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Updated on September 30, 2013

Unruly Children.

I love my grandchildren - all four of them, but two are a BIG challenge to me. The latter two, aged almost 10 and 8 years old, stayed with me for nearly four days of their school holidays. I was thrilled to have them stay with me, but not thrilled with their behaviour. I am a little shattered, and while I will be able to discuss this with my son when he returns from overseas, I am unlikely to discuss it with his estranged wife.

The fifty kilometre drive from where I collected them to my home was only a small indication of what I was to endure – they fought, hit each other and generally behaved badly in the back seat of my car as we made the journey. I did request of them that they behave better, but mostly they ignored me.

The next five days were filled with constant reminders to behave – stop fighting with each other, and to treat me, my car and my home with a little respect.

Apparently their other grandmother allows them “to do what we like” and even “buys us lots of presents.”

I think before they come again I will draw up a list of rules. Now I don’t think I am a tyrannical grandmother, and I do understand they that are children, but you will discover if you read on, that I did have to put up with a lot.

Mealtimes. Little Miss (the 8 year old) is really picky with food – eats no meat, no fruit, and limited vegetables. Would prefer to live on lollies!!! She only drinks water and goats milk. Master 10 only eats “perfect” food and will reject anything that he deems has a flaw – even will not eat strawberries if there if they are not perfect, so if there is the slightest difference or imperfection he will not eat it. He does eat chicken, most vegetables and will eat many fruits. I need to prepare two meals to satisfy them!! They don’t know how to use a knife and fork, will come to the table with a hat on, and often put their feet on their chair and balance their plate on their knee. Well, that is until I remind them that I like them to sit straight, not wear a hat at the table etc. I HAVE RULES. Little miss spilled food on the table and licked it off. Meal times were a BIG challenge.

When they have a bath, they leave the room in a mess. They don’t have to put their dirty clothes in the clothes basket at home and they leave their towels on the floor, along with used tissues, any other rubbish etc.

They spoke to me so rudely. “We can do what we like!”. Not in my house! They went to my cupboards and helped themselves – until I intervened. The little man doesn’t like shutting the door when he is in the toilet, likes to switch lights on all the time, even in daylight when it is not necessary! If I politely asked him to do anything e.g. pick up your …….., I’d get a stare or a look which clearly he thinks will intimidate me. Not likely.

Out in the car they behaved like monkeys, and so many times he would shout “Stop the car, I am choking”. He doesn’t sit still and swings around causing the seat belt to pull tight. He might not choke but it sure would be uncomfortable. After the second time I refused to stop! Not something one can easily do driving at 100 kms on the freeway anyway.

Is it me? The tyrant grandmother? Well, my other grandchildren shudder when these two visit them, and yesterday they told me how disgusted they were with their behaviour. I feel very sad for the two “wayward” children who clearly have limited discipline in their own home and at their other grandmother apparently, as they do spend a lot of time there.

I will be seen as the “nasty” grandmother I am sure, but I refuse to be treated with disrespect and have my home wrecked (there were several instances of minor damage to my home and belongings) and they cared not.

I find it extra ordinary that two children can be brought up to think they can bully an adult. I know that I cannot fully explain to their mother about what happened. What about respect for an adult?

Others of my vintage report similar experiences with some of their grandchildren. Some parents clearly don’t know how to set rules in their own homes – and are happy to be servants of their children. Is it no wonder that we have so many problems in our communities?


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