Tag Archives: grandparents

“Jaw With John” – Problem Grandchild

My youngest grandson has just left from a week-long visit. He lives out of state and we rarely see him.

He is 8 years old and this was his first visit with us. We have realized that he lies, he cheats, he is incredibly rude and is basically unpleasant to be around.

This is the first grandchild with whom we have had such an unpleasant experience. His parents will expect us to invite him back next year, but we aren’t interested.

How do we address this issue with his parents? — Foundering Grandparents

Dear Grandparents:

He cheats? WTF? Are you guys playing Clue and he peeked at the cards to see if it was Colonel Mustard in the Library with the Wrench?

When I was 8 years old, I clearly remember cheating, lying, and being a brat in general but then I grew up and became only a twinge bit of an asshole.

This kid just needs to be told how to behave, and that should be by his parents. Tell them what happened and let them handle this. As far as not having him back next year, that’s cool. But don’t shut him out completely. I had a great relationship with my grandmother – that was primarily based around her taking me to see any movie I or she wanted – but it was positive nonetheless and your grandson needs that too.

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“Jaw With John” – What’s In A Name?

The birth of my children has caused my father and me to reconnect after many years of no contact. During that time, he remarried (for the third time) a very nice lady who has been instrumental in getting us back on speaking terms. She always sends a gift for birthdays and Christmas. My wife and I like her.

She likes to refer to herself as “Grandma.” My wife doesn’t mind but it just doesn’t sit well with me. For one thing, I don’t want to confuse our very young kids, and for another, my mother passed away 10 years ago, and I know for a fact if she were here and got wind of this she would be very upset. Mom was a tough, take-no-nonsense fighter and she wouldn’t stand for this.

For my father’s wife to call herself “Grandma” seems disrespectful. It took years to get my dad and me to speak. I don’t want to ruin that by insulting his wife, but I also don’t want to confuse our kids or dishonor my mother’s memory. — Upset Son

Dear Upset:

This seems stupid and petty. This woman has been very kind to you and your family and you’re angry over a name. Kids all over the Earth have multiple grandparents yet they don’t get confused. I had a different grandpa, who wasn’t my Dad’s Dad, and I was told that he wasn’t my biological grandpa but it didn’t phase me and I still called him Grandpa.

Why wouldn’t your Mom “stand for this”? There is no nonsense here. It’s a name.

For homework: recall The Bard, Shakespeare, in this instance to bring to light your plight:

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet
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“Jaw With John” – 12-Year-Old Oedipus? Nearly

My almost 13-year-old grandson stays overnight at our house and always wants his grandmother to sleep with him because he is “afraid.” He promised to stop asking for her to sleep with him when he turned 12 but has not kept his promise.

We live in a “55 and over” community that is very secure. He and his mother text throughout his entire stay — everything from “good morning” to “what did you have for dinner?” Both mother and son appear to be considerably neurotic. It is the same when his 10-year-old sister comes to spend the night.

I may be an old fogey, but I think this is unhealthy behavior. It sends the wrong message to the kids about safety, individual strengths and independence.

I do not say anything about it to my son and his wife because I fear they would start restricting their visits to our house, and maybe even our visits to theirs. We do not say anything to the grandkids for the same reason. Should my wife and I just pretend that all is well or should we attempt to talk with all of them about it? What do you suggest? — Dumbfounded

Dear Dumbfounded:

No 12-year-old boy should sleep in the same bed as his grandmother. That’s just plain weird. And borderline Oedipal. His mother just sounds like she wants to make sure he is safe, happy, and is hovering. That’s a real problem. She needs to learn how to let go and allow him to grow up and be an independent person. That’s not neurotic. That’s being overprotective.

The sleeping arrangements in your house needs to be changed immediately. If not cold turkey then gradually. If his friends, or enemies, were to find out that he sleeps with his grandmother then all hell will break loose and he will be teased for days. Tire him out during his stay so that he falls asleep on the couch and just leave him there. Sneak away as he snoozes and lock your door. If he wakes up in the middle of the night he’ll find that he can only go to his own room and not yours.

I remember one time I slept over at a friends house and fell asleep on their couch. In the middle of the night I woke up and found I was alone. I moved quietly through the house looking for him and if anyone else was awake. I made my way upstairs and found that he was in his parents bedroom. I know this because he wasn’t in his bed and I saw him in there. I then crawled into my sleeping bag, literally crawled, and woke up a few hours later. I never brought it up that they just left me there but that situation taught me to never fall asleep at a friends place (where I was going to be spending the night) unless I was actually in my bed/couch/sleeping bag. This boy needs to learn where he can and cannot sleep and he needs to learn it now.

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“Jaw With John” – Baby Got Bump

My husband and I recently learned that we will be great-grandparents! Two of our granddaughters have announced their pregnancies and we are thrilled.

The other day my daughter sent me a picture of her daughter’s four-month baby bump. She was wearing a tight shirt and the bump was quite pronounced.

I realize that I may be from a different generation that “just doesn’t get it,” but anybody with good eyesight (or even not so good eyesight) can see how unattractive pregnant women are nowadays, prancing around in tight shirts.

I really hoped my granddaughters would not wear these fashions. Everybody should take Kate Middleton as a beautiful example.

*My daughter said that my granddaughters are adults with good sense and good taste and the last thing they need is guidance about what to wear. She thinks big pregnant bellies are adorable!

*My husband agrees with me that big bellies are NOT attractive and need to be covered tastefully. I would like to tell my granddaughters what we think.

What should we do? — Upset Great-grandparents

Dear Upset:

Woof. This is a tough one. I’ve learned that you should NEVER tell a pregnant woman anything regarding how she looks, if it’s critical. She will snap your head off like a praying mantis. Having said that, I agree with you on most of your points. I just don’t get it either. It’s not a generational thing.

It’s best to bite your tongue here and wait out the remaining 5 months. But don’t worry! Winter has come! They’ll be layered up in no time so you won’t have to look at their bellies! But seriously, don’t tell them you don’t like seeing their bellies. As Mark said in The RoomLeave your stupid comments in your pocket!

 

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