What is the Relationship like between your Teen and their Grandparents?(52 Posts)
DS1 is 14. My parents have been in his life since he was born. They live close by and we see a lot of them.
But I have noticed recently that as he gets older that close 'little boy' bond has slowly disappeared. I think my parents are at a loss as to what modern teenagers like to do (as I am sometimes).
I just wondered how much everyone else's teens saw their Grandparents and what they do with them?
I would have said that both my children have quite a good relationship with my mum (my dad died earlier this year) but this sumer ds went to stay with her for 1o days and it wasn't the best experience for either of them (ds had a bit of culture shock and was then a bit upset that my mother had zero time for his current slightly obsessive interest). My mother then came and stayed with us and got a bit peevy with dd for 'trying too hard'.
Some of this is my poor mother adjusting to life without my father and some of it is the stubborn way she thinks that everyone should be interested in whatever interests her (god, gardening, opera, outdoor pursuits, socialist type politics). She has very little interest in anything vaguely popular and isn't afraid to say so!
ds is a typical lazy teen and has to be regularly booted off the computer/other electronic devices, which my mother thinks are very bad to start off with. So perhaps it was a recipe for disaster! Previously he has been much more willing to please and she has been more forgiving. I hope that they will get on better in the future, but I remember how difficult I found her when I was a teenager, s maybe not!
My DC are 14 and 16 and close to both sets of GP still. I think it helps that the GP are all under 70 (just) and relatively fit and active, they also have much younger cousins on both sides. My parents still help me out with child care, when I am working and can't manage all the school runs and extra curricular activities. Sometimes they will just pop in for a chat when they are passing to see the DC. DC can't get to there house independently as they are not on a bus route.
Next week they are taking all the GC on the annual family holiday and only my eldest DC is not going as she doesn't like beach holidays and needs to be home for her GCSE results. This year I will go along as I am not working, this is much to DC disgust as she much prefers being on holiday with the GP without me.
Also have good relationship with PIL who are particularly good at days out and theatre trips.
My daughter is now 20 and she works for her grandad so quite a close bond there. DS 15 not as close to them as he used to be when he was little, but still a good relationship.
Good relationships here with both sets. THe younger GPs (in laws) do loads with them and have them to stay sometimes. They have handled well treating them as adults and doing grown up stuff and the kids are grown up enough to respond too eg going to the theatre etc
My parents are old and crumbly. The kids have a different relationship that makes me sniffly with pride. When I see tall rugby built DS with his little Poppa on his arm, taking him to the loo at a school concert introducing him to his mates on the way ( and the mates being equally sweet) a the mastercard ad would say " priceless" ..
Both my children (20 and14) have always been very close to my mum ( my dad died before they were born) ,we live quite close and my son (20) has a bedroom over there and stays sometimes .Now that he drives he will often take himself over for tea and he also goes on city breaks abroad with my sister who lives with my mum as they share a lot of cultural interests .For a variety of reasons they have little in common with GPs on my husbands side and its sad but when my FIL died earlier ths year I don't think it affected either of them .
From my own perspective, My relationship with my own GPs dropped off probably around the age of 12 when my favourite ( ) GP died, and I hit the teenage years. By the time I snapped out of that, I only had one GP left who had severe alzheimers. The last of the 4 died when I was 19 and I really wish I'd had more years with them as an adult, my grandfathers especially lived very interesting lives that I dont know nearly enough about, and I know next to nothing about my GMs lives
part of my motivation to have kids young(ish) so they hopefully have more time with their GPs - both mine and OHs parents had us fairly late so not sure how well this will work out
I think you (= grandparents and grandchildren alike) have to accept that there will be a generation gap, in that you only show one side to each other.
Not sure it is exactly a generation gap as such actually (some of the older generation have lived ), more the fact that as you get older you get more vulnerable and more worried about vulnerability in others so you tend to want to hear about safe things. I can see how my mother has changed in this respect: she was quite tough when she had teens of her own, but now wants to see my dc and nephews as much younger than they are. Also about not wanting to know too much about things you can't have any influence over.
Understandable really, and I think part of bringing up teenagers is teaching them to adapt to different people and choosing which side of themselves they reveal. Your gran isn't your mum but that doesn't mean you can't be close to her in other ways. You don't treat your gran like your mum but then you don't treat your mum like your best mate or your best mate like your girlfriend.
My 13yo is spending a month with his grandparents at the moment (arrrrgggghhhh!!!) so I hope for all their sakes that he has this sussed. I did have gentle words before he left. He is very fond of them and also very fond of his other grandma who is in a nursing home: he will happily travel for hours to spend an afternoon at her bedside.
Thanks for sharing all these stories of different relationships with GPs, even though mine are going through a 'what shall we do with each other' phase I think as the DC get older it may come back. I hope so.
They have a great relationship. My parents are cheerful and good fun and used to lots of socialising - and are also inclined to generously top up the glasses of wine at the drop of a hat. They happily slosh alcohol into the glasses of anyone aged about 14 and upwards. Teens adore them and frequently drop in alone and unannounced as they are always welcome.
MIL is now 86 and suffering from dementia. She was kind and patient and lovely with them when they were little - and they still frequently go and see her because she loves to see them. They take her flowers - DS (19) who lives 100 miles away phones her every week for a chat. DD2 (17) who wants to nurse will cut her toenails and rub cream into her feet, which is above and beyond the call of duty to my mind. Teens who are still at home still go to tea with her every week - although they get food delivered by the local pub now, rather than Nan being able to cook for them all. They still care about her and worry about her.
They've never really reduced the amount of contact they've had with GPs.
My DS is 19 an still sees nana and grandad (my parents) everyday, they live round the corner, so sometimes he goes in other times it's just a wave as he passes.
He is very very close to his grandad though and my dad loves it when DS goes in and my dad still wants "wrestling" matches even though he will be 79 next month but DS does weight training and is scared of hurting his grandad
My older DD's still phone every couple of days and pop in a couple times a week, and of course my grandchildren, their great GC are always popping in and out, well the older 3 do as they can go on their own, the younger ones cant.
I think having all that lot keeps my dad young and he loves taking the younger ones out in the garden for ball games/playing chase
I would say I'm very close to my eldest GD, but that could be because she's the same age as my youngest DD, but I see all of them
too much regularly
My DD (nearly 19) was always extremely close to my in-laws. They have been wonderful GP's. We lost my FIL 2 years ago and she still misses him terribly. She is an absolute diamond to my MIL - ringing/texting her, going to stay with her at least once a week, running her around to places (MIL doesn't drive).
My parents are a different scenario. They have never really put much in as grandparents. When DD was younger we did the obligatory visits etc., but now DD is older and independent she doesn't really bother with them and I don't nag her to.
I think sometimes though teens go through an awkward and antisocial phase, dd certainly did at around 12 (all I can remember from that time was permanent High School Musical and stroppimess). She came out the other side though and her teens have been great. So perhaps your kids sparkling might change their tune in the future.
I am very lucky, my in laws are not even dd's blood grandparents, but they have adopted her as one of her own. My MIL sometimes has to count her grandchildren on her fingers and she counts dd (and another adopted grandchild) as one her her own without thinking.
You could be overthinking it, because you can't force something like this, IYSWIM
SB I think that the early teens is a more difficult time and they may get closer in a few years. There may be a generation gap but mine always manage some shared views about current affairs/films or TV. My Dad always cared about the clothes he wore and when I had to help my mum with the horrible task of getting rid of his clothes after he died my younger son who is 18 came with. Well he came home with a selection of shirts, jumpers etc even found he fitted into his grandpas shoes. He now walks around like a mini me of his grandpa much to the delight of my mum!
I may be overthinking it all AF. I think of all the children who don't have GPs, or can't see them for some reason and it makes me sad that my two take theirs for granted without realising.
I might have a chat with DM and see how she feels.
and my kids regularly stay overnight, just because
I don't that is necessarily true, SB
my MIL lives 3 miles away, same town
Perhaps because they live so close and they pop round quite a lot my two don't appreciate them as much?
If they were going on a trip to see them, staying overnight etc it would be more of an event?
Aww, Getorf, your MIL sounds fab - like my aunty, who sadly lives 4 complicated journey hours away.
DCs only have GMs left. Both live a distance away but my mum is in her mid 70s and both dcs adore her. They still love playing games with her and chat in phone. They still have a lot of fun with her.
MIL now in late 80s so not so mobile but dcs still happy to go for weekend visits and again chat on the phone.
My mum died earlier this year aged 86. She adored my DDs who are 19 and 16. She lived 450 miles away but the DDs still came with us to visit a few times a year. MIL also lives 450 miles away and she and my DDs get on well too. A different relationship but still close. DD2 calls her a hip nana and says she wants to be like her when she's a grandparent.
Interestingly MIL only has one other grandchild who is a boy and is now 31. Their relationship did change quite a lot when he became a teenager and no longer the cute little boy.
Don't worry about hijack, very moving stories.
AF that's quite true. Watching DS2 trying to explain Minecraft to my DF was both funny and excruciating.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.