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"Grandson has NO RULES!"

  • NanaBanana
    Posted: Jul 03, 2009 10:08 AM
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    Saint Clair Shores, MI
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    I was looking over this website and decided to join this group. Hopefully it is the right one to discuss our problem.

    We only have ONE child and ONE grandchild. Our "kids" had trouble getting pregnant, and when our grandson was born, he spent 10 days in ICU before he was allowed to come home. He is very precious to all of us, and our "kids" are wonderful, caring parents who have made him the center of their lives.

    They have given him everything a child could ever want...except one thing. He has absolutely NO RULES. He's a beautiful, intelligent child, does well in school, is well-mannered in public...but here's the problem.

    HE runs the household. HE tells THEM what he will eat (JUNK!) , when HE wants to go to bed, what HE wants to do, etc....AND THEY ALLOW HIM TO DO IT! He doesn't even brush his teeth because he doesn't want to. He has no responsibility to do anything at all. They wait on him and cater to his every whim.

    We are most fearful that this will be allowed to continue, and came to a head recently when he was at our home for one of his frequent "sleepovers." He loves coming here but it is getting increasingly more difficult us to have him come. After wrestling him for several years (the usual stuff), the last time he came struck fear in our hearts. When asked to pick up a game we were playing, he uttered this bone-chilling comment in this frighteningly adult voice: "Never have, never will. THEY do it for me because I'm the boss in our house."

    We know that our kids can see this behavior pattern emerging year after year, but seem to be powerless to do anything about it. They make threats but never follow through. It's almost as though they're AFRAID of him.

    Naturally, we're very concerned and feel that they need to use some "tough love" techniques because we can see where this is going. I taught high school for 36 years and have seen first-hand the results of lack of discipline in the home.

    We so badly would like to help, but in no way want to jeopardize the great relationship with our kids. Our son (my step-son) is a child of divorce and he and his father for many years did not have a great relationship, and it has taken many, many years for them to become close.'s a real predicament for us...and very painful for "grampa." I could go on and one, but I've written enough already. Have any of you experienced a problem like this, and do you have any suggestions about what role we should be playing in all this? Thanks so much!


  • #1
    Posted: Jul 24, 2009 05:33 PM
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    Asheville, NC
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    It certainly does sound that your son and daughter-in-law are being held hostage by your grandson’s behavior. I can understand that the leniency probably began because of the difficulty they had conceiving and his health issues as a baby. But they are doing him no favor by tolerating this type of behavior. You don’t mention how old he is, but it sounds as though this as been going on for years. Children need and actually want rules and expectations. How does your grandson behave at school? I can’t imagine that the school tolerates such unruly, unchecked behavior. His teachers or guidance counselor would be in a good position to have this information. Unfortunately, it is his parents, not your responsibility to discuss this with the school. Also I wonder how he gets along with friends. Is he invited to their homes? Do they come to his house? If he has few friends or is not a welcomed guest these could also be indications of a problem. The boy should be checked by his doctor to ensure he does not have a medical or emotional problem. If he does there are a variety of treatments that could help. If it is not a medical issue I would suggest family counseling. They should not wait to seek help; this situation is only going to get worse as he gets older. There are a lot of good websites you could refer them to. One that offers a number of articles on adolescent behavior problems is

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