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to find grandparents visits increasingly difficult

(75 Posts)
kalms1971 Fri 06-Sep-13 15:52:01

Our son is 7. He has enjoyed playing with friends all summer. Now he has a bit more freedom we are finding it hard to manage him when we visit grandparents and when they visit our house. At their house he gets frustrated and to be honest, bored. If they come to our house he just wants to be in the garden or out with his friends (they are allowed to play in front of our house) He doesn't want to play on the floor with toys in the living room anymore. He isn't allowed in their garden and when they visit our house they just sit on the settee for 2 hours. Help! same problem every weekend

cushtie335 Fri 06-Sep-13 15:55:10

I've just had a horrible flash back to the 1970s at my Granny's house every fecking Sunday, bored stiff and desperate to go home and play in my garden.

Why can't he go outside in their garden? Only thing I can suggest is taking board games or a pack of cards and give him some adult interaction.

countingdown Fri 06-Sep-13 15:55:37

Why isn't he allowed in the garden?

friday16 Fri 06-Sep-13 15:55:43

Why can't he play outside when they visit? It's their responsibility to make their visits enjoyable for him, not his. If all they want to do is sit on the sofa they can't expect him to remain on show for two hours, surely?

Why isn't he allowed in their garden? Unless there's some strong reason, why do you visit if they aren't going to make him welcome?

BlingBang Fri 06-Sep-13 15:57:58

When they come is there a nearby park or somewhere where you could all go to, one with a cafe etc.

friday16 Fri 06-Sep-13 15:59:25

"Only thing I can suggest is taking board games or a pack of cards and give him some adult interaction."

Or not going.

As I've said on another thread, I'm entirely resistant to this idea that there's something magical about grandparents which mean that bad relationships which upset children should be maintained. If the grandparents want to see their grandchild, they should make sure he's welcomed and treated appropriately. If the grandparents want to see their child, they need to accept that grandchildren (of 7, at least) are part of the deal, and they need to deal with that. If they want to pretend it's the drawing room of a middle-class family circa 1870 (which is odd, given that grandparents of a 7 year old are probably boomers brought up on the Beatles) then fine, but they can do it on their own.

When they visit, within reason, they fit in with the household routine. If they were visiting once a year from Australia, then it's different, but a weekly visit doesn't require a 7 year old to be corralled. And if they aren't welcoming, there's nothing forcing the OP to visit them at all. Relationships are two-way streets.

I would cut back on the visits a bit, does he have a handheld game thing, if so take that and let him play on it or an ipad, not ideal but they still het to 'see' him and he is happy. At home let him carry on with his life at normal, as long as he spends a bit of time talking to them I don't see the problem. My children never really enjoyed visting my nan, their great grandmother, bt I didn't hurt them to have to go once ever few months and made her happy, as long as they were there, she didn't mind if they sat reading their books or played outside.

kalms1971 Fri 06-Sep-13 16:03:11

No they say its too cold, or one of them has an ailment (but they manage daytrips) done the board games thing to death now. We have asked then to come here tomorrow. At least he can go outside or play on the tablet. Whe he plays outside they are annoyed and ask him "don't you want to see us?" he just gets bored and wiggly and that's the end of it. The small talk bores me too tbh

BackforGood Fri 06-Sep-13 16:07:11

Why not invite them over for tea on a weekday - then everyone gets to see each other regularly. Everyone can chat over the meal, but there's a kind of 'limited time' to it, and obviously he will need to get ready for bed / practice his reading, or whatever, which they can help with, but he's not missing out on playing with friends as he'd be eating tea / doing his reading / getting ready for bed anyway.

Refoca Fri 06-Sep-13 16:08:05

You could all do a craft/ activity...any old fascinatination with airfix, mechano, sewing, crocheting, baking or similar they could pass on to DS?

Refoca Fri 06-Sep-13 16:10:34

Even better, take it in turns...one gets small talk, the other gets fun activity, then swap half time or next time...sitting down and spending quality time, and different experiences to discuss when they get back home. Win win! (She says, naively with a much younger DS...)

Loa Fri 06-Sep-13 16:11:04

I was going to suggest a hand held game thing -

When I was young my Granddad took us for a walk or played board games or got toys out. It all abruptly stopped around 8-9 - despite me having a younger sibling.

Then on it was 2 hours plus sat listening to the small talk, that used to bore my own parents, rigid every weekend followed by 30-40 minute argument/bitch session between my parents on way home. Oh the joy.

WafflyVersatile Fri 06-Sep-13 16:14:17

I have a very depressing image in my head now of you all sat down with cups of tea (with saucers) and anti macassars on the furniture, the silence only broken by the ticking of a clock, the clinking of spoon against porcelain and grandad slurping his false teeth back into position.

Mealtime seems like a good idea then let him go out to play.

They do seem a bit inflexible. My DSs 6 and 8, would find that very difficult, and they are generally very good.

Can you give them a run round prior to GPs arriving (or stop at play ground en route to theirs?) I think you need to explain to GPs, that while sitting and talking at lunch is fine, he is an active little boy and needs to go out...they are very welcome to join in!

friday16 Fri 06-Sep-13 16:19:52

"Whe he plays outside they are annoyed"

So what?

kalms1971 Fri 06-Sep-13 16:21:07

And mil fast asleep with her head tilted back and mouth wide open. She's done this for 20 years!

cushtie335 Fri 06-Sep-13 16:22:33

Are they your parents or your DP's? Why are they acting like something out of a Victorian novel, they can't be all that old as others have said.

As you've tried various tactics to amuse your son in their home and it's still not really worked, I would either suggest meeting on neutral ground...a stately home cafe/garden centre/any other fucking thing that has suitable distractions for you all or cut back on the meet ups for a while.

cushtie335 Fri 06-Sep-13 16:23:04

x posted, I see it's your in laws.

starfishmummy Fri 06-Sep-13 16:26:27

Its the opposite if ds goes to his grandparents for an afternoon. Mil will do non stop activities with him - there will be a new toy, gardening, cooking, playing on her ds, computer time, just sitting playing talking games, looking at all the catalogues she has requested especially for him........sometimes they go to the shops

Oh and I forgot, the dreadful next door neighbour will have popped in been specially invited so that she is still there when I pick him up so that she can tell me how wonderful mil is

Of course by the time we get home, ds is totally hyper

starfishmummy Fri 06-Sep-13 16:27:34

I shuold add it is all of those activities, not just one.

Lottapianos Fri 06-Sep-13 16:28:45

I used to have relatives like this, who wanted to 'see' me and my sister when we were kids. However, the 'seeing' didn't seem to involve taking any interest in us whatsoever, or making any effort to interact with us in an appropriate way. Like other MNers, I have many memories of going insane with boredom in some person's house who I didn't really know from Adam, feeling like I would never get to go home ever agaiin!

The mealtime idea is a really good one. But don't feel obliged to do all the work in the relationship, they are being unreasonable here.

kalms1971 Fri 06-Sep-13 16:29:22

Lol they wouldn't cope with a playcenre. Mil hates noise. I am going to let him run free and see how it goes lol :D

daftdame Fri 06-Sep-13 16:38:05

Sounds like they are just grumpy.

Maybe let DS on tablet / i-pad, draw. Take photos to look - he might like sharing them.

Limit visits, have somewhere else to rush off to, book a swimming lesson or something that you have to take him to (but it would be a shame not to see them - visit done).

MadeOfStarDust Fri 06-Sep-13 16:53:59

what is all the "can't be that old " business...

when my kids were 7 their grandad was 75 (died at 80 last year), their gran 70 - maybe they have no energy for kids running round - maybe they see it as a slight that the child can't be with them companionably for a couple of hours without needing constant stimulation of other people ...

a board game, a card game a DVD the generations can share.... our girls love being with their gran - even though they tend to sit and do some colouring/drawing/watch a DVD/play rummy/play dominoes whatever... it is only a couple of hours, and they do need downtime, and chatting away with their gran gives them a rest and a lift.....

RenterNomad Fri 06-Sep-13 16:57:35

Our DP/DPIL day visits generally involve a meal AND a walk AND some sitting about. Your visit regime would send us all bananas!

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