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Grandsons too old for grandparents now

(33 Posts)
jworks Thu 06-Aug-20 20:55:15

I have two grandsons, 16 and 13, who think they are too old to have a relationship with their grandma and grandpa. We have been around all their life. We have practically raised the oldest one - he is adamant that he does not care if we move or stay (we recently moved away) - he does his own thing now (has a car and job and girlfriend). He has literally kicked us to the curb. The 13 year old likes us pretty well but really doesn't want to talk much - we are different I guess - because of politics and other things - I know he is a child but he wants to discuss politics and we differ - a lot. All this to say, Im having a hard time as a grandparent. My life was about them - my whole life - and now nothing. Any advice to help me through this. Can anyone relate?? It hurts my heart so bad. I didn't see this coming. I promise I have been sweet and kind. Their grandpa well not so much but he has reeled it in now that we see what is happening. I love my boys. I have a sweet "adopted" grand-daughter who takes some of the pain away but these boys. I love them dearly and want a relationship SO bad. Thanks for listening. Signed - brokenhearted in Texas.

Chewbacca Thu 06-Aug-20 21:35:08

It's just a part of growing up I'm afraid. You helped them to grow wings and now they're flying. But if you're lucky, they'll fly back every now and again. It's the circle of life.

Furret Thu 06-Aug-20 21:45:11

I agree that he (they) might well ‘fly back’ in the future. I’m pretty sure my own children ‘didn’t want to know’ us at that age. It was all about friends.

Don’t be broken-hearted. Get on with your lives and enjoy the time you have left. Then you’ll be be far happier and clued up for them in the future,

sodapop Thu 06-Aug-20 21:55:34

That's what you want for your grandsons surely jworks they need to be independent and explore a world away from family now. Your life should not be all about them, get out and enjoy yourselves, have some fun. Your grandsons will come back to you eventually.

Hithere Thu 06-Aug-20 22:15:11

I am afraid it is normal for them.

Attention does not equal how much they love you.

Lexisgranny Thu 06-Aug-20 22:22:41

Chewbacca and Furret are quite right, don’t take it personally. I was particularly close to my grandfather and remember he was quite upset the first time I skipped a family gathering to go out with friends. Now our grandchildren are in teens and early twenties they are exactly the same. They won’t forget your relationship when they were very young, even though it seems that way now. Just try to widen your own interests to bridge the gap in your life that you are feeling, but at the same time be interested and tolerant of their interests and views as well. Just remember that those cuddles will eventually turn to big bear hugs!

NotSpaghetti Fri 07-Aug-20 00:31:00

If the 13 year old will talk politics he isn’t shutting you off. I do realise politics is not an easy area if you differ a lot, but it does mean he is still communicating. Can you at least quietly grit your teeth and hear him out?

The 16 year old will see himself as a young adult now... think back, I know I did and expect you did too - so he is probably more interested in relationships with his peers and the car and so on than family. I think that’s natural. I think if you keep the door open he’ll come back, in time.

boat Fri 07-Aug-20 00:33:44

Why does the 16 year old have a car?

GagaJo Fri 07-Aug-20 00:39:19

It’s normal I’m afraid. Our grandchildren are ours for such a short a time. Much less than the time we have with our children.

The politics though. If your grandson is not a Trump supporter and you and his grandfather are, that’s is a huge barrier. If your grandson supports Black Lives Matter and you and your husband don’t, again, BIG issue.

The worlds moves on politically. Maybe try to see the worlds through the eyes of the current generation. It could help the relationship you’re desperate for.

welbeck Fri 07-Aug-20 00:40:22

if the younger one is willing to discuss politics with you, then that is quite an accolade, i'd say.
also shows a maturity and interest in civics, current affairs, esp with the presidential election coming up.
it might help him also in his school-work, to practice talking about concepts, and laying out an argument rationally.
why don't you encourage him in that.
you don't have to get into disputations. just be more, hmm that's interesting, could you say more about that.
as for the older, well if he's got a girlfriend, and a car, then naturally he will find all that more appealing. didn't you at that age.

Oopsminty Fri 07-Aug-20 00:47:45

It's great to be able to discuss politics with people who have differing opinions.

You respect them for their views and they should respect you for yours

In my family we have reds, blues, greens and we all get on famously

Having different political views shouldn't be an end to a relationship.

But it's normal for them to be less available as they grow up. But keep in touch with them.

They'll come back

NotSpaghetti Fri 07-Aug-20 00:48:29

boat the OP says she is in Texas.

boat Fri 07-Aug-20 01:10:01

Whoops. I didn't notice. Thanks NotSpaghetti

V3ra Fri 07-Aug-20 02:25:47

So you practically raised the 16 year old, now you've moved away, but he's kicked you to the curb? Sounds more like he's having to stand on his own two feet and is beginning to do it very nicely. What did you expect him to do?

Most 13 year olds rarely talk in more than a grunt. If your lad wants to discuss politics with you that's a huge compliment. You don't have to agree and he doesn't have to believe the same as you. Listen to him, let him talk and explore his ideas. Explain your point of view. Encourage debate.

They sound like great kids who are growing into young adults. Let them do so and enjoy this next stage in all your lives.

BlueBelle Fri 07-Aug-20 05:58:30

Of course it’s normal you’d be a bit worried if they were hanging around you at 13 and 16 they are becoming there own people and you should be very very worried if they were relying on you
At those ages they should be out leading their own lives
To have a car girlfriend and job at 16 seems quite extreme He must be quite a mover did he not finish school? What job does he do at 16 to afford a car ? I know you are in USA but here the children can’t leave school until 18
You moved away from them!!! He has had to put all his energies in other things and of course he’s says he doesn’t care thats teenage language for I care a lot
How far have you moved?
Do they live with their parents ?
You sound very naive if you expected teenagers to stay in your life for ever
Your big mistake was my life was about them my whole life
Nows the time to make your own life with your husband
Don’t make the same mistake with the adopted granddaughter
Good luck in making a life outside your grandkids

vegansrock Fri 07-Aug-20 07:06:58

What about your own grown up children? Aren’t they in your life? Presumably they aren’t teenagers.

Luckygirl Fri 07-Aug-20 08:50:16

What exactly is it that you want from them?

TrendyNannie6 Fri 07-Aug-20 09:04:01

This is normal, they are doing their own thing, once they feel their feet this is what happens, I would be happy things were going great for them, you have made them your whole life but you can’t expect them to be the same as when they were younger, it doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings for you, but you don’t focus in the forefront of their minds, like they do in yours

timetogo2016 Fri 07-Aug-20 09:10:47

Couldn`t have put it better myself Chewbacca.
They grow up,go, then come back,thats as it should be tbh.

glammanana Fri 07-Aug-20 09:14:10

jworks To me it sounds as though you have helped raise two confident boys one 16 and able to manage his affairs regarding his driving test and running a car and a younger boy able to converse with you about politics even if you don't agree with his thoughts so well done to you and their parents.
They are young men now and will fall back into the family when they are ready.

Madgran77 Fri 07-Aug-20 09:14:28

Couldn`t have put it better myself Chewbacca. They grow up,go, then come back,thats as it should be tbh.

I agree

Sussexborn Fri 07-Aug-20 12:28:06

We don’t see nearly so much of our grandsons now. They have lots going on in their lives. We have two little ones but they live a long way from us. It is a bit sad but life moves on.

Once life gets back to normal I’ll be busy with my friends and intend making a real effort to widen my social circle. I need to be realistic and not expect the closeness of friends with young children in common.

Sussexborn Fri 07-Aug-20 12:30:19

An elderly lady told me that the pull away as teenagers but come back in their early-mid twenties if they aren’t put under pressure to visit whether they want to or not.

crazyH Fri 07-Aug-20 12:42:35

Just the opposite here. My 18 year old grandson wants to spend all his time with his Uncle and cousins. He does have a couple of friends he plays golf with, but other than that, he loves to spend time with his uncle , Aunty and little cousins.

annodomini Fri 07-Aug-20 12:51:45

My GS has said he wanted me to be there for his 15th birthday on Monday which is why I'll be on my way to Oxfordshire later today. I'm very happy to discuss politics with my oldest GS, 16, who is planning to do A-level Politics when schools open again. It's a great pity that they all live 150 miles away but we all get on well.