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Grandparenting

Age 16, and can't be asked!

(61 Posts)
GinJeannie Mon 03-May-21 10:51:34

Youngest GD spends a lot of time with DD since her parents divorced, very amicably I might add, and we still regard her DD as our son in law as he is such a super father and person generally. Her older sister is away at uni. SiL and youngest GD have been invited here often for meals - usually Friday fish and chips or Sunday roast - but on the last two occasions the invitation for her and her DD to come for Sunday roast, she hasn't even texted us, just left our SiL to say she's not coming. We've always been close to her, so we thought, and SiL loyally says "she's 16 now, making her own choices, even voting in elections this week in Wales, so I can't make her". Am I over reacting to think that he could have emphasised to her that her grandparents would be so disappointed if she didn't come with him? I know 16 can be a difficult age, but feeling like a redundant grandparent isn't a nice feeling.

Roses Mon 03-May-21 11:01:39

I'm sorry your feeling upset but I don't think it's personal

She has been locked down like the rest of us and is now loving her freedom to do what she wants and spend time with her friends
Teenagers can be a bit thoughtless at times and just don't think like we do

Don't take it to heart you know she loves you and that's all that matters she will be back to see you soon I'm sure

timetogo2016 Mon 03-May-21 11:02:49

Spot on Rosies.

geekesse Mon 03-May-21 11:38:49

The absolutely best way to sour a relationship with a 16 year old is to make something an obligation, and back it up with a guilt trip for non-compliance. I’m sure your granddaughter is very fond of you, but it’s quite possible she hates having to spend a chunk of her Sunday with Dad and grandparents having a ritual meal that she may not normally choose to eat, without any other young people around.

Try another tack. Wait till the weather improves and Covid restrictions lift and invite her and cousins to come and bring friends along to a barbecue in the garden - nothing fancy, just burgers or sausages. Or if you can’t hack that, why not ask her to call in after school one day for cake and a chat on her way home?

We do not have some kind of inbuilt entitlement to our grandchildren’s love or company. I rather admire the young woman for deciding what to do without the whole guilt thing, and all credit to her Dad for upholding her autonomy. Too many people end up miserable in old age because they have lived a life based on obligation to others and guilt if they care for their own well-being.

geekesse Mon 03-May-21 11:42:11

Also, did you specifically ask her if she would like to come to Sunday lunch, or did you just ask Dad for both of them? If the latter, it’s quite correct that Dad explains her absence. Unless you specifically asked her, I don’t think you can complain that she didn’t make her excuses herself.

M0nica Mon 03-May-21 11:50:41

Its her age. Give her another couple of years - perhaps until she reaches 20 and then she will be your little girl again and love to hear you talk about her childhood and eat your gorgeous food.

cornishpatsy Mon 03-May-21 12:01:19

Surely you do not want her to come for a meal out of duty. Given the choice, a 16-year-old will choose friends over grandparents, she probably leaves it to her dad to tell you in case you try to talk her into it or show your disappointment.

Whitewavemark2 Mon 03-May-21 12:09:28

Relax for the next 4 years or so and things will be back to normal.

Our 21 year old GS is becoming human again and on Friday sat next to me on the sofa (distanced - large sofa😄) enjoying a Chinese takeaway and telling me all about his electronics degree and girl friend.

Our 16 year old grandson was absent doing his own thing in the village - at a friends house. Hopefully we will see him on his mother’s birthday, but I’m not holding my breath😄

sodapop Mon 03-May-21 12:48:44

Whitewave is spot on give your granddaughter a few more years Ginjeannie
It's not personal just a teenager finding her feet and her independence.

GrannySomerset Mon 03-May-21 12:53:59

As others have said, give it time and don’t apply pressure of any kind. Our teenage GC, not seen since last August, are actually asking to come to see us! Could, of course, have something to do with old fashioned cooking which they all love.

Kim19 Mon 03-May-21 12:54:47

Yes, please let her make her own choices without resentment. You are undoubtedly on her hit list but not right at the top at the moment. How about a loving little notelet telling her you miss seeing her (without pressure) and to pop in for a couple of minutes any time she fancies.

BlueBelle Mon 03-May-21 13:04:34

Yes I m afraid you are over reacting, just take it easy and don’t take it personally, birds are meant to fly out of their nests and 16 years olds don’t want to be with grannies that much
I always leave any invitations completely open so it would be
‘ I m cooking on Sunday if you re not doing anything pop in but if you’ve got other plans I totally understand’
Come on think back if you got an invite from a granny or a best friend or ‘shock horror’ a boy which invite would you have taken
Have much less expectations or you will be disappointed
She may return to being a grannies girl or she may move on, either is right

Jaxjacky Mon 03-May-21 13:44:33

Normal 16 year old behaviour, emphasised by the events of the last year. I used to be dragged, reluctantly to see my granny at a similar age.

MerylStreep Mon 03-May-21 13:50:50

I think I’d more concerned if my 16 yr old granddaughter preferred her grandparents company to her friends 😟

lemongrove Mon 03-May-21 13:53:35

Did you mean ‘can’t be arsed’ rather than asked GinJeannie?
If so, yes it can be typical 16 year old behaviour.
Not that every 16 year old does it of course, but that many do.
Don’t push it or worry about it, I think most grow out of it in time and become affectionate to grandparents as they get older.Our own 16 year old GS ( who until 15 would have lived here if he could) now rarely wants to be here for more than an hour and sometimes not at all😄they have other stuff to do.

Hithere Mon 03-May-21 14:04:07

The life of
Do you really want a visit of a annoyed teenager who doesnt want to be there? Who is there in person but not in spirit?

She is 16 and exercising her right to independence.

It is not personal, she is not doing it to hurt you. She is choosing how to spend her time and you were not her first pick

nanna8 Mon 03-May-21 14:14:20

They would be a bit abnormal at that age if they wanted to spend a lot of time with grandparents. Did you ? I certainly didn’t. They are forging their future lives, dealing with friends, thinking of their future careers etc. Even parents are low on the pecking order then.

Nansnet Tue 04-May-21 03:25:13

I remember when I was around the same age, my dad had words with me, about me not visiting my grandparents, and he guilt tripped me by saying how much they missed seeing me, and that they were always asking about me. I was just happy, and busy, spending time with my friends/boyfriend. It didn't mean that I'd forgotten about them, and I still loved them very much. I didn't do the same to my own children, because I remembered how I'd felt all those years ago, and it didn't make them love their grandparents any less either, they were always very close, even when they weren't always present.

Alexa Tue 04-May-21 08:19:25

GinJeannie, "not a nice feeling". Tell me about it!

I do agree teenagers , and not only teenagers, need advice and guidance from others whose opinions they respect. It is always nice to see a young person who behaves like a responsible adult. Your grandchild would have benefitted from gentle advice, even if she did not comply.

hazel93 Tue 04-May-21 08:35:48

MerylStreep

I think I’d more concerned if my 16 yr old granddaughter preferred her grandparents company to her friends 😟

Totally agree.

NotSpaghetti Tue 04-May-21 08:59:54

Am I over reacting to think that he could have emphasised to her that her grandparents would be so disappointed if she didn't come with him?

Maybe he did and she still chose not to come?
I was, like Nansnet, often “persuaded” to go to things as a teenager. I would not inflict it on my own teenagers.

Please be reassured they all come round in the end if the bond is there. It may just take a few years as others have said.

You did get to see your ex-son-in-law which is surely a bonus!

3dognight Tue 04-May-21 09:00:41

Sorry you’re feeling like a redundant gran .

In my opinion you have to let them go so they can come back. If they want.

She has more important things to do being the young adult that she is, sorry if this feels like a rejection.

For what it’s worth I’m going through similar myself.

Don’t guilt trip her into coming, duty visits will just cause resentment.

Hang in the things will get better.

grandtanteJE65 Tue 04-May-21 11:50:42

I think you should try to look at this from a more positive angle instead of being hurt.

Your granddaughter obviously feels so secure in her relationship to you that she feels she can say no thank you to a standing invitation.

Friday night is not the best time to invite a 16 year old, you know. It is a time for going out with your friends when you are a teenager.

Give the girl space to grow up a bit and to enjoy her new found freedom.

If you make a fuss now, you will lose her. And her dad is too wise to insist she visits you when she has other fish to fry.

Wait a while, then phone the girl and say you would love to see her, but that it has dawned on you that she will be seeing her own friends at the weekends, so when would she like to come?

Surely, fish and chips can be eaten on a Tuesday or Wednesday, just as well as on Friday?

Bazza Tue 04-May-21 11:54:38

I totally agree with all the above. However, maybe if you asked her I’d she would like to come for a lovely roast and then do her own thing when she’d eaten. I have a fifteen year old granddaughter and that is what I would say. No pressure, eat and go, or not at all, if really wouldn’t bother me after the year they’ve had. I know she loves me!

Coco51 Tue 04-May-21 11:59:25

16 is a busy time. It doesn’t mean that DGD’s feelings have chaned, just that this is the next phase in her life. Far better (although terribly hard) to accept that she will see you when she wants to. And better than the emotional pressure of feeling she has to see you, because that could grow in to resentment. I do think, however, she could be gently reminded that it is only right and proper to let you know - if only to save a meal being wasted.