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Keeping contact

(33 Posts)
ninathenana Mon 12-Nov-18 08:32:07

Some of you will know the story but surfice to say my DGC currently live with other GPs 300 miles away. DD and their father visit every other w/end and the plan is for this to change next year.
DD and their dad get upset and cross because 9 yr old dosen't reply to texts or answer his phone (hand me down, given so he can be in touch and has to be left at home) to either of them. Always some excuse "I didn't hear it" "I was busy" when they do manage contact he never has much to say. 7 y.o. texts them and me almost daily.
Is this your average 9 y.o. boy or as DD worries due to the family history and current situation ?
He is fine when they are together.

PECS Mon 12-Nov-18 08:52:03

Perhaps he finds writing/ spelling hard?

ninathenana Mon 12-Nov-18 08:59:41

PECS he dosen't need the ability to write or spell to answer a phone. DD and his dad wouldn't care about spelling anyway.

Bibbity Mon 12-Nov-18 09:26:33

They have no right to get cross. Do they think a small child is going to want to communicate with someone who treats them like that?

They need to keep communication open, relaxed and reliable.

I don’t know your story but if the parents are not there day to day then it can be easy to be forgotten in the whirlwind of day to day life.
They need to stop thinking about themselves and start thinking about the child.

ninathenana Mon 12-Nov-18 09:36:07

Bibity no you don't know our story

PECS Mon 12-Nov-18 09:36:38

I am sorry did not see phone call just texts.

The child is probably confused, hurt and angry. I do not know why he is not able to live at home but whatever it is it has upset his life.

If his parents really want him to be a happy and content child they need to look at the situation from his perspective and empathise with his feelings. Poor kid. He just wants to be loved and cared for. Maybe he is testing his parents? Do you love me enough to forgive me if I do not answer your phone calls?

M0nica Mon 12-Nov-18 09:37:20

Sounds like a typical 9 year old boy, too busy doing other things and resenting being constantly asked to reply by parents.

I fully understand his parents concerns and reasons, but he is too young to understand them.

Bibbity Mon 12-Nov-18 09:39:47

The story doesn’t change the fact that getting cross at him is the worst reaction.

ninathenana Mon 12-Nov-18 09:58:48

Bibity ok I admit I have worded it wrong. They get frustrated with him but never show him that.

Bibbity Mon 12-Nov-18 10:03:19

But he’s a child. Their frustration is pointless. Talking to people on the phone is boring when there is so much better things to be done in a 9 year olds world. I’m
Why are they only seeing him every other weekend? That’s not current enough. For a child that’s a huge stretch to see both parents. Do they discuss topics that interest him? Is he into football fortnite, are they watching their language insuring that they’re not showing their frustration? They need to stop asking why he isn’t picking up the phone.

Izabella Mon 12-Nov-18 10:17:42

Just because the 7 yo keeps in contact does not mean the 9 year old will. Siblings are often like chalk and cheese and the 9 year old probably has more important (to him) calls on his time.

BlueBelle Mon 12-Nov-18 10:32:14

Yes this does sound normal and especially normal for a boy They rarely have much to say to adults I think your expectations of a daily text or call like your 7 year old is way too much to wish for
I don’t know you’re background story but presumably there is a good reason why the children are placed with their grandparents perhaps he is finding it hard to adjust and phone calls are hard to handle for him
Keep all lines of communication open but have no expectations I have two grandchildren that are awful on the phone with adults although they can text for England with friends but I often don’t get any replies and accept that

DD and their dad get upset and cross that surely isn’t a useful reaction they are the adults and they should understand that their son is obviously trying to process all the changes and relationships in his life he’s not adult with adult cognitive skills perhaps he finds it hard to adjust to being away from home (not sure if this is a new situation or not) perhaps he feels left out of their life and is protecting himself from more hurt or changes or MOST likly he is a young chap with not much to say to adults 9 year old boys don’t do small talk
You say he is happy when he sees them accept that for now it’s obviously all he can manage

Buffybee Mon 12-Nov-18 10:46:24

Probably as he said, he didn't hear it or was too busy.
Everyone is different nina and just because his younger brother texts every day, doesn't mean that there is something wrong with the 9 yo not doing.
My Ds instantly answers his phone and texts and speaks to me on the phone probably every day.
My gorgeous and lovely Dd otherwise, is a standing joke with the family as she never answers her phone, it's either still switched off from work or it's in her bag,etc.
She also never chats on the phone and has told me that she's not comfortable with it. Although, she talks a lot on the phone at work and is fine with that.
So, you see, it could be just his preference not to talk.

BlueBelle Mon 12-Nov-18 10:57:49

Just another thought an older hand me down phone might not be high on the list of a 9 year old to have by his side or in his pocket so it could be as simple and truthful that he doesnt have it with him to hear it also you say he can’t take it out the house so maybe he’s out playing with his friends and again doesn’t have it to hear

A phone even an old one might be a real novelty for a 7 year old

Jane43 Mon 12-Nov-18 11:09:25

All children are different. Over the years we have spent a great deal of time with our eldest granddaughter, more than her two younger siblings in fact, but now she is 20 and at university she seldom texts or emails us. Her two younger siblings, a girl of 9 and a boy of 8 use FaceTime to speak to us regularly as they don’t have phones yet. I recently spent some time with our eldest granddaughter in her student accommodation and I learnt that she is just somebody who is private by nature and needs her own space. She doesn’t love us any the less, she is just a different personality, in fact very like me at that age. What I am saying is that all children have different personalities and it is a mistake to compare one with the other.

jusnoneed Mon 12-Nov-18 11:15:05

I don't know the reason the children aren't with their parents but wonder if he simply finds it upsetting when he can only contact them on a phone. Some children are more sensitive about things like that than other, perhaps the younger one's personality means he's happier to chat without being able to physically see his parents.

Newmom101 Mon 12-Nov-18 11:20:15

The child is probably confused, hurt and angry. I do not know why he is not able to live at home but whatever it is it has upset his life

I completely agree with this. I've worked with many looked after children, in both a care setting and those looked after by family. The overriding feeling towards their parents, for the vast majority, is anger. Even those who have regular contact with parents, or those that have chosen to live with family for more stability. Even those whose parents are too physically unwell to look after them, the children still feel anger towards their parents for not providing them with a 'normal' family life. And those are teenagers, many of them having have had years to adjust and process the situation. This is a 9 year old, a young child. Even if he appears to understand and accept the situation, he's still so young.

It may be a lot for your DD and SiL to cope with and be upsetting for them, but to be removed from parents for any reason is so stressful for a child and can be very traumatic. I know you probably already realise this, and sorry if it's hard to hear but he needs time to deal with it in his own way. Do they have any form of support workers he can talk to? He's unlikely to want to talk to family. Also, from your DDs side she could probably do with some sort of counselling herself to have a space to talk about her feelings, even if those are frustration at her child not contacting her, she needs a space to work through that and ensure she's not showing her son that's how she feels. In the mean time, could she send him letters? He has the chance to open those when he wants and reply if he chooses to.

sarahellenwhitney Mon 12-Nov-18 11:35:13

Monica. Totally agree and my first thought was he is growing up finding lots to do so we need to get used to it. Been in same situation where now that same GC as an adult frequently messages me with a 'are you OK' and without asking tells me what they have been doing.

GabriellaG Mon 12-Nov-18 11:43:52

Why does he have to conform to your way of thinking?
Did and do you always do what other people expect of you?
Why do so many GNers get ruffled and interfere with their AC's and/or DiL's and GC's methods and frequency of contact?
You've done your 'job', now leave them to make their own rules and make their own choices as to when they choose to answer the phone.

newnanny Mon 12-Nov-18 12:19:41

Maybe texting or talking to his parents makes him miss them more. All kids are different. Maybe he has a lot of hobbies. Clearly other grandparents are not to blame as 7 year old is in constant touch.

Sweetie222 Mon 12-Nov-18 12:24:16

"DD and their dad get upset and cross" .. makes me feel really sad that the parents are like this with a 9 year old. If the word was concerned, maybe that would make more sense.

What's the odds that if the child speaks to them on the phone the conversation is all nagging and moaning at him?

Can't the parents send him nice texts and assume that they will hear from the grandparents if they need to.

ninathenana Mon 12-Nov-18 12:26:56

Newmom thanks that's helpful.

Gabriella I'm not ruffled or interfering I just thought I'd ask GN's if they thought he was behaving like your average 9yr old boy.
I have my own opinions, which I don't tell DD. Yes, it is very sad that his home life isn't great and there are legitimate reasons why he is with GPs (which I might add has nothing to do with abuse in any shape or form) but as I said in OP DD and his dad are working together to resove that. DD and his dad know it won't be an instant cure all.
Thanks everyone for your opinions. I won't be posting on this thread again.

ninathenana Mon 12-Nov-18 12:33:34

Sweetie as a footnote no it's not nagging and moaning, I know because DD lives with me and I hear their conversations.
As I said up page, cross was the wrong word frustrated or cocerned would have been more apt. When I said upset I meant in a tearful way.

Jalima1108 Mon 12-Nov-18 12:45:30

What is there interaction like when they go to see him? Is he pleased to see them and perhaps is sad when they leave? Could it be that he would like to go home with them and is subconsciously 'punishing' them a bit by his non-communication? I don't know the family dynamics so I could be surmising wrongly.

That being said, trying to have a conversation on the phone with my far-distant DGS is like getting blood out of a stone. He's always been the same.

Jalima1108 Mon 12-Nov-18 12:46:54

When I said upset I meant in a tearful way.
Is he trying to maintain a bit of control over events, where he feels he has lost control?