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AIBU

To feel extremely upset about my granddaughter?

(51 Posts)
TopsyAndTim Mon 01-Nov-21 21:24:00

And her attitude towards me?
She is 9 years old, extremely confident and strong willed.
She likes things to go her way and gets upset and moody when they do not. For example. I told her we had to leave the shops earlier as it was getting late. She did not like this and once again, I was subjected to her moods. This is when she does not speak, sulks, slumps down to the floor once back at home and sits there with a moody look on her face. Sometimes she will get my other grandkids involved by closing the kitchen door on me and telling them all about it. Almost trying to gang up. My DD and her husband seem to think it is OK and just what kids do but I can't help but think she is too old for this and that there should be deeper exploration of why she behaves in this way.
Once again I am almost close to tears by her behaviour. Aibu to not know what to do here?

Septimia Mon 01-Nov-21 21:39:38

As I said on your other thread, it sounds like your granddaughter is also spoiled. You're the adult and she should do as she's told when in your care (assuming that you aren't being unreasonable by normal standards!)

JaneJudge Mon 01-Nov-21 21:42:51

if you don't all live in the same house, can't you just limit how much you see her/them until it all blows over (this is my guide to life) i'm sure they'll have a word with her if you are needed for minding duties wink

Hithere Mon 01-Nov-21 21:48:05

She is 9 - almost a tween

Why almost on tears?

Get used to it

Hithere Mon 01-Nov-21 21:48:56

I meant get used to this behaviour, it gets more challenging as they grow up

Hetty58 Mon 01-Nov-21 21:52:22

I'd never let a nine-year-old upset me.

I might be irritated and disappointed by her behaviour - and I'd make that crystal clear (that I dislike the behaviour, but always love the child).

I'd take care to never reward such behaviour by paying too much attention to it. It's always best to ignore if you can - then praise good behaviour.

It could be puberty. My eldest daughter became moody and stroppy aged nine - then started her periods, poor thing.

TopsyAndTim Mon 01-Nov-21 21:53:03

Because it feels personal. Even though I know it is not, it feels that way. I am only human.
Normally when she is in this mood, I leave her to it but today felt harder.
I agree she is spoilt. I would never have let my DD act in this manner.

TopsyAndTim Mon 01-Nov-21 21:58:48

In terms of puberty, I agree, that may be an issue. She looks more 12 than 9 and is very well developed for her age. With that said, the moodiness only really comes when she doesn't get her own way rather then her just being moody generally which you would maybe expect with puberty.
I do just think DD and her husband have not instilled good manners in these kids and respect. Both kids are used to getting their own way and will have a tough time in the future because of this.

M0nica Mon 01-Nov-21 22:04:37

I had a daughter like that, and at that age, although she didn't have any other children to wind up. If she behaved like that I just ignored her. I was the adult in this situation and was not going to be manipulated by a child. Do not negotiate with her, do not tell her how much she is upsetting you or act or look upset. Just get on with what you want to do and if necessary turn your back on her and walk away, not far enough to put her in any danger but enough to show her that her performance is a waste of time as she doesn't have an audience

Once DD knew I wouldn't take any notice of her and was not impressed by her behaviour and had absolutely no intention of giving way to it, she didn't stop completely she was smart enough to realise that keeping an element of it going would always be an irritant, and completely giving it up would lead to her loss of face, but she did realise that I was in charge and wasn't handing over to her any time soon, nor was I impressed or intimidated by her behaviour.

I fully understand how you feel. It is exhausting, and you constantly have your temper under tight control, because you know she is trying to wind you up to make you do something to put you in the wrong and you musn't do it.

She is not too old for this behaviour, nor is there anything wrong with her. She is just a very very strong willed girl determined to have her own way all the time and make life difficult for everyone who doesn't do as she wants.

I once to say to my daughter 'Only one of us will reach your 18th birthday, you will be the death of me or I will be the death of you.

Although I didn't have any dividing and ruling with other children, perhaps you could when you get home from any outing with her, be prepared to gather the other children round you to do something interesting, so that she can not gather them together round her. After shopping etc what about drink and biscuits all round, or read a book together, or anything else you can think off.

The only consolation I can give you, is that mine has grown into a lovely kind thoughtful adult, who because of her strength of character and determination has made a really good career for herself and has lots of friends.

The one interesting thing is that she has chosen to neither marry nor have children because, as she herself admits, she is far too uncompromising to ever manage to share a home with anyone, but she dotes on her niece and nephew, and is part of a loving family and we are all proud of her achievements.

But if you want to PM anytime do, I really understand what you're going through, but there will eventually be light at the end of the tunnel.

Hetty58 Mon 01-Nov-21 22:18:03

TopsyAndTim, I agree completely. Your daughter and her husband have done her no favours at all and she'll find things difficult when friends reject her, teachers discipline her etc.

Every family has their own ideas about acceptable behaviour, though, so perhaps they see you as too strict?

Learning to compromise, wait - and cope with disappointment are important life skills she will have to learn sooner or later (sooner is best).

She should accept your rules when in your care - or there should be some consequences. We all have our own style. I rarely shouted at mine, or grounded them, never sent them to bed with no dinner (hated my mother for that) - but sometimes turned off the house electricity for an hour, to give them quiet time to think about behaviour. It worked well, as the others really resented the wrongdoer!

Bibbity Mon 01-Nov-21 22:24:27

She is expressing disappointment. Nobody has given in to her by the sounds of it. Why is her behaviour affecting you in such a way?
She is feeling her feelings and as she is 9 she has not yet mastered masking them.
What exactly do you want her to do?

Just leave her to it. Carry on with your day.

TopsyAndTim Mon 01-Nov-21 22:24:29

I like to think I am firm but fair.
I am not a shouter. I listen and am calm but make it clear I am the adult. They are both extremely confident and strong willed as I said and I do feel they need to be reminded often that they can't have it their own way all the time. Personally, if DD had sulked in this way and behaved in such a manner then my husband and I would not have tolerated it.
DD prides herself on being strict but she really is not. I feel like she and her husband have raised some very entitled and spoilt kids. Of course they are lovely at times but this side of them is something that is not nice to see or witness.
Thank you for the support and advice. Means a lot.

VioletSky Mon 01-Nov-21 22:26:33

As the mum of a strong willed daughter, she will put it to better use one day.

For now, until she learns to regulate herself, it may get a bit bumpy.

Reward the good, ignore the bad. Love the child, hate the behaviour...

Never take it personally.

It will all be OK

M0nica Mon 01-Nov-21 22:30:02

Shouting never helps. The moment you shout when children are like this, you have lost. My problem was my daughter and she was certainly not spoiled, We gave both our children as much freedom as was commensurate with their safety and consideration of other people.

freedomfromthepast Tue 02-Nov-21 01:41:45

Monica is spot on. The 9 year old's of today are like the 15 year old's of my day.

I once was in the middle of a discussion with my then 11 year old and I realized that I was literally arguing with myself. She is strong willed, as am I. My husband thought it was hilarious, of course, that it took me so long to realize how much alike we are. I remind myself that one day I will be thankful for having a strong willed daughter. She will be prepared to take on the world and become a leader. But lord do I wish it were easier until she gets there.

Like others have said, it is best if you do not show her it bothers you. Once she knows she will get a reaction, she will use it against you. Ignore it and move on.

nanna8 Tue 02-Nov-21 02:47:44

I had one daughter like that. She was a nightmare but she has grown up to be a good and competent adult. None of my others were like that and none of my grandchildren and great grandchildren are, either. I have decided it is a genetic thing. My mum had it, too. It is the Needlessly Argumentative Gene. NAG.

freedomfromthepast Tue 02-Nov-21 03:37:44

"It is the Needlessly Argumentative Gene. NAG"

This is epic. And please do not tell my husband this. He WILL use it. smile

Eviebeanz Tue 02-Nov-21 04:15:30

When you mention the 9 year old getting the other grandchildren involved I wonder how many children there are and whether they are all her siblings. Perhaps you could limit how often you look after her at least for a while. 9 year old (in fact all children) now seem to be very different to how they once were. Children are growing up in a very different world these days and now have a lot of outside influences from various types of media etc. that mine never did and I think they sometimes find that difficult to manage. This will be even more difficult for her if her parents are not setting limits. Remember they may seem older but they are still children.

M0nica Tue 02-Nov-21 06:52:58

Ah yes, the needlessly argumentative gene. It runs down our family as well. All four generations of women that we can trace. Each of us doing it in our own way, but DD has been the most overtly confrontational

Blondiescot Tue 02-Nov-21 07:09:12

M0nica

Ah yes, the needlessly argumentative gene. It runs down our family as well. All four generations of women that we can trace. Each of us doing it in our own way, but DD has been the most overtly confrontational

Oh yes, we have it here too. Both my daughter and I are guilty of it. I remember those years all too well. The early teenage years in particular were an absolute nightmare. To the OP, all I can say is to echo what some of the others have said - ignore her and keep telling yourself, 'this too, shall pass'.

Shelflife Tue 02-Nov-21 07:28:34

TopsyandTim, my GD was the same, very difficult to manage . Nothing was right no matter how I tried ! Food not to her liking, wouldn't get into the car , would'nt get out of the car , moods , sulking etc!! This is not your fault!! At high school she would bunk off from time to time , receive detentions that she ignored - a nightmare. Other children in family were fine . My daughter was at her wits end. MOnica has sound advise , turn your back and walk away , it worked for me. She is old enough for you to do this now. There will be light at the end of the tunnel, my GD is now 18 and studying on a course she loves and doing extremely well. She messages me regularly to tell me all about her study. Still strong-willed and has grown into a determined young woman. However she has learned to manage herself and we are very proud indeed of her. Her determination will serve her well I think. Do not take this personally. Do protect yourself even if it means limiting the time she spends with you. Speak to your daughter and explain how this behaviour distresses you. Trust me it will improve.

TopsyAndTim Tue 02-Nov-21 10:29:12

Thank you so much x

M0nica Tue 02-Nov-21 10:37:31

It is so comforting, even well after the event to know that I was not alone with the problem.

Although I did do some babysitting once for a member of my babysitting group, whose little girl was notorious for getting up after her parents had gone up and refusing to go to bed.

I had been prewarned and I simply dealt with the child quietly and firmly and got her to bed and asleep. When her parents came home they were amazed that I had succeeded in this, then the mother looked at me and said 'of course, you are K's mother!' That seemed to explain everything.

grandtanteJE65 Fri 05-Nov-21 15:14:29

When you get back home after an incident of this sort and she refuses to speak to you or just sits, why on earth do you stay in the same room as her?

She is nine, old enough to be left in a room by herself while you do something funnier than look at a sulky child.

This is the nine year old version of the two year old's tantrum. It is only worth going on with if it riles the grown-ups.

Go and do the washing or watch TV on your tod. I bet she will come and ask what you are doing.

Your answer, said with a big smile, "Waiting for you to come out of the huff, poppet! And doing something worthwhile while I wait."

MercuryQueen Fri 05-Nov-21 16:02:57

All my children are strong willed. I blame their dad. grin wink After all, I would never give me such a hard time.

I'm proud that my kids are assertive and not willing to blindly accept things that they have a problem with just because 'I say so' from those in authority. If they don't understand something, they ask for a reason. If they disagree, we discuss it. They don't have to like all my decisions, but I respect them enough to be willing to explain my reasoning for it, which usually results in them accepting things. And, there are times when their reasoning and questioning changes my mind.

I've found with my horde that sometimes, they get wrapped up in their feelings, and a simple, "I understand you're upset, go take a break and come talk when you're ready." works wonders. My choosing to 'act' vs 'react' takes things down several notches rather than blowing things up.