.

My 4 year old grandson often tells me he doesn’t like me Most Liked Hot Conversation

I love my five grandkids with my heart and soul. My 4.5 year old grandson is very outspoken and often tells me in quite nasty words for a little guy his age—that he doesn’t like me one bit. He has two sisters whom I adore. I know he feels like the girls get perhaps more attention, so I made sure to acknowledge him as soon as I see him, but it’s not enough. He tells me he doesn’t want to come to my house and throws temper tantrums when my daughter wants me to watch him. I feel hurt and I also feel terrible for him. I don’t know how to act, what to say to him in addition to constantly telling him  that I love him despite what comes out of his mouth. What am I doing wrong? How can I fix this? Why is he acting and feeling this way? I’ve done nothing but to love him.

26 like

Posted in family & relationships.

Related posts:

  1. lonely and can’t overcome it
  2. high libido after menopause
  3. Friends
  4. my husband has complete control over my life,i know he dont love me anymore and i have no family and he says he wont ever give me a dime
  5. I need to talk this out , in my mind at the least .

add your responses

19 Responses

  1. dynamomma dynamomma says

    This is a hard one, right?  Without knowing more about what it’s like when you are with your grandchildren all I can do is suggest some possible causes for this action.  The first thing that comes to my mind is that boys are different.  How you treat your granddaughters with all the hugs and such is great.  I have a granddaughter and we love all the girlie things.  It’s easy to relate to her.  But the boy really doesn’t want to be treated the same or get as much attention as the girls.  Is it possible that he knows you are uncomfortable about this and perceives the efforts you make toward him as ill feelings towards him?  I don’t think you are doing anything wrong but just be more relaxed and don’t react to his behavior toward you.  Stop reassuring him of your love, he may be doing this just to get extra attention.  And you really can’t fix it.  It will have to fix itself.  It could be something very simple but a 4 year old really isn’t very good at describing what and why he acts how he does.  Also notice if he is like that towards others.  Perhaps he is Oppositional Defiant Disorder.  That is where they intentionally attempt to go against everything and everyone.  Maybe he says he hates you because his mom makes him go to your house and he just doesn’t want to leave his mom or his own house.  So he associates being away from his mom with being at your house and thus the strong feelings against you.  By the way, I don’t think he really feels like he doesn’t like you.  He reacting to something in his life that upsets him and probably isn’t you.  Sorry I can’t be more specific.  I don’t know enough about your situation.  Maybe his mom even uses taking him to your house as a threat if he isn’t good.  I don’t know.  Talk to your daughter, read some books on childhood problems.  Oh the minds of little 4 year olds, they’re smart and know how to get what they want by pushing our buttons.  Maybe someone else on VN can offer better suggestions.  Good luck.

    4 like

    • Judy423 Judy423 says

      Thank you for your response. My grandson has a sister who is almost 6, he is next and has a sister who is two. He is the middle child. The situation with Trey has been ongoing. When he was a little younger and he threw toys at me and kicked me, we tried very nicely to explain that this behavior was not acceptable. We would take away his favorite toys and the incidents would go away. My husband always felt that he was a different child and that he had issues but I always came in his defense and would tell him he is just a little boy. Now he hits me. He hit me on my thumb so bad recently I thought he broke it. He knew how upset I was–it made me cry–he came over and kissed me and said he was sorry. He was fine for a little while but the anger has come back full blast again. We visited my daughter (who by the way has a PhD in Clinical Psychology), he immediately said he doesnt like us and didn’t want to see us. Proceeded to throw his crayons at my face, then his slippers. I decided that I would simply ignore him totally. My daughter’s way to deal with this was to take away two of his most favorite toys until he apologized to me. He refused for over half an hour then finally came down and gave me a hug, kiss and said I am sorry Nana. Once he got his toys back, he wanted nothing to do with me, and when we left he refused to hug me or say good bye. I want to stay away. I dont want to see him in my house until he grows up a little. My husband feels that I am over reacting. One thing I can mention is that their nanny whom he loved a lot and spent so much time with since he was born, got divorced and went back to her native Ireland without much notice. His behavior seems to have worsened since those events. Why is he hating me?

      2 like

      • dynamomma dynamomma says

        YOUR GRANDCHILD DOES NOT HATE YOU!!!! Your grandchild has a problem and you are recognizing it and are concerned.  You are not over reacting.  Grandmas are much more aware of things like this than Grandpas.  I understand your desire to just stay away from your grandson, but please don’t punish the rest of your grandchildren because of him.  Most boys have some of this defiant behavior but not to the degree you are talking about. Or for as long as most of his toddler life.  It is not uncommon for this defiant behavior to be directed toward certain adults more than others or in certain situations. You may be more of a disciplinarian or authority figure to him.  And it is not acted out in every area of their life such as at school or a friends house.  Your grandson isn’t in school yet so it remains to be seen how he’ll act.  Defiant behavior at this age usually leads to Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder and predicts Antisocial Personality Disorder in adults.  Virtually all major psychological theories cite a role for parent and family functioning in the emergence of symptoms.  The issue of his Nanny leaving could also be a factor because of fundamental attachment problems called Reactive Attachment Disorder. These defiant disorders are hard to treat effectively.  It’s usually a family effort, lengthy and behavioral interventions rely on parents and caregivers. There is a huge range of treatment therapies.  I would not wait another day to seek help for this grandchild and his family.  Your to be commended for noticing the problem and wanting to do something about it.  Your daughter being a PhD should help in finding a qualified mental health specialist to work with all of you.  If you deal with this now perhaps your grandson won’t escalate to more serious conduct problems.  My best to you and your family.  I’m here on VN to help you and happy to do it.

        3 like

      • Faymoose Faymoose says

        Amen ,, have a 37 yr old daughter with what we are now sure is Aspergers . Just in the past week have we figured this out ,and shes not in a good place in her life . Get help now . There are so many more options for you than there were 37 years ago . Talk to your daughter , waste no time . The sooner the problems are confronted the better life will be for your grandson . God bless and this is a long road to follow , be strong . Fay

        3 like

      • crystalli crystalli says

        I’m glad you mentioned the issue with his nanny.  I feel pretty sure he’s taking out his anger on you, as it would be too scary to take it out on his mom; for all he knows, she might leave as well.  I agree with the others who advised seeking counseling before he enters kindergarten and the problems escalate.  His mother should be seeing this, but sometimes when the problem hits close to home the blinders come on. 

        1 like

  2. Generic Image moongoddess says

    Hi Judy423.  It isn’t easy to know what to do so you will probably have to try different things until you hit on the right one.  You don’t say where he is in the mix.  Oldest, youngest or middle.  It has alot to do with it.  In any case, I agree with dynamomma but just want to add that you might react to him differently.  Maybe ignore him and act like he’s not doing whatever.  Be firm with expectations if he gets out of hand.  He may be trying to see where his boundaries are so don’t be afraid to let him know.  Let him know it’s not ok to yell at you.  Grandma will leave, or he will have a time out.  There’s consequences to everything in life.  Even for a 4yr old.  I think eventually, he’ll want to join in.  When he does, don’t make a big deal.  Children need normal.  Don’t make it a big deal when he rejects you.  He’ll outgrow it and you’ll be onto the next stepping stone.  Isn’t being a grandmother great?  You’re very lucky to be in they’re lives daily being so close.  Talk to your daughter about how things are going at home with him.  Is there a father who is a strong role model?  So many variables for such a young little guy.  In his world, it’s all there is.

    0 like

  3. Generic Image Nana says

    My little grandson approx. the same age didn’t seem to like me very much.   He went through several months I didn’t like him very much either.  His parents were baffled at his behavior.  He even spit at me one day.

    then they realized the kids were he was being babysat during the day were probably teaching him this stuff and removed him from them.   He came aorund and was back to his normal self.

    also………he never had much use for his Nana until one day I was in the area of their home on business, and pulled my laptop out of my briefcase.  ha ha.  now that is new story altogether.  Suddenly Nana became the coolest Nana around.

    he’s 7 now and has his own laptop.   we skype, we can see each other, we email,  and he’s taken over his Dad’s facebook playing Farmville. 

    2 like

    • Suesee50 Suesee50 says

      I have a 5 year old grandson that used to give me dirty looks all the time and tell me “I am mad for you”.  I think he wanted to say he was mad AT me.  Made me laugh.

      My suggestion would be that the next time he comes to your house that you get some building blocks, Lincoln Logs or something like that.  Don’t acknowledge his bad behavior or anger at you and just sit on the floor and start to play with the blocks.  I guarantee he will want to join in and will forget all about that he doesn’t think he likes you.

      p.s. Catharine…reached the limit on private messages   suesee50@yahoo.com

      1 like

      • Generic Image Nana says

        Suesee50 Just to let you know I saw this comment.

        1 like

      • Generic Image Nana says

        Suesee50 Just to let you know I saw this comment.

        0 like

      • Sandi/7 Sandi/7 says

        ???  I’m new to Vibrant Nation.  What does it mean that you’ve reached your limit on private messages?

        Thanks for your help

        Sandi/7

        0 like

      • Suesee50 Suesee50 says

        You can send private emails to members, but there is a 3 per day limit on them.  So, Catharine and I were having a conversation and I responded but we had already exchanged our 3 and it got kicked back.  I didn’t know there was a limit on PMs.

        0 like

      • Sandi/7 Sandi/7 says

        Thanks Susee for giving me a little VN education.  I appreciate it

        Sandi/7

        1 like

  4. jbfox jbfox says

    Judy, I could not imagine how bad that must make you feel. Is he like this to everyone or just you? Is he like this to his grandpa? If so, then I think there is something wrong but the fact that your daughter is a clinic psychologist and isn’t able to change the behavior would worry me.

    2 like

  5. crystalli crystalli says

    My response disappeared into cyberspace, so I’ll write it again:  I’m glad you mentioned the issue with the nanny, Judy.  I think it has a lot to do with his behavior.  He must feel pretty abandoned by someone who was like family to him, and is taking out his anger on you.  It’s safer than being angry at his mom; for all he knows, she may disappear also.  I agree with those who advised counseling before he enters school and the problems escalate, as they may.  His own mother should have thought of this, but sometimes when the issues arise too close to home the blinders come on.  I hope she will follow through on getting help.  He is exactly the same age as my own grandson, so this is close to my heart.

    0 like

  6. Judy423 Judy423 says

    I do appreciate everyone’s interest and advise with my predicament. My grandson is being watched more closely by my daughter. She is a busy mom of three kids, Trey is the middle child. He has an older and a younger sisters. For the person who asked me if hits only me, no — he’ll hit anyone when he gets in one of these moods. His grandpa handles him very sternly and will not allow him to get away with anything. Trey doesn’t hit or throw objects/toys at him–he knows better. I try to not over do it with the attention towards my granddaughters when he is present. He visited us today, he was polite, after he bit me on the arm last week. I think my daughter really reacted this time, and he actually came in and hugged and kissed me hello. I can’t really play with him at will. I must wait for him to take the initiative, then he eventually turns into the sweet little boy that he can be. I am hoping that this is a phase he is going through and eventually will come out of it. I certainly will insist for an evaluation, being careful to not offend my daughter who obviously has the ultimate training in this field. I pray to God to guide him in the direction in which a little boy his age should be heading. I love him and will work with my daughter to make sure that his behavior is nothing serious.

    1 like

  7. Generic Image LTPG says

    This makes my tummy hurt to read it as this is just as my son started out! When i would sit on the floor of his nursery room to roll a ball back and forth, he would simply say, from out of nowhere, ” I hate you”..it took my breath! and honestly, there is something between us that is not good…and I do know that he has serious anger issues and authority issues and looks around for ‘who’ is responsible somehow for his current unhappiness.  Scary. lg

    3 like

  8. Generic Image G says

    Hi Judy,

    I am a new member, looking for help for the almost exact same thing.  My four year old grandson seems to hate me, too.  He hits, kicks, spits and pulls hair — not just mine, but other people, too; however, I get a lot of it when I’m around.  It’s not a new thing…it’s been ongoing for around 2-3 years.  I love him so much, but I’m very, very upset and depressed about it.  Not only am I emotionally hurt by his actions, I am worried that they won’t resolve themselves over time and he will have problems with other people.  He is an only grandchild on our side, with a sibling due in about 7 months.  He absolutely adores my husband and his aunt and uncle.  The seven of us (grandson, his mom, dad, aunt, uncle, my husband, me) just returned from a week’s vacation together for Thanksgiving.  I had to try to hold it together for the last 3 days as I was either crying in private, or on the verge of tears almost constantly.  In addition to the hitting, etc., he said he wanted me to leave many times, wouldn’t let me sit anywhere near him, pulled away from me when I was close by, etc.  My husband seems to love that he is the favored grandparent, and doesn’t “notice” things — he also thinks it is my fault because I don’t rough and tumble and do dangerous things with him.

    Anyway, I’m really depressed about this and was hoping you can tell me how things are going with your grandson now — almost four years later.  Did it resolve itself?  Did you do anything?  Did his parents to anything?  

    Or if anyone else has any insight, it will be most appreciated.  At what age/point do you worry that a child is overly aggressive or may have a disorder of some kind?  I can’t imagine that suggesting an evaluation would go over very well with my daughter and son-in-law, so I need to be very careful.

    Thank you so much for any help and insight.

    G

    1 like

  9. Generic Image Grandpa says

    I am a 72 1/2 years old grandpa (sorry, not a grandma) with two grandkids: a boy 5 and a girl 2 1/2. They live in Denver, Co while I live in Connecticut. Lost my wife in May of this year after 39 years of marriage and 53 years of close friendship and since then I am coming more often to Denver.
    Blundered into this website by looking for advise on what else to do to bring my 5 years old grandson closer to me. Hope that my gender will not make me undesirable on this website which, as I found out while joining, seems to be for women only… Is there a similar thing for men only? I believe a thoughtful woman could be as much help if not more so as an intelligent, sensitive man with experience in such things.
    My problem isn’t close to Judy’s. my grandson is the kindest, sweetest, most sensitive boy one can imagine. To the point where I am worried about how he will stand up in school to the bullying which is bound to come. I grew up among boys and I know what I am talking about. But this is something for later.
    Right now, he seems to be rejecting me a lot more than I would like it. For example, when the family goes somewhere he may say sometimes “you do not come!”. Other times he plays with me making scary faces but when I reciprocate in kind, he may start crying and tells me “I don’t like that”. I gave up trying rougher games as he does not seem to enjoy them and even tells me to stop it. Well, I did stop it. Far from hitting me (his parents would never tolerate that towards anyone and I highly approve of that) he also would not cuddle up to me when I try to read something with him, although he does accept that I read for him. Neither does my granddaughter, although she is more likely to come at least close to it. Incidentally, she is a lot less malleable than my grandson and has occasional tantrums (which my grandson never had), fortunately nipped in the bud by the parents.
    I am looking for some specific advice as to what activities I should try to develop with my grandson to bring him closer to me. Today for example I proposed to take him to a puppet show tomorrow… but the refused.
    Not having my wife with me is a huge problem for me. She would have CERTAINLY known what to do. And I am strongly impacted by her dramatic passing away. In June, when I first visited after my wife’ s departure, my grandson, while putting on his shoes to go to the kindergarten just a day or two after my arrival looked at me and asked “Why do you have that face?”… Told you he is very sensitive… May be I transmit my profound sadness to him? Children have a natural sense of self-preservatione and reject such things instinctively. But that does not lessen my problem and rather increases it.

    1 like

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting