When this grandma is angry with her grandchildren, she asks Reddit:
I am using a throwaway because despite my age (75) I am very active on Reddit. I have lurked at this sub for years. My DIL asked me to watch my grandchildren on Sunday and I happily agreed.
They are 12, 7 and 5. I have not said more than 2 words to the 12 year old since he got his first iPhone 4 years ago. He is constantly looking at his phone. He eats with it, he sleeps with it, he’s been expelled from school because of it and now it looks like he may be removed or held back from his online school because of it.
He also watches it at full volume, he it in movie theaters, baseball games, restaurants, school (reason for his expulsion), etc… so it’s very tough and to because that makes bystanders very angry I wanted to take the kids to the children’s museum and the two younger were very excited to go.
The oldest said he wanted to go but I make it very clear his phone had to stay home. He gave me a “hmmph” of agreement. I gave him many warnings that we were leaving in an hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes, etc… so when it came time or leave he had not moved from his bed.
When I told him we were leaving he said (and I quote) “I’m taking my phone or you’re a bitch.” I said that was enough for me and grabbed the youngest kids, texted my DIL that we were leaving the oldest and she agreed that was fine. The three of us had a lovely time.
However oldest destroyed several parts of the household while we were gone (and filmed himself doing it) as an act of retaliation against me for not taking him. Despite my DIL’s text, my son is furious to the point of not speaking with me and he said my “impatience” with my grandson is the reason he has his outburst.
He says I could have let him take the phone and no one would have been hurt. He wants me to pay for the damage (probably about $1000-$2000 in various items). I told him he was out of his mind.
He said that if I can’t accept the way “kids are” these days maybe limited contact is in order. I’m devastated because I love my grandkids. I am hoping my DIL talks some sense into my son when she gets back from her trip but as of right now I appear to be blocked from all access.
My live-in says I should apologize and just move forward. But I don’t feel I did anything wrong. To get a neutral opinion, AITA?
NTA. This is not a generational thing. The vast majority of 12 year olds and teenagers do not get expelled from school, or cause $1,000s worth of ffamage. Your grandson has some serious issues, and we're not able to judge whether those stem from poor parenting or underlying mental health or other issues,, or anything else.
A 12 year old sulking because they had to turn off their phone would not be unusual, wrecking the place is.
Your DIL approved your proposed course of action, she and your son should reimburse you for the damage their son caused, they effectively agreed that he ws mature enough, and they were comfortable, with him being left unsupervised.
You do not owe anyone an apology. If they knew their son's behaviour was so outside the norm that there was a risk of his vandalising the place, they should have warned you.
If they routinely give in to him and let him take his hone everywhere and use it in antisocial ways, then they should have been clear about that and you could have declined to watch him in the first place.
It sounds as though you knew that he isn't willing to put the phone down, but not that he was likely to become violent / destructive when given the choice between a tip with no phone, or no phone with a trip.
Given your son's attitude, it doesn't sound as though he is wiling to take responsibility for his son's actions or to manage his behaviour, in your place I would be telling him that his eldest is no longer welcome in your home unless he or his wife are there to supervise him at all times.
NTA. It seems like your son needs a stern talking to about the sheer neglect regarding the phone addiction of his oldest kid. He might be held back a year because of it? Once something interferes with living a normal life it becomes problematic.
Their neglect of their parenting duties to their oldest son caused the damage. Be it lack of parenting, mental health. It's their job to figure that out and deal with it. He can start repaying them by doing extra chores, get a paper round or something like that.
He should be the one paying it off. He needs consequences to his actions. And he needs help with his phone addiction.
NTA You don't have too little patience, your son has too much. If your son wants $1000 he can start by selling the iPhone and reducing his phone bill by 1 phone. His son can work to pay him back.
Your grandchild has serious problems. Being on the phone is normal. 24/7 is not. Failing out of school is not. Volume on full is total AH. Breaking things is criminal.
Your grandchild needs counseling. This is beyond what his parents can fix on their own. Your son would benefit from getting counseling hi,self, because if he's blaming you and not his child he is going to be an obstacle to improvement.