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Grandparent caring for troubled teen

Grandparent caring for troubled teen

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footy

Grandparent caring for troubled teen

As Grandparents we are going to be caring for our Grand Daughter for a prolonged period.

We have to put her into school and also deal with her mental health.

Her parents have tried everything to deal with her issues and have had no success.

She has personal care issues and social media issues.

Just wondering if anyone has been in this situation and might have some advice.

Footy 

Community Manager
Janine-RO

Re: Grandparent caring for troubled teen

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Hi @footy , 

 

I'm really sorry for the late response to this post - welcome to the ReachOut forums, we're glad you've found this space. 

 

It sounds like your granddaughter is really lucky to have you in her life. Do you mind if I ask how old your Granddaughter is? What kind of mental health challenges is she experiencing at the moment?  Has she been seeing any mental health professionals to get support for this? 

 

I saw you mentioned that she's having issues with using social media - that's definitely something we hear about quite a lot, from young people using social media too often, to people experiencing bullying over social media, or sharing inappropriate content.  On the other hand, it can also be a really valuable way for young people to connect with each other. We have some great resources on our ReachOut Parents page here that might be helpful- what aspect of her social media use are you concerned about? 

 

Looking forward to hearing from you- I'm also going to tag some other parents here who have teens of a similar age who may be able to share their experiences @Birdwings  @LAWZE_H  @JamOnToast @OhGosh 

Parent/Carer Community Champion
Birdwings

Re: Grandparent caring for troubled teen

Hi Footy,

Sorry to hear about your grand daughter's struggles and the difficulties her parents have been having. BReading through your message, I had a few questions such as how old is your grand-daughter as that has quite an impact on what sort of ideas I'd recommend and would you mind also elaborating on what you mean by personal care issues. Off the cuff, it sounds like she isn't taking care of herself and might be depressed. Also, if she feels rejected by her parents, low self esteem would be a factor. While giving her parents a break is good and it's great that you're taking her in and giving her a loving home, it would also be good to try to rebuild relationships with her parents n really small also miniscule steps. 

One of the things that often comes up in the forum here, is that going for a drive with teens can help to build connection. While there's this idea about looking people in the eye and using eye contact in conversation as a rule, that can be confronting to teens and can feel like an interrogation. Going for a walk, cooking, fishing, gardening are also activities you can do together that are side by side as well. 

I am Mum to a 17 year old son and 15 year old daughter, and my parents have been a big part of their lives growing up, although they've seen less of them over the last couple of years, especially due to covid. Grandparents often have a critical role in their grandchildren's lives. I was very close to my grandparents and often spent time with them during school holidays and clashed terribly with my mother. I don't really feel my mother made a huge effort to connect with me and didn't really understand me.My Dad and my grandparents were my anchors. I' still not real close to my Mum but my kids are ad I'm grateful for that. Families are very complex entities and as long as there are close connections somewhere in the mix and ypung peple have someone to turn to, you can bridge difficult relationships. 

Hope that helps.

Best wishes,

Birdwings

Active scribe
JamOnToast

Re: Grandparent caring for troubled teen

Hi footy, I'm sorry to hear you're having to go through this difficult time with your granddaughter, but I'm also pleased she has you in her life. 

The tech revolution that's happened within our lifetimes is said to be as far-reaching and life-changing as the industrial revolution was, and for older generations I think it must be bewildering to see the teens consistently stuck to their devices (it certainly is for us parents!). As Janine pointed out, there are also upsides - connection to others and even getting help and information for example.

We've found the free service Headspace for young people to be of help to our teen. They even have virtual options. 

As Birdwings said, going for a drive or doing something outside of the home can be good for loosening up tightened jaws and tense muscles! My son doesn't seem to want to engage with us at home, especially about things affecting him, but when we go for a drive he opens up. It can be tricky but I find there's at least one thing they'll say yes to leaving the house for!

Re: personal care, without knowing what that is, my own strategy has been to keep on modelling what I'd like to see and to keep reinforcing that I have expectations of the person to look after themselves, for their own sake as well as for those who care about them. It doesn't always work but ultimately we can't force people to look after themselves the way we'd like. 

Best of luck Smiley Happy

Community Manager
Hannah-RO

Re: Grandparent caring for troubled teen

Hey @JamOnToast 

Thank you for posting your support here, I think what you said about technology is so true, its a real balance. And I think what you were saying about teens opening up during a drive is something lots of parents can relate to and is a great tip for tough conversations!

 

That is lovely to hear that you and your family have had such a great experience with headspace, did you access them through your local headspace centre or through their virtual support options?

Active scribe
JamOnToast

Re: Grandparent caring for troubled teen

Hi Hannah

My son got a mental health plan from the GP so he could have gone to see a counsellor / psychologist, but we also applied to see someone at the local Headspace centre and that availability came up first. He liked the person he saw there, had 8 sessions I think. 

 

Casual scribe
footy

Re: Grandparent caring for troubled teen

Thank you for your supporting words. we are picking up our Granddaughter from the airport today.

We are going to take a supportive role and will make her feel loved. She has two Cousins here whom understand the situation and really want to engage with her and let her know she can talk to them about anything.

Today is the day we all take a different path, from today we know that how we interact with our Granddaughter will make a difference in her life, hopefully for the better.

Thank you

Footy

Mod
Sophia-RO

Re: Grandparent caring for troubled teen

Hello @footy , it is nice that you will be supportive and are planning on making your grand daughter feel loved. I am sure that she will appreciate that. Sounds like you care a lot about your grand daughter and I am sure that this will make a difference to her Heart

Casual scribe
footy

Re: Grandparent caring for troubled teen

Thank you for your supportive comments. I am process of trying to get her enrolled into a school where I currently have another Granddaughter enrolled. Hope this works.

Kind regards,

Footy

Community Manager
Janine-RO

Re: Grandparent caring for troubled teen

Hi @footy , 

 

That's really wonderful to hear- you sound like an incredibly special person, and your granddaughter is very lucky to have you in her corner. I'm sure that having the support of her cousins as well as yourselves is going to make a big difference to her life. Fingers crossed that the school enrolment all goes smoothly for you! 

 

I hope she's settling in well - have you been in contact with any services to support her with her mental health? I'd be more than happy to share some different services that might be helpful if you'd like. 

 

All the best, 

 

Janine 

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