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Grandparenting

Teenage grandaughter is hard work!

(75 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.

Grammaretto Tue 11-Jul-23 12:57:44

You must be a lovely grandma grandma2002
Mine DGC are young yet but eldest DGD is about to spend part of her school holidays looking after her wee cousins in Scotland. She'll have to manage the long journey herself but I know they are looking forward to her coming

Fernhillnana Tue 11-Jul-23 12:59:26

It might be worth mentioning that teenagers NEED a huge amount of sleep- more or less what they needed as toddlers. It’s to do with hormonal and growth changes. Let sleeping teens lie was my motto.

Callistemon21 Tue 11-Jul-23 13:07:17

That's true, Fernhillnana

Callistemon21 Tue 11-Jul-23 13:09:38

I did go and do an informal au pair type job in the long summer holidays when I was 16 so someone must have thought I was fairly responsible!
No cooking or cleaning though, just keeping two younger children busy and entertained.

Pjcpjc77 Tue 11-Jul-23 13:11:33

Sorry but I am laughing.
That sounds so familiar with teenagers and how I was with my children who turned out an absolute disgrace at best.
I because I spoke up about how my teenage grandchildren are treated by my narcissist of a daughter banned from seeing them, it's heartbraking but I don't regret one thing I said.
When my grandchildren used to come in the school holidays firstly they never stopped eating but I was happy about that rather they ate than had an eating disorder. Then I was the chauffeur, the entertainment committee, the bank, the higher and kisser. I miss all that so much my life now has no meaning and I can't wait for them to be able to travel on public transport from far away where they live to me.
Chin Up Grandma and Grandad.

Wyllow3 Tue 11-Jul-23 13:27:06

Sounds pretty normal to me, you weren't to know how it would be with the two of them:

but you've made the effort and they are now taking advantage.

So I'd stop arranging trips unless asked for: make an evening meal but up to them to make breakfast and lunch snacks: have nice stuff in the fridge for that: request they clear these up wash up/load the dishwasher after: if they don't do that, put plates on their bedroom floor.

Clothes? Depends what happens at home, do their parents pick up and wash their clothes or do they do their own? Show them how to do a basic wash/drier.

It would be lovely if they did take an interest, and some do, but it's not something one can force, let time take its course. the being on the phone all the time is so normal now, its sad for you.

Grammaretto Tue 11-Jul-23 13:40:02

Oh yes I was sent to Paris aged 15 with my sister 17 to "look after" a friend of mum who had broken her leg and was some kind of diplomat so gave cocktail parties.
I don't know how helpful we were, we cooked simple meals and did handwashing. We must have helped with the parties too. If we'd had phones back then, we'd have been on them.
She wrote to our mum that we met boys and she didn't know what to do about us and threatened to send us home. We must have had a stern telling because she didn't.

Willow68 Tue 11-Jul-23 15:04:19

That’s teenagers , lay ins and phones, as you don’t see her often, enjoy as much as you can and just accept lifts are part of it. Also remember they are teenagers not adults yet, so of course they won’t act like adults, up early ect… just be reassured it’s all normal, and enjoy your time with her x

NemosMum Tue 11-Jul-23 15:08:54

Sounds fairly normal teenage behaviour, but that doesn't mean that you have to put up with it! It's probably thoughtlessness, combined with a bit of bravado. Yes, of course it would have been good to outline some expectations/limits at the outset, but it's not too late to start. Something like this: "Look girls, we're loving having you around, but you're not children any more, and family are expected to join in and lend a hand. Now, which days would you like to cook next week? And, of course, you know where the washing machine and iron are. Stop offering days out and lifts - youngsters these days are quite used to booking taxis on UBER. Good luck.

Juicylucy Tue 11-Jul-23 15:13:48

This is very normal and it will pass but not until there early twenties. This is their transition period into adulthood. My advice would just try to relax and not get wound up by their actions or lack of them. Majority of teenagers in the country are acting exact same way.

62Granny Tue 11-Jul-23 15:26:31

How long are they staying? If it is going to be long term ( more than 1 month) I would start laying down ground rules about you expect them to do and when, e.g. Pick up after themselves , keep room clean and tidy and leave the bathroom tidy after use. Say you can help yourselves to brunch,( if they are late risers they won't need breakfast and lunch, please leave the kitchen clean & tidy afterwards and you will be making a cooked meal at such and such time every day, can they let you know if they don't intend to be home for it. Also say if there is somewhere they would like to visit let you know otherwise leave them to it. Point them in the direction of the bus stop for local journeys and pick them up some leaflets on local places of interest .

kwest Tue 11-Jul-23 15:31:42

It is totally normal behavior for teenagers. They go through a stage when they are totally self-obsessed. Eventually probably early twenties they turn into really nice people or that was the way my children were. Their children are just coming up to that age in mid-teens when behavior could become challenging. So far they are still lovely and I love all four of them enormously. It helps that the parents are responsible for guiding them through the tricky years and we get to just love them.

2mason16 Tue 11-Jul-23 16:02:50

Our 18 yr old dgd came to stay from overseas with her friend. We let them carry on as they wanted most of the time! They were polite and nit too noisy after a night out. They visited Oxford (our son's place) then a couple of other cities. We managed a few days out with them where a good meal was an enticement. They returned to their homes and thanked us for a great time. We loved having them. They are now both working full time so a month's stay may not happen again.

welbeck Tue 11-Jul-23 16:23:34

it is highly likely that they have not come to see you at all.
so of course they are not interested in your life.
they wanted to come to the uk and find a place to doss down.
if it wasn't your gaff, they would probably find the cheapest hostel.
i think your expectations are unrealistic.

pinkjj27 Tue 11-Jul-23 16:30:48

I have brought up my grandkids on and off . Now one is living here. She is 17 expecting a baby and i must keep it secret. ( Now that stressful)
All this sounds normal to me I’m in my 50s why would she be interested in me, and what I do? she does help me with makeup and stuff. I still see the lovely girl in her even when am picking up her pants from all over my home and taking cups out of room.
I can’t advise you, as you can’t make a teenage grow up and I am not sure I would want to. I guess if you do not want her there you should speak up.

grandtanteJE65 Tue 11-Jul-23 16:32:46

This is par for the course, Davida, and I can assure you that grandsons are no easier at that age. All right, boys don't spend oodles of time in the bathroom making up and doing their hair, but they eat you out of house and home.

Yes, you can confidently expect a nice adult to emerge after the teenage years are over and done with.

You don't say how old they are exactly, or how long they are staying for, but in your place, as you have generously taken them on trips and probably paid for these, I would sugget you mention today or tomorrow that you haven't planned anything for next week, as you imagined they would want to do their own thing for some of the time.

Ask them to tell you where they intend to go before they set out, and when they will be back.

Fix a definite time for their return and warn them that if they are not back at that time, you expect them to have phoned you to say that they are delayed. If they do not either phone or come back at the stated time, you will have no compunction about phoning the local police and hospitals.

If they are over 18, which I assume, as you say they technically are adults, you cannot demand this, but tell them frankly that you will worry if you have not heard from them and they don't come back as agreed.

If they are under 18, you can demand this, as you are legally responsible to their parents for their safety

Gundy Tue 11-Jul-23 16:59:45

Yes, the teenage phase is a struggle. Add a friend along on the trip and you’ve almost lost her (temporarily). However, if she was sweet as a child I’m thinking she will re-emerge as a lovely young woman some day.

Could be that her friend is having some influence over her too? IDK. Don’t know how old these two are.

Teens and social media… 😩😉
Hang in there G’ma!
USA Gundy

JPB123 Tue 11-Jul-23 19:51:15

I think if the granddaughter had come on her own she may have been totally different,in a positive way.

SpringsEternal Tue 11-Jul-23 20:22:27

They all get abducted by aliens at about 11. The aliens leave a very poor simulacrum in their place, which fools no-one. The real son/daughter, grandson/granddaughter usually manages to return home, but the date is never specified.

Hetty58 Tue 11-Jul-23 20:46:58

Typical teenage behaviour, I'd say. Your expectations are just unrealistic. For instance, why would they be interested in your lives? They live in a teenage bubble with their friends - and on their phones - whenever possible. Fear not, though, as they turn into reasonable adults sometime in their twenties!

Chardy Tue 11-Jul-23 21:13:20

Sounds normal to me

Callistemon21 Tue 11-Jul-23 22:01:12

SpringsEternal

They all get abducted by aliens at about 11. The aliens leave a very poor simulacrum in their place, which fools no-one. The real son/daughter, grandson/granddaughter usually manages to return home, but the date is never specified.

DH says they go into a tunnel and emerge at 20.
Youngest aged 11 hasn't entered the tunnel yet but there are a few months to go .........

MargotLedbetter Tue 11-Jul-23 22:12:53

I had a situation last year when a young (22-year-old) Australian relative travelling in Europe came to stay for 'a couple of days'. It soon became clear he was only using us to provide board and lodging until something better came up. We tried taking him out to places and he didn't bother to conceal his boredom. He just sat around or lay around on his phone or laptop for 11 days until I told him I'd had enough and bought him a bus ticket to London.

I think this is the way a lot of young people are these days. They are used to spending loads of time alone in a bedroom on their phone and they really can't be bothered with the real world. It feels terribly rude, doesn't it?

annodomini Tue 11-Jul-23 23:08:15

I must be lucky. My teenage GC have, all but the youngest (15), had part-time jobs. All of them are lively and informative in conversation - even with Granny. The two who will be going to Universities in the autumn have both travelled this summer and DGS (19) will be off again to do voluntary work just before his university term starts. In the meantime, he is earning his air fare!

Grammaretto Wed 12-Jul-23 06:34:43

I agree with JPB123 it sounds as though the friend is the problem. DGD is showing off to her.
We had various exchange students with our DS and I can remember getting very angry and shouting at both boys who were spraying deodorant at eachother. They were behaving like toddlers.