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Difficult granddaughter

(39 Posts)
grandmac Thu 04-May-17 14:23:08

My lovely granddaughter is 13. She is a quiet loving child, popular at school and doing well academically. But for some time my DD has said that her daughter treats her badly at times. She speaks angrily and uses bad language and my DD can do nothing right for her, although she helps with her homework, makes sure she has the right clothes to fit in with her peers, gives in to her demands for expensive hair cuts, tries to give her lots of one on one time. In fact everything that a good Mum would do. The latest tirade by text message was horrendous and started because my DD queried the wisdom of granddaughter having the HPV vaccination.
I have offered to talk to my granddaughter and try to make things better between them. But how do I do this without alienating her, or making matters worse? I know other gransnetters will have faced the same situation and any advice will be welcome. Thank you.

nanaK54 Thu 04-May-17 14:27:50

My youngest son could be similarly 'challenging' - I found the best way to proceed with him was to ignore him - I mean really ignore him, not speak to him, not engage wit him at all - he hated that.
Would just add that he has grown up to be a wonderful adult - I am very proud of him smile

Luckygirl Thu 04-May-17 14:28:49

Well - for a start leave her to have the vaccination. It makes total sense.

I worked my way through 3 teenage girls and it can be a challenging time - they want to assert their independence and rejecting mum goes hand in hand with that. But you can bet your life if mum was really ill then DGD would be by her side, and the underlying love would come to the fore.

The DGD you know and love is under there somewhere - her mum just needs to hang on in there and keep telling her she loves her.

My 3 are entirely sane and socially acceptable now! - more than that they are kind and considerate human beings of whom I am immensely proud. I am sure I would never have predicted I would be able to say that when they were 13!!

Luckygirl Thu 04-May-17 14:29:44

PS - I do not think you should get involved unless your DGD asks you something about it. Just be there as a rock for her.

mcem Thu 04-May-17 14:49:35

If the vaccination has been explained to her and all her peers are going ahead with it, she may resent her mother's opinion and see it as being a way of making her the 'odd one out'.
She may see the logic of having the vaccination and be confused by her mother's suggestion to refuse it.
She may see it as none of her mum's business and a decision she should make for herself.
Why would mum suggest this anyway?

norose4 Thu 04-May-17 14:49:49

I think the vaccination sound sensible, although quite young, can you look it up on line & set your mind at rest. I agree with Lucky. it sounds like your daughter needs your support, it is difficult going through the teenage years & endeavouring to ensure that our kids fit in, but not to the extent that they are overly enduluged & pandered to, only you will know if this is the case with your granddaughter , maybe you & your daughter can form a united front & not give in to her demands i.e. Expensive hair does , she should have to do some chore or other to earn that , or else she may well be on course to turning into
a bit of a madam & thats not good for anyone, good luck

Ilovecheese Thu 04-May-17 14:56:15

I agree with Luckygirl, having also worked my way through three teenage girls.
As regards the vaccination - if your daughter is worried that this may somehow encourage your grandaughter to be promiscuous (this is the only reason for refusal I have ever heard put forward, not one I agree with, unless she is against all vaccinations)perhaps your grandaughter feels that this is a lack of trust on her Mother's part and resents this.

mcem Thu 04-May-17 14:57:48

In Scotland the vaccine is offered at 12+.
Takeup rate is 90%.
On track to achieve a 90% cut in the incidence of cancers related to HPV.
Both of my teenage DGDs were vaccinated in school at 12/13.

grandmac Thu 04-May-17 16:34:59

Thank you to all.
We did think it could be just hormonal and "her age" , but it appears to be getting worse and is only directed at her mother. Her behaviour at school is exemplary and at family gatherings she is always polite, helpful and kind to her cousins so hopefully this phase will soon pass.

DD signed the form for her to have the vaccination so it will be done but when I researched it I found that there were many occurrences of serious side effects. I mentioned this to my daughter who then told granddaughter, who immediately started ranting about being the odd one out etc. If she didn't have it. As a family we are very pro active about vaccinations, even paying for some not available on NHS due to age of child.
Many thanks for all the advice.

paddyann Thu 04-May-17 16:41:12

I went to a parents meeting at my daughters school when she was 13 ...the teachers all gave her glowing reports so glowing that her father and I thought they were talking about a different girl If she's rude and cheeky at home she's just pushing boundaries and far better she does it with people she loves and who love her .She will get through this awful time ,I know I wouldn't want to be a teenager again and it must be much more difficult for her with all the social media stuff.In our case my daughter was a nightmare until she was 16 ,then she went back to being the girl we all knew and loved ...but until then I'd happily have swapped her for a puppy ..or even a lion .Be kind to her her mind and her body are changing and she's only reacting to that

Elegran Thu 04-May-17 17:25:14

grandmac Certain anti-vaccination lobbyists do make sensational claims about side effects. I don't think there have been "many occurrences of serious side effects" of this prophylactic, in fact it seem there have been hardly any. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has this compparison of those who took the vaccine and a control group who took the placebo:-

"Systemic clinical adverse events were reported by a similar proportion of vaccine and control/placebo groups among both females and males. Headache was most common, reported by 28.2% of females who received HPV4 and 28.4% of those who received AAHS or saline placebo; among males, 12.3% of those who received HPV4 and 11.2% of those who received AAHS or saline placebo reported headache. Overall, 4.0%–4.9% of females and 2.8%–3.0% of males who received HPV4 reported a temperature at or greater than 100°F (≥38°C) after the first, second, or third dose. The proportions of persons reporting a serious adverse event were similar in the vaccine and placebo groups, as were the types of serious adverse event reported. Vaccine-related serious adverse events occurred in less than 0.1% [one in a thousand] of persons. Across all clinical studies (29,323 participants), during the course of the trials, 21 deaths (0.1%) occurred among persons in HPV4 groups and 19 (0.1%) among persons in the control or placebo groups*. NONE of the deaths was considered to be vaccine related."

"Information was collected on new medical conditions that occurred during follow-up of up to 4 years for females and 3 years for males. Overall, among females aged 9–26 years, 2.3% in the HPV4 group and 2.3% in the AAHS control or placebo groups had conditions potentially indicative of autoimmune disorders. Among males aged 9–26 years, 1.5% in the HPV4 group and 1.5% in the AAHS control or placebo groups had conditions potentially indicative of autoimmune disorders. No statistically significant differences were found between vaccine and AAHS control/placebo recipients for the incidence of the conditions "

However, "Essentially all cervical cancers are attributable to high-risk HPV types , and approximately 70% of cervical cancer cases worldwide are caused by types 16 and 18 . In addition to cervical cancer, HPV infection also is the cause of some other anogenital cancers such as cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, and anus, as well as cancer of the oropharynx " so the risks of NOT being vaccinated are proved and very great.

chrislou Fri 05-May-17 09:47:06

sounds to me like typical "teenage angst" against the world. My DIL is going through the same with her 11 year old and then she reverts back to the lovely girl she used to be. Be firm, try to be calm and I'm sure she will talk to you as her gran so that you can explain how her actions are making her mum feel. It works (so far) for me

Lyndie Fri 05-May-17 09:50:49

She's got teenager. Very challenging! I have 3 girls, somehow you get through it.

radicalnan Fri 05-May-17 09:52:08

Least said, soonest mended...........she will grow through this.

Bluebe11 Fri 05-May-17 09:54:59

No, you should not get involved, your daughter must deal with this, as she is actually being bullied by her own daughter and must show some strength. My daughter was awful aged 13 to 15, worse than her older brothers, so I know the scenario. Your daughter is enabling her daughter to behave like this by continuing to treat her and give her what she wants. We all love our kids unconditionally and want them to be happy but there are basic lessons in life that she needs to learn, despite going thro teenage hormones etc She knows right from wrong but is choosing to ignore it, so she needs some tough love. If she won't talk, she should send her daughter an email spelling out how it's going to be from here onwards, bad language and behaviour will have consequences and pocket money, clothes money etc will be withdrawn. She should also tell her just how much pain she is causing. I have 3 kids, 5 grandkids, have worked with young offenders for 15 years and in a senior school for 5. It's very difficult, but to continually give in to them just exacerbates issues and teaches them nothing. Decency and manners are life skills we need wherever we go.

TenGran Fri 05-May-17 09:55:37

Is this your first teenage grandchild? My lovely granddaughter changed overnight at thirteen into something horrible then changed back again when she hit seventeen. Just hold the other end of the rope. She laughs now about how we could put up with her.

trisher Fri 05-May-17 10:03:28

I was an awful teenager and argued constantly (and this when adult discipline was total!) I realised much later that much of it was hormonal. Is your GD worse at certain times of the month? Keep a record of how often the outbursts are and if they get worse at certain times. I also wonder if there are problems between your DD and SIL, my mum and dad were having problems when I was a teenager and I took my mum's side so tended to argue mostly with my dad. She will get through it and become a caring adult.

Jaycee5 Fri 05-May-17 10:07:29

She may have seen her mother's opinion on the vaccination as being unsupportive. People can be nervous about having them and she may have touched a nerve.
13 is a difficult time as others have said. Apart from being a listening ear if your granddaughter wants one (sometimes parents just can't be that however well meaning they are) I think you just have to ride it out.

W11girl Fri 05-May-17 10:14:30

Raging hormones! Typical 13 year old in general. I was a bit like it, my son was definitely like it until he was 15 or 16....couldn't want for a better son now however. I agree with Luckygirl, her mother needs to go with the flow but of course not to her detriment. With the best will in the world, stay out of it.

JanaNana Fri 05-May-17 10:20:00 sounds like you have a good relationship with your granddaughter so maybe a little confidential heart to heart talk with her would help. My granddaughter is just out of her teens and we had and still have our little chats together. This vaccine was,nt around when your daughter was this age so she is probably viewing it without thinking long term. It may sound to some people that this could encourage promiscuity, but in the long term it could be a life saver. Most teenagers have strops quite regularly as part of growing up and being hormonal. Guess your granddaughter feels she will be the "odd one out" if she does"nt have it whereas your daughter is thinking from a different viewpoint. Maybe a separate chat with each to start with followed by the three of you together ( you calming things down and being the rational one!)

Sheilasue Fri 05-May-17 10:21:59

reading your story I can see why she wants the injection because her friends are having it done and probably all the class. She doesn't want to be the odd one out.
The behaviour situation to her Mum is sadly the usual norm. My gd lives with us she has always been difficult, most of it is aimed at me and my h.
Don't think that she is alone your d she isint there are so many young girls like that. Ours it'd is now 16 and about to start her GCSEs.

Lewlew Fri 05-May-17 10:48:18

Oh I remember well my niece's relationship with her mother at 13. Her hormones were raging and totally affected her behaviour. Before then they had an amazing mother/daughter relationship, then suddenly it all changed. Hormones are weird things and some are affected more than others.

But even more importantly, their brains are actually physically reorganising in preparation for physical maturity. There interesting information out there. Below is a sample of sources. Googling will result in more. Unfortunately the NHS site concentrates on physical issues like periods, becoming sexual active mostly.

This is an excerpt from the first link:

With the lower-to-higher remodelling of the brain, the frontal cortex – the part of the brain that exerts a calming, rational influence – doesn’t come fully online until adulthood. This means that limbic system reactions outstrip frontal cortex controls. Put simply, intense emotions burst through and introduce you, and your daughter, to a new period of emotional upheaval.

This is a subject that is of interest to me as I am studying cognitive archaeology which is about the development of prehistoric people and their brain anatomy, particularly about Neanderthals.

Caro1954 Fri 05-May-17 10:52:25

The general consensus seems to be to love her through it all and "hold the end of the rope" (love that!). If you seem to be taking your DD's side you may alienate your DGD so try to stay neutral and she may come and talk to you. IMO your DD seems to be doing her very best. I believe, like others, that you will all come through this. But a lot of patience will be needed ... All the very best. flowers

LJP1 Fri 05-May-17 10:52:29

Above all, reassure your GD that she is not a nasty person - she is just a typical teenager, coping with new hormones & learning to grow up. She will get through the phase successfully. Don't let the unkind words get to either you or your DD. No criticism, just offer alternative words and lots of love in spite of the prickles.

Diggingdoris Fri 05-May-17 10:53:08

My daughter is now going through this with her youngest and it's a trying time. But I reminded her that 3 years ago her eldest daughter was just the same. It is normal, frustrating and heartbreaking for the parents, but yes they do grow through it.