8 year old vs. Grandfathers

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Sabine, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. Sabine

    Sabine Member

    Our house has 8 people in it:

    Great grandpa 90s (Alzheimers)
    Grandpa 70s (stroke damage)
    Grandma 70s (anxiety, depression)

    Plus myself, husband, and three children.

    We all moved in together a year ago because grandma couldn't care for her increasingly disabled husband and father-in-law. (My husband's parents and grandfather).

    Ok, so my biggest problem is with my 8 year old and both grandfathers. His external behavior is terrible: calling them "old, stupid a**holes", etc. He won't respond when they try and talk to him, he'll run away, throw (lightweight) things at them, etc.

    The girls get along with the men.. the men say hi, they'll respond in kind.. no problem. The difference is the grandfathers want to play and interact with DS because he's a boy, and smaller (and maybe because he's noncompliant, so a "challenge"?)

    We've asked GP70 to "just leave him alone", but he won't or can't. GP90 is too far gone to talk to, we just have to be close to keep him from hitting DS (he would too).

    I've tried explaining to DS8 that he's the one being the "bully", but he doesn't see it that way. He says GPs are mean to him, that they are annoying him.

    I haven't been too hard on him over it, because I truly think he is acting out in a self-defensive manner. He's afraid of them because they are unpredictable, unreliable, etc. GP70 can be a mean cuss.. he's smacked DD13, and his wife because he'll fly off the handle, etc. When he hits someone in the house, I lose my temper and scream at him. I don't hit GP70 because I'm not going to jail.

    These hitting/screaming fits don't happen all the time, just a few times in the last year. But the DS8 vs. Grandfathers happens every day.

    I know it's important for children to respect their elders and all that, but when the elders are calling his name 20 times a day, poke.. poke.. poke.. DS8 can't possibly be expected to go be best buddies with them, or ignore them completely. He's not old enough to have developed some of the more mature coping mechanisms either.

    Any ideas?
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hmmmmm..wouldn't you think it would be a better situation if the grands lived maybe in assisted living? Not excusing your son, but he shouldn't see grandpa hitting grandma for ANY reason...in my opinion very bad example for a young boy. And for the girls too. Even if he's old and angry. That goes for hitting anyone. And then when you yell at him, there is THAT drama too. It sounds very stressful. Do you tend to take on too much and forget about yourself? (I know this is off topic :)) If they don't have enough money to afford assisted living or nursing homes, Medicaid could step in. You can't be expected to care for all of them and your special needs kids too!!!

    The 90 year old sounds like he is too hard for anyone to care for and obviously it is affecting your child.

    I don't have any solution to your son's reaction. I do think it would be better if they lived elsewhere. Probably be better for all your kids and you and hubby too.
  3. Sabine

    Sabine Member

    I'm starting to think that may be the way to go. Assisted living wouldn't work for GP90, he is either at home or a nursing home.. and frankly, he's not really the hard case. He sleeps a lot etc.

    Thank you for your point of view. I'm just so close to the situation that it becomes very difficult to objectify the goings-ons.

    I do have a bit of a temper, but honestly, it's only come out about 3-4 times with my husband in 13 years (I tend to break plates, not hit people). 3 times in 1 year with father-in-law is excessive.

    My biggest concern is how it would affect DS8 if he were to have a nasty argument with GP, then have GP die right after, particularly because he'll say things like... he wishes GP were dead. (GP's doctor said himself he's a ticking time bomb for more strokes, and GP falls nearly everyday, many times hitting his head.. so it IS a valid concern.)

    Nothing can be simple, eh?
  4. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    If GP has stroke damage, it could be affecting his personality. Maybe some Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) type rehab might help.

    I do agree that they should probably live elsewhere. If there isn't enough money for assisted living, look into community Medicaid, if your state has it. There's a shorter lookback period than nursing homes and they can be at home. Maybe you can rent an apartment near you and then have the aides, etc. care for them there. You can visit them for short periods with DS. It's probably hard for the men too. I just watched my aunt deteriorate mentally till she died and the beginning, when she realized what was happening, was horrible for her and me, but more for her.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am probably going to be harder here. I have taken care of 3 elderly people in my life - my grandmother, my mother and my husbands grandmother. As much as I would have loved to have screamed at them, you simply cannot do that. I would have never let my son's hurt or disrespect them either. It is actually illegal.

    If you simply cannot control this situation in your home I would call Adult Protective Services and explain this situation. They will help you find some sort of placement.
  6. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Not that life is fair...

    This is not fair to your son, home must be a safe place to be able to process the frustrations from school, peers etc.

    This is not fair to GPa, in his day kids were seen not heard and they minded their manners around elders, or elders made them mind. Today's kids know parents can't legally whoop them and they take advantage of that. I can see where watching your son "walk all over you" (in GPa's opinion) could push him into having a stroke.

    This is not fair to GMa, she had her life taken over caring for both of them and now she lives every day watching how this is disrupting her son's life, marriage and family.

    This is not fair to you, it is your time to be the mom (the boss) having people under mind or ? everything you do is not helping you establish dominance in your house; it may not seem that important now but in a few short years the teens will outnumber the parents.

    At this point you & husband probably feel like a rope in a game of tug o war. in my opinion the only hope of keeping this family together is to split them up, I strongly recommend getting the grandparents into a nursing home where Gpa can get the care he needs and Gma can have people in her age group to socialize with.

    On that note guess I should check into car service and home care for my folks as my brother & I are running ourselves ragged trying to manage our parents. Didn't help that my mom accused the one neighbor who helps them of stealing a stray cat she feeds.

    Anyway we have a lot in common as the old people in my life give me more grief then my kids do too; you are not alone.

  7. Sabine

    Sabine Member

    I appreciate all the replies.

    As for it being illegal for an 8 year old to call someone names? That takes the cake. The "screaming" on my part is ALWAYS to the effect of "GET OUT OF HERE", because GP70 will go into whoever's bedroom to start yelling at and hitting THEM. We aren't saying mean things, just trying to get him OUT of that room. (We can't physically remove him.. well, we COULD, but it would require physical force.. and you want to talk about illegal...). So, what would you do if one of your elderly charges comes into your bedroom to start yelling and hitting you? Not yell?

    If things continue in this vein, someone will be moving... one way or another..We've been keeping the doctor informed.
  8. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Anyone (my kids included) come into my house and hits me they are leaving either on their feet, on a stretcher or in handcuffs and they aren't coming back in till I can be confident they aren't gonna do it again.

  9. Sabine

    Sabine Member

    Thanks for the back-up Nancy.
    I get quite... distressed... when people say I'm acting inappropriately. I know I opened myself up for it by posting what I did, especially since it's so hard to fit enough details in without writing books.

    While I'm at it, I may as well clarify that I DO send DS to time out, and have discussions with him about how he acts towards his grandfathers. It just doesn't seem to do much good..
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    What would I do? Either... out and into full time care NOW, or... some form of non-aggression medication as an interim step. YOU are being abused as a caregiver... and you have more than enough on your hands.
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  11. Sabine

    Sabine Member

    Thanks everyone..
    The conversations have begun, but change will come slowly. Fortunately the worst of it is relatively rare, and we're learning some prevention skills. At this juncture, we're in the evaluating and thinking phase to come up with all viable options, and pick the best of those, once all options are on the table.

    medications are being utilized, we'll reevaluate if they need to be increased.