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grandaughter pushed too hard

(85 Posts)
doglady1 Sun 04-Feb-18 16:15:58

AIBU My 18 year old granddaughter has lived with us for 15 months after falling out with mum but I have had to ask her to leave.

Sorry for the extended back story but its more than a bit comlplicated

DS and DIL split 6 years ago after 12 years of marriage , in a very angry messy divorce. The marriage broke down (mostly) due to uncontrolled spending of my DIL, The 2 grandchildren lived with mum, who was very bitter and has some mental health issues. As often happens Ex DIL poisoned the kids blaming my DS for the break up.

DS kept in contact with the children, had them most weekends and paid above and beyond maintenance. I'm sad to say ex DIL changed partners on a too regular basis, moving a new man in as she kicked the last out and I'm sure my granddaughter saw and heard more than a child should ever know.

After a fracas with an unsavoury boyfriend of Ex DIL the youngest, my grandson came to live with his dad. My granddaughter who was 14 by then refused to leave her mum and wanted no more to do with her dad (even though the assault was on her dad). Again we tried to keep in contact.

15 months ago my granddaughter asked if she could move in with my husband and myself. She wasn't getting on with her mum and needed somewhere safe to stay, still blamed her dad for the divorce, so I said yes. We gave her a bedroom, sky TV food money etc, ferried her everywhere to college and to and from friends. Her mum transferred her Family allowance which I have saved for driving lessons

Unfortunately her standard of everyday living and our are miles apart. She doesn't shower very often, smokes and drinks, her room is a tip. Despite 15 months of reminding cajoling and downright telling she hasn't changed a bit. Making allowances for her upbringing is one thing but her attitude is something else.

She got a job about 9 months ago and I didn't ask her for anything towards her keep.

She seems to think that she doesn't have to do anything around the house at all as she 'now goes to work and its my job.'

She treats the place like a hotel, refuses to say when she is coming or going or who she is with.I have given her a key, but she forgets to take it so I have said to her that if she is not coming home to tell me as I am not happy leaving the back door open at night. This resulted in her getting locked out and waking me up 2 nights last week.

She earns between £800 - 1200 per month, but spends it in the first 2 weeks. I have offered to help her budget and even worked out her expenses but she's not interested. Then she tries to borrow money when she runs out and gets cross and tries to manipulate me when I refuse.

The last straw happened about a week ago. My husband has several chronic illnesses and is on a downward spiral and has been hospitalised 3-4 times in the last few months. His illnesses can be bought on by stress. She and I had a heated discussion over something and when my husband intervened and told her to keep it down she shouted at him to go back in his room and watch the tv and keep out of it. I told her that she needs to be more considerate, because if he had a heart attack after she stressed him out I would blame her and she would blame herself. To which she replied she couldn't give a sh*t if he did.

I told her that she had better find somewhere else to live if that's how she felt.

So AIBU to tell her to leave

Thanks for reading this far, feel better now its written out

Charleygirl Sun 04-Feb-18 16:22:23

Not in the slightest. She should be paying her way and helping around the house. You are not her unpaid helper, let her find out what the real world is like because she has no respect for her grandparents who took her in during her hour of need.

MissAdventure Sun 04-Feb-18 16:24:08

Her feet wouldn't touch the ground if she were my granddaughter! She'd be out.
For you though, maybe you could help her with finding somewhere, and being able to live independently? It would surely be easier than all the stress you're having now.
Yes, her upbringing may have been not all that great, but its time to move on from that.

Jalima1108 Sun 04-Feb-18 16:31:32

She is obviously troubled but she has two parents and she is herself an adult.

You shouldn't be making yourselves ill over her - time for her to move on, but also let her know that you would love her to visit from time to time as long as she doesn't upset you or her grandfather.

Nonnie Sun 04-Feb-18 16:47:32

If you find it too hard to throw her out what about establishing some ground rules and sticking to them?

My suggestions:

Give her two days to clear her room and then tell her you will go in and pick up everything left lying around and keep it until she has properly cleaned her room.

Tell her what time meals are and that unless she negotiates otherwise that is the only time food will be provided.

Tell her that you will not open the door to her after a given time at night, say 10 pm

Decide upon a sanction if she raises her voice and stick to it.

I could go on but I think you have my drift.

NanaandGrampy Sun 04-Feb-18 17:06:21

How sad for you - and her. Not the relationship you want or expect is it?

I appreciate she has had a tough life but I've never been a believer in that being a good enough excuse for bad behaviour and whilst some of what you describe could be any teenager in the country a lot of it isn't.

Do you think , in an effort to make up for her previous issues you have over compensated? For instance you mention she got sky TV, food, money, transport but it seems to be a one way street. So you have set her low expectations as to what's expected of her.

Its going to come as a shock to her but I think you need to quietly lay out the 'rules' and what's expected and then tell her what will happen if she can't or doesn't want to live by these rules. For instance , we took 10% from our girls as keep from their first jobs. They didn't know it but we just saved it and gave it back to them when they moved out. But it taught them that bills have to be paid regardless.

The only thing is , if you do tell her what the consequence of not doing as you ask ( and the rules don't have to be onerous - for instance ignore her room - shut the door and if its a pigsty - its HER pigsty. If she forgets her key after one warning then she's locked out! Harsh but if you cave and get up every time why would she worry about taking the key?) then you have to follow through. If that means her moving out , so be it.

You're not doing her any favours letting her treat you like a doormat. She may have 'learnt' this behaviour from her Mum but there's no reason to let it carry on.

Sorry for the long reply :-) hope you can find a better way forward !

Maggiemaybe Sun 04-Feb-18 17:14:06

Oh dear. I'm guessing you haven't had an apology for the fracas last week? Thinking back to what I was like at her age, and one of my DDs - seething masses of teenage hormones and entitlement - I can imagine the trouble you are having. You're not her parent, though, and you shouldn't have to put up with it. You don't need the stress, and neither does your DH, and it's not as if she has nowhere else to go. I think she needs to go back to her mum's, or to your DS's.

Luckygirl Sun 04-Feb-18 17:17:55

Make a written agreement setting out your ground rules:
- no smoking in the house
- £x contribution to household finances per week
- specified jobs that are hers - e.g. clean bathroom once a week.
- if she forgets her key she is not allowed to wake you - she must find somewhere else to sleep that night
- she must treat you both with respect and good manners
- etc. etc.

Tell her that if she is unwilling to sign up to this, then she has to leave. No ifs, no buts. It is your house and she has to abide by your rules.

Don't discuss this - simply say it is non-negotiable. Don't get into an argument; just present her with it. Take it or leave it. End of.

You will be doing her a favour. She has had n proper boundaries and you are not helping her by colluding in this.

If she leaves, she leaves.

Christinefrance Sun 04-Feb-18 17:21:53

I agree with N&G definitely ground rules if you want to give her a second chance doglady. You can put a time limit on it and if things haven't improved after a set time then she needs to move on. Life has not been easy for her but the same can be said for a lot of people who don't behave badly.
My daughters paid a third of their wage for housekeeping, a third to save and the rest was theirs.
Your granddaughter has to learn the hard facts of life and should not treat you this way.

doglady1 Sun 04-Feb-18 17:34:04

Hi guys, thanks for the response. As the post was so long I haven't given every detail.

She has already left, the same evening, is now sofa surfing with family and friends.

I did say after the row that if she wants to follow my house rules (and yes I have already given her the house rules and ignored the room for months. Nonnie NanaandGrampy and Luckygirl) that she can stay, but clearly this is not what she wants to do.

I know that I am very stressed out at the moment with DH being so unwell, maybe that's why I have finally put my foot down.

I have texted her ( she wont answer my call) and told her that I love her and am thinking of her and want her to be safe, but not at my home under these circumstance.

Tough love is tough

lemongrove Sun 04-Feb-18 17:36:40

It sounds as if you have already tried many things with DGD and nothing works.Time for her to move on, too unfair on you and your DH to carry on in this way, with no thanks or sense of being grateful to you for a comfy home.
I wonder if being told that she must leave you will change her attitude? I cannot imagine, in any circumstances that I would treat my Grandparents this way, it’s awful.

MissAdventure Sun 04-Feb-18 17:37:28

I wonder what she is like in her friends' homes?

Menopaws Sun 04-Feb-18 17:44:28

Look after your DH and yourself

judypark Sun 04-Feb-18 17:50:27

Blimey, given her generous income and nasty tongue l would oust her. She has no respect for either of you. I hope I am wrong but all your granddaughter traits lead me to wonder that she is abusing drugs, the lack of hygiene and chaotic lifestyle are typical.

Jalima1108 Sun 04-Feb-18 17:51:09

I know that I am very stressed out at the moment with DH being so unwell, maybe that's why I have finally put my foot down.
I don't know how old you are (don't answer that) but very young and fit grandparents would find her behaviour a trial, let alone your DH enduring this with poor health.

I do hope she has time to reflect on her behaviour and how she has treated you and realises that it is not acceptable.
However, her room is a tip does strike a chord - is this a rite of passage for most teenagers?
Some of it does sound like normal teenage behaviour but you are the DGP not the DP - and she is an adult now. I wonder if she treats her friends where she sofa-surfs with such disrepect?

cornergran Sun 04-Feb-18 18:53:46

Some good advice here doglady. I totally agree, if she stays groundrules are essential - and they are your rules as she is in your home. The whole situation must be both worrying and upsetting, particularly as your husbands health isn’t good, I can understand you being at the end of your tether. Undoubtedly your granddaughter is struggling but she isn’t a child and as an adult has responsibilities. I think I’d be reminding her she asked to live with you, tell her you can’t believe she isn’t as upset as you are about your recent argument and really don’t believe she doesn’t care about her grandfather. I’d then share your ground rules and give her the option of staying and abiding by them or leaving. If she opts to leave agree a date and then step back. I also wondered about substance abuse but a step at a time, be brave and be clear, and no, of course you aren’t being unreasonable.

M0nica Sun 04-Feb-18 19:01:14

doglady. You are doing the right thing. Your DGD, has had a bad example at home, but you gave her a chance for a new start, but to do that she had to learn to act in a cooperative manner. At 17, as she was then, she is both old enough and young enough to understand the rules and obey them.

To a large extent you are in the same position as a parent with a child with alcohol or drug problems. You do all you can to help them, until finally you find yourself with your back to the wall and have to say 'Its my way or the highway'. If she chose to move out that was her choice.

Sooner or later family and friends will get fed up with her sofa surfing and she will have to sit down think and, hopefully, realise that she is getting nowhere and if she wants a life she has got to learn not to be so utterly selfish.

doglady1 Sun 04-Feb-18 20:18:57

yes I know a lot of her traits are normal teenage ones, I had also been worried about drugs, but I have had a good look through the stuff she left behind and can find no trace here at least.

Thank you all for your very good advice.

Menopaws Sun 04-Feb-18 20:22:52

It might be normal teenage stuff but NOT towards such helpful and patient grandparents with your own worries, how much will you resent her if she causes your dh further problems and that's not a healthy relationship then either?

SpringyChicken Sun 04-Feb-18 22:11:44

Ground rules will probably be ignored too. Stick to your guns and make her move out. You aren't being unreasonable, she is.

Luckygirl Sun 04-Feb-18 22:16:13

I am sure that as time passes she will realise how good you were to her. For now there is nothing more you can do except to concentrate on having some peaceful time for your OH to recover his health. It is always hard when you have to be firm especially with someone you love. You have done the right thing. flowers

Nelliemoser Sun 04-Feb-18 23:03:10

It does sound as if the early break up has been very hard for her. The adults who were supposed to be on her side have failed her badly. I am not at all surprised she is behaving as she is.

I agree with Cornergrans post.

The poor girl needs some support from an adult who can be sympathetic to all that has happened to the child, but at the same time be firm enough to try to help her work with some agreed ground rules.
There are places like the YMCA that do work to try and support alienated young people who need support to settle down.

BlueBelle Mon 05-Feb-18 05:38:13

What a sad story I can totally understand your side of this but the poor girl now has no one
She has lived through a lot of turmoil and has probably built a skin of steel (hence the I don’t care if you live or die attitude) She is a very damaged soul trying to appear and live normally She may even have inherited some of her mums mental health problems, she may have lived through abuse, mental or physical from the many boyfriends, she has certainly not had any stability and her way of surviving is to try and find a way of having some control and that at the moment is to do everything her way and bugger society or parents or grandparents her way or no way it’s her survival kit
I think some posters on here are not taking her dreadful life into account this isn’t just naughty teenage behaviour it’s a very damaged young lady whose life has been traumatically ruined by a warring and selfish adult or adults I m sure no one knows what has gone on in her home before she came to her Nan
She needs some major counselling, and guidance ( but not from you Doglady)She is holding down a job and you don’t think she is involved in drugs so there is hope
Do try to keep the door open I don’t mean the house door I mean your love
So very sad all round ?

mumofmadboys Mon 05-Feb-18 08:23:05

I think you have done really well giving her a home for a while living with you. At least now you are all having a break. Having told her you love her leave her for a week before you get back in contact. If I were you I would sort and clean her room and only if she asks politely let her back. Then it should be with some house rules and payment towards board and lodging. Keep the rules simple and get her to sign them. Maybe suggest the three of you review the situation in two months and make it clear you cannot have her living with you if it has a bad effect on your DH. Try and praise her for any positives. Could you suggest she cooks for the three of you once a week?

harrigran Mon 05-Feb-18 09:29:08

Sofa surfing at friends, if she is that inconsiderate her friends will not tolerate her for more than a couple of days.
In a way you brought some of it on yourself, it is never a good idea to allow someone to live rent free even if you can well afford it. She clearly has no respect for you or your DH.