Help… my grandson thinks I’m boring!

When I was younger, and my grandparents were still alive, I remember thinking that I never wanted to be old

When I was younger, and my grandparents were still alive, I remember thinking that I never wanted to be old and “boring” like them. Grandma would sit on her little chair and knit without looking up, and Grandpa would snooze away in his recliner while I played on the floor. They didn’t really like playing games or showing me things, and I don’t once remember taking them to the park.

So imagine my sadness when my grandson, who is 13, said that I was boring. I have no idea why he feels this way. I’m nothing like my actually “boring” grandparents!

It’s a grandparents worst nightmare when they think they’re not exciting or fun. I had a look into this and discovered it’s quite common to feel upset when your grandparenting skills come into question.

After reading up on it, I decided to take matters into my own hands to see if I could change my grandson’s mind. I realised I was perhaps being too negative and not letting him do things he enjoyed when he was staying with me. Recently, when I asked him what he wanted to do, he said he wanted to play on his phone. Usually I would say “No, Remi, you’re going to come with me to the shops” or would make him help around the house or cook. So we came to a compromise – it seemed to work for a little while. I asked a friend about what she does with her teen grandchild and she said that they like to listen to music and she gets her granddaughter to teach her about Facebook or Instagram. That way the teen can be more involved and not feel like they’re having a lecture.

Tried that too and he had little patience for me! I asked if he could explain this video app called Snapchat and he said I just didn’t get it and went back to looking on his phone. “It’s OK,” I thought. “I’ll try again next time”.

Another friend suggested instead of forcing my grandson to do things with me, instead ask to come along to his footy games or other social activities. This seemed like a great idea in theory but when I mentioned it to his mum she shook he head furiously “No way!”. She said he hates having her there let alone his Gran. And… she was right. I asked him when his next home game was and he said he quit playing footy. Sad. I hope he can see I’m trying.

Attempt number three at making my grandson think I’m cool: showing him some embarrassing photos of myself. Yep… my daughter-in-law invited me around for dinner and at the end of the night I said to my grandson, “hey, check this out” and showed him so photos of my ridiculous hair back in the 60s. He loved it! He said he wanted to see some more photos next time. I couldn’t believe it was the old photo album that made him think I’m OK. It’s baby steps but I think as these teenage years go on, I’ll get better at becoming a Grandma he can confide in, rather than the old Gran who used to make him cook and clean. We’re both learning…


Tell us, have you had similar issues? What did you do?


  1. Zoe  

    Well i’m 77 and I still climb trees and I am teaching my Great Grandson to make cards which he loves . He is 7. When my Granddaughters were young I used to ask them what they would like to do. The youngest liked going to the pet shop or garden center which i loved doing too. She also taught me how to use my computer. The older one liked doing craft things with me. I do lots of different crafts, My Grandson liked swimming so I took him to the river or swimming pool.. I warned my children when they were growing up that if they wanted to see me when they grew up that if they came round to see me with no warning not to expect to see me sitting in a chair knitting as I would probably be out enjoying myself somewhere so better ring and tell me they were coming. I also took them to the childrens movies and enjoyed them more than I thought I would. I went to one movie about Robots and when we got home we made our own Robots out of bits and pieces we found in the shed.. As someone who made many different crafts there was plenty of interesting bits in there to use. I also put interesting plants in my garden, Like the Mouse plant which has mouse tails dissapearing into the leaves. Or the obedient plant which you can make the flowers do what you want them to or snapdragons which can talk to you or fushias which you can make the flowers into Balerina’s. They have all grown up loving gardning.I also grew interesting vegetables like Orange beetroots I even grew loofa’s. Those things you use in the bath to wash yourself with and and just anything different. I don’t think they ever found me boring.

  2. I am sad that my grandchildren will never remember me as healthy I have many serious health issues and am barely mobile and often in hospital. When they were little, they loved riding on my walker but are getting too big for that now. My 4 little girls are aged between 4 and 8 and love doing craft and playing games. I have a variety of toys in the lounge room that I can join in with, like jigsaw puzzles and tea sets, pretend food etc. My almost 13 year old grandson, on the other hand is withdrawing a little and like the guest contributor’s grandson, is becoming increasingly hard to bond with. He started high school this year and was given a simple phone for security, so occasionally I text him to ask how his soccer went or how his day was. I usually got just one-word answers so was delighted the other day when he messaged me out of the blue,and said “How’s my favourite Grandma?” He’s great with computers and his mum says he gets a real kick out of me ringing up to ask his advice about any tech problems I’m having. I’m hoping to keep the lines of communication open, but don’t know for how long.

  3. Faye Dapiran  

    I have friends who have this problem. So far I don’t. I have 5 grandchildren aged between 3 and 12. I go to the football [we barrack for Geelong] with my grandsons and my daughter. WE discuss footy a lot, as I am quite knowledgeable, and don’t have to pretend. They love me coming to watch them play football and basketball, so I hope this continues. They also love staying with me, and take it in turns. We always go to a particular restaurant for lunch, which they enjoy. I have hardly ever got them to do jobs for me, that/s not why I have them to stay, maybe when they are grown up, but not now. Although they did sweep leaves for me. I am very computer literate, so I can actually teach them things on the computer. I do know they have been interested on photos of me when I was young, and thought they were either amazing or hilarious or both. But we talk a lot too, about all sorts of things, and I really value this the most.

  4. I take care of four grandchildren 10-12 hours a day, and often on weekends as their mom is a single parent. I am always tired. My grand kids don;t seem bored, but I feel they are. We do a lot of crafts and cooking, going to the library and park when possible. Mostly we have a lot of behavior issues. They like to watch TV the most. They enjoy showing me funny videos on Youtube. I am the computer person of the family, and they are not really interested in learning the workings, they just want to USE the devices! I was never bored with my grandparents as I loved to read, and we read a lot, and played word games, or cooked.

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