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Teenage grandaughter is hard work!

(68 Posts)
Davida1968 Mon 10-Jul-23 10:20:57

Please can any grans out there reassure me about teeenage DGC? Our DGD is staying with us and frankly it's very hard work! DGD lives overseas (in an English speaking country) and we hadn't seen her in over a year. She arrived with a friend (we agreed to this) but having them stay is very hard work. Technically they are adults, but they behave at times like toddlers! (Other than rising early- irritatingly they stay in bed late, every morning). DH and I appear to be regarded as: cook, cleaner, chauffeur, housekeeper and general factotum. They show no interest in us or our lives: we try hard to show an interest in theirs. We are treating them as adults, and have taken them away on trips to stay at places/do things that they'd like, but it's stressful! (And as for them forever being on their bloomin' phones.......!) I'm simply seeking reassurance: in your experience, will this pass? Will we ever again see the lovely young person we used to know? I'd appreciate any constructive advice - thank you.

Sparklefizz Mon 10-Jul-23 10:29:04

You will see the lovely person she used to be, probably when she's in her 20s.

My son just grunted at me for years until he had lived away from home at university. He moved back for a few months after graduation while sorting out a place to live, and he was back to the son I recognised! Hang in there!!

BlueBelle Mon 10-Jul-23 10:29:06

Sounds totally normal davida
Yes it does pass and in the twenties they become much more human although they ll still be on their phones a lot I think you have to accept that this is how it is from about 14 to early twenties When my late teens early twenties come to stay I expect them to be in bed till late and not be interested in a 70+ s life style and if they come with a companion they do their thing and just drop in for food, drink and bed 😂😂😂

downtoearth Mon 10-Jul-23 10:52:24

Havi g brought up my DGD from the age of 4,this is completely normal.
She is now 24,and mostly house trained in her own home,and tries to regress when she visits,until I gently remind her grin

Callistemon21 Mon 10-Jul-23 11:01:53

Have they come for a holiday or for work experience?

Technically they are adults there are two of them and they're old enough to sort out their own trips and make the most of their experience here, but, of course, it's lovely of you to arrange outings for them but not necessary to constantly entertain them.
They could offer to cook - perhaps you need to offer them the kitchen and hope they clear up afterwards too.
"How about you cook us a typical dish from your country?"

And older adult DC regress into teenagers if they come home for a visit 😁
Although they do cook.

It all sounds fairly normal though.
How long are they staying?

Witzend Mon 10-Jul-23 11:02:14

Staying in bed late wouldn’t bother me TBH. We used to have teen Singaporean nieces regularly staying for weekends/half terms from their U.K. 6th form boarding school. At school they had to be up early even at weekends, so I always told them to get up whenever they liked and help themselves to breakfast. (Which was often around lunchtime!)

One of them used now and then to ask whether she could bring a friend, who would otherwise have to go to an official (paid) ‘host’ near the school.

But they were always polite and well behaved. TBH I took it as a compliment that niece was happy to bring a friend.

Theexwife Mon 10-Jul-23 11:11:30

Teenagers will not have any interest in your lives, I doubt you were interested in your grandparent's lives at that age.

I would not arrange too much for them just let them do what they want, get up when they want to and get their own breakfast.

It will only be a few years when they won't be so self-obsessed and will have lovely memories of their times with you.

Luckygirl3 Mon 10-Jul-23 11:17:41

How long are they to be with you? If there's not long to go them you might be better just going with the (very annoying!) flow.

If this is open-ended, then you must sit them down and make some ground rules.

Where are the parents in all this?

Hithere Mon 10-Jul-23 12:13:18

Sounds normal

How long are they there for?

How would you like them to show interest in you?

There is a contradiction in your original post - how can you be treating them as adults if you do everything for them?

Adults are self reliant and independent

wildswan16 Mon 10-Jul-23 12:19:25

I think the fact she has a friend with her has probably changed the dynamics quite a bit.

Just accept them as they are, carry on loving your GD and she will probably turn round in 10 years time and say what a lovely time you gave her on this current visit.

sodapop Mon 10-Jul-23 12:21:33

Absolutely normal behaviour for teenagers Davida but annoying.
I agree with Luckygirl if it's an extended stay lay down some ground rules if not just go with the flow and don't try too hard to entertain them as its stressful

downtoearth Mon 10-Jul-23 13:11:34

I should be so lucky with the cooking,
E only visits the kitchen,she dosent linger if she can help it,all my efforts fell on deaf earsgrin

My son made me a sandwich when he visited after my recent hip op.

GrannySomerset Mon 10-Jul-23 13:20:02

I have almost 21 year old GD as a lodger for two weeks while she experiences life in a primary school. She is lovely but does spend an inordinate amount of time on her phone but has clearly been told by her mother that Granny is ancient and needs to be kept an eye on. I think the next lot of adults will be different because they have had a hard time with Covid and the on line life has become much more dominant. No reason not to expect a minimum of domestic help, though you will have to spell it out - clearing table, loading dishwasher, laundry in basket, etc. I find it best to be specific.

Vintagenonna Mon 10-Jul-23 13:24:52

I think GrannySomerset is right. Reasonable expectations, clearly set out and explained and give her a chance to sparkle by sharing some of her life hacks (she will have them).

M0nica Mon 10-Jul-23 13:29:44

These girls sound perfectly normal teenagers. Leave them to get on with their lives, look after themselves and only pick them up and dust them down if they ask for help.

Shelflife Mon 10-Jul-23 17:36:58

In your situation I would not be bothered about them getting up late! However........... If I was running them about in my car , taking them to places of interest and generally taking care of their needs I would expect and some sign of appreciation and thanks from them.
They should be helping out, Granny S. is correct ask them directly to clear the table or load/ empty the dishwasher - they shouldn't have to be asked though!! As for being glued to their phones , most young people are ! Don't worry about that.

Callistemon21 Mon 10-Jul-23 19:28:32


I should be so lucky with the cooking,
E only visits the kitchen,she dosent linger if she can help it,all my efforts fell on deaf earsgrin

My son made me a sandwich when he visited after my recent hip op.

Strangely enough, all mine seem to like cooking, especially DS.

The older I get, the more I dislike it!!

Witzend Tue 11-Jul-23 12:03:38

Must say I hate that term ‘ground rules’ - to me it always sounds so bossy, but I’d certainly feel like making at least one for the OP’s pair - by all means get up late and get your own breakfast but clear everything up afterwards! Ditto for any other meals/snacks.

Grammaretto Tue 11-Jul-23 12:24:43

How long are they staying!!
I'm an expert grin on youngpeople having hosted over 200 via HelpX in the past 15 years.
The 18yr olds are worst as they expect everything to be explained and some have never lifted a finger at home.
2 girls had a paintfight in my bathroom which ended in tears with a new discovery that emulsion paint does not wash off an unprotected floor.
I've had my flowerbeds strimmed! I could make a list but when they are a little older they mature and begin to realise they are here to help.
As for being interested in you though, forget it.

pandapatch Tue 11-Jul-23 12:32:25

Sounds absolutely normal to me too, especially has she has a friend in tow! Things will revert to normal in a few years, but I'm afraid she will probably still be glued to her phone!

Grandma2002 Tue 11-Jul-23 12:44:52

How sad it has been to read some of these messages. I am very lucky then, I have two grandsons (in Scotland) so don't see much of them but they keep us up to date on-line. Two grand-daughters 16 and 20 who live nearby. We don't see them regularly but we are all very close. DGD (16) is coming today to paint a wall in our sitting room. Our birthdays and Christmas are always celebrated together with family meals and I am always surprised that the girls stay at home specially and want to play games especially at Christmas. We realise we are very blessed to have such caring grandchildren. We looked after them in their infancy and childhood days so this is probably why we are so close-knit now. They take care of our home as if it was their own, take their shoes off, wash up after themselves, clear up and make meals for us if they are around. Their Dads were little devils growing up so don't know where this lovely behaviour comes from. We have to be grateful for our daughters in law.

Cossy Tue 11-Jul-23 12:47:38

Completely normal, she will come back to you. Also young people change such a lot in their teens and you’ve not seen her for a year. Hopefully you’ll find some common ground and build some nice memories 😊😊

Callistemon21 Tue 11-Jul-23 12:50:01

Their Dads were little devils growing up so don't know where this lovely behaviour comes from. We have to be grateful for our daughters in law.
I had to smile at that, Grandma2002 !

Their Dads will know all the tricks though! smile

Nannashirlz Tue 11-Jul-23 12:52:49

Welcome to the world of teenagers lol unless you not online with them you might as well be invisible 🫥 my granddaughter is the same way and my ex daughter inlaw was saying something similar about her and I said to her now you know how me and your mum felt when you and her dad were similar ages but at least we didn’t have phones I don’t think she ever looks up from hers and trying to have a conversation is a no go. Wait a few years you will get a response when she grows up

Sawsage2 Tue 11-Jul-23 12:57:03

Yes it can be hell. My granddaughter lived with me for 4 years, nearly drove me mad and left me very ill. Never again!