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?