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16 year old staying with grandparents against our wishes!!

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  • 13-04-2016 10:27am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 94 ✭✭


    At my wit's end here.

    I have a two teir problem with my teenage daughter and her granny.

    Her granny (my wife's mother) has always been a problem in our lives due her drinking and argumentive nature. The woman is always at war with someone and since we got married she has made my wife's life a misery with a whole host of frankly ridiculous stunts.
    She has a poor relationship with her daughter(my wife) and up to now barely cordial with me. I tried to keep things civil for my wife's sake.

    So our daughter who is 16 has been a nightmare teen. Not so much with drinking , smkoking or that but her general moodiness, distain for her two brothers (aged 16 months and 5) and basically lying in her room only being civil when she wants money, clothes or a lift.
    This unfortunately has led to many a screaming match between her and us her parents.

    The granny who does next to nothing with the kids and makes no effort to see the kids or be a grandparent obviously saw an opportunity to yet again cause friction has jumped in and "kindly" taken our daughters side against us and is letting her stay with her against our wishes.
    She proceeded to tell my wife that she's a terrible mother, a bully etc leaving my wife on pieces.
    There is only one reason for this and it's to cause aggro, it's what she's done for the last 20 years.

    So now we have a situation where my daughter thinks calling her parents all sorts of unrepeatable names, blanking her brothers aswell as physically assaulting my wife is acceptable as she has her beloved grannys backing aswell as a new roof over her head.

    We don't know what to do.

    Do we go to the house and demand she cone home.?
    (Probably just result in the granny hurling verbal abuse)
    Do we contact tusla and say our daughter has left without consent?
    Do we wait it out and wait for the honeymoon in grannys house to wear off?
    (It will as she's a drinker and gets even more verbally and physically abusive when she's drunk).

    We don't want this woman looking after our daughter as she'll just get into our daughters head and poison her against us permanently.

    Her granddad is not that bad a bloke just totally spineless and does anything not to incurr the grannys wrath so I have no belief he will try to resolve anything. He'd rather bury his head in the sand till the crap blows over

    Any advice, as I'm genuinely at a loss what to do


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,920 ✭✭✭Grab All Association


    I'd let it play out for a while and she'll hopefully see what grandma really is like.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,809 ✭✭✭Speedwell


    Don't be so ready to assume that the grandmother will permanently set your daughter against you. I think your first thought was the right one, that eventually the girl will get tired of dealing with her grandmother's erratic and confrontative style, and realize how orderly and respectful your home life is (assuming, of course, that it is), and want to come back. In the meantime, don't facilitate her life at Granny's; do, however, make the path smooth for her to come back. No "I told you so" and no punishments... if she's going to come back from chaos to a normal and reasonable life, you will have to keep things friendly and respectful.

    I had a good friend who went through this with her daughter and her drunken, irresponsible adult-child of an ex-husband. Eventually the daughter lost her idolization of her father, her eyes opened to what a worthless waster he was, and she told her mother, "I know now why you didn't like it when he had weekends." It didn't happen overnight, though, and my friend was careful to always keep her own home peaceful and positive.


  • Registered Users Posts: 94 ✭✭gabe1977


    I'd let it play out for a while and she'll hopefully see what grandma really is like.

    We're dealing with a woman who didn't speak to her own mother or sister for 8 years over something that was said at a wedding when they were all full of drink.

    She's control over our daughter so she'll make sure there's no easy solution


  • Registered Users Posts: 189 ✭✭Chijj


    Fwiw I'd say it's a phase, 16 year old girls want to rebel and this is how she has chosen to do it.

    May be no harm sending her a text or a call and asking how she is getting on, I have a feeling that if she sees its not annoying you she will move back in.

    As another poster said don't punish her, have a mature conversation and see where her problems with the home are, could be a case that a little extra responsibility could give her the kick up the arse she needs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,809 ✭✭✭Speedwell


    Maybe this will help, too. I didn't go through this rebellious stage until I was 19, which in the US made me a legal adult. My parents were going through a tough divorce, I was caught in the middle with them fighting over my piano and car (their lawyers finally had to tell them they couldn't divvy up my possessions), and I wanted out, even if I had to live with some goofball college friends I didn't know well. By the time the dust settled, I was out of savings, didn't have the job one of my friends promised me, felt like a miserable failure, and was dead set against contacting my parents for help because they had been so hostile to the idea of me going off on my own (yeah, sure, I wasn't ready, but they didn't have to act like they were washing their hands of me). When I finally broke down and called my father to ask his advice, he told me, "I thought you said you wanted to go make your own mistakes" (yeah, I said that, I admit it). I felt like I'd been thrown out of my family. By the time they relented, I'd gone off and got married to a horribly abusive man and had a baby, and then they really did wash their hands of me for years. My father never forgave me for what he saw as my abandonment, and my mother told me more or less on her deathbed that she felt she'd failed me. Until I reconciled with him a few years ago, my younger brother saw me as a lost cause (and sure, how would he know any different if we never spoke).

    Don't be my family. Please don't forget you love your daughter. I only wanted to try to not be a burden on them. They could have been on my side, and instead they were jerks. I'll be 50 this year and I'm still tearing up, thinking about it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 94 ✭✭gabe1977


    Chijj wrote: »
    As another poster said don't punish her, have a mature conversation and see where her problems with the home are, could be a case that a little extra responsibility could give her the kick up the arse she needs.

    We tried that like giving her chores, asking her to help out with her brothers.
    Sadly it's quite clear she resents them. She makes it crystal clear she doesn't want to be with them and completely blanks them 95% of the time.
    To be honest this enrages me and I have lost my temper on plenty of occasions and I actually find I'm in a permanent state of agitation due to her attitude.
    It makes if virtually impossible to have a healthy relationship with her as I find more often than not I'm completey pissed off and quite sad at her altitude to her siblings.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,023 ✭✭✭testaccount123


    Moodiness, aloofness and not showing an interest in young siblings sounds like fairly normal teenage behaviour. Are you sure you arent the driver for some of these issues?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,809 ✭✭✭Speedwell


    Moodiness, aloofness and not showing an interest in young siblings sounds like fairly normal teenage behaviour. Are you sure you arent the driver for some of these issues?

    I had the same thought, but to be sure there is never pure innocence on all sides. All the folks I know who've had teenagers are sure they have no hair on their heads for pulling it out, and most of them remember being hypersensitive pills as teens themselves. The best I can do is try to remember who the adult in the room is.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 501 ✭✭✭ChampagnePop


    gabe1977 wrote: »
    We tried that like giving her chores, asking her to help out with her brothers.
    Sadly it's quite clear she resents them. She makes it crystal clear she doesn't want to be with them and completely blanks them 95% of the time.
    To be honest this enrages me and I have lost my temper on plenty of occasions and I actually find I'm in a permanent state of agitation due to her attitude.
    It makes if virtually impossible to have a healthy relationship with her as I find more often than not I'm completey pissed off and quite sad at her altitude to her siblings.

    If you find it virtually impossible to have a healthy relationship with your daughter then maybe she's best at her grannies.

    Your post is extremly worrying


  • Registered Users Posts: 94 ✭✭gabe1977


    If you find it virtually impossible to have a healthy relationship with your daughter then maybe she's best at her grannies.

    Your post is extremly worrying

    Obviously our relationship isnt going to be as healthy as it could be when there's friction over her treatment of family members.

    Are you trying to say everything would be rosey in the garden if you had a child that treated their little brother like dirt.

    What's worrying is that you'd suggest that a 16 year old is better with a drunk, emotionally unstable woman than a family who love her and just want her to have a bit of respect for us.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,983 ✭✭✭Raminahobbin


    gabe1977 wrote: »
    We tried that like giving her chores, asking her to help out with her brothers.
    Sadly it's quite clear she resents them. She makes it crystal clear she doesn't want to be with them and completely blanks them 95% of the time.
    To be honest this enrages me and I have lost my temper on plenty of occasions and I actually find I'm in a permanent state of agitation due to her attitude.
    It makes if virtually impossible to have a healthy relationship with her as I find more often than not I'm completey pissed off and quite sad at her altitude to her siblings.

    She probably feels like she's been an only child for so long, then along come 2 x younger kids, reasonably close together- in her teenagery way, she might be acting out because she feels displaced. She won't ask for it, but I'd say she needs regular one-on-one quality time with her parents, away from the kids. It's quite possible that she feels you're caught up with 'baby stuff' at a very sensitive time when she is only forming into the adult she's going to be and would love for her parents to get to know *her*.

    If she has wound herself into a knot about things the way you say, then meeting bullheadedness with bullheadedness will not work. You need to, in everything you do, soften your attitude towards her. The more angry and upset you get at her, the more you'll push her away. Soften, soften, soften. I can't say it enough. If she comes at you screaming and yelling, respond with love. Don't rise to the bait.

    The whole time she is focusing on fighting with you, she's running from what's actually upsetting her. Don't give her something to fight against, and she will have no choice but to introspect.

    Teenagers are confused, stuck between childhood and adulthood, don't know who the féck they are yet, but they need love and support in figuring this out. Room to express themselves and the knowledge that they have a soft landing should they fall- a safe & secure home life to return to when they mess it up.

    Don't push the relationship with her brothers. That will grow naturally over time. At the moment, they only have negative associations for her.

    So right now, leave her alone, let her have her space. Tell her you would like a relationship with her, and see if she'll go to the cinema with you, or go for coffee. Talk about HER, not the boys. Ask her what's happening in her life, and be attentive. She's your child too, and she sounds hurt and angry. Over time, if she feels welcome (not if she's told that she's welcome, but FEELS welcome), she will come back.

    Edit to say- she will probably refuse the first few suggestions to meet up because she's too angry. So if that was the case, if it were me, I'd continue suggesting somewhere once a week, but I'd send her emails a couple of times a week too. Sincere desire to talk expressed, do not talk about how hurt you are: be very careful with the insinuation of blame or anger as she'll focus on this. Try keep it lighthearted- "I found X in your room, and it reminded me of the time you ... and made me laugh" or "did I ever tell you about the time I X at school? It was ridiculous" etc etc. Make her laugh :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,453 ✭✭✭✭Water John


    I think the core issue is revealed in your first thread and alluded to later.
    Her siblings are two brothers aged 5 and under 1. She is 16.

    This girl was queen of the castle for the first 11 years of her life. Clue is, she blanks her siblings.
    You can say she needs to get over it of whatever language you want but how does one help her to come to terms with changed environment which she does not have the skill set to deal with?
    She is extremely resentful, she may not even like how she feels. she may wallow in it and not even know it.

    Could some things be done that only involve her and not her siblings? Just small things to give her some time and space with her parent or parents?

    I think also if their was some independent adult, an aunt, uncle, cousin who could reach out to her.

    Perhaps others can help here?


    Beat me there Ramina.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 501 ✭✭✭ChampagnePop


    Are you worried about her safety in her grannies or her disobeying you? It isn't clear


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,764 Mod ✭✭✭✭riffmongous


    Very well said Ramina :) I would share the OPs concern though about having the grandmother so close to the girl, you can bet if she is as described she will be doing what she can to keep the girl wound up and resentful, and then you are just having to hope the girl recognises this herself


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,275 ✭✭✭bpmurray


    She's a minor at 16. Your MIL has no rights. Call the gardai.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,809 ✭✭✭Speedwell


    bpmurray wrote: »
    She's a minor at 16. Your MIL has no rights. Call the gardai.

    Yeah, that's calmly rational and positive. :P The police are for when you have exhausted every possible legal avenue and need the help of the law. They're not family counselors and they aren't the only adults in this situation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 700 ✭✭✭nicowa


    gabe1977 wrote: »
    Obviously our relationship isnt going to be as healthy as it could be when there's friction over her treatment of family members.

    Are you trying to say everything would be rosey in the garden if you had a child that treated their little brother like dirt.

    What's worrying is that you'd suggest that a 16 year old is better with a drunk, emotionally unstable woman than a family who love her and just want her to have a bit of respect for us.

    From reading this and other posts I wonder, does every conversation you have with her come back to her 'helping' or 'playing with' her younger brothers?

    Yes, she may have been Queen of the castle for a long time, but she's also suddenly lost all of your attention for the last 5 years. And when I say all of your attention, I had stepsons (15-18) living in the house with a young baby and I was pregnant. I know I barely had the brain to hold a conversation with them that wasn't about the baby and how they could help.

    They're a bit older now - the older one has since moved out - and you still have to take the time to have a conversation about something other than how they could help around the house.

    And I know all about lazy teenagers (my brother at 23 living with me nearly a year could also give them a run for their money).

    Is there a solution? Don't know.

    But let her know she can come home at any time with no "I told you so" - that can keep people away longer than you think.

    Find a way to reconnect - if it means leaving the house, as someone suggested, for coffee. But it has to be something that allows you to have a conversation. If you're going to the cinema, make sure to walk home or stop for coffee or something on the way home. You have something to talk about now too!

    ETA: Sorry, I didn't look at the date on this before I posted. I hope its sorted?


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