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Grandson Won't Talk To Us

(84 Posts)
minstrel Wed 15-May-13 11:19:10

We have a lovely, bright little grandson of 5 years old. Our son and his partner are now living apart and she has met and is to be married to another man next month. Our problem is that our grandson will not acknowledge us at all. He never says hello when he comes into our house or says goodbye when he leaves. I have never had a cuddle from him and have now given up trying. When myself or my husband try to talk to him he completely ignores us. As you can imagine this is very hurtful. His parents have never told him that this is wrong and instead say "its just the way he is". We both feel very rejected. Has anybody else had this experience?

grannyactivist Wed 15-May-13 11:21:44

Is this a recent change in behaviour? Or has he always been this way?

minstrel Wed 15-May-13 11:26:42

He has always been the same.

Eloethan Wed 15-May-13 11:44:23

He's only 5 - some children are very shy at that age. Do you see him regularly and is he used to being with other people? What do his parents mean "it's just the way he is?" - the way he is with everybody? If so, although it must be very hurtful to you, hopefully it's something he'll grow out of.

It does seem that his parents could gently ask him to say hello/goodbye to grandma and grandpa, but it's probably not worth risking having an argument about it.

minstrel Wed 15-May-13 11:59:08

He's not at all shy and he is not like this with everyone else. His teachers say how polite he is and he always seems to speak nicely to them. I pick him up from school once a week and we see him every other weekend when he stays at our house with our son. I see my friends having loving relationships with their grandchildren, kisses and cuddles etc. and I wonder why I can't have that with my own. Its just very hurtful but perhaps I just have to learn to live with it and not stress about it too much. The sad thing is that he is moving away with his mother and her new partner very soon so we will not get to see him as much and I wonder whether I will ever have a typical grandma/grandson relationship with him.

FlicketyB Wed 15-May-13 11:59:51

As Eloethan says, is he like this with everyone other than his parents? If he is 5 he must have started school, what is he like at school? Has the school raised any concerns? Could he be autistic or have other spectrum disorders that cause communication problems?

grannyactivist Wed 15-May-13 12:09:30

My youngest son was very reserved with other people (still is in fact). I used to get slightly irritated when people wanted him to meet their expectations instead of accepting him as he was. He was always polite, but found it very difficult to join in conversation. Good manners; saying hello and goodbye, thank you for having me etc. were non-negotiable however.

JessM Wed 15-May-13 12:10:37

I don't understand how this works. You pick him up from school and he is silent? He stays at your house and he talks to his dad but not to you? Ever?
What happens if you say "Would you like some ice-cream?"?

Eloethan Wed 15-May-13 12:29:41

mistrel If he is generally sociable and polite with other people, I really don't understand this at all. Do you have any views as to why he behaves like this with you?

What happens when you pick him up from school? Does he say hello then? What happens if you ask him if he's had a good day at school? (or, as Jess suggested, whether he'd like an ice cream smile).

kittylester Wed 15-May-13 12:50:58

GA, DS2 hated going to parties and, when invites came, he was always given the choice of saying yes or no. Having made a choice he had to stand by it. He threw a 'wobbly' about one party but I took him anyway. When I collected him I asked 'And what do you say?'. His reply was 'I didn't want to come anyway!' blush

Eloethan Wed 15-May-13 12:59:34

kittylester Oh no! - that's when you want the ground to open up and swallow you smile

minstrel Wed 15-May-13 13:04:26

No I don't understand it either! Thats why I have been moved to write on here. Ok, when I pick him up from school he usually just runs off with his friends without saying hello to me. Sometimes he says "not you again" when he sees me. On the way home in the car I will ask him questions but he doesn't always answer me. He's not allowed to watch television during the week so when we get home I will read to him or sometimes we make cakes, he will engage with me then. When my son comes home from work he just wants to be with daddy which is understandable as he does not see him every day. When my husband comes home from work and says Hello xxxx how are you today he is met with silence. When he goes to bed and we say goodnight we do not get any response. In the morning its the same with no response from him to our good morning how are you today sort of questions. He then goes off to school without a goodbye. Its all very strange and I just wondered if anyone else out there had come across the same thing? Thanks everyone for your input, its much appreciated.

Tegan Wed 15-May-13 13:13:25

Why isn't he allowed to watch television?

minstrel Wed 15-May-13 13:24:30

His mum won't let him watch television during the week. Its her decision so we have to go along with it when he is with us too.

gillybob Wed 15-May-13 13:25:22

I was thinking exactly the same thing Tegan. Strange rule. confused

minstrel Wed 15-May-13 13:27:57

It is I agree but she is his mum. When my son put the television on for him one time he went home and told his mum and we got screamed at down the phone for going against her wishes.

grannyactivist Wed 15-May-13 13:33:24

My children didn't even have a television to watch! shock
It does seem as though this little boy is being bad mannered and that is something his father needs to address. Whether the little one likes you or not - and sad to say that seems to me to be what's going on here - there is no excuse for ill manners. It may have its roots in a dozen different causes, but is it possible that he resents the time he spends with you because of some misplaced anger towards his dad?

Bags Wed 15-May-13 13:39:45

Surely when the boy is with his Dad, Dad can make the rules about what is allowed? If the parents are separated, the Mum can't make the rules for Dad as well as if the rules were agreed between them?

Even when parents do live together, kids can do different things with different parents without there being a problem.

As for the Mum "screaming down the phone", well, I suspect there lies the reason for the little boy's manner towards his paternal grandparents.


HappyNanna Wed 15-May-13 13:43:53

Not a nice situation. I also think it's bad mannered, and that it's his Dad that needs to get to the bottom if it. However, now that you've explained a bit more about what his Mum is like, is it possible that she's telling him to behave like this towards you? If you're picking him up from school and looking after him then his behaviour is totally unacceptable.

JessM Wed 15-May-13 14:00:16

An alternative view is that this is a little boy who has a fair bit to cope with and that expecting "manners" may be just making an issue about something that is not, currently, important. Focus on the things he likes to do. Change your behaviour around the "meeting and greeting" bits. Get quirky on him maybe. Turn up at school in fancy dress or pink hair or something and say "I'm afraid its me again" . Think of some messy things you can do together. Make a den and eat crazy food like in the film Mermaids.
(i let mine run round the back yard in a thunderstorm, ripping his clothes off and screaming with joy last week. I regret not joining in. It was warm rain.)
If he senses you are fretting about this issue and that he has power, then he'll use it.
Just been staying with my GS, same age. Behaves much better for me when his mum not around - when she is there, he sometimes messes me about e.g. I want mummy to clean my teeth not you etc
After one such episode I am sitting patiently, waiting for mummy to do the honours before we set off for school. He's glaring at me. Then he says, in a reflective tone: "Nana's going tomorrow. I should have been nicer." grin

minstrel Wed 15-May-13 14:00:23

I have had thoughts in that direction yes, but could anyone really be that unkind? I agree that his manners are appalling but its only towards us and not other people he meets. My son is not a strong person and his ex has always made the decisions.

LullyDully Wed 15-May-13 14:05:44

Have you asked his mum why he doesn't speak to you, I do find it very peculiar if you are doing activities with him.

Perhaps he does have a language problem?

I find a little bit of TV helps the kids as they are shattered when they get home. Then tea then homework if any.

minstrel Wed 15-May-13 14:22:18

JessM you sound great fun! Maybe I should lighten up a bit and not let it upset me so much!

LullyDully I always let mine watch TV when they came home from school as they were shattered, as you say. The TV thing is his mum's choice and I have to respect that.

This is my one and only grandchild and perhaps my expectations are too high. He's a lovely little lad just rather rude to his grandparents!

gillybob Wed 15-May-13 14:30:12

I think you have hit the nail on the head Bags. Who says that mum should be the one making all of the rules? Surely dad has exactly the same parental rights as mum and should work things out between them. I agree that there seems to be something going on behind the scenes. Perhaps mum is bad mouthing dad and/or grandparents in front of the little boy and he is picking up the vibes.

Can you be sure that mum forbids television at her house or is she just using this as a reason for the little one not to want to come to yours?

Your time with your DGS should be happy, enjoyable time for both of you and it is not appropriate for a small boy to say "not you again" when you pick him up.

Tegan Wed 15-May-13 14:31:29

Does he feel that being pleasant to you is being disloyal to his mother in some way? And does his not being allowed to watch television mean that no one in your house can watch it when he stays with you?