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Grandparenting

Bad behaviour

(54 Posts)
Alypoole Thu 09-Jul-20 22:50:41

We’ve recently begun helping with our 2 grandsons again. They are 6 and 3. They’ve never got on terribly well but their behaviour at the moment is really concerning. They bicker constantly, play very aggressively and find it extremely difficult to concentrate on anything for any length of time. Manners have gone completely- constantly reminding them about “please” and “thank-you”. When I read how everyone seems to be delighted with seeing their grandchildren again I just feel very concerned and quite depressed about the whole situation. The 6 year old and I were once SO close but .......not anymore. Has anyone else experienced this?

silverlining48 Thu 09-Jul-20 23:05:32

Yes I Understand how you feel Aly, we have a similar situation. Perhaps the enforced isolation has not helped and hope maybe things calm down, but it’s very hard when loved GC can be so difficult to manage. It takes the pleasure out of what should be a happy and enjoyable time .

Oopsminty Thu 09-Jul-20 23:08:32

Been in your position, Alyppoole

However the boys now are 12 and 9 and the change in behaviour is almost unbelievable.

Up until recently they fought, endlessly.

Now they're a great pair of buddies.

So patience could be all that's needed

Along with the reminders of manners!

Good luck

ElaineI Thu 09-Jul-20 23:22:37

I think it is a result of lockdown. DD1 has children this age and has the same issues as do most of her friends. Families have been in such close contact - schools closed and parents having to try to ensure school work is done while working from home and occupying younger siblings. Their world has changed - no grandparents, cousins, friends, school. Not able to go to the park or do any of their normal activities and even though parents may have spent hours doing activities with them - it is all a new kind of livings you have to try and go with the flow and maybe relax some rules - I don't mean not reminding them about manners and not fighting but just accept their mental health has been affected the same as adults and it is all so strange. Your 6 yo grandson will become close with you again but for now he will be close to Mum and Dad and have to rebuild his relationships with other relatives. My 6yo grandson is often rude to his Mum and has spectacular meltdowns occasionally, his 3 yo sister is copying him and developing her personality and sometimes rude but not let away with it. 2 yo grandson - DD2 - has been living with us as well as Mum. He seems too young to be affected much though we are minding him and not the childminder. He is developing very quickly but seems to be as normal compared to his cousins so it looks like an age thing. He has also stopped any activities but is very happy throwing stones down drains, into rivers and his favourite playing in mud!
What I am trying to say is that you are not alone and it is more than likely due to lockdown and nothing to do with parenting or being naughty but a child's response to an unimaginable event in their lives.

Lolo81 Fri 10-Jul-20 02:25:32

ElaineI I couldn’t agree more. My Brother and SIL have 3 boys 7,10 & 11. They are normally lovely and play really well together, but lockdown has turned them feral 🙈 lol.
My poor SIL has broken her foot and bro works night shift so we’ve been helping out since they’re in our bubble.
Since lockdown has eased a bit and we’ve been able to separate them for periods of time it’s helped restore order and they’ve not been as stressed. I honestly think they had a version of cabin fever having their routines upset so radically.
Now they’re back to their usual boisterous lovely selves and their mum has been able to have some respite.
Hopefully as children are able to burn off that nervous energy things behaviour will calm down a bit.
It’s a confusing time for everyone, so I wouldn’t take personal offence at not being “close” to a 6 yo, he’s figuring out his new normal - be patient. I was always close to my Papa, but that’s because he let me figure out how to be independent and was quietly supportive, that’s in contrast to his wife (my gran) who pushed and pushed to be my “favourite”, resulting in me pulling away a bit. Certainly in my case I responded well to the unconditional quiet support my Papa gave me and I still think of him every day (20 years after he passed away).
I hope everything settles down for you OP and don’t forget the beauty of grandchildren is that you give them back at the end of the day and can have a glass of wine or a nice cuppa in peace!!

Hithere Fri 10-Jul-20 03:46:01

The words "please" and "thank you" choose to be in my kids' vocabulary depending on the audience: daycare, sure! Friend, yes! Mom and dad, not at all!

Kids have gone through a lot during lockdown and need to readjust again to the new childcare arrangement.

eazybee Fri 10-Jul-20 07:32:08

For the past twelve weeks your grandsons have only had each other for company, and their parents have clearly not bothered to reinforce rules of behaviour. Begin by insisting on 'please' and 'thank you' and whatever manners you expect; very tiring but necessary. Don't give in to bad behaviour; reinforce good. Your house, your rules.

Nanof3 Fri 10-Jul-20 08:42:13

Our 3 GS age 13, 10 and 8 are coming for a sleepover tonight and to be honest I am dreading it. I can cope with 1 or 2 of them but all 3 together just seem to end up bickering and shouting. My DH is not long on patience and I end up trying to referee, distract and play peacemaker. I know my DD and SIL need a break but honestly wish they had been able to use a sitter as normal.
We are taking them away in a couple of weeks which will be great as DD is coming with us and I just hope the weather in Yorkshire will be good.
Sorry to be a moaner, I love them so much but find them hard work maybe it's my age 71 and have rheumatoid arthritis so not every day is filled with energy.

Sys2ad2 Fri 10-Jul-20 08:43:28

This is down to the parents obvious lack of discipline. Speak to them. Sit the children down and talk to them say if they cannot behave and be polite you will take them back home and they will not be allowed to visit until they can learn basic manners

Marjgran Fri 10-Jul-20 08:46:14

I think your experience is shared by many! My grandchildren have had ok times, one set been luckier than most, big garden and accessible countryside, parents working shifts and because their mum a teacher, good home schooling. But they have found “the big cold” (Covid) very unsettling, and (aged 8 and 4) been rough fighting a lot. The other little one has given up playing with toys, has missed company so very much and is very unsettled and grumpy at times. Children often express unhappy feelings as grumps, and siblings have been thrown together. Maybe careful consistent encouragement of manners and distraction will help, over time? I hope we don’t have more lockdowns but they look pretty likely. We have required such unnatural behaviour from humans, avoiding physical contact, the opposite of what we are programmed to do and expect. Poor humans and poor confused children.

Marjgran Fri 10-Jul-20 08:48:03

I’m not sure if it is down to “lack of discipline”. It may be but also most parents have had no respite, having to make new boundaries and be teachers, friends, parents, nurses. They may have had to pick their battles!

9pins Fri 10-Jul-20 08:51:16

My granddaughter's 6+9yrs are exactly the same. Behaviour is dreadful, mostly to their parents as we have only had a few visits through this period. Very difficult for parents trying to work from home, business zoom calls having to be opted out of because of children's bad behaviour. Fortunately one had gone back to school 4 days a week now but parents are really struggling to feel with it... especially living in a flat. I've offered to have them the day their both off school, but now I've been told if I have a covid test we can have our disabled adult son home for the weekend I'm regretting the offer. I feel he should be my priority as he's really struggling with the sudden change in his routine and going stir crazy.

9pins Fri 10-Jul-20 08:52:06

'deal with'

Nannyme Fri 10-Jul-20 08:57:05

I have a friend whose GD is just 2 and she just screams all the time, I find it unbearable and unfortunately have said no to meeting up with my GC as they don’t understand why and I don’t either. She is otherwise a healthy child but I cant help thinking something is really wrong.

sodapop Fri 10-Jul-20 08:58:17

Seems to be a common problem at the moment Alypoole it's a strange and difficult time for children. Pick your battles with your grandchildren, some things can wait until a later date. Keep them occupied if they are with you, short bursts of activities to keep them interested. This too will pass.

TrendyNannie6 Fri 10-Jul-20 08:59:16

I think it’s the lockdown it’s affecting everyone of us, there’s bound to be more arguing and bickering, everyone trying to do the best they can,

polnan Fri 10-Jul-20 09:00:14

Ah! sys2ad2

discipline no longer exists.. myyoungest g c ,, a girl coming up to 11
oh my! I don`t see them that often, but mum came to me yesterday full of ..... homeschooling is not helping, computers,,, not helping, but really just down to good old fashioned discipline and saying "no"

Frogs Fri 10-Jul-20 09:04:46

I'm with the others here - my 6 year old granddaughter's behaviour has completely changed as lockdown has gone on. It's like she is depressed and only wants to lie on the sofa and watch videos. My DIL is really bubbly and has tried everything to motivate her daughter (they also have a one year old son) but she has become like a surly teenager. It hasn't helped that all through lockdown my son has been working long hours.

jaylucy Fri 10-Jul-20 09:05:34

Like others I think it is the lockdown.
The 3 year old also has got to the stage when he will say "no" to his elder sibling - all a part of growing up and I can remember when my nieces were the same - up until that point, the elder of the two had always been in charge and the other one used to quite happily follow on wherever she was lead - until one day her sister gave her an instruction and she said no ! From then on, for a short time it was like WW3 had broken out!
It will get better, believe me - they either fight now or later on when they are in their teens - I know which one I would prefer!

SheilsM Fri 10-Jul-20 09:16:10

I think it’s a little harsh to blame the parents for lack of discipline. This has been a strange time for us adults as well as the children. They have been affected as well as us.

Patticake123 Fri 10-Jul-20 09:24:33

Your post has reassured me Alypool, my own grandchildren are behaving in a worrying way and I do think that Elainel’s post is very pertinent.
Let’s hang on in there and keep the stability for them all.

DeeDum Fri 10-Jul-20 09:34:41

I would speak to their parents, could be their feeling very insecure? Maybe something at home? As it's both of them I would defy wonder if something going on at home ..

Thirdinline Fri 10-Jul-20 09:52:15

This is very typical of brothers with this age gap and I speak from my own experience! When I was 5, my older brother was 6 and my younger brother was 3 and memories of my childhood are of those two “bundling”. I was reminded of that when my DS1was 6 & DS3 was 3: more fighting. When DS 3 was 6 and DS4 was 3, guess what? Yes, more fighting. I would say to DS3, “You used to hate it when DS1 did that to you, now you’re doing it to DS4! How do you think he feels?” It had little effect at the time. Now they’re 28, 25 & 22 and thick as thieves. Yes, the occasional argument, but blood’s thicker than water and they’ve each got the others’ backs. I think it’s just a stage they go through. There’s hope though, they do grow out of it!

Thirdinline Fri 10-Jul-20 09:53:48

There was no lockdown in my childhood or theirs either.

cupcake1 Fri 10-Jul-20 10:00:31

My 14 year old DGD Does her daily school work then stays in her bedroom most of the day apart from ‘feeding time’ My DD has tried everything to engage her and drags her out dog walking once a day but that’s it. She constantly picks fights with her older sister and seems to hate the world at the moment. She was such a loving girl before all this. My DD has just returned to work so it’s especially worrying for her now. My DH and I have tried to engage with her but it’s not happening. She’s not rude just distant. So sad I just hope she returns to normal when she’s back at school I’m just praying it’s September. Good that the pubs and restaurants have opened and gyms and nail salons are opening but the poor kids can’t go to school angry