Can anyone give advice on how to approach the problem of a troubled little boy, obviously affected by his parents divorce? His tempers and bad behaviour with his Mum are getting worse. We only see the three grandchildren for a few days when they are with their Dad but we want him to be happy and behave at home as he does here.
Going on my own experience, both as a result of my own divorce with children being 3, 5, 11 and 12, and my son's divorce I think it is a matter of time. He may be feeling guilty, powerless, afraid and he will take it out on his mum because he feels safe. He may behave with his daddy and yourselves because he is probably hoping that if HE is good then daddy and mummy will live together again.
My little grandson was 2 when his parents' split. He was good for his dad but really badly behaved with his mum. His mother then stopped contact because of this.
I think you should just let it ride, give him love and support and not comment (you probably don't) on his behaviour with his mum.
My 5 year old (at time of divorce) was a horror at home but good for his father when he saw him, which was several times a week. I used to dread him coming home not knowing what to expect. This lasted until he was 13 when he suddenly burst out that he wanted us to be together again.
Not very helpful I know but all children are different and cope differently. Many do feel it is their fault. He is probably testing his mother to see if she will still be there even if he is naughty.
I have no experience of this myself to offer, but the world has suddenly changed in an alarming way for this little boy and he is angry and afraid.For all he knows, both parents may suddenly disappear. It affects all children badly, but they don't all show it in the same way.Some children appear quiet, but are just as upset inside, while others throw things.If it hasn't already happened, both parents need to talk to him [but not a long rambling discourse] telling him that Mummy and Daddy love him but Daddy has to live in a different house. He will still ask 'why' of course, but if he sees both parents a lot will learn to live with it.The other thing is that the parents need to be 'nice' to one another when together, and the children are present, and not say bad things about each other to the children either.That is often sadly not the case.You, the Grandma, represent safety and normality, and have to be understanding, because divorce is a huge trauma for young children.Hope that things get better for you all.