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Rude Grandchildren

(68 Posts)
Chantilly Sat 02-Jul-22 10:53:52

I need some constructive advice. I have two gc 5 and 3 and in the main they are good boys however when they are naughty they just won't listen to a word I say to try and control them. They are rude and disrespectful and unfortunately their mum does not reprimand them for anything when she is alerted to their behaviour, this makes me feel absolutely worthless and tbh very much unappreciated. I am at my wit's end trying to make things good for everyone's sake.

VioletSky Sat 02-Jul-22 10:58:24

Please can you give some examples of the behaviour that is bothering you

aggie Sat 02-Jul-22 11:01:03

I don’t think it’s my role to try and control my Grandchildren . I have inherited my Mums Teacher “look” . If things seem to be getting out of hand I find distraction better than threats , bribes work too 🤭

Oopsadaisy1 Sat 02-Jul-22 11:04:16

Do they live with you? Or is it when they visit?

Witzend Sat 02-Jul-22 11:09:24

Must be hard to deal with.
Have you tried completely ignoring them when they’re playing up? Easier said than done, though, I’m sure.

I have an otherwise lovely Gdd who consistently forgets to say thank you (when given something) - not from any lack of training by dd - her brother nearly always remembers and she’s so frequently reminded.

I thought last time that in future I will say nothing, but just take whatever it is away (it was the requested breakfast pancakes!) and see whether that works.

Chantilly Sat 02-Jul-22 11:12:01

We are childminders for a few hours 2 days/per week. They just don't do as they are asked to do , they answer me back in a cheeky manner and just disobey with anything they don't want to do. Looks don't help, I've tried that too. They get away with this sort of behaviour in their own house so expect the same in mine.

Doodledog Sat 02-Jul-22 11:32:38

Could it be a clash of expectations, Chantilly?

You say you try to control them - maybe their parents have a different approach to child-rearing, and they aren't used to being controlled? Similarly, their parents' ideas about what counts as disrespectful may just be different from yours.

Usually, children learn what they can get away with at Granny's house, and moderate their behaviour accordingly, but at 5 and 3 they are still very young. Of course they expect to behave in the same way as they do at home - it's their normal, and more importantly, it is their parents' normal, which is what matters.

I definitely wouldn't let it make you feel 'worthless' though. Your worth is not tied up with your grandchildren's behaviour - not at all.

M0nica Sat 02-Jul-22 11:42:59

Why would this behaviour make you feel worthless? I cannot see any connection.

I too have a Look and a Stern Voice or i would straightforwardly tell my daughter that you do not want the children behaving like this in your house.

H1954 Sat 02-Jul-22 11:51:25

This seems to be a common problem these days. We have just returned from our local hardware superstore. I'm presently experiencing very poor mobility and use two crutches to walk, as we were existing the store a couple with a girl around 9 years old were walking to my right, the adults cut straight in front of me with no regard whatsoever but they were a few feet away and that wasn't a problem. However, the girl was being a complete pain in the a**e! She was clowning around, spinning round as she walked, waving her arms about, doing high kicks and almost knocked me off my feet! The parents were oblivious of all this, they were too focussed on their mobiles, I called out but got no apology.......I was bloody furious!
Why do people have children that they do not want to control or cannot control?

Chantilly Sat 02-Jul-22 11:54:45

Easily said Monica, I have tried several times to discuss this with DD but to no avail whatsoever. She doesn't want to hear it.

VioletSky Sat 02-Jul-22 11:55:56

Communication is key at that age.

I would set out your expectations at the beginning and give them a reward to work towards.

You could use a jar as an example,with 10 marbles and if they earn 10 marbles they get a treat. With 2, I would make it a joint reward so they work as a team, so one jar between them.

No "shall we do" "please can you"... instead "it is time to tidy up" then use a timer, you could make it a competition to see if they can beat their previous time.

Another good thing is choices, give choices for activities so there is no reason to say no " would you like to do x or y?

Explain why.... don't just tell them you don't like x behaviour, explain why it was a bad choice and what could go wrong if they do x with age appropriate language.

Always talk about choices, "I know you can make good choices" because if you call a child difficult stubborn, naughty etc they will believe that about themselves.

Always use praise, tell them every time they do a good job of anything. Children will often look for attention and using the positive kind will help them look for that rather than the negative kind.

Have a routine so they know what is expected.

Be consistent.

Have sanctions, remove them from an activity if they aren't participating kindly. Make sure the sanction is not attention based.

Above all, model positive behaviour yourself.

Elizabeth27 Sat 02-Jul-22 12:15:36

Do their parents have any consequences for bad behaviour, if so use those, if not ask the parents what they would like you to do?

If you cannot be in control or it gets too much for you then don't look after them.

Yammy Sat 02-Jul-22 12:20:54

You are in an awkward position.
Rules need to be set at the begining. As a teacher I was told you can always slacken off but you can never tighten up with disiplin.
Ask their parents what they do and if it is not what you want ask if it is alright for you to implement your rules or you will be thinking twice about helping out.
Then tell GC what behaviour you expect in your house,ask once ,tell once then take toy away and sit them on a step or in a safe corner and set a kitchen timer. Even 3 year olds can understand this.
At meal times they should ask to leave the table and not bring toys to it. You can always relax your rules if you want but you need to set the boundaries now.

Redhead56 Sat 02-Jul-22 12:21:52

My little grand children are not rude but can be a bit cheeky. They remind me of myself as a child answering back basically just cheeky.
I have always been a nanny who does tell them off unlike their parents and other nanny. It’s just my way I sit down and tell them very firmly ‘no and you must do as you are told’.
I explain they can’t always have their own way. It’s subtle but it does work they do as they are told they call me naughty nanny because I tell them off. I love it they are adorable and melt my heart!
Be stern when you tell them off so they know you mean business and be consistent. It could well be a phase and they will grow out of it.

welbeck Sat 02-Jul-22 12:31:49

very few children have to ask to leave the table nowadays. we never did and i am quite old, born in the 1950s. it was not an issue, there was no problem. not everyone runs their family like that.
but getting back to OP; it's more an issue with the parents rather than the children, i think.
if you are looking after them, esp in your own house, you are in a strong position to require more input from the parents.
you need to reach a consensus on what/how is to be done. what is reasonable expectations.
if you feel worthless, it is due to your relationship with the children's parents, not the behaviour of the children.
so you have the power to withdraw your labour.
go on strike. if they really need your services, they will have to negotiate. but you need to stand firm.
good luck.

Athrawes Sat 02-Jul-22 12:36:18

I say 'my house, my rules' and luckily both my families are happy with this - that plus 'the look' seems to work!

eazybee Sat 02-Jul-22 12:40:18

Do not start off with rewards, that is bribery.
When they disobey you, for example by running away, fetch them back, and tell them gently but firmly why they must not do that. If they say Mummy lets us do this say this is Granny's house and here we do not do so and so.
Make clear they understand what they are expected to do, then if they disobey repeat the process and continue until they do realise you mean what you say.
As they appear to lack discipline at home expect a lengthy and exhausting process, to begin with, but focus on one objective at a time eg not running away, and continue until they realise you mean what you say and they begin to co operate.
No rewards because this is expected behaviour, but praise them for being sensible and grown up. Very draining, time-consuming and hard not to lose patience but you are the adults and must be in control, for their own safety.
They will quickly learn when they go to nursery, because teachers expect to be listened to and obeyed, and so must you. Easier for teachers, because although we like the children we do not love them, so can be more emotionally detached.

pandapatch Sat 02-Jul-22 12:51:11

You say they are good boys in the main and no 3 & 5 year olds are little angels all the time. Is there anything in particular they do that you consider to be naughty - or any triggers? The word "control" is interesting, how do you attempt to "control" them. My grandsons are just 4 and 13 months and I normally find distraction best, but if I think the situation warrants it an explantion, look and stern voice usually do the trick.

ElaineI Sat 02-Jul-22 13:58:23

They are quite young and at that age often say no without thinking. If they are genuinely being rude and defiant then warn them they will have a consequence and stick to it. They may tantrum a few times but will get the message. Sometimes it is better to change the activity or chivvy them into doing something else.

Oopsadaisy1 Sat 02-Jul-22 14:06:47

If they are in your house then you make the rules, not the Mother.
If she says you can’t, then don’t look after them, she will soon change her mind.

M0nica Sat 02-Jul-22 14:13:55

chantilly, your house your rules. Insist they are obeyed.

I remember when I was a child, if any event like this happened, my mother would just put me in the garden and shut the door and ignore me for a bit. If your back garden is safe. I would do just that.

Witzend Sat 02-Jul-22 14:17:34

My younger Gdd (2 1/2) says no to just about everything - her elder siblings hardly ever did.

Nowadays - before she starts! - I usually say (if it’s food) ‘You don’t want any of this, do you?’ or e.g.’You don’t want to put your shoes on, do you?’ ‘You don’t want to go in the bath, do you?’
It usually works!

Shelflife Sun 03-Jul-22 00:10:27

Your DD is of course entitled to raise her children as she sees fit - however you are entitled to let her know that unless she backs you up you will refuse to take care of them . Both my daughters trust me implicitly when their children are in my care. I set boundaries to ensure their safety and my sanity. I am no longer a spring chicken and rules are set to enable me to care for them safely. My daughters would never question my method and their children know that what Grandma says goes! That's not to say it is always plain sailing, they have their moments!! but I am confident in disciplining them . Your daughter must understand that you are doing her a massive favour , she is not entitled to free child care and is very fortunate to have you. Talk to her and explain how you feel and that their rudness is causing you great distress. If having the children has become something you dread then only you can change that and DO NOT feel guilty. AC sometimes forget we are getting older . Speak to your DD and sort this out between you, when the children are with you , you are in charge . The children must recognize this and so must their Mum !! Good luck , if things don't change tell your daughter that if their bad behaviour continues you can not guarantee their safety and she should find alternative child care. Sorry if this sounds harsh but it is time for change!

paddyann54 Sun 03-Jul-22 00:56:39

They are little more than babies for goodness sake let them find the boundaries without you "controlling" them .
I dont believe in granny's having different rules from parents ,its confusing for wee ones .Either stick with Mum and Dads rules or dont have them ...its you who'll miss out not them .
We havea 3 year old GD and she is "assertive" I'd hate to think someone would try to change that so she fitted their victorian standards for toddlers

Hithere Sun 03-Jul-22 01:10:48


It is futile trying to control another person, adult or child.

3 and 5 are all about pushing boundaries - dont you remember how your own kids were at that age?