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Rude grandson

(112 Posts)
Pip Mon 14-Aug-23 10:34:01

I need advice please. I have 6 grandchildren ranging from 10-20 years old. One of them, my 15 year grandson has never been taught to be polite. Neither my son nor daughter in law appear to have instilled any manners into him. I also have twin 15 year old granddaughters - his cousins who couldn’t be more different. He lives in a beautiful home, is privately educated but I despair of him. He never comes to say hello when we visit, sits watching TV or playing games but can’t be bothered to speak or even say goodbye when we leave. He's 16 in October and I’m tempted to either give him nothing for his birthday or just a very small token present as he never says thank you. I don’t want to alienate my son and daughter in law and his sister is fine. He has always been like this, even as a toddler. I’m not wealthy like my son and expensive presents aren’t easy - but are expected. I’ve never said anything before but I’ve had enough. Im sure I’m not alone but would appreciate advice as although I love him I don’t like the person he’s becoming. Of all my grandchildren he is the one I really don’t know or understand.

Pip Mon 14-Aug-23 10:34:44

Any comments appreciated. Thanks.

Lathyrus Mon 14-Aug-23 10:44:36

How long has he been like this? Always? Or just a couple of years or so?

Regardless of that question I wouldn’t ever give expensive presents because they are expected. Just give the amount I am comfortable giving. But I wouldn’t discriminate between grandchildren either.

Theexwife Mon 14-Aug-23 10:56:48

I would give the same gifts as you give others, it will only cause resentment if you don't and will not teach him anything.

He is going through a phase of having no interest in his grandparents, Surely it would be better if he has interaction with you because he wanted to rather than out of good manners.

M0nica Mon 14-Aug-23 10:58:46

Is he borderline autistic? I ask this because you say his sister is fine. I have recently begun to wonder if this is the explanation for some aspects of my daughter's behaviour.

As for expensive presents being 'expected' by the son you brought up. I think it might be an idea for you to learn to be more assertive and tell your son that he should know that that is not possible on your income - then give what you can afford.

aggie Mon 14-Aug-23 10:59:00

He is a teenager

Aveline Mon 14-Aug-23 11:02:49

Could you write to him expressing your sadness at his lack of interest in you? Nothing passive aggressive just puzzlement and assurance that you love him. He's a boy. It just might not have occurred to him that he should be more responsive to you. A letter is more permanent and less fleeting than a conversation and it's a chance for you to be really clear about your feelings

Poppyred Mon 14-Aug-23 11:27:27

If he’s always been the same as you say, I would just vent on here and not say anything. He’s not going to change now is he? As Monica said, could be borderline autistic?

Tell your son that you can’t afford expensive presents and give what you can.

Septimia Mon 14-Aug-23 11:27:35

I'd go to him when I arrived and say something like "Hi 'x', all OK with you?", not wait for an answer but go and get on with the rest of the visit. Don't wait for him to come to you. Likewise on leaving.

If he's privately educated he must have to talk to other people sometimes, but teenagers often do communicate in grunts! You might get one in reply, or maybe, one day, he'll actually answer.

Don't let it bother you and don't make a big thing of it, it's not worth the angst. What you buy him is another matter. Possibly a gift token for what you can afford would be better than something he doesn't want.

pascal30 Mon 14-Aug-23 11:32:21


If he’s always been the same as you say, I would just vent on here and not say anything. He’s not going to change now is he? As Monica said, could be borderline autistic?

Tell your son that you can’t afford expensive presents and give what you can.

completely agree with you Poppyred and Monica

wildswan16 Mon 14-Aug-23 11:34:40

He's a boy. He's a teenager. They are all different. He isn't being rude intentionally. He is just behaving as how he feels most comfortable.

His parents might perhaps suggest to him that there are times when he has to do stuff he doesn't like doing - just to be polite. But that is down to them.

Accept and love him how he is.

maddyone Mon 14-Aug-23 11:40:54

He has always been like this, even as a toddler.

I think some posters missed this crucial piece of information.
Maybe he is autistic or on the spectrum somewhere.
I’d give the same as I give to the other grandchildren, but you shouldn’t be giving any of them presents that you can’t afford.
Enjoy your other grandchildren and ignore his anti social behaviour as much as you can. It’s up to the parents to sort him out.

Farmor15 Mon 14-Aug-23 11:41:03

Another one here whose first reaction was some element of autism.

Aveline Mon 14-Aug-23 11:49:54

Too easy to jump to autism. There are all sorts of other explanations for this behaviour. Apart from anything else in my work with autistic adults they were often aware that autism isn't an excuse. Sometimes it's necessary to learn appropriate neurotypical skills as a necessary way to get on in life. I should say that it was an autistic individual that told me that!

Hetty58 Mon 14-Aug-23 11:52:52

Pip, there seem to be two different matters here. First, you find your grandson rude and distant. I'd speak to your son about it, then maybe he can remind him to, at least, say hello and goodbye.

I wouldn't dislike your grandson for it, though. He may have a very different personality. I have a grandson with autism. He finds it difficult (sometimes impossible) to behave like the others - despite his great efforts and, of course, they find it very easy to be polite and chatty - at least during visits.

Second, there's the question of expensive gifts - a different matter. Another chat with your son, just to say that you can't afford too much, so will be giving smaller gifts in future.

Please don't be cruel (and unfair) to your grandson by suddenly giving a small, token present. Why punish him for something that may well be not his fault?

Hetty58 Mon 14-Aug-23 11:56:25

(and just to add - I'm autistic too. Yes, I've acquired social skills, but they haven't come naturally.)

Smileless2012 Mon 14-Aug-23 12:02:03

I wondered the same thing Madgran.

It is ultimately up to his parents Pip and I agree that you should carry on as normal with gifts, that you can afford, say hello when you arrive and goodbye when you leave and don't worry about what does or doesn't happen in between.

Skydancer Mon 14-Aug-23 12:03:02

At that age they have raging hormones. This would partly excuse his behaviour but you say he has always been like this. He probably can't help himself and it is no reflection on you. I would just be kind and try to be chatty even if you don't get much response. Try to find out what his interests are and talk about them. Because of my GS's interest in football I have learned a lot about the game and it gives us something to talk about. Don't give up on him. It may be a phase that he will grow out of. He could just be quiet and withdrawn by nature. Some people are.

VioletSky Mon 14-Aug-23 12:09:46

He isn't actively being rude to you, he just doesn't talk to you

There could be many reasons for this and a lot of them wouldn't be his fault

Why don't you try communicating with him and ask him why you aren't close

Or just love him as he is in the understanding that, everyone is different

Hithere Mon 14-Aug-23 12:18:58

Yabu on him being more social and polite when he always has been like this with you

Does he behave like this with everybody, do you know?

He also may not want to visit you

Yanbu on expensive presents - provide the token you do for the rest

Now a word of caution on some assumptions- having a private education and expensive home does not equate to "good manners"

Also, comparing cousins with each other is a horrible practice that will pit them against each other

Norah Mon 14-Aug-23 12:37:06

I think some teens can be less than polite, phase and all.

GS attitude likely made worse by his always more difficult nature.

I'd seek him out, greet him warmly and leave him be. Upon leaving I'd say 'goodbye, have a wonderful week, love you.' Side hug (I believe teens dislike being squashed by over endowed breasts)

We give ALL GC the same gifts - same value/price/amount. I'd never discriminate, lower the amount for all - not just lower for GS.

emmasnan Mon 14-Aug-23 12:44:11

Its probably partly that he is just being a teenager but could he also suffer from shyness?

I always found it difficult to join in conversations if all my family were there but would talk one to one with them.

sodapop Mon 14-Aug-23 12:50:52

I agree with others on here, you may not understand your grandson but he still needs you in his life. Don't give up on him just try quietly to get closer to him. Have you talked to his parents about this, it doesn't seem to be an upbringing problem as you say his sister is fine.
Certainly talk to your family about their expectations of gifts. Explain you can no longer afford these luxuries and in future gifts for everyone will be less expensive. Don't single your grandson out for this.

tobyianathekid Mon 14-Aug-23 13:00:18

I think you need a deep meaningful conversion with him. Tell him how you feel and see if he is happy to change his ways. Sometimes kids don't realise this stuff, so you have to poke them for them to understand. There's a good chance he'll come round then. Youcould also get his parents to have a word too.

M0nica Mon 14-Aug-23 13:12:44

If he has been like this from infancy, then, as said above he could have autistic tendencies. Try to arrange one-to-one time with him. When you next visit, walk down to the shops and buy him an ice cream and walk back, or something similar, just the two of you and chat as you go.

I have recently come to the conclusion that DD, while not 'on the spectrum' is nudging close, and her main problem is that she finds spending a lot of time with quite small groups of people very stressful and is very happy in her own company, but get her on her own and she is fine. This may apply to your DGS as well.