feel SO blessed to have them in my life.

They offer guidance, unconditional support, and help me see the other side of things. When my parents and I have a disagreement, I know I can call my grandparents for help in sorting out the situation. They might not agree with me, but they will help me understand my parents view, or just give me their two cents on the situation. This interaction is critical.

I feel so sorry for the Gosselin children. Not only are they not allowed to interact with their grandparents (who's church is at the END OF THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD...) all their other loved ones are slowly being cut out of their lives. It is truly tragic. I am no psychologist, but I would not be surprised if they have commitment issues, attachment issues, and extreme social issues. :(

Kittie said...

OK im really offended by this blog because I have a young daughter and she will never know their grandparents because they passed away. His parants do not want anything to do with us. Just because they may not talk to their grandparents does not mean they are "missing something" I will tell them about my parents and where they came from. My child is missing NOTHING. Im sorry i cant even type anything else im so angry.

jlsamp428 said...

What a poignant and insightful entry. I remember watching a special about the Dilley sextuplets when they were about the same age as the tups. Their grandparents (mom's parents I believe) took turns taking one or two of them on outings. Nothing elaborate--grocery shopping, gardening, baking--the types of activities that foster independence, creativity and make memories. I remember the parents saying that there were times they only had 2 children home with them, and that gave them time for one-on-one with each child. I understand what has been said about separating children from a relative who might be harmful, but I think the saddest fact is that these kids DID have other relatives and friends that gave them this type of unconditional love and attention. I caught a bit of an older episode that was on yesterday afternoon (Leah and Collin go to the eye doctor) and my heart broke as I watched Aunt Jodi interact with the children left in her care. She clearly has such affection for her nieces and nephews and it is a tragedy to think that all of them have been robbed of this and other meaningful adult relationships.

Anonymous said...

I loved this. I am a Grammy too. I have 2 grandsons 4 and 2. I agree with everything you have said.

Anonymous said...

Well said, thank you for sharing that. I am an aunt and get to do the same things with my nieces and nephews. It is a relationship that I treasure and that they treasure.

We can't have too many people love us, right?

Anonymous said...

The issue about the Gosselin grandparents is indeed sad. The bond between grandparent and grandchild can be special and enrich the lives of both generations.

We all know that unfortunately not all grandparents are the kind nurturers that Grammier, it is clear, you are. Sometimes, it is better not to have a relationship with extended family.

BUT, and here's the issue with the Gosselins. They have eliminated ALL family and friends who were part of their lives prior to this show. So even if Kate (and I think she is the motivating force behind this decision), even if Kate had a miserable relationship with her parents, and even if she felt that Jon's mother had issues and couldn't be part of their lives -- that wouldn't explain why Kate now believes that Jodi, Kevin, Beth, Bob, etc. are toxic.

It is her current NON-relationship with these people, who she said in one of the couch confessions, were her best friends on earth -- that makes her exclusion of the grandparents so suspect.

Anonymous said...

The first thing missing in the Gosselin kids' life is parents. After that there's a long list of other things that are missing, starting with privacy and normalcy. And sure, missing grandparents are in there too...along with missing aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends who are allowed to come over and play at your house.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! And so right, as grandparents play such a fundamental role in their grandchildren's lives. You'll never truly know who you are unless you know your history. On a side note, another thing missing from those kids's lives are friends. Seriously, it's great that they have each other, but they are what, 4 years old, and don't have any outside friends. As much as they are being given so much, in terms of material things, the social neglect is saddening.


avasmommy said...


This is beautifully written. It brought a tear to my eye because it made me think of my grandmothers and of the way my daughter looks at her grandparents. I needed to read this post today because I am fed up with negative comments, and this took me to a happy place, so thank you so much.

You sound like a wonderful grammie. Dare I say the epitome of a grammie? What you say is so true.I did not know my maternal grandfather unfortunately. I hear stories of him from my mother and am very sad that I missed out on knowing him. She has fond memories of him. My maternal grandmother was a big part of my life growing up. I have thousands of memories of her, her house, and the family get togethers at her house. She now has alzheimer's and is living in a nursery home. She does not have those good memories that I do. You story reminds me that I should visit her more often and remind her how she taught me how to play Rummy and we would stay up for hours playing, watching Murder, She Wrote, and eating circus peanuts. My paternal grandfather died when I was 4 or 5. I remember he would sit in his chair and us kids would run aroun dhte house, like maniacs, and when we would run by him he would reach out his arm and pull us in. That is the only true memory I have of him. My paternal grandmother is 93, and if you ask her she is the healthiest person in the county. It's probably true. She has the strongest hreart of anyone I've ever known. She can go and go and go. She still babysits, cooks homeade noodles and pies every holiday and gardens. She is a remarkable woman, I was fortunate enough to live with her for a couple of years. I learned so much from her and we had a blast. I think of her everytime I make scrambled eggs or toast a bun, and I always will.

So, yes, grandparents are an amazing part of a child's life. It is sad that the gosselin children do not have grandparetns to bond with and get answers from. Your post made me appreciate what I have in my grandparents, I hope it does the same for others who read it.

Kelly S said...

I totally agree with everything that you have stated. Staying at my grandparents house was a real treat. The memories of staying the night, being somewhat spoiled by them, memories of playing with thier dog (since i did not have growing up), etc. My grandparents were 100% polish, Polish was thier first language, and I learned to speak some. Also the history of how my grandparents came to America before my mother was born is information that is priceless. I have never met a grandparent who "chose not to be involved" with thier grandchildren and the real reason has nothing to do with the relationship with thier daughter or son(according to kate that is the reason they not around)IMO, Kates reason just make her look even worse, due to the fact that we all now why they are not around. It is truely disgusing how fast J&K go through relatives and how they accept the fact that the grandparents are not around. Don't J&K have any heart and want thier parents around? Guess Not!! I guess they can live with the fact that J&K's parents raised them and now they do not want them in thier lives. J&K, I Hope you get a taste of you own medicine and your kids turn thier backs on you when they move out, have kids and get married.

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful sentiment. I spent a great deal of time with my grandparents as a child and have memories that I truly cherish. Time spent with them can never be replaced by any outing or freebie.

Anonymous said...

Not to say that grandparents aren't important. But, I was a child with slightly older parents and therefore my grandparents weren't all alive when I came along. On top of that, when I was little, I lived in California and my closest grandparent was in East Texas and my only other grandparent was in Ann Arbor, MI. So, not exactly easy trips for anyone involved. I don't think I am any worse off because my grandparents weren't involved. Not to say that the Gosselin children aren't worse off for other reasons, but I have plenty of friends who never had grandparents for one reason or the other and I don't think that it shaped the people that they are now.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. I've never had grandparents of my own, but I did have a relative who became my "Granddaddy" and he was the absolute best! He wouldn't let my parents punish me even when I was wrong (and grandparents always rescue their grandchildren, imo), he took me for Slurpees and ice cream sandwiches in winter because I wanted them (even when my family complained it was "too cold") , he gave me five dollar bills that were just for me, he bought my first bike and showed me how to fix the chain and flat tires, he cooked the best breakfasts for my family. I am ETERNALLY GRATEFUL for him being in my life for the twenty one years I had with him before he passed away.

My parents are deceased, but my husband's mother "Grandmom" makes my children homemade meals especially for them INDIVIDUALLY, and puts all of their pictures up everywhere in her house and never takes them down. Stuff I don't do, or can't do it like Grandmom. She is a beautiful light for them to see, and they are perfect in her eyes. And it wouldn't matter if they wear glasses, or woke up the other children in the house in the middle of the night, or made themselves vomit on command, or was being a miniature diva-in-training.

Those poor Gosselin children! Friends are great, but no one can take the place of a grandparent.

sabrinasmom said...

Kittie, Please do not feel upset. Some children do not have GrandParents in their lives through no fault of their own. They still have special people in their lives. Yes, they are not "missing out."

Even though the OP is a GrandMother, I think the whole point of the post is how wonderful experiences like this can be, when you have people in your life.

I don't believe for a moment that the Gosselin children's Grandparents are "absent" because they choose to be. I think Jon and Kate's definition of they don't "understand" us means the Grandparents don't "approve" (of the show) and Jon and Kate don't like to be questioned.

Jon and Kate are lucky to even be able to have that option. How nice that must be to pick and choose who to banish from their lives.

My MIL lives out of State. My Mother was in my daughter's life from day one. She did everything for her. My Mother was an Executive during a time when most women did not even work outside the home. Growing up, I may not have had "quantity" time with her, but I had "quality" time with her. She taught me so much and taught me to appreciate everything. I admire and respect her work ethic to this day. When my daughter was born, I think my Mom felt she wanted to do the things she missed out on with me.

Unforunately, I lost my Mother the day before my 37th birthday. It hurts everyday to know that my Mom isn't around anymore. My daughter will be ten in a few days. She struggles as well. She had her Grandmother in her life everyday for nine years and now she's gone.

That's why I think it is a shame, that the Gosselin children don't have their Grandparents in their lives, because of a choice their parents have made.

Sue said...

I loved my Grandmother more than anyone else in the world. I miss her everyday. My mother did not get along with her own mother but she never stood between us. She allowed us to have a close relationship. It must have been hard for her but what a gift for us!

My children, especially my oldest, have a very special close relationship with my mother and father. My older son who has autism, recently described one of his teachers by saying " She likes me the way Nana likes me". That is the highest complement he could ever give. He knows he is loved unconditionally by his Nana. Grandparents are a true gift!

Anonymous said...

I was a Jon & Kate fan until the issue about the grandparents. I was watching a Q & A episode and the explanation of where the grandparents were just didn't ring true. I am a grandma and I know that I would move heaven and earth to be with my grandson (which is exactly what I am doing right now- long story but up to my eyeballs in attornys fees).
Their explanation of the grandparents are the reason I went to the internet looking for an answer - and found out all kinds of stuff that the Gosselins weren't talking about.

My maternal Grandmother was the most wonderful person I have ever had the pleasure to know. She only completed school to the 8th grade - but she was the smartest person. I still hear some of her words guiding me. She had the wisdom that a self taught person has - invaluable. I have tried since the day my grandson was born to be a grandmother close to the Grandmother that she was.
She could never buy us much - but I knew that she loved me. Even at times when I questioned my relationship with my parents - I knew my Grandmother loved me no matter what.

I wish the Gosselins would realize the relationship and security they are stealing from their children.

babeeberry said...

Beautifully written! Along with all of the questions Kon will have to someday answer, how are they going to justify keeping the grandparents from the kids? I don't think Kate realizes these children are going to be adults someday and they will most likely resent not having extended family around. I really wish one of the grandparents would pursue some kind of visitation arrangement with the children, it would be the right thing to do for them....jmo of course!

Thalia Menninger said...

I don't think that this is necessarily a grandparents issue, and I don't think that the writer was trying to make it one. It was her own experience. Every family is different. I think what the point was, and is, that the Gosselin children deserve the same attentions and the right to be their own unique individuals as anybody. Very often the shaping of the individual soul comes from adult nurturing other than that of the parents. I am an aunt to four of the most beautiful, wonderful and intelligent little human beings God ever put on this planet. I plan to be there in that adult nurturing capacity for them as much as I am able to. It doesn't seem as though the Gosselin children have the same. Adults are constantly going in and out of their lives like a cast of characters that keep being changed by some unseen producers (and who knows, that actually may be the case, since "their life is the show"). Kids need, they crave, they DESERVE some constancy in their lives, and since they are only children, they have no choice but to look to adults to provide it.

iluveeyore said...

Kids need, they crave, they DESERVE some constancy in their lives, and since they are only children, they have no choice but to look to adults to provide it.

As I noted in "Stunted Emotions," Kate is making sure that the only adults the kids have to give them constancy in their lives is Jon and Kate. At this point, the tv crew might be closer to them than their relatives. But, fortunately for Kate, the tv crew is just doing a job... here today, gone tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Kate isolates so she can totally control. I would bet the older people in the family were not as easily gotten around or talked into her way of thinking as Jon is and so they had to go. She is unconcerned about the children bonding with others because she can only see what effect that will have on her. Nothing matters but what she wants. Relatives, grandparents are, if they are alive, so relevant to kids. They like to know what daddy was like when he was a little boy and ask if mommy liked doll houses. These kids are being deprived of almost everything normal. There is no way they will become normal people. Kate Gosselin and the eunuch, Jon, are people with no insight and no conscience. They care for no one but themselves.

Strife said...

I think that was beautifully written, but I also think grandparents are a bit overrated in many comments lately. My grandparents on both sides brought mostly crazy into my life even if there have been some good times too. It probably would have been better if my parents had managed to distance themselves from their dysfunctional parents.

Anonymous said...

I think it is very interesting how Kate has isolated any grandparents (assuming, of course, that the grandparents are good people and would be a positive influence on the children) and then she states in the GH article that she hopes her future is filled with love , happiness and GRANDCHILDREN ?(I am paraphrasing)

ShockedInNY said...

What a great post and very eloquently written, I could not agree more with what you have said.

Even if Kate and Jon can't get along with their parents, they owe it to their children to at least try. These kids are missing out on a vital part of their family because their parents are too immature and self centered to deal with reality.

It is only a matter of time before the kids start asking questions like you mentioned, and I sincerely hope that Jon and Kate have the right answers. These kids should be given the chance to spend more time with their grandparents, it is vital to their development and learning about their ancestry. I despise J&K for their naivete sometimes.

kelly s said...

After reading the comments, I believe everyone to have a valid opinion. Whether the kids are missing out or not, every child deserves the right to make their own decision on whether or not to have grandparents in their lives and not to have their parents bias disrupt having the experience. What I don't agree with is the reason J&K give for not having them around. They are putting the blame on their parents instead of owning up to their end of the problem and by not owning up, they are adding fuel to the fire.

Barbara said...

I find it very sad that some of you have such bad relationships with your grandparents. I wish everyone could have that perfect set of grandparents that I had and that shaped my life in all kinds of good ways. I am now a grandmother and I treasure every moment of it. We spend lots of good times together and even have a day set aside for them to come and spend the entire day - Thursday - and we call it Mimi Day.

The problem with J&K is that they obviously don't want them in their kids lives. The fact that Kate's Mom took care of the twins for 2 months before the 6 were born and then afterwards for a time also says that they were in their lives at one point. Whatever the reason, it is so sad to cut people out of those children's lives. Not just grandparents (although, it is such a uniquely wonderful relationship) but aunts, uncles, friends, everyone. I believe that J&K will regret these decisions very much, and in the not too distant future -- when their popularity ends and no-one cares about them anymore. And my own personal opinion is that her parents will be right there willing and ready to welcome them back with open arms.

Ravello said...

Nice post.
I'm sure Mady and Cara are questioning why there are no extended family members in their lives. They probably have experienced the pain of a lonely grandparents day at school.

The tups are now in preschool and will encounter grandparent events and discussions.

It is also very sad Beth, Jodi, Kevin and cousins were banished from the kid's lives. The kids have no extended network of family and friends.
I'll bet this is one of the reasons they are moving to North Carolina. They will have fewer questions about the absence of family and friends if they are several states away.

ThreeFarmers said...

Aw, this entry made me think of my own dear Grandma who died in 2002 at the age of 99, seven months before her 100 birthday.

Grandma was great with games and taught us how to play games that most young kids don't learn. Before I was in kindergarten, I was playing Bingo for pennies. Then we learned to play Pinochle. By the time we were in 6th grade, we were playing poker for Cheetoes. I ate a lot of winnings.

My Grandmother was the one who taught me how to cook and how to do my own laundry and sewing and the second I got my driver's license, she quit driving and it became my job to haul her everywhere she wanted to go.

She always considered me the wild child and made so secret of the fact that prayed a Rosary for me every day.

She gave us a lot and she expected a lot and I am a better person because of it.

Mimi said...

If I recall correctly, in an early interview, when asked about grandparents in the children's lives, Kate's response was pretty much that the children had other people in their lives who weren't blood relatives but were just as important as grandparents. Or words to that effect.

Now, of course, those people are gone as well.

So what do the children do now?

quinn said...

I'm a little offended by this post because my child's grandparents all live in another state and she doesn't seem them often. She sees them a few times a year and it's great when we see them. Maybe the Gosselin kids have no relationship at all with their grandparents and that is sad. But not everybody has the "ideal" situation that you do so I think you have offended some of us.

quinn said...

Forget to mention, I had some dysfunctional grandparents myself. Well, two were and one was fine. But I turned out okay. I consider myself a well-adjusted and happy person even though I didn't have a necessarily "good" influence from all of my grandparents.

Anonymous said...

This is being over thought.

In our society, "family" means many things to many different people. What makes a family? To some, it's the traditional, nuclear parents, grandparents, etc. But in a lot of people's lives, there are other loving individuals who make up their family. Distance, emotions, deaths all make many of us create our own units. It's not for other people to define. To the wonderful Grandma who wrote this post, it means her children and grandchildren. That's her own reality. It varies from person to person.

I had an excellent relationship with one grandmother and wouldn't trade it for the world. My other grandmother didn't care much for me (though loved the boys) and I knew it. I knew the stress she brought to my mother. I knew the favoritism that wasn't skewed toward me. So, I won one, I lost one.

I also was lucky enough to have a wonderful woman who I refer to as my "aunt person". No relation by blood, but I never doubted her love for me. I could count on her - she was there for me as a child, and is there for me as an adult. She flew MANY miles, on a tight, tight budget to attend my wedding, because how on earth could she not?! I have aunts by blood who didn't care enough to know me the way she did.

I think the take away from the thought on all of this is that there are relationships that kids need. Loving, healthy, unconditional relationships. Many people can provide that and the lack of grandparents for these (the Gosselin) children doesn't have to mean they lose out on those. There are people who love them (Aunt Jodi!), and I would imagine those people will be there for them when given an opportunity - perhaps when their whirlwind life settles down and their parents will allow it. Maybe it won't be until the kids can call those loved ones on the phone themselves. They have felt that love of an auntie, they won't forget it.

Let's just hope they are given that opportunity (sooner, rather than later) to show those children how great "family" really can be.

AmandaT said...

Ok, even though my son and I both have grandparents who have passed on, are out of state, or are just plain nutty, I am able to use more than one dimension of thought to see what this post is all about.
And it's so very true. If children have loving and responsible grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., then they very much deserve to have them involved in their lives.
Kids deserve to feel special, to feel like they are so very important to others in this world. To be used as pawns in a control game is not fair to them. And that is the point - they have grandparents who I am sure love them very much. Many of us know the pain of family who have passed on, who live far away, or who are too toxic to be around - which makes it that much more baffling as to why anyone would keep their children away from relatives who love them.

Anonymous said...

Just because you are that kind of grandparent or people here had that kind of grandparent doesn't mean that Kate mom & dad and John's mom are that kind of grandparent and would do all those things with them. Not all grandparents do those things with their grandkids. And it a myth that all grandparents give unconditional love. Grandparents can be very judgmental.

themrs said...

i have four kids and my mom and dad do a special alone time for each kid for their birthday. that child gets to go out to dinner (their choice of restaurant) and then go to the toy store and pick their own present. my kids love this sooo much. they also take turns taking one at a time for sleepovers. they are able during those precious moments to give individual time and attention that far surpasses what i am able on an average day. i'm blessed that they have that.

BEE said...

My maternal grandparents were wonderful, we had a great relationship, they lived close by, we spent the weekends there baking and playing. They were very active in our lives and I feel very blessed. However, I my paternal grandparents lived far away from us, we hardly saw them, they never really fostered a relationship with us and in reality it was for the good. So I can relate to both sides.

In regards to the Gosselin Grandparents I don't think any of us even know half of that story. We have heard the few sentences that Jon and Kate have given on TV (which are basically how they answer the same Grandparent question at speaking engagements), but we have no idea what has really happened. Does anyone know if the grandparents have tried to keep incontact with the kids? How do we know that it is Jon and Kate that keep the kids from seeing them? And even if it is because of Jon and Kate, wouldn't you as a grandparent keep trying? I certainly would!

Anonymous said...

We don't know the reasons they are not involved. Honestly it's none of our business.

funkycatt said...

What happens if the grandparents pass away before the kids ever get the chance to deceide for themselves if they want a relationship? That just seems wrong to me.

In the last two years I've lost both of my grandfathers, who I honestly wasn't super close to. But, despite that, it still really hurt and made for a tough year. I also lost my godfather, who never had kids of his own, and was really an amazing man. Losing him was heartbreaking. I hope that the Gosselin kids get to know their grand parents before it is too late.

My grandma has always made my mom NUTS! (dad's mom). Especially the way my dad always had to have everything perfect for her. But despite that she is a very loving grandma. She has 8 kids, 30-40 grandkids, and several great grandkids. And you know she hangs pictures of each one of them in the "hall of shame" (as my uncles call it). Any picture you send her, she puts up.

Now tell me, who other than a grandma would do that? And that's what the Gosselin kids deserve. Yes, sometimes someone other than a grandparent can step into that role. No, if you kids don't see their grandparents for whatever reason they are not hugely deprived and you shouldn't feel offended. However, I think that grandparents do have a very special role, that not just any random older adult can fill.

Anonymous said...

My parents passed away when my children were very small. My husbands parents, God bless them, are like nails on a chalkboard to me. 9 out of 10 visits make me want to lock myself in my room and never come back out. And lately, I have been fit to be tied with my MIL more than anything. But my children adore her. They adore both of them. I absolutely will not interefere with their relationship in any way and I go out of my way to make the in law's comfortable in my home so that they come over anytime they want, even if it is inconvienant for me. It's not about me and I know that. My kids will have such awesome memories of Pop teaching them to garden and Grammy taking them camping. That's what matters. Kate (and Jon) need to wise up about the issue of relatives they don't like. Because it doesn't mean the children feel that way. And especially considering they have 8 kids (I have 5 myself)? You would think they would welcome relatives to help with things like paying Mady the extra attention she seems to need, things like that. It's very helpful. And t doesn't mean the kids love the parents an less either.

Kids need family, bottom line. How lucky the Gosselin children are to have so many relatives that long to reach out to them and love them. Some children don't have anyone.

Anonymous said...

I loved this post. Last evening, as I was watching a program on tv with some of my grandchildren, one of my 8 year old twin granddaughters, (I also have a set of 2 year old twin granddaughters but they belong to another one of my children), looked up as she watched a family struggling - especially the mom who wanted to be a friend to her 9 year old but not be her mom - and insightfully commented that that family needed a grandma because "grandmothers were mothers before they became grandmothers and they know how to do it." My eyes teared up and I had to go hug her. I love each and every one of my 9 grandchildren and could not imagine not being allowed to be a part of their lives. They enrich my life in so many ways and hopefully I am able to do for them as well. Earlier last night, one of my granddaughters who lives away called me to tell me how mean her dad was because he had sent her to her room. At first, I think she was expecting me to agree with her but I didn't, I just listened, then told her I loved her.

I only had one grandparent living when I grew up, my father's mom, a native of Quebec. However, she had become deaf as a young woman and read lips in order to communicate - but those lips had to be speaking French! My mom was Irish and as a result we never learned to speak French and communication with Meme was just about impossible. I feel that I missed out on a lot by not having grandparents - that continuity of generations wasn't there.

The Gosselin children are missing out on a lot as are their grandparents...can't their parents see this?

Anonymous said...

Kate (and Jon) need to wise up about the issue of relatives they don't like.


Actually, I think it's the other way around: Jon and Kate need to wise up about the issue of relatives that don't like THEM.

I do not believe this poster was saying that ALL GRANDPARENTS are great, and ALL GRANDCHILDREN will grow up abnormally without them. I think the main issue is that Jon and Kate isolate the children from ANYONE/EVERYONE who doesn't support the gravy train, no matter how loving and kind they may be.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little offended by this post because my child's grandparents all live in another state and she doesn't seem them often. She sees them a few times a year and it's great when we see them. Maybe the Gosselin kids have no relationship at all with their grandparents and that is sad. But not everybody has the "ideal" situation that you do so I think you have offended some of us.

My parents live in Cinci, my parent in-laws live in NJ , we live in Maryland, my SIL and her family live in Chicago and my BIL lives in Seattle. Distance is not an excuse. We may not see one another more than once a year (although we do see both sets of grandparents fairly regularly) but we MAKE THE EFFORT because it is great (and important )for everyone to stay connected. Is it ideal for everyone ? No. Does it matter? No.

KON say Jon's mom lives too far away, but I'm pretty certain Maui is much further, and they had no problem making that trip.

Anonymous said...

While reading this I started sobbing, my dad is very sick right now. I'm pregnant, and I just pray and hope that he will have a chance to be a grandparent. He taught me how to love unconditionally and deserves this kind of happiness.

Anonymous said...

i also had perfect grandparents like most of the posters here and think about them everyday. they all passed away during my elementary/middle school years. but theres always a special place in my mind for memories out spending time with them. all of us that were so close to our grandparents are super lucky...
that being said, some families go through issues with eachother. thats how families are. my husband isnt close to his grandparents at all, and at first i thought it was strange and felt sorry for him, but hes just fine without them in his life all the time. you dont know the entire dynamics of this family and there could be a back story other than "oh, we got a tv show and they are jealous" or whatever.
family issues can be very personal, and perhaps it does bother jon and kate and that is why they choose not to talk about it. i dont blame them.

alana said...

KON will reap what they sow.

ThreeFarmers said...

We don't know the reasons they are not involved. Honestly it's none of our business.

That's the point. Their private life should be their private life, but the Gosselins put it out there for the world to see. You can't put your life out there and then expect people not to comment about it.

It's a paradox, if the Gosselins would have kept their private life private, the Grandparents would likely be involved in their lives and no one would have reason to comment.

Anonymous said...

Three of my kids grandparents live out of state. One grandparent lives close, but he got married to a younger woman and had more kids of his own, so we don't see him much. All of their cousins live out of state and we see them when we can. I am very envious of Jon and Kate. I wish my relatives lived that close to me. My kids and my husband and I would enjoy our extended family so much more. Jon and Kate don't know how good they have it. I would have everyone over for BBQ's and holidays. They just seemed more happy as a family with differnt people involved in their lifes.

Anonymous said...

All of my grandparents had passed before I was born. I guess I am lacking unconditional love, family history, stories from the past, the chance to have individual time, reading books with an older person, etc...

This seems like a pretty far off claim. I am in no way saying that the Gosselins not having involved grandparents is a good thing. But to generalize this seems so off base. Not all grandparents are the same, not all family situations the same. To make a notion that without grandparents you are missing out on x,y and z just does not work for me.

Anonymous said...

"That's the point. Their private life should be their private life, but the Gosselins put it out there for the world to see. You can't put your life out there and then expect people not to comment about it"

I completely agree with this statement. If the Gosselins are upset about bloggers and criticism regarding their life choices then they should bring their family back inside a protected nest. THEY have chosen to live their life in a public aquarium and because of this they are going to be criticized. This criticism will live for eternity on the internet for all of their family members to hash through one day. Sad. But true. This is their fault, no one elses. As Petersen said they need to send the cameras home. This is the only way dignity will be restored to their family and homelife.

Anonymous said...

It's silly that some people got offended over this blog. Give me a break.

I feel very blessed that, up until 14 months ago, I had both sets of grandparents and a great grandmother in my life. Unfortunately, my great grandmother and grandpa both passed away within weeks of each other. And while we normally didn't see them more than maybe 3 times a year, I am a different person because of my relationship with them.

This is one of the better blogs that's been up here. This one was sweet. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

A good parent doesn't keep her children from those who love her.

Anonymous said...

Every situation is different and not all children are "worse off" without their grandparents around. In fact, I believe that in my daughter's case she is better off. My husband's family has nothing to do with us and hasn't seen our daughter in a little under 2 years. Their choice. My mother is a constant in my daughter's life, and she brings lots of love and laughter to her, and she also has an honorary "mom-mom" and "pop-pop" and she is treated exactly like their own grandchild, which is why I do not feel that my daughter is missing out on anything. She is only 3 years old and was 1 when his family withdrew from our lives so she never really got a change to know them. I have to say that considering the type of people my husband's family are, I am eternally greatful that she doesn't know them. Considering that she has my mother and her honorary grandparents in her life on a daily basis I do not feel that she is lacking in anything.

MrsRef said...

My three children, 29,27 and 24 have grown up without my mother, step-father and siblings (sans 1) in their lives and have done just fine. My mother has never seen my oldest and youngest, and screamed at my middle daughter when she met her at a funeral. My mother has some sort of undiagnosed mental problems and put me out when I was 18 years old. My brothers children have never met her either, ages 7 and 5. They have plenty of people who love them and sadly mommy dearest is not missed. It is her loss because even if she changed, the time she has lost with the kids is gone forever. They haven't even questioned why they don't have a grandmother on my side of the family.

kittie said...

No anon, Its silly to think somthing is missing from not having their grandparants in their lives. To think these kids will be dysfunctional without them. They dont need to be there for the kids to know their family history thats what im here for. You guys seriously look way too far into this family. Picking apart every square inch of their lives is dysfunctional. JMHO

Anonymous said...


I don't mean to add to your frustration with the post, but I just wanted to say I think you might have misunderstood the intent of the poster. It sounds like your circumstances are different since the grandparents in your life have either passed away or are no longer in your lives through no fault of your own. I think what the poster was saying is that Jon and Kate are deliberately shutting the grandparents out of their children's lives and denying them the opportunity of knowing them and being a part of their lives. My children only have two grandparents, one who lives in another state and one close by who they see occasionally. It doesn't seem to have impeded their personal growth, but I sure would love to have a grandparent in their lives as caring, thoughtful and involved as grammier! She sounds like an excellent grandparent!

Anonymous said...

"It's silly that some people got offended over this blog. Give me a break."

Put yourself in the situation of someone who never got to meet their grandparents. This blog just really generalizes so many things. Im not necessarily offended by it, I just think it is a little off base. Im sure that this post is true for some people, and that is wonderful. But to imply you are lacking in so many areas if you do not have a relationship with your grandparents is a strange claim

Strife said...

"It's silly that some people got offended over this blog. Give me a break."

I also think it might feel like an insult to those who had to make the hard decision to sever contact for very good reasons, even if I don't for a moment think it was intended like that. It was sweetly written but a bit naive.

When it comes to Kate I have honestly no idea if it was a good choice or not. I doesn't seem like Kate treat people well. But I'm not sure that the parents spawned something with that personality by sheer bad luck either.

lifeoriley said...

I think what bothers me most about J&K's situation regarding grandparents is that it seems to be a pattern of behavior for them to cut out family members from the kid's lives. John has two brothers and Kate has one brother and three sisters. We know that Kevin and Jodi are basicially not in the picture anymore, but what about other aunts, uncles, and cousins? Can EVERYONE on both sides of the family be willingly absent or toxic to the kids? It's not that the kids just don't have grandparents in their lives, but it seems that now, they have very limited or no contact with extended family.
Three of my grandparents died before I was 10. I still have some fond (if fuzzy) memories of them. My dad's mom lived into her 90s and was part of our lives. My parents did not always get along with her (mostly with my mom--"Marie Barone," anyone?) and my dad and her had disagreements as well (mostly involving the family business). However, she was always a very loving grandma to me, my siblings and my cousins. I have very good memories of her and I am glad I had her in my life.
When my grandmother was into her late seventies, my dad stopped speaking to her for a few years over a business & property disagreement. A controlling person, my dad FORBADE any of his adult children to speak to her during this time. We did anyway--only behind his back. However, she could not be invited to any family function where my dad was going to be present. I still resent my father for this--because when we were finally "permitted" to include grandma again, her physical and mental condition statred to deteriorate. I feel like he robbed us, his children, of having more good memories with our grandmother while she was still well enough to enjoy the experiences.
Also, as a note, my grandmother's concern during that time was that we grandkids not get into a fight with my father over her. If we spoke on the phone or visited in private, she didn't want my dad to find out so he wouldn't be angry with US. She didn't want to be the cause of a rift between her grandkids and their father. I still miss her, even though sh'e been gone for years now.

Grammier said...

I really did not intend to comment on my own post, but here I am. People who are offended, because their children have no grandparents nearby or their grandparents have passed on, or because they have cut toxic grandparents out of their lives, seem to have missed this paragraph quoted below.

>>>I know that some grandparents live far away from their grandchildren and can’t spend time with them like I do. I know that some grandparents don’t have the time for or interest in spending time with their grandchildren for various reasons, and I know that some people feel that their parents are toxic and don’t belong in their children’s lives. I’m not sure that any of these examples fit the Gosselin children’s grandparents.<<<

My piece is not about you, your children, your parents, or even your grandchildren, it is about what is missing from the Gosselin children's life that my grandchildren have in their lives...period.

If you were offended, please reread the piece.

We have often discussed the missing grandparents, who were in the twins' life up to and right after the sextuplets came along, and yet are no longer part of the Gosselin family's world. I am addressing this, using my relationship with my grandchildren to make the point.

Anonymous said...

Way to go grammier! I'm with you on this one-well written piece and you sound like you'd be my friend if I knew you.

I'm a first time Grammy myself this year and wouldn't trade the relationship I've already developed with my granddaughter for anything in the world.

The love between a grandparent/grandchild is pure and uncluttered-unconditional love at it's finest.

3 of my childrens' gradparents died when the kids were very young or before they were born-my mom died when my youngest was in elementary school. Since I had very little grandparent experience myself as a child (my grandma lived with us but had Alzheimer's Disease) I cherish the fact that my kids had my mom living with us during her last 11 years.

Enjoy those grandkids grammier...I'm sure you are very loved.

Anonymous said...

My grandparents have played such pivotal and essential roles in my life. For that I am grateful. Yay for grandparents!

The concern I have about this article is the fact that the author assumes a lot about the Gosselin children. We know what we see through the shows and little tidbits written from family members' blogs, etc. But none of us knows the real, true to life story...because, let's face it, none of us are living in that house. Maybe the children are taught a lot about their grandparents' lives and their family history? It's a bit problematic to assume things about the children (such as they aren't being taught family history) based on what we see on television, hear in the tabloids and read on blogs.

With that said, I thank the author for her heartfelt piece about grandparents and grandchildren. You say beautiful things about the role grandparents can play in a child's life. My fiance never had the pleasure of meeting two of his grandparents. In fact, one of his grandfathers was kidnapped by the Korean government and never heard from again. These are things that change your life and stories that affect you even when you're an adult. In his case, he is deeply affected by what he doesn't know about his grandpa. Every person's story is different. Sure, we'd all be lucky to have wonderful grandparents who love us, but for some, that reality is impossible. Everyone should be respectful of that.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering where it has ever been said that they children NEVER see their granparents? I heard them say "their grandparents are not involved in their DAILY lives"...not that they don't have any relationship with them.

Anonymous said...

What I do not accept with respect to J & K's justification regarding the absence of family in their and the children's lives is the reasoning of 'they just dont understand us'. For family members to be unwilling and unsupportive in J & K's decision to allow their children to participate in a reality tv show IMO, is not that unreasonable. However, for J & K to use their children as a means of punishing the family because of their 'lack of support' or failure to 'understand' is
disturbing to say the least. The children did not ask to be brought in to their world of 'not understanding' nor are they required to be a product thereof. Just as J & K requested the opinion of their minor children regarding if they would rather go to day care or be part of the 'family business', they should equally be given the opportunity to decide whether or not THEY wish to be a part of their extended family's lives. Is it possible that the children do wish to be part of the 'family business' but also be involved in and a part of their extended family? Why would placing the burden of responsibility asking minor children (ages 7 and 4) if they want to pursue the 'family business' be a reasonable request, but the choice regarding family one that has already been predetermined on their behalf? Kate's family may very well not 'understand' her, but they havent even been given a fair opportunity to 'understand' the children!!

Anonymous said...

Not all grandparents do those things with their grandkids. And it a myth that all grandparents give unconditional love. Grandparents can be very judgmental.


VERY true. I love my Grandma and always will, but when I was growing up, it was extremely obvious to my sister and me that she played favorites with her grandchildren and her favorite (my little cousin, Sarah) got special treatment (such as having about ten pictures of her on Grandma's wall while the rest of us grandkids had maybe one or two...) Not only that, she seemed to like my cousin best for shallow reasons (she is the prettiest and popular - but she acts snotty to Grandma and everyone else). It definitely bothered me, but now that I am an adult, Grandma and I have a good relationship and I have learned a lot from her. Still, I agree that unconditional love from a grandparent is a myth.

BEE said...

Regardless of who put the distance in the relationship, if I were their grandparents I would be knocking down their door!

Anonymous said...

Just wondering where it has ever been said that they children NEVER see their granparents? I heard them say "their grandparents are not involved in their DAILY lives"...not that they don't have any relationship with them.

They said they do not want to be filmed. They never said they never see their grandparants.

Anonymous said...

You can say that Kate has her reasons for cutting the grandparents out of the kids lives, but remember, Mady and Cara KNEW the grandparents and must wonder where they are. I am sure they ask Kate why they cannot see them anymore. And the tups are going to be asking soon, too. I wonder what she tells them? And now Aunt Jodi and the cousins are gone too. You cannot tell me that those children do not ask questions about the "mysterious" disappearing family members...
Such a sad, sad life

babeeberry said...

Some people just look way to far into posts as well. I read the post and enjoyed it. I think it was well written, and the author was just showing the positive side of having grandparents in a child's life. My grandparents took me out of a very dysfunctional home, sometimes for days at a time so that I could have some peace. I also had family friends who would do the same. I understand grandparents are not always a positive influence, but this post seemed like a Grammie who was a great role model and she was sharing her relationship with her grandchildren with us.

I was wondering if the Gosselin child have anyone who take them 1 or 2 at a time for one on one attention? Just spending a day away from the lights, camera's and action of their home would probably be a welcome break for them. Maybe they do see the grandparents...who knows. My guess would be if it were happening in their lives we would have seen an episode on it. Until this last season we saw a variety of people close to the children, that is not the case in the past few months however. This is jmo....thanks!

Anonymous said...

BEE said...
Regardless of who put the distance in the relationship, if I were their grandparents I would be knocking down their door!

Unfortunately, the grandparents would have to make their way past J & K's securitybody gaurds. Hence the move to another state, no chance of random vists by family knocking on the door.

MomOfThree said...

We don't know the "real" story (if there is one) of the absence of grandparents in the Gosselin children's lives. We do, however, know the real story of the reason Aunt Jodi has been banished and we can assume similar about Beth. Knowing what we do about J & K, I would take a guess that the Grands had "nothing" to offer as far as they were concerned. I would also bet that the reason that Jon's father and grandmother were allowed to "be involved" had to do with $$$$. Of course, this is just my supposition, but it makes sense. Somebody paid for those fertility treatments (twice!), bought their first home, etc. and I doubt it was J & K themselves. It's one thing for family members to not want to be on TV but given the chance, I'd imagine J & K's siblings would embrace a relationship with their nieces and nephews in private. It is so sad, as some of the above posters have said, when grandparents are deceased or far away or don't see the kids due to bad family situations. Mady and Cara remember their grandparents, I'm sure and it would be so good for the twins to spend time with them. Again, I am just guessing here but I will say this for J & K's extended family. They seem to have more integrity than J & K for not "going public" with their side of the story. I would bet my bottom dollar that all the tabloids have been in touch with them and have made handsome offers for their stories. Good for them for not adding fuel to the fire!

bri said...

Even though I do not get along with my mother, I encourage a relationship between her and my daughter. Actually, I cannot stand my mother, and yet, you'll find her at my house and me at hers regularly because my daughter enjoys her company, and vice versa. You'll also see me driving over an hour on a regular basis to visit my grandfather. You can find my Nanna, a woman who helped raise me, though not biologically related, visiting on a regular basis, and my family in her home on holidays. Why? Family is important. Relationships are important. Children need to know more than just mom and dad.

Jon and Kate disgust me with their total lack of "the big picture". Do you want your kids to grow up knowing only what you tell them? To have their reality limited by the prejudices you impose? This is parental fascism. Being a good mother or father means putting aside your own issues, valid as they may be, and thinking about what's best for your CHILD first and foremost.

I will say there is one grandparent who we do not speak to. This is because of direct physical danger they have put us and our child in. Of course, in extreme cases like that, you make a judgment call. But Jon and Kate's families are not dangerous. They're just apparently not perfect enough.

iluveeyore said...

They said they do not want to be filmed. They never said they never see their grandparants.

They NEVER said they did not want to be filmed. THAT would have made sense.

They also said that they are not in their "everyday" lives. What about Christmas? What about their birthdays?

Kate once said that Aaden considered Beth to be his "second mother." I can't believe that Aaden has never asked about Beth... or that the other kids haven't asked about Taliah, Jodi, Jodi's kids, et al.

I wonder what story Kate told them.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused... where can I find out what happened to aunt Jodi?

I'm sure Mady and Cara are questioning why there are no extended family members in their lives. They probably have experienced the pain of a lonely grandparents day at school.

I'm hoping their school will have a FAMILY day instead. For the children who, god forbid are missing a parent, let alone a grandparent. Don't blame the families for the school's stupid assumptions.

Back on topic, not too offended, as this was directed to the Gosselins. I've always wondered though... what if Kate's mother is just like Kate, and that's why Kate keeps her away? Because Maddy is a lot like Kate I imagine she might back off from her mum when she's older, and then it clicked -- what if that's what Kate is doing with her own mother? It would make sense -- two Kates are worse than one, and would definitely butt heads.

Anonymous said...

This is on the grandparents though... I have children that live within blocks of both sets of grandparents. Neither are overly invovled. They see them now and then and babysit if it's for a drs appt for me or something but, they don't ever play with them. They don't just come see them to hang out ever. They just aren't interested in that.
Personally, no matter what my children do in life I will work very hard to be involved in their childrens lives. How hard are Kate and Jon's parents trying? Are they sending letters, calling, asking to come over, inviting them over? We really don't know but, we can assume they aren't working too hard on it because Jodi/Julie have never mentioned that the grandparents try for a relationship with the kids. It is sad, very sad when grandparents aren't involved but, there's really no one to blame there but, them. My children could be completely horrible but, I would try forever til I got a relationship with my grandchildren, especially if they think they're being harmed by the filming.

Anonymous said...

"Some people just look way to far into posts as well."

I also belive this could be true for the how we watch show in general. I love this blog, I am thankful for the things it has brought to my attention. However, we all sit and analyze every single word that is spoken, clothing that is worn, toy that is played with on the show that I think we are losing our credibility. For example, "kate is wearing too much blush!" What does this have to do with the fact that they are exploiting their children? Or anything else that this blog stands for for that matter? This could be one such post.

distractionary items said...

Thank you for your wonderful post! Grandparents can not be replaced by materialism. The love that a grandparent gives can not be measured in dollars. Preventing a child from knowing the ancestors in their family is traumatic. These children are missing out on so much! My mother helped me raise my oldest daughter when I was a single parent. My daughter today, as a adult, praises the love that her grandmother gave her. She has her grandmother listed as her "HERO" on her myspace account. I am saddened that the Gosselin children will never experience this kind of LOVE.

Danielle said...

So I must admit, I have been a strong supporter of J&K ever since I first saw the show despite all of the criticism I have heard about Kate. Today I spent a little more time really reading up and hearing what everyone has to say and, although I never thought Kate was perfect, I am less and less impressed by her. However, in response to criticism about the show being fueled by Kate's selfishness, why does anyone think stopping the show will safeguard her children from their mother's personality?

My mom is very much like Kate- although she claims that she is a selfless mother, reality shines through pretty clearly. Whether or not the show continues or not, the Gosselin children are always going to have their needs somewhat neglected (albeit not in a seriously abusive way). I have always felt that at least these kids really are getting these tremendous opportunities- I never had such experiences and I still have the same hang-ups anyone with a selfish and know-it-all mother like Kate would have.

I admit that I don't know what the future damages might be as the kids are so exposed and everything, but it's important to recognize that they will have the same parents whether the show airs or not. At least maybe they will have life experiences that will help them find themselves as individuals in the future. That's all we can hope for as viewers who truly care.