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Grandchild behaviour.

(20 Posts)
Fatarse54 Mon 22-Feb-21 10:26:44

My husband and I have been caring for our darling grandson who is 3years and 3 months one day a week since he was 9 months old. Initially at the first lockdown we didn't see him for four months other than skype/ what's app, Since September he comes once a week. The last 6 weeks he has become defiant, shouty, slapping, and has told me he hates me, I know hes only going through a phase, but he is so hurtful and we are both finding it difficult to handle him. He is our much wanted and adored first grandchild but don't know what to do. When we took him home ,our daughter in law asked if he'd been good, my husband said he'd been challenging, she the said she can't manage him and is on anti depressants, my husband explained he was concerned for me as I have several health problems and was concerned I would be hurt or suffer another heart attack. My son adores his son and the bond they share is fantastic, however in the beginning a baby wasn't on their agenda, as they were both nearing 40. DIL didn't bond for ages, she is from a weird family where her mother is Queen, and still controls her daughter. I just wonder if my darling grandson dislikes female company? We have said that we would like a break this week, DIL is not working as she lost her job through the current situation, grandson goes to nursery too full days , son works from home most days. Are we being used, unreasonable or do we shut up and carry on? I admit the days when the little one is good are magical, and we go out puddle jumping, football, local play parks etc, this has changed since lockdown so maybe it's because he's bored we have the dreadful behaviour or just growing up? I cannot remember our 3 boys behaving this way but we are oldies now at 68 67 respectively. Advice please . A nanna and grandad who are hurting.

Peasblossom Mon 22-Feb-21 10:39:15

Why has the puddle jumping etc changed? He just sounds full of frustrated energy to me.

Personally I wouldn’t pay any attention to the I hate you but I don’t accept physical violence from anyone.

Missingmoominmama Mon 22-Feb-21 10:43:32

I really feel for you, but if it’s any comfort, he probably doesn’t know why he’s behaving like that either- it certainly won’t be personal.

I used to foster 0-5 year olds and I quickly realised that I needed to be proactive rather than reactive. We would start every day with a story, featuring two children who would be doing everything we needed to do that day. They would start by asking their mummy the plan for the day, she would tell them and then they would start their day. Sometimes my imaginary children would get bored and play up, but we talked through what they could do if that happened. It wasn’t completely foolproof- we still had moments, but it was easy to refer back to Gregory and Madeline (the imaginary siblings’ names). Sometimes my children would exclaim, “ This is what Gregory and Madeline did!

I also had back up activities planned, and always took a bag out with spare clothes, drinks and snacks.

The planning became second nature, and I believe it helped us all to cope.

Best of luck to you.

NellG Mon 22-Feb-21 10:45:25

I don't usually call people out on Lockdown rules but... if you are not providing essential childcare for work purposes why are you having him at all?

As for the behaviour issue, he's a toddler, they can be extremely hard work and childcare can be exhausting. My advice would be suspend contact until lockdown is lifted as you are not needed for childcare, then afterwards if you can't cope with him alone have contact with them as a family whereby his behaviour will be the concern of his parents.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but the way you've put this makes me feel you may be a bit out of your depth with this considering the other issues you hint at.

Tangerine Mon 22-Feb-21 10:46:53

I think children say things at that age without realising the full implication.

I agree with another poster who said physical violence from the child is definitely not to be accepted.

In general, the little boy is perhaps bored stiff - normally he'd see other children or perhaps go to playgroup etc. It must be very hard for little children as well as the school age ones.

You can still take him puddle jumping!

Redhead56 Mon 22-Feb-21 11:06:15

I helped with my granddaughters I found that you have be firm with toddlers and mean what you say. Telling them off then giving a hug just fuels naughtiness and let's be honest they do try it on.
It's best to be very firm when saying no and divert the naughty behaviour with little tasks to do. Your DIL says she can't cope well I am sorry she is going to have to its her child she needs to be told this. When covid rules are relaxed have your grandson over but if his mum is not working now it's her responsibility.

trisher Mon 22-Feb-21 11:36:36

This chld has spent a third of his life in lockdown. His mum is having a hard time. He's 3 and full of energy. It may well be that he would be better doing something where he could be more active. You may not be up to running around with him so you need to develop strategies which keep him running about while you sit still. We used to have an imaginary shop at the end of the garden, child was sent 'shopping' while we sat in the sun. Lots of other games can be adapted as well. But if you really can't manage him it might be best to limit your contact to short visits

sazz1 Mon 22-Feb-21 11:48:21

Try a strict routine e.g. breakfast lunch dinner all at exactly same time. Outings at same time every day, drawing time, story time etc. It will help child feel more secure.
Lots of children are developing behaviour problems during lockdown probably through lack of interaction with peers and familiar adults, relatives etc

M0nica Mon 22-Feb-21 11:48:50

Why not go to the park and play on all the equpment. encourage him to run around from one piece of equipment to another. You can either walk behind him or sit and call encouragement. Take him puddle jumping. Unless you are shielding, in which case you shouldn't be seeing anyone, outdoor exercise is allowed for all of you.

As for saying they hate you, do not worry about that most children say that at sometime to their parents, as toddlers or teenagers, both are tantrum ages. They do not mean it, it just means that they are at outs with thw worrld and they want everyone else to feel the same, and they soon learn that saying 'I hate you' to a caring adult makes you as upset as them..

I also think Missingmoominmama day plan is brilliant.

H1954 Mon 22-Feb-21 11:59:20

I tend to think your DS and DIL are taking advantage of you. If your DGS goes to nursery two full days a week, his dad works from home and mum is home all then why can't the child stay with his parents?
DIL has admitted she's finding him difficult but they are his parents and it's their responsibility to identify where and how his current behaviour has developed and nip it in the bud.
All children can be testing at times but hitting you is not acceptable under any circumstances.
You deserve to have a break and take care of your own health.

Hithere Mon 22-Feb-21 12:19:54

You are only being taking advantage of if they put a gun to your head and force you to babysit once a week.

Children thrive with consistency. Whose idea was this 1 day arrangement?

He could be getting bored, missing his friends, not enough info in the post.

Btw, have you heard of threenagers? Way worse than the terrible twos.

Why doesnt he go to the nursery 5 days a week?

I agree that in the middle of a pandemic, this arrangement is very risky and unnecessary

As for her mother unable to manage him, not sure how it factors here. I read an implication how she is not doing a good job at raising her son

She is suffering from depression and yes, it can be overwhelming to take care of daily life in that condition. I am glad she is taking care of it. She also lost her job which can be triggering as well

Tell them you can no longer take care of your gs once a week and the parents will make other arrangements. Easy peasy.

Hithere Mon 22-Feb-21 12:22:41

I forgot - my kid began saying I hate you at the same age when she didnt get her way.

I would reply "I love you". She got over it in a couple of months.
Now it is " you are a bad mommy". I wonder what the new version will be.

cornishpatsy Mon 22-Feb-21 12:29:56

Maybe they assume that you want to spend time with your grandson rather than they are taking advantage of you.

Sounds like he is behaving like a normal 3-year-old.

If you do not want to have him for the day then tell the parents, don't use his normal 3-year-old behaviour as a reason.

Iam64 Mon 22-Feb-21 13:23:42

He sounds like a fairly ordinary 3 year old. Your comment wondering whether he dislikes female company, along with the tone of your comments suggest you feel his mother is at the root of things you are worried about.
Trisher makes a good point about the impact of lockdown, not just on him, on his parents.
If he’s in nursery twice a week, I think that means you aren’t in a bubble, so you’re breaching lockdown guidance - as are many others

Grandmabatty Mon 22-Feb-21 13:59:06

Have him for half the day or a couple of hours and take him home. I agree with taking to the park and puddle splashing as that's manageable. Let your son know that physically you struggle with the full day. It sounds as if you want to see him but can't quite manage a long time. If the park is too much for you, then a couple of activities in your house like building bricks or baking, interspersed with watching a tv programme he likes and a snack. He's pushing boundaries so ignore the comments and distract him.

sodapop Mon 22-Feb-21 15:27:55

I think you are over reacting to your grandson's behaviour Fatarse54 seems like normal toddler tantrums but you have invested a lot of love in him which at present is not reciprocated. It's a difficult time all round and seems your family is quite stressed.
Talk to the parents about your concerns and agree strategies for dealing with this behaviour. Don't take it all so personally, praise your grandson when he is good and don't get caught up with his tantrums.

foxie48 Mon 01-Mar-21 09:41:56

Children of this age often find it difficult to control their behaviour. I remember when my daughter was four, I suddenly felt as if I was constantly asking her to stop doing naughty things so I changed my way of dealing with her. Instead of challenging the "bad" behaviour I got her involved in something that was "good" behaviour. TBH it's how you train dogs and it works just as well with children. Instead of "stop slapping me" say "let's find your (favourite toy), can you help granny to find it? Rubbish examples but so much better than confrontation. Oh and loads of praise when he's being good, positive reinforcement all the way! Good luck

Blondiescot Mon 01-Mar-21 09:56:51

Our three-year-old grandson lives with us (as does his dad, my son). He is very energetic and can be challenging to say the least. Thankfully he does go to nursery full-time and has done throughout lockdown, as I honestly don't know if I'd have been able to cope with me all day, every day. He sounds very much like your grandson, and as others have said, hopefully it is just a phase they are going through.

Madgran77 Mon 01-Mar-21 17:39:32

Take a step and breakdown the issues...

1. Do you want to look after him 1 day a week or would you prefer not to?

2. If you want to do childcare how much can you realistically manage? Nil? 1 day? 1/2 a day? Occasional evening? Offer no more than you can honestly cope with

3. If you are going to do childcare think about what 3 year olds like to do; plan the time with him. Type in activities with 3 year olds to Google, loads will come up to give you ideas

4. If he says I hate you, say Oh! Dont overreact, create reasons for him to carry on, get worse! His comments ...dont look at them as being about what you feel but about what he is feeling and why!

5. Be clear about boundaries and be clear about what your response/strategies will be to tantrums. Discuss with his parents their preferred strategies, what you do, what they want; agree together what you are all comfortable with that is best for the little boy!

But your first decision is do you want to do childcare or not?

ElaineI Mon 01-Mar-21 18:05:39

Seriously he is behaving very normally for a child of 3. DGS2 is almost 3 and at the "No" stage for everything but we just try and ignore it. He has tantrums and is developing his own personality. I take him outside a lot - he has a mini micro scooter and balance bike, we go to the park, to see the garden with chickens, to the woods to throw sticks in the burn. He is a very social child and like most others that age he would have been to toddler group, gym monkeys, book bug and swimming and children have had none of this for a year. We are approaching his 2nd lockdown birthday. DGD is 4, she started nursery and then it closed and has just restarted. Again she had just begun making friends then couldn't see them. But they go out all the time for long walks to the woods, river etc. Fortunately all within walking distance. Because she has missed months of nursery she won't be going to school in August but will hopefully have another year at nursery. Older children have more anxiety and mental health issues services are overwhelmed dealing with this.
It sounds like you could maybe rethink what you do with your DGS. Could he have a scooter or bike at yours? We got one from FaceBook marketplace and people sell them on Gumtree. Find out if there is anywhere near you with woods, burns, different parks and have puddle suit and wellies
available (for you too) so rain is not a barrier to going out.
Your DiL does not sound like she is very well. Did she have PN depression if she didn't bond with him? That might be part of the problem if she is still not coping with him. I feel she needs better treatment and hope she is seeing a mental health specialist. Maybe the health visitor could help with that?