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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

Salmotrutta Fri 06-Sep-13 16:59:03

Hear hear MadeofStardust

This thread makes quite depressing reading tbh.

Sometimes youngsters need to learn that it's nice to please older relatives.

Maybe I'm a bit old- fashioned but did teaching children the manners to hide a bit of boredom stop somewhere along the way?

It's only for a couple of hours.

Salmotrutta Fri 06-Sep-13 17:01:03

When I was that age I used to love listening to my grandparents reminisce about their lives in "the olden days".

JessieMcJessie Fri 06-Sep-13 17:05:13

Agree with all the other posters who say you should invite them at mealtimes and all sit round the table together. Seems odd that you don't do this.

kerstina Fri 06-Sep-13 17:09:53

I agree with Salmotrutta older relatives will not be around forever and children should be taught manners and empathy.
I used to spend all day at my granddads as we had lunch there and my mom would do his shopping and help him with the garden or whatever he needed help with. Grandad used to buy me a comic called Tammy and Misty and lets just say I read every inch of it! My pet hate was watching the boring wrestling on a black and white tv as my grandad loved it. Also hated having to catch two buses home sometimes having to wait in the freezing cold. I don't remember complaining.

QueenArseClangers Fri 06-Sep-13 17:10:00

Regarding the age thing, my DM is nearly 80 and she loves taking grandchildren on the field across the road to run about whilst she potters. She also takes them in bug hunts in her garden and encourages them to climb trees.

kerstina Fri 06-Sep-13 17:11:47

I should have said all day every saturday.

Salmotrutta Fri 06-Sep-13 17:12:41

My maternal Gran was a watcher of the wrestling kerstina!!

Jacki Pallo, Mick McManus etc. etc.... <reminisces>

SueDoku Fri 06-Sep-13 17:15:04

starfishmummy Grandparents really cannot win can they? Your Mil obviously puts a lot of time and thought into making her GS visits enjoyable for both of them - and you complain that 'he's totally hyper' when he gets home - while the OP complains that her DC are 'bored' .... I'll just go and bang my head on the wall now......confused

maras2 Fri 06-Sep-13 17:51:55

Oooo Salmo.What memories.Mick McManus and Steve Logan tag wrestling.Jackie < Mr. TV > Palo,Joe Murphy and Johnny Kwango;all richly commentated by Kent Walton.My Gran ( Fanny ) her sisters Ivy,Ada and Eva using the strongest language that their strict Methodist upbringing allowed 'You Dirty Dog'.Sorry for the hijack OP.Got caught up in the moment.

kalms1971 Fri 06-Sep-13 18:00:38

Ds has ADHD. He cannot stand inactivity and he has a poor attention span

EldritchCleavage Fri 06-Sep-13 18:07:42

Well, visits sitting round a table eating a meal would work, and I think he should sit with them some of the time for a chat, but not 2 hours straight. And tell them they're welcome to follow him and see what he's playing etc. Do they chat to him?

Perhaps a couple of short phone calls to them in the week, if you don't do this already, would help them feel connected?

primroseyellow Fri 06-Sep-13 18:25:02

YANBU. I think every weekend is too often. I know families differ but I would have thought once a month was enough, for an hour or so of conversation (assuming GPs are able to adapt to talking to 7 year old) or maybe a board game if not. It seems incomprehensible to me that a 7 year old is not allowed in GPs garden. If GPs stick to this I would just stop visiting (or reduce visits to say once every 3 months). For visits of GPs to your house I suggest doing what you would do if GPs weren't there apart from say an hour or so of conversation/game. Let DC out with friends, why should he be expected to sit with GPs for a long time?
Queen's DM sounds like a wonderful GM, hope I manage to be like that!
But I do also think that DCs should, at intervals of eg 3-6 months, be expected to visit GPs whether they want to or not.

LemonBreeland Fri 06-Sep-13 18:30:50

The posters who are saying that children need to learn to be polite and spend time with older relatives are being a bit unfair. I don't think a child should have to sit and be bored for two hours. If the gps are not showing an actual interest in the child, or speaking to him, why should he sit around bored.

Is there any way yu can encourage game playing OP? If the gps really won't make an effort then I would try to make visits at a meal time, or I would cut back a bit.

It doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs for the adults either.

friday16 Fri 06-Sep-13 20:39:04

The reasons why the child can't go into the GP's garden haven't been explained. It's hard to see how that isn't unreasonable.

dietcokeandwine Fri 06-Sep-13 21:07:10

Salmotrutta of course they should be taught that it's nice to please older relatives. That sometimes they will need to participate in activities that may not interest them particularly, just to be polite to others. Whenever we visit relatives I always stress these things to my children and wo betide them if they dare to say they are bored! Of course it is good for children to put themselves out for the older generation occasionally.

But this is two hours every single weekend and from the sound of things they just expect him to sit there and be 'observed' by them. Doesn't even sound as if they interact with him that much. My older DS is 9 and would find that incredibly difficult. I suspect many children would.

I, too, can't understand why on earth the poor child is not allowed out in their garden (or in his own garden, when at home). And bollocks to the 'oh they could be in their 70s and have no energy' argument. My lovely parents are in their 70s, my inlaws in their late 60s, as are various aunts and uncles who have not actually had children of their own. And none - none of them would even remotely expect a child of 7 to simply sit for two hours. And - shock, horror - if either of my older two DSs ask to go out to play in the garden during visits, the relatives will, you know, go out to play in the garden with them.

FeedTheBirdsTuppenceABag Fri 06-Sep-13 21:11:43

friday16 Agree with your posts, spot on. smile.

I too have memories of sitting in a 60's sitting room with little old lady on sofa looking at me! I did sit polity, bored, looking round the room, watching my mother.

BUT this was a few times a year! For an hour or two at most.

I would have loathed my mother had she made me sit there like that every bloody week FFS.

Its up to you OP as the parent to speak and be diplomatic for the child and find a middle ground!

I would never make mine sit like this every week, what a torturous experience.

I totally think young children or any children should be taught to appreciate the older generation but i think this is a classic example of where any child would think Fuck This.

WafflyVersatile Fri 06-Sep-13 22:18:18

Maybe you can train your child to ask them about the war or something? Or prime them with a few questions to ask each week about family history. hmm

People are usually happy to talk about when they were kids and come up with funny stories etc (aren't they?) or about how different things were.

What toys did you have when you were a kid, grandad?
Were you ever bombed in the war?
What was your first car?
Was mum good when she was a kid?

2rebecca Fri 06-Sep-13 22:47:43

I think 2 hours is a long time to expect a 7 year old to sit in a room and play nicely for. Surely they are coming to see you and your husband as well. As long as he is there for half an hour or so I'd just let him play as usual after that otherwise he'll dread grandparent visits. If they moan then just say "he's getting older and has stuff to do, I thought you'd come to visit us as well, let him play" They have to accept he's growing older and has his own life. If I visit my nephews I expect them to say hello and then get on with doing stuff not sit on ceremony for hours.
If you visit them he has to learn to take things to occupy him. I'd visit less often if they are that restrictive.
If your son is only 7 they sound a bit prematurely old unless you had him late in life. They're behaving like great grandparents.

Salmotrutta Fri 06-Sep-13 23:16:21

I expect quite a few 7 year olds manage to sit through lessons in school?

I certainly did when God was a boy.

And, amazingly, life is often a wee bit dull. I learned that quite early on.

I had plenty of running about with friends/in the garden/going to Brownies/hobbies etc. during the week but knew that we would be visiting grandparents/aunts and uncles for an hour or two at the weekend. I survived hmm

Salmotrutta Fri 06-Sep-13 23:21:17

Waffly - your post reminded me again about the amazing stories my grandparents (and parents!) used to tell us about their childhood.

...isn't it odd how many "celebs" on "Who Do You Think You Are?" have no idea about their antecedents?

I do know about my antecedents because we visited Grandparents and heard their stories. And I found it fascinating.

friday16 Fri 06-Sep-13 23:27:50

"I expect quite a few 7 year olds manage to sit through lessons in school?"

Yeah. But what the OP describes is the child being ignored for two hours, which isn't the same thing at all.

"but knew that we would be visiting grandparents/aunts and uncles for an hour or two at the weekend. I survived"

Kids survive all sorts of things. But it still doesn't explain why there's any need for them to.

2rebecca Fri 06-Sep-13 23:40:24

Have just seen it's every weekend. That's mad. If you choose to see them that often then they have to accept their grandson has a life to get on with. We just saw my grandparents every 3 months or so. I'm surprised you don't have stuff to get on with as well.
I'd just make him say hello and then get on with whatever he's doing and just tell them he's getting older and has lots to do. Life doesn't stop just because you want to visit someone especially if you visit every week..

Salmotrutta Fri 06-Sep-13 23:44:34

Oh well.

I must have been very unusual in enjoying my grandparents visits/visiting them at age 7.

I only really got a bit self-absorbed when I hit my teens - to my eternal shame...

Salmotrutta Fri 06-Sep-13 23:51:40

friday - just curious, where exactly does the OP state that the Grandparents ignore the child?

I can't find that bit.

friday16 Fri 06-Sep-13 23:57:01

"when they visit our house they just sit on the settee for 2 hours. "

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

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