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GrampsX9

The Two-And-A-Half-Generation Household

387 posts in this topic

Regarding there not being enough facts to know what is going on in Gramps home, the same could be said of any story shared- And while it's a wise reminder, it applies to all-

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I wish Gramps the best of luck with whatever he chooses to do or chooses not to-

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33 minutes ago, skipped said:

Imp, Why are you focusing on the photos.  I agree the OP shouldn't have done what he had done.  But IMO the issue over the photos is only an indication of a bigger problem.   And those problems seemed to exist before they moved in together.   It doesn't seem to be a new problem that GP isn't allowed to be alone with the GC (OP is it?)   They already had one issue over photos.  But there were still hugs and kisses before the move in. 

To me the problem is 3 fold- 1) there are relationship strains that existed prior to the move and were rug swept by the son and ignored by the OP, those issues are continuing maybe exacerbated by the close proximity.  2) The living situation in the basement is not what the OP expected and is not what he can tolerate.  3) Financially the OP is being taken advantage of (or allowing himself to be taken advantage of)

 

He seems confused as to why the photos are an issue. Asking if they were aware that the photos were even being taken is a reasonable question in trying to discern what their objections might have been. Gramps says he has the social development of a 12 yo. Attempting to figure out why it might have been a serious issue from their perspective may well help him sort out the current situation, since it appears to have blown up w/the photobooks.

I didn't see that he wasn't allowed to be alone w/the GC, only that they weren't allowed to be alone in his apt. Again, I point back to the 12 yo development. They may not trust his judgement of different situations, and therefore prefer to have their children supervised when visiting. I have a 12 yo, currently. And no way in Hades would I allow him to hang out, alone in the house, w/same age friends. Their judgement, esp combined w/internet access, is not something I am comfortable leaving unattended, and their mothers feel the same way (we talked).

2. The living situation seems to have not been discussed at all before moving in together. Gramps thought he was moving in w/family. It appears that his ds saw it as 2 households under one roof. As I said, repeatedly, in the previous thread, neither of those stances are *wrong*, but they are diametrically opposed. 

3. I also said previously that they ought to be paying a reasonable share of the mortgage, minus covering all utilities. (ie, If the mortgage is 1000 a month, and total utilities are $500 a month, then I think them covering utilities plus $500 would be reasonable, b/c they're covering Gramps portion of utilities as well, or simply switching so that they pay the mortgage and he pays utilities.)

I'm genuinely not sure which is more expensive for their situation. I know for myself, my utilities are more than my mortgage, esp in the winter w/oil heat. If I were willing to house share (I'm totally not, and Wolf would run away from home first) I would be delighted w/an arrangement where I only paid the mortgage, b/c it's the cheaper option. Our freaking phone + internet + cable is over $200/mth.

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9 hours ago, skipped said:

I agree with this.  You posted this before I made an addendum.  I was commenting on the "holding the house over them" comment.  The way that is written it sounded like unfair tactics.  I don't think they are unfair.

Points taken.

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9 hours ago, Komorebi said:

How is that not calling the kettle black? In other words, he shouldn't hold the house over their heads (which isn't anything I'm suggesting) but he should be fearful should they hold cutting him off over his head? Where is the equality in that? It's like saying, be afraid, be very afraid that you might not see people who don't appreciate you- How is that even logical?

 

Um... I didn't say DS and DIL would "hold cutting him off over his head." I have no idea if they would do that, obviously. And I'm certainly not saying they should. But I think he needs to be aware that this could happen, just as it really should occur to them that he could decide to sell (and maybe it has - again, obviously, IDK). IMO, before you (general) make a choice, you need to look at the whole picture, as far as you can see it, not just parts of it. Consequences can work both ways. Only Gramps can decide what consequences he can live with, just as only DS and DiL can decide what ones they can live with.

But, of course, so far, Gramps hasn't even taken to the idea of selling the house.

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9 hours ago, SueSTx said:

In my opinion...and it is worth very little...the main issue here is the fact that this house was purchased with the express intention of living in it as a two family unit (or at least that is what the son chooses to think).  IF either of my AC and their family expressed a need/desire to move into my home (their childhood home) it is obvious that this is my house and they are moving in with me and I will not be regulated to a basement, the master is and will always be mine.

My main question is...was there a single discussion about what the living arrangements would be in this "new" house...or did everybody just assume things would be a certain way and they are not?  Now that gramps isn't comfortable with how things are working...what does HE intend to do about it?

We can make suggestions and comments all we want, but we can't fix this for him.

I think your opinion is worth a lot, Sue. :) And, IMHO, this ^^^^ is an excellent post!

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As a newcomer to this site and certainly to this conversation I hope everyone won't mind me barging in, but I just wanted to say that I've read this thread with great interest and concern. It doesn't seem that Gramps, the original poster, has been heard from on this thread since Saturday around noon, and that worries me in light of his earlier statement that he felt he might harm himself. He hasn't responded to a question about whether his DS showed up for their regular Sunday morning meeting. I'm worried what his DS and DIL's reaction might be, in light of their reported response to the photo book and Facebook posting about them, if they learned that Gramps has been discussing his situation with them online. 

As to some of the issues under discussion, I feel that Gramps really needs an advocate who can support him and help him work through all these issues and figure out what might be best for him to do under the circumstances. He mentioned having two DDs; maybe one of them can help him, and I hope they are aware and concerned about what is going on. If he attends a church, maybe his pastor can work with him or find some some community service that can help him. Or perhaps his lawyer can recommend an agency that provides advocates to older people or those with disabilities. There are so many different aspects to his situation that it seems a little overwhelming and no matter how well-meaning our advice on various points may be here, we can never know the full picture well enough to offer the best advice. I believe he needs someone who can meet with him in person, spend time discussing all his concerns with him, and maybe even act as a mediator between him and DS and DIL. 

I hope this works out for Gramps. I think he has more available choices than he feels he has, but sometimes it's hard to see possibilities when your heart is heavy with disappointment. 

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Glad to have you join in this conversation, Abuela! A fresh perspective is generally welcome, IMO.

No doubt, you're right - we can't know the "full picture" in this situation. In fact, that's often the case in these threads, especially since we usually only hear one side of the story. Such are the limits of these kinds of boards. But, I agree, Gramps may need some personal, one-on-one advice/support in addition to his conversations w/ us.

Regarding your concern about his welfare - it's very kind and perceptive of you, IMO. If it's any reassurance, Gramps was actually in here as late as Saturday evening although he didn't post anything at that time. (If you hold your cursor over his name, a little box will pop up w/ a miniature profile, and you'll see about when he was, in fact, last in here.) Maybe he read Mame's advice about seeking out an estate attorney, etc. and decided to follow (some of) it.

Or, of course, the conversation w/ DS on Sunday morning may not have materialized for whatever reason or may not have gone the way Gramps hoped. Perhaps he's not yet ready to tell us about it.

It's not unusual for an OP to stay away for a couple of days before coming in to talk w/ us again. But I understand why you're especially concerned in this particular case. As far as Gramps comment that he has "considered" hurting himself is concerned - Komorebi and I both gave him contact information for people who could help him. Hopefully, he would reach out to one of those organizations if ever he were feeling that low again. There's not much more anyone here can do. But I'm going to send him a PM (personal message) to see if he's all right (no guarantee that he'll read or answer it, however).

As for his DS' and DIL's reaction if they've found out about this - I know Gramps feels DS might be reading here, but I have my doubts. Why would he spy on Gramps' online activities? If he did find out about this discussion, I hope he'll realize that Gramps needs a place to sort out his feelings and ask advice, etc. If not... sigh... DS' most likely response, I imagine, would be to yell (Gramps says they sometimes "end up yelling at each other") or hold off longer on inviting Gramps to dinner. Not very pleasant, but my point is I don't think he or DIL would do anything to physically hurt Gramps, if that's what you're worried about (you didn't say that, I know). The most "aggressive" act they've done, so far, is that DS threw an album in the trash in front of Gramps. I don't think they would do anything worse than that.

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21 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

Glad to have you join in this conversation, Abuela! A fresh perspective is generally welcome, IMO.

No doubt, you're right - we can't know the "full picture" in this situation. In fact, that's often the case in these threads, especially since we usually only hear one side of the story. Such are the limits of these kinds of boards. But, I agree, Gramps may need some personal, one-on-one advice/support in addition to his conversations w/ us.

Regarding your concern about his welfare - it's very kind and perceptive of you, IMO. If it's any reassurance, Gramps was actually in here as late as Saturday evening although he didn't post anything at that time. (If you hold your cursor over his name, a little box will pop up w/ a miniature profile, and you'll see about when he was, in fact, last in here.) Maybe he read Mame's advice about seeking out an estate attorney, etc. and decided to follow (some of) it.

Or, of course, the conversation w/ DS on Sunday morning may not have materialized for whatever reason or may not have gone the way Gramps hoped. Perhaps he's not yet ready to tell us about it.

It's not unusual for an OP to stay away for a couple of days before coming in to talk w/ us again. But I understand why you're especially concerned in this particular case. As far as Gramps comment that he has "considered" hurting himself is concerned - Komorebi and I both gave him contact information for people who could help him. Hopefully, he would reach out to one of those organizations if ever he were feeling that low again. There's not much more anyone here can do. But I'm going to send him a PM (personal message) to see if he's all right (no guarantee that he'll read or answer it, however).

As for his DS' and DIL's reaction if they've found out about this - I know Gramps feels DS might be reading here, but I have my doubts. Why would he spy on Gramps' online activities? If he did find out about this discussion, I hope he'll realize that Gramps needs a place to sort out his feelings and ask advice, etc. If not... sigh... DS' most likely response, I imagine, would be to yell (Gramps says they sometimes "end up yelling at each other") or hold off longer on inviting Gramps to dinner. Not very pleasant, but my point is I don't think he or DIL would do anything to physically hurt Gramps, if that's what you're worried about (you didn't say that, I know). The most "aggressive" act they've done, so far, is that DS threw an album in the trash in front of Gramps. I don't think they would do anything worse than that.

How often are both sides of stories heard?

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As far as I know at the present time, none of us regular posters are therapist but several are legal counsel.  All of our advice is based on what has worked for us, what we wish we had done instead or what has worked for others we know.

After all, this is more or less just chat.  Hopefully gramps did something fun for the weekend and will be in later this week to share with us.

I can remember an instance or two in the past where the 'opposite' party in a conversation came in and 'found' the original poster.  If I remember correctly, they both disappeared.

 

Edited by SueSTx
to make a correction
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@Abuela303 and all - Gramps answered my PM. He appreciates the concern, but, happily, the only thing that has kept him from posting is that he's having trouble w/ his internet connection. Hopefully, he'll be back in here soon. :)

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Thanks rose...'puter issues are the pits.

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You're welcome, Sue.

And true about " 'puter issues." That's more or less what I said to him - plus the fact that even some of us mods have had to deal w/ that sometimes.. ;)

Edited by RoseRed135

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I restarted my computer, and it's back to "normal" (as normal as a WiFi connection can be).

I appreciate and am humbled by all the people trying to help me.

To answer two previous questions:

  1. No, we did not discuss expectations before moving in, except in the broad terms that I would live in the basement, and they would live in the upper two floors.  I was getting so much interaction with the kids, including hugs, and I got a huge Father's Day card declaring the whole family's LOVE for Grandpa, that I assumed the warmth would continue after the move-in.
  2. I did get to ask DS why no GCs down here.  He said, "They're not comfortable coming down here."  And he makes a semi-valid point: Are we just going to stare at each other?  I should have reminded him that I had two of the GCs over to my apartment before the move, and they loved just hanging out there.  But it was brief, and maybe it would have gotten old quickly.  DS suggests playing board games with them.  Good idea.  I should have pointed out that he answered his own question.

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Glad your computer is working again, Gramps! Also, thanks for your show of appreciation! And for answering our questions.

I did get to ask DS why no GCs down here.  He said, "They're not comfortable coming down here."  And he makes a semi-valid point: Are we just going to stare at each other?...  DS suggests playing board games with them...

So... does DS mean the kids will come down there if you're willing to play board games? Or??

 ... Good idea.  I should have pointed out that he answered his own question.

;)

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They aren't allowed is vastly different from they don't want to come.  It makes DS seem less unreasonable.  

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My GD is 14 now and when she comes she usually spends a full week during the summer.  We plan board games.  Nobody at home will play with her.  Her latest discovery is a card game Phase 10.  She likes checkers, domino and Monopoly along with Sorry which she wins continually.

Get a couple of games just in case they are interested.

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11 hours ago, GrampsX9 said:

I did get to ask DS why no GCs down here.  He said, "They're not comfortable coming down here."  And he makes a semi-valid point: Are we just going to stare at each other?  I should have reminded him that I had two of the GCs over to my apartment before the move, and they loved just hanging out there.  But it was brief, and maybe it would have gotten old quickly.  DS suggests playing board games with them.  Good idea.  I should have pointed out that he answered his own question. NO, that would be unnecessarily snarky, why be that way?

I think the above is positive. Follow through with DS advice.

Sue has a good point, older kids like board/card games. Given our 7 older boy GC (14-9) all have different personalities and interests, they still all like cards and penny games. They also like balls of any variety. They'll kick, throw, catch, dunk balls for hours - the basketball hoop is an endless source of fun and exercise. This summer we accidentally discovered they love to each have their own $1 beach ball and play tag/kick games together - a good thing, no damage or injuries (when we figured this out we bought 20 beach balls, they do get holes/pop, and we don't wanna hear "but HE.....").
 
Our ODD will be driving some of the boys and her 3 yr old daughter a couple hundred miles this weekend - she asks them read to her/DGD. Most love that, the ones who don't will listen quietly (she says, I've never seen this happen, she obviously has better teacher skills). The older ones help the younger ones read - it's homework and they have no idea. They also do math skills as sort of a contest (in the car) and ODD gives tiny rewards for excellence (again, beyond my teaching ability, but I hear it works fabulously).  ETA: I do read to the kiddies, but I'm not adept at getting the disinterested ones to focus or listen quietly, they just go do other activities.
 
Five of the older boys like to help cook items they will be eating. Cooking is great fun with kids if one can stand the mess. They all have to help with garden and yard work if they're with us, and some love it. My husband sings beautifully, he plays singing games with them. Nothing I could pull off, however some of them enjoy singing and they all enjoy making up ridiculous verses/clapping/whistling.
 
You can find stuff to do with older kiddies - no diapers, no tantrums - it's good.
Edited by JanelleK
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32 minutes ago, JanelleK said:
Our ODD will be driving some of the boys and her 3 yr old daughter a couple hundred miles this weekend - she asks them read to her/DGD. Most love that, the ones who don't will listen quietly (she says, I've never seen this happen, she obviously has better teacher skills). The older ones help the younger ones read - it's homework and they have no idea. They also do math skills as sort of a contest (in the car) and ODD gives tiny rewards for excellence (again, beyond my teaching ability, but I hear it works fabulously).
 

With DS' family I am the 'designated bedtime story reader' if I'm around at bedtime...the 4 littles are on me like barnacles (#6GB is the page turner, he sits glued to my side). The 10yo claims to not be interested, but he always sits within earshot presumably working on his own project...the boy never misses a word. 

The best way to improve reading fluency is reading aloud. Totally win-win here...yay for ODD. I had my kids in the kitchen "helping" from the time they were born. Basic fractions were learned in conversations with measuring cups/spoons. 

Dominoes are a great game with older kids. Mexican Train or Chicken Foot can go on for hours...pass the popcorn.

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2 hours ago, Mame925 said:

With DS' family I am the 'designated bedtime story reader' if I'm around at bedtime...the 4 littles are on me like barnacles (#6GB is the page turner, he sits glued to my side). The 10yo claims to not be interested, but he always sits within earshot presumably working on his own project...the boy never misses a word. 

The best way to improve reading fluency is reading aloud. Totally win-win here...yay for ODD. I had my kids in the kitchen "helping" from the time they were born. Basic fractions were learned in conversations with measuring cups/spoons. 

Dominoes are a great game with older kids. Mexican Train or Chicken Foot can go on for hours...pass the popcorn.

I read through the Harry Potter series w/the Middle Minions (12 and 11). Diva, at 18, would come and sit in when we were at a 'good part'...and complain if she missed any, LOL

There's just something about being read to that is a special, loving thing. Every December I read, "The Best Christmas Pagent Ever". Usually more than once, at a chapter a night (short book). Wolf *and* Diva listen in on it. They both still laugh with it.

Yes, the Middle Minions can read on their own (yay homeschooling win!) but there's something about Mom reading to them that makes them feel loved and secure.

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7 hours ago, SueSTx said:

.Get a couple of games just in case they are interested.

Or perhaps they have a couple of favorite games upstairs. Perhaps, Gramps, it will help if you let DS know you're ok w/ their bringing them downstairs.

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8 hours ago, skipped said:

They aren't allowed is vastly different from they don't want to come.  It makes DS seem less unreasonable.  

True, but I wish DS had explained this at first. And not just as, "they don't want to come," but as, "They don't come b/c they have nothing to do down here. If you're willing to play board games w/ them, then they'll be here."

But perhaps it's not unusual for DS to be a little "too brief" and not give the whole picture? As in not fully explaining to Gramps how he and DIL saw the new living situation before Gramps purchased the house? DS may need to work on his communication skills. But, of course, he's not here for us to suggest that to him.

@GrampsX9 - From now on, you may want to ask him to spell things out more when he makes a general statement... Food for thought...

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On 9/26/2017 at 6:50 PM, RoseRed135 said:

Um... I didn't say DS and DIL would "hold cutting him off over his head." I have no idea if they would do that, obviously. And I'm certainly not saying they should. But I think he needs to be aware that this could happen, just as it really should occur to them that he could decide to sell (and maybe it has - again, obviously, IDK). IMO, before you (general) make a choice, you need to look at the whole picture, as far as you can see it, not just parts of it. Consequences can work both ways. Only Gramps can decide what consequences he can live with, just as only DS and DiL can decide what ones they can live with.

But, of course, so far, Gramps hasn't even taken to the idea of selling the house.

They have not explicitly threatened cutoff, although I'm already largely cut off.  When I pick up my mail and see their mail (we use the same mailbox), I am to leave it where it is.  And they don't pick up my mail or even tell me whether or not I have mail.  Small stuff by itself, but it is yet another indicator that they want minimal contact.

If they could see the whole picture, and how I figure in their future, I think they would make better choices.  But I don't know how to show them the whole picture without making implicit threats.

Selling the house would be poetic justice, but I would take a huge financial hit with all the fees that I paid to buy the house, the seller's fees I would pay, and the fact that the housing market here strongly favors the buyer.

Addendum: They do let me go to church with them, and they seem to like that.  I go to be back in the family for a few minutes.  Not being of their faith, I do not enjoy the service itself.

Edited by GrampsX9

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Again, Gramps, please consult a real estate attorney about your options. 

Also, in you discussion with DS, let him know specifically how you feel. Use "I" messages rather than accusational "You" messages..."I feel very alone living in the basement. When we all decided to move here I expected to be included more" Rather than "You all are ignoring me and this is MY house".

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2 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

But perhaps it's not unusual for DS to be a little "too brief" and not give the whole picture? As in not fully explaining to Gramps how he and DIL saw the new living situation before Gramps purchased the house? DS may need to work on his communication skills.

8 minutes ago, GrampsX9 said:

If they could see the whole picture, and how I figure in their future, I think they would make better choices.  But I don't know how to show them the whole picture without making implicit threats. Don't go there, implicit threats about future money is very unwise and Patriarchal BS. You wouldn't want them to come round because of money, would you?  They are likely making their choices for the here and now - for their family.

I disagree, Rose. Caveat Emptor.

I think if one of our sons asked us to purchase a large multi-family home, with both families to live in said property, we would ask a lot of questions beforehand.

Gramps is good with money, recognizes a scam, feels this is one, he didn't ask questions.

Why do you want us to do this? Because I am unable to pay my mortgage. Can you sell and rent, why not? No, because. Is there anyway you can cut costs? What about your student loans? Can either of you get better paying jobs? Are you sure this is a good idea DS-DIL-GP proximity-wise? What will I get out of this aside the feel-good of helping? Will you be able to drive me to Z? Will I be able to see you more than now, how much will I see you? For me, seeing you is the carrot as well as helping your finances. If we buy our payments will be capped at XX, you'll pay utilities of Y, tell me about college loans of Z - Lets run numbers and see what this looks like. Will this be one home or a landlord-tenant arrangement? Let's call the tax accountant and find out about rentals to related persons.

NO, this is NOT hindsight, it's normal home buying 101. And he doesn't care for his DIL (seemingly also dislikes their religion, her parents etc), how was living underfoot supposed to help their relationship?

 

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