She could no longer cope and, as a grandmother, said I should have her to stay and get her to calm down and go to school
I’m a 71-year-old pensioner and I gave up work, along with three of my friends, to do those things we’ve all wanted to do. We’ve been on holidays together and meet up two or three times a week for outings or coffee.
I have grown-up children and 12 grandchildren, and adore them all.
One of my daughters was having trouble with her own daughter – the usual things teenagers get up to – won’t get up for school, won’t clean her room, answering back and so on.
So one day she brought her to mine with some clothes and personal things and said she could no longer cope and, as a grandmother, I should have her to stay and get her to calm down and go to school.
Things at home were getting fraught and they’d starting getting physical with each other. My daughter said my granddaughter would never behave like that with me.
This was back in May and my granddaughter has calmed down. She did go to school and passed some exams. I spoke to my daughter about rebuilding their relationship with the view of my granddaughter returning home, but got the response, “No way!”
Apparently, her life is peaceful now and she doesn’t want to go back to how things were. I tried to explain that her staying with me indefinitely was not a solution. She has no friends round here and stays in bed until lunchtime and can’t get a job because she has no experience. I think she feels lonely and abandoned by her mum.
I feel as if my own life has stopped and I see no end to this, meaning I feel more and more sad and down about everything.
But at least my granddaughter is safe and well, and I guess that’s what matters. Have you any advice?
First of all, what a fantastic grandmother you are but you now need to go back to being strict with your daughter. When you’re a mother you can’t just abandon kids when challenges arise. It’s her job to sort this out – not yours as a grandparent.
So, she needs to start taking responsibility again and start making an effort to build that bridge with her daughter. She’s the adult and she needs to take charge. Ask her how she would have felt if you’d sent her away at that age and made it clear you didn’t want her at home.
Get them both in one room, act as a mediator, and try to come up with a plan for your granddaughter to return home. Maybe she could do it gradually – say, stay with her mum two days a week to start with.
Obviously, don’t make your granddaughter feel you’re turning your back on her. Explain you’ll always be there for her, but she has to start helping herself as well – she can start by getting up before lunchtime.