Gransnet forums


Help with grand-daughter

(23 Posts)
putz4856 Sun 16-May-21 04:36:03

It's been a year and a half since my son and I decided to share a home. He being newly divorced and I just loosing my job, we decided to split the rent on a nice house to help each other out. Now he has an affordable place to have his kids to on his days with the kids and I dont have to be alone. We have a pretty good set up, my 11 yr old grandson is terrific, easy to get along with, but my 13 yr old grand-daughter is difficult. I get what she is going thru, age, divorce, etc... but she cannot stand me. She doesnt speak to me, I dont speak to her for fear of her blowing up. If you look at her she has a meltdown
She has to be the center of attention and sees me as a inconvenience to deal with. I would give anything to be able to have some fun with her but she makes me feel like I dont belong here. In front of her father she will serve dessert to her dad, brother and herself and leave me out, and if her dad calls her on it, she has a meltdown and leaves the room w/o eating her dessert. How do you deal with a disrespectful, moody, temper mental teenage grandchild? Would appreciate some suggestions...

FannyCornforth Sun 16-May-21 05:13:33

Ignore her for the next seven or eight years.
There's not a great deal that you can do other than let her know that you love her unconditionally and that you will always be there for you.
She will come to you eventually. thanks

FannyCornforth Sun 16-May-21 05:14:19

There for her. Sorry! confused

absent Sun 16-May-21 05:52:25

I have had my share of moody and difficult young people as both a mother and grandmother. What quickly became apparent right from the start is that the aggressive teen or even pre-teen will be at their worst with the family member they most trust. They have this tension between the reliability of this family member and a desire to prove that he/she isn't reliable and doesn't love them. It's a horrible situation but I found that just sticking to my values, my love, my principles worked in the long term.

Lucca Sun 16-May-21 05:59:58

I wonder if she wants her dad to herself? Could you maybe go out for the day sometimes when she’s there ?

cornergran Sun 16-May-21 07:40:47

I was going to suggest your son takes his daughter out for some individual time, putz if your grandson would be happy to have some individual attention from you. Of course you understand your granddaughter is struggling with the changes, equally it is hard to tolerate this type of behaviour but please let her know you love her. She won’t understand the house share is for her fathers and indeed her benefit as much as yours. It might help if you have a chat with your son when your granddaughter isn’t around, work out together how to manage her distress. Wishing you all well, it’s not easy for any of you.

Grandmabatty Sun 16-May-21 09:29:39

I have no advice but perhaps she sees you as replacing her mum and therefore is acting out? As long as her dad keeps dealing with the rudeness then I would do what other posters have suggested : talk to your son about how to help her and let her know by your actions that you love her. Good luck.

March Sun 16-May-21 09:59:45

I think she wants her Dad to herself. Or atleast just her, him and her brother?
Could you maybe pop out somewhere? Was you use to seeing her alot before the divorce?

FannyCornforth Sun 16-May-21 10:01:29


I wonder if she wants her dad to herself? Could you maybe go out for the day sometimes when she’s there ?

Gosh, yes
I don't know why I hadn't thought of that.
Lucca is spot on.
Aah, poor little girl.

FannyCornforth Sun 16-May-21 10:03:22

Does your granddaughter see her mum, or her maternal grandmother?

theworriedwell Sun 16-May-21 10:10:39

Life is hard at 13 whatever the circumstances but I'm sorry I wouldn't stand for rudeness. She goes without her dessert because her father calls her out on it - good. She doesn't have to like you but she does need to remember her manners.

eazybee Sun 16-May-21 10:33:31

No, not a poor little girl, but a rude, very badly-behaved one.

The grandmother is in a difficult situation because she can't say, my house, my rules, as she shares the house with her son, but her granddaughter is going above teenage angst by deliberately humiliating her grandmother. When called out , she has a meltdown, successfully ruining the gathering for everyone. The father should have removed her pudding from her, no argument or discussion and sent her to her room.
I understand the situation with divorce; my own children went through it, but they never behaved in that way with either parent and near relations; it simply would not have been tolerated.
It needs to be established that she doesn't come into the house until she is able to be polite; I don't see why grandma should be shut out of her home simply because of a child's insolence.
I am increasingly tired of all the excuses being proffered for badly behave children, whatever age; I see it with friends' grandchildren, so many of whom have divorced parents but not all of whom are rude because it simply is not allowed.

Redhead56 Sun 16-May-21 11:31:04

Maybe her mum has created this behaviour while separating from your DS it does happen. The rudeness could be a way of dealing with the situation. It may have already been there you don’t know. If it was your DS is just as responsible as your DIL . It’s good that your DS pulls her up about it but maybe have a word with him to tell GD to be polite.
Divorce can have a terrible effect on children I know being divorced myself. Unfortunately some children take it out on others usuallly close to them. It’s the most difficult time for them and they each react different some cope better than others. You are obviously a kind gran I am sure with time and patience you may see a different GD and I hope you do.

Madgran77 Sun 16-May-21 16:55:34

I don't think rudeness should be tolerated but I do think a little understanding needs to be shown. So a possible strategy:

* On some visits you go out so they have time alone with dad

*on some visits you are there

* Dad has a conversation with her acknowledging that its nice to sometimes just be him and kids and nice to sometimes be with you too .. HE wants that is the message

*her dad explains that you and he living together has enabled him to provide a nice hone for them to visit

*he tells her that when you are there rudeness will not be tolerated. Ask her why she seems to feel angry with you..and responds by acknowledging her feelings and talking about time alone together to be arranged, if relevant to her answer

*if she is rude, leave her dad to sort it, quietly help yourself to pudding. Maybe serve the pudding to everyone yourself, if she says wants to do it, say I'd rather not be left out again, I like dessert too. If a fuss, leave her dad to sort it

She needs to be "heard", acknowledged, involved in solutions and have consequences for rudeness, preferably linked to the behaviour

DiscoDancer1975 Sun 16-May-21 17:09:52

She’s got all the ‘ normal’ qualities of a young teenager, plus she has to deal with her mum and dad being separated, and her dad living with her granny.

Try to be patient and ride through it, while at the same time, letting her know rudeness won’t be tolerated, in the same way it wouldn’t if her home circumstances were more normal.

You have plenty of time , presumably, to talk to your son? Maybe you could do a shift system, and leave them on their own with their dad for some of the day.

Good luck

Hithere Sun 16-May-21 18:45:08

She is a teenager, divorced parents, covid, etc

Too much for her. It is notpersonal, she is going through a lot.

freedomfromthepast Sun 16-May-21 19:02:58

I am one of 3 girls and mother of 2 girls currently 14 and 17. Girls are HARD as teenagers. Though I cant say how boys are since I have no experience.

This behavior is not unusual. Though you are well within your rights to not allow her treatment. If she misbehaves at dinner, she is excused from the table. If she throws a tantrum, she is excused to her room. Her father needs to be the one to do so.

My first advice to parents of teenage girls is to get them a therapist about age 12. And that is without COVID, divorce, etc.

After all this, all you can do is hold on for the ride. My husband and I joke that we are in the final countdown to them getting out of the house so we can have some peace and quiet.

Lucca Sun 16-May-21 19:21:11

Eazybee I’m sorry but I found your post very harsh.
I divorced too and one of my sons reacts very badly. It’s too easy to just say “it wouldn’t be tolerated”. What would you do ?
Shout at her ? Send her to bed like a Small child ?
A little give and take surely, and some understanding.

welbeck Sun 16-May-21 19:27:49

she is obviously more attached to her father than to her GM.
she could previously take for granted his attention and presence in her daily, the ordinary daily intimacies of domestic life.
now she has lost her father, effectively, and can only see him in the presence and shared territory of a.n. other.
if you really want to help her, go out when she is there, and encourage her father to take her out as much as possible.
it is financially convenient for you and son to share a place, but it makes a very difficult time in her young life even more fractious.
i would say she, and her brother, are the priority in this situation. they are minor children, emotionally dependent on their parents, and having no choice in living arrangements.

FannyCornforth Sun 16-May-21 19:32:35

She isn't necessarily closer to her dad than her gran.
She may feel more secure acting up to her grandmother, in that she knows that she won't reject her.

Daisy79 Mon 17-May-21 11:39:48

How was/is your relationship like with your former daughter in law? Is it possible your granddaughter sees you as someone trying to replace her mother?

I will also say I was a monster when I was 13. As much as you want to spend time with her, I would just acknowledge her age, see it as a phase and wait for it to pass. She has the double whammy of dealing with her parents’ divorce AND the hormones of puberty. That’s difficult stuff.

OutsideDave Mon 17-May-21 21:35:25

How do you get on with her mom? I wonder if that relationship wasn’t great what she’s heard from her mother and vice versa.

BlueberryPie Mon 17-May-21 21:51:34

I understand you enjoy seeing your grandkids and all would be fine if the older one had an attitude like the younger one.

But she doesn't. And after all, the visitation is with her father, not father and grandmother.

I do get the point about not letting a child be rude and run the house but this situation also seems to have deeper issues going on than that as well.

If it was me, I think I'd just try to make myself scarce during the visits and see if it sorts itself out. Maybe try again in six months or so. smile