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Granddaughter not showing any acknowledgment nor volunteering help

(107 Posts)
bluerinse Tue 29-Sep-20 22:49:30

We have had 16 year old GD living with us since July. She attends school nearby aiming to achieve entrance to university. She doesn’t offer assistance to the life of the household nor does she show any appreciation when anything is done for her. Meal times are becoming a dread of mine as she picks out the food she doesn’t like despite my having altered our eating habits in the attempt to avoid this happening. Help!

NotTooOld Tue 29-Sep-20 22:55:31

How annoying, bluerinse. However, it sounds as though she is only acting as a typical 16 year old.

LadyBella Tue 29-Sep-20 23:00:30

Don't worry! It's a terrible age - hormones all over the place. I would not expect many youngsters of that age to show any interest in the household nor show any appreciation of anything. They are almost all like that. I have experience of children (now adults) and a grandchild who is a young teenager and can honestly say what you are experiencing is totally normal. There are some exceptions of course but mine were just as you describe. The good thing is that, give her a few years, your GD will probably have turned into a lovely, helpful young adult. Believe me it will happen. You have to grin and bear it for a while.

Hithere Tue 29-Sep-20 23:04:57

She is 16, not 5.

Based on that, I would agree with her that as you are roommates, you both hold responsibility on keeping up with the house, so make a chore calendar

No need to modify your eating habits.
She eats what she wants, keeps common areas clean and same principle applies for you.

Callistemon Tue 29-Sep-20 23:12:28

I had a rota on the kitchen board for mine.
Largely it was ignored (too much homework/got a music lesson/tennis/dancing/cricket etc) but it made me feel better.
The one thing they were supposed to do was tidy their rooms.
It was best not to inspect them though.

They're all very tidy now.

GrannySomerset Tue 29-Sep-20 23:13:03

Depends on why she is with you - it sounds as if she is taking out her dissatisfaction with life on you because you are nearest. Absolutely no reason why she shouldn’t do some chores and eat what she chooses from you providing what you normally eat. Be cheerful, accept no rudeness and don’t nag and you will all get there. Very tough being a teenager just now.

Callistemon Tue 29-Sep-20 23:15:52

It must be strange for her too, living with her grandparents. Does she go home at weekends?
It depends what she was used to doing at home - if she wasn't expected to help then this could be a bone of contention.

Feelingmyage55 Tue 29-Sep-20 23:23:19

Sounds very normal. She must be missing her parent/s (and sibling/s) and it sounds as if she is under pressure to perform academically (either from herself/and/or parents). No matter how comfy and welcome you are making her she is undergoing a lot of change then add in Covid. I’d say if she is studying hard, keeps her room tidyish and puts her washing in the basket then you are all rubbing along well. at 16, planning to go to university, it would be good for her to make a simple supper once a week. Watch Bake-off with her if she is interested and remember that young people nowadays (in my experience) tend to get more praise and compliments than I did at that age. If she cooks, say thank you, no matter what it is like! and she will hopefully reciprocate. But if she is calm and not disruptive then she is a pretty good 16 year old. You are giving her a great opportunity and in years to come when she is more mature she will realise it. Try and enjoy having a young person around, ignore the picky food thing. Get her to extend your IT knowledge and have some fun.

paddyanne Tue 29-Sep-20 23:34:47

Give her a budget for her own food and let her buy it herself.If she lives on pizza thats her choice.Shes a teenager and I wouldn't wish a teenage girl on my worst enemy ...BUT she'll grow up and be fine given time.

Lolo81 Wed 30-Sep-20 00:51:15

Have you discussed any of this with your GD?
What would you like her to do? Maybe assign her a couple of specific chores?
Re: food, she is eating, but just doesn’t enjoy the same things as you. This isn’t a huge issue, I’ve found that my children have a very different palate than my parents - I’d cook differently for a dinner with my parents than with my children. If the food waste bothers you, could you meal plan and include her? Or ask her to cook one night a week?
Communication is key here, you need to make your feelings known and listen to what she’s thinking and find common ground to prevent any resentments.

BlueBelle Wed 30-Sep-20 05:05:19

Sounds perfectly normal ....late teens is such a difficult age nearly an adult but not quite there
Unfortunately everything you mention sounds duplicated in every teenage household
I remember my boss once saying to me my daughter went up to bed an angel and came down the next morning the devil himself
My sons bedroom was a total disaster with fungating cereal bowls under the bed, sweaty sports equipment forgotten to put in the washing machine until the day needed no food he liked He is a perfect husband but was a very unperfect teenager Don’t you love them though

Oopsadaisy4 Wed 30-Sep-20 05:22:35

Why not go through a meal list with her Each week before you Do the food shop? she might enjoy planning ( or even helping with) her meals.

My DDs and GCs enjoyed baking, it not cooking and never helped do the chores!

Apart from that as everyone has said you have a normal teenage girl with you and she and you will be fine, I’m sure she appreciates it, but you would probably have to drag a thank you out of her.

It’s probably a bit of a difficult time Of adjustment for you though, to suddenly have a teenager living with you, 16 is now the new 19 yr old and they have very firm views on how they want to live and it rarely includes household chores.

Oopsadaisy4 Wed 30-Sep-20 05:23:45

Don’t know where all the capital letters came from on my post.
Blasted ipad.

JennyNotFromTheBlock Wed 30-Sep-20 05:24:01

Don't you worry: she is a teenager and teenagers act like that not because they don't love you or don't appreciate what you are doing for them, they just can't express their feelings properly. Give her a little time, she will come around eventually. Are there any hobbies of hers that you could share? Maybe you can ask her for help with some technology stuff? Many teenagers enjoy being asked to help with something they know a lot about, so maybe you'll get along better after she shows you how to change the hair color in the picture in Photoworks or how to use Excel formulas.

Daddima Wed 30-Sep-20 07:33:54

This may be filed under ‘ the bleedin’ obvious’, but have you asked her to help with chores? Perhaps she is not used to helping, so she carries on doing nothing, while you get more and more angry. Could you maybe tell her you could do with some help, and let her decide what chores she wants to take on? You say you have altered your eating habits but she is picking out food she doesn’t like, so have you altered your habits to what she says she would like, or to what you think she would like? Again, a bit of communication and giving her some input, like, ‘ I see you’ve left the ( insert name of food here), is there anything you’d like instead?’.
* Feelingmyage*, can I ask if there’s any reason you suggest watching Great British Bake Off would appeal to a teenager? And, Jenny, did I miss something referring to changing hair colour in a picture, which seems to me a strange thing to specify?

Sunnyoutlook Wed 30-Sep-20 08:03:32

Feelingmyage55 Totally agree with everything you said

SpringyChicken Wed 30-Sep-20 08:09:30

It’s probably no picnic for your granddaughter either, Bluerinse. You are two generations apart and see things differently. Cleaning, chores, it’s just not on her radar and given the choice, she’d probably be back at home. She won’t see what extra work she creates by staying with you. She’s likely behaving as she does at home.

You have to spell it out for her if you want help. Actually, do you really want help or just a show of appreciation? I’d suck it up if I were you. You don’t want to be remembered as ‘moany’. Her parents are probably more grateful than she is.

Lucca Wed 30-Sep-20 08:59:07

She’s 16. I know I had boys and not girls but I doubt there’s much difference.
I’d advise picking your battles. If your main gripe is food put her on the spot once and just get her to say what she likes.
Personally I’d be loving having a GD stay with me at such a difficult time. Don’t underestimate the Covid effect either.

eazybee Wed 30-Sep-20 09:41:49

Where are her parents in all this?
She is living in your house, so she needs to adjust her attitude and hopefully learn a few manners as well. You are housing her, I presume, for her advantage, so if she doesn't like it, present the alternative.
Why should ungraciousness be tolerated 'because she is a teenager?'

Rmegan Wed 30-Sep-20 09:44:50

I totally agree. But, she may also be depressed if she has moved away from home, friends and parents and her own space. Giver her time it’ll all work out in the end.

Jennyhuie Wed 30-Sep-20 09:48:16

If she doesn’t like the food you prepare let her make her own. Good practise for later in life. Just make sure she does the washing up as well. In the current situation we are in. Some family’s are living off of food banks, teenager or not she needs to face up to reality.

Kartush Wed 30-Sep-20 09:49:15

Sit her down and tell her you require her to help with everyday living chores, give her a list then ask her what she would be willing to take On. Dont give her the option of refusing.
With the food, i am assuming you cook then make up plates. Try leaving the food in either the pans you cooked in or each food in an individual bowl. Tell her its ready then let her get her own. Or get her to cook her own food a couple of days a week.
As to the showing appreciation, i am not a stickler for that one, if i choose to do something for someone i dont expect appreciation. But if it bothers you, stop doing it, she will soon appreciate things when they arnt happening.

jaylucy Wed 30-Sep-20 09:51:16

I think maybe that you need to sit her down and explain that as she is going to be living with you for the foreseeable future, she is not staying in a hotel!
She needs to be told that at the very least she must keep her room tidy, along with doing her own laundry and also either help with the cooking or wash up after the meals.
It's frustrating to see teenagers picking over their meals - even my ex husband used to do it and he was in his 20s at the time! Maybe if every now and then she either chose the menu or even cooked it, that might make a change.

Cossy Wed 30-Sep-20 09:51:51

Oh I do feel for you, but it’s typical (these days) teenage behaviour. Girls especially are so picky with their food, frustrating as it is it will pass. How good of you to have her, quite disruptive to your lives, but also a huge adjustment for you too. Just sit down with her and talk openly and good luck to you all

Coconut Wed 30-Sep-20 09:53:17

I find that nothing ever gets resolved without open communication, and dealing with all issues as/when they arise. If things are left, they just build up and people tend to explode over trivia. It doesn’t have to be serious chats, inject some humour in it, laugh at your differences etc