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Losing grandson to smartphone

(63 Posts)
lmm6 Fri 01-Feb-19 12:38:54

Grandson is 12. We've always had a lovely time enjoying hobbies together, playing board games, walking etc. Since he has been at senior school and has acquired a smartphone I can barely get his attention. I look after him while daughter works. I don't want to get angry or seem bossy but I just wish he would put the phone down and talk to me. Even if we watch a TV programme together, he's constantly looking at it. I feel invisible and am wondering what it will be like in the school holidays. DD says oh they are all like that. Can't be doing them any good can it? Makes me really sad.

Luckygirl Fri 01-Feb-19 12:44:34

I think that thought needs to be given to what it is doing to him really - I know you are sad because he is not talking to you, but the phone issue is a vexed one.

On the one hand they learn loads from the access it gives them to facts and figures; and it is a good way of keeping in touch with friends. It is about the level of use really.

It sounds as though your DD is not worried about it and I presume she has put the necessary safeguards on. I think you need to go with the flow - I am not sure what else you can do, unless you are prepared to enforce different rules for your house, which is reasonable, but a pain to insist upon, and will put him off being with you.

POGS Fri 01-Feb-19 13:50:51


Echo that with our granddaughter and us.

I always thought it would be boys that ' took her away ' but it's a ruddy phone 😁

I am happy to accept I am on old fuddy duddy but as long as the smiles and hugs keep coming I stay happy.

M0nica Fri 01-Feb-19 16:22:07

Have you never heard of Grandma's house, Grandma's rules?

Now is the time to introduce some. Like not having the phone on the table when eating, or only use one device at a time. TV or phone, but not both at once.

notanan2 Fri 01-Feb-19 16:25:09

Is it new? They can go OTT with these things when theyre new until the novelty wears iff

sodapop Fri 01-Feb-19 16:35:04

That's my feeling too MOnica

BlueBelle Fri 01-Feb-19 16:49:01

The novelty doesn’t wear off though, the phones are a social life in their own right with everyone ‘group talking’ etc With all my seven grandkids in the teens they have all gone down the phone route and haven’t come out yet 😂 but then I was always getting told off for never taking my head out of a book so same difference I guess

paddyann Fri 01-Feb-19 16:53:22

so long as they put them away to eat I have no problems with their phones.Its up to their mother to make the rules about when or how long not me.My 16 year old seems to live on his sometimes but at other times has really deep discussions about politics or mental health issue or like yesterday Abortion
.He's been doing abortion and euthanasia in class and wanted to sound out my views ,and of course he had all the statistics at his fingertips .He still loves a cuddle all 6 feet of him

lizzypopbottle Fri 01-Feb-19 16:55:04

I'll play devil's advocate: Are you coming across as a bit needy? The thing is, he's twelve years old, nearly a teenager. He won't think of himself as a child. He may be on the cusp of puberty, which will make him feel weird. He's been working hard at school all day. Maybe he just needs some space. If he's otherwise polite and isn't worryingly secretive or isolating himself in a room by himself, maybe you just need to take a step back? What you don't want is for him to choose to stay out with his friends instead of coming to you.

I agree that he shouldn't use his phone at the table. Maybe you could get his attention long enough to agree some simple rules that work for both of you but keep it light. Don't alienate him.

He's turning into a man and we know they never hear a word we say!

NotTooOld Fri 01-Feb-19 17:00:19

I'm afraid they are all like that, boys and girls. It's quite sad, in my opinion. I had a disappointing Christmas, expecting the DGC to be keen on the usual silly family games with a prize at the end but this year (for the first time) they didn't want to know. End of an era. sad

andycameron69 Fri 01-Feb-19 17:06:19

awww, I understand, it is sad how things change. Those phones take over !.... flowers

M0nica Fri 01-Feb-19 18:07:20

They do not have to, not if parents have rules and obey them, themselves.

I do not care how old a child is in their grandparents home, grandparents rules are obeyed.

lmm6 Fri 01-Feb-19 18:24:49

Thanks everyone - I appreciate the many different views. I am more than happy when my grandson is playing sport or messing about with his friends but I'm afraid the phone could affect his young brain - I mean, how much evidence to the contrary can there be bearing in mind this is a new phenomenon. Can they really understand some of what they are seeing at that young age? It's not so much the games I worry about though they're bad enough but more what they can see on the internet that's the worry. Also fear it can become an addiction. I really don't think it's a passing phase. It's a way of life for youngsters now and IMO they are missing out on real life. In the town where I live 2 nightclubs have closed and you just don't see young people out enjoying themselves in the evening. They are all on social media apparently.

glammanana Fri 01-Feb-19 18:40:04

I have 5 grownup DGs and all of them have been brought up with this technology they first started at school with computers which everyone complained about so it is a way of life for them now.
My youngest DGs logs into his phone to send his homework into school every night and his mum can check that it has beeen received so I don't think youngsters are going to use their phones any the less in the future.
I insist that there are no phones in sight when we eat or are having a family gathering/conversation, my house my rules.

ClareAB Fri 01-Feb-19 19:02:33

It's not just youngsters. My DH drives me mad with his phone, especially when he picks it up and starts looking at it in the middle of a conversation.

I think manners have not caught up with technology yet. I have an absolute rule re phones at the table. Husband, sons. friends and, when they're old enough, grandchildren. Conversation and communicating face to face is as important as any other way and time needs to be made for it.

Foxyloxy Fri 01-Feb-19 20:28:49

Your DD is totally right! Children prefer their phones and iPads to us. Use it to your advantage. I found a game of words and ignored my 7 year old grand daughter, and was playing. Well of course curiosity got the better of her. She now plays Word using her brain! My youngest grand daughter is colouring, but learning to add and subtract, and she is 4 years old. We can’t beat them, so play them at their own game. Your grandson will also be needing some space, so be near him, but not nag or demand attention for yourself.

Foxyloxy Fri 01-Feb-19 20:31:18

Totally agree with you, no phones or iPads during meal times, regardless of their age.

lmm6 Fri 01-Feb-19 21:06:18

Trouble is, as soon as he starts eating he puts the phone down and puts on the telly. I’m at his house not mine so we end up watching rubbish. Feel I can’t win and have little authority. Although DD may agree with me, she’s at work so not there.

BlueBelle Fri 01-Feb-19 21:15:51

I think you have to accept that a young teen will grow away and into all the other things of his age group it’s all part of moving on Embrace it although it’s a wrench you can’t stop time

Eloethan Fri 01-Feb-19 21:40:49

At the moment, I do veer towards the Nan's house/Nan's rules way of doing things. I limit very strictly time spent on the computer and watching TV, particularly cartoons.

However, my grandchildren are 6 and 8 years old. They don't yet have mobile phones so it's slightly different. Also I think to strictly apply that principle at the age of 12 might alienate your grandson.

I do, though, think you have the right to ask him (nicely) to switch off the TV and not use his mobile phone while you are having a meal.

It is quite difficult to come the heavy about these issues when all around them young people see adults glued to their mobiles, even when they are in company. I know mobile phones are so handy in a lot of ways but sometimes I wish they'd never been invented.

I think it's quite understandable to feel sad when children/grandchildren seem to have less time and regard for parents/grandparents. I find it difficult to believe that, if you have always had a mutually close relationship with a child, you would have no disappointment whatsoever when they distance themselves from you and seem no longer to enjoy your company. It is rather unkind, I think, to say it suggests "neediness".

lmm6 Sat 02-Feb-19 09:08:10

Thank you, Eloethan, for your kind remarks. I also agree totally with you in that I wish the phones had never been invented. I have invested so much time and energy into looking after my grandson but remember that when my children were that age I was working. So I guess I need a focus rather than making him the centre of my world.

Afeica33 Sat 02-Feb-19 09:30:06

I used to work in IT and made the decision to 'hard break' from all social media a couple of years ago. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, likewise friends who are also in IT realise the damage these devices are causing.

My 6 year old DGD is not allowed any 'screen time' when she's with me, this includes TV. She is also not allowed to use iPads or any tech at school which, although can be difficult at times is not impossible and doesn't affect her in the slightest.

A very insightful and informative youtube clip is linked below,

A much longer discussion is here,

It's very telling that the most senior/talented people in the innovation of IT don't allow their children to use the devices that they market or indeed design. Think Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Chamath Palihapitiya etc.

Edithb Sat 02-Feb-19 09:32:01

I have to hide my phone from my 20 month old grandson because he knows there are videos of himself on there! I took his 11 year old brother to London last summer but with the proviso that he brought no technology and we had a brilliant days. However his dad said he can have a phone when he is 12 and I know he will be like his friend who got one for Christmas and when we all went to the cinema and McDonalds with his friend’s grandma he was glued to it. When I told my grandson I thought the friend had been very rude, he said he didn’t mind, but I did on his behalf. I would have told him to put it away in company, or what us the point of being with others?

TerriBull Sat 02-Feb-19 09:38:06

None of my business of course, but our 9 year old gd was given one by a member on the other side of the family for her recent birthday. Too young imo, I would have held that off for a couple of years at least. She's quite different when she has it with her, uncommunicative as others have said, she loses that bright eyed bushy tailed quality., it's effect is soporific and mesmerising but not in a good way. Fortunately she doesn't always have it with her when she stays at ours. A bit of a double edged sword, because it was nice to get some texts from her, but that's all really sad

PECS Sat 02-Feb-19 09:50:03

I feel your pain! imm6
I look afted DGC 2 x week after school and it got to a point where they were isolated all on different screens! So from January new rules were instigated..screens only for homework or for sharing before tea. After tea individual screens permitted! They may watch a dvd together, play a game together on a laptop etc. Often they choose to play imaginative games or do crafts! It does become habitual ( here I am in bed on mjy phone!!🙄) unless there is an active push to change. Maybe invest in some craft kits. e.g old fashioned model planes. It is,harder for you as just one pre teen lad. My 4 range 13 to 6.