should my 14 year old be forced to give up her bedroom when grandmother sleeps over?

Tracey - posted on 02/07/2012 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My mother in law visits every weekend. I love the fact that she spends time with my children and even helps out with babysitting if my husband and I have to work or would like to go out. here is the problem. My oldest is almost 15. When my mother in law starting visiting and staying with us every weekend my oldest daughter was only 7. She would share her room and bed and even sleep with her Nana when she would come over. Now that my daughter is older she does not like the idea of sharing her room. I completely understand with her but my husband feels that my daughter is being selfish. and that our daughter should just sleep on the couch no complaints. My mother in law only lives 20 minutes away! I suggested to my husband that we give up our room for his mother. I think he forgets what it was like to be a teenager. This situattion has caused alot of problems between my husband and I. My mother in law is well aware of this situation. Please help!

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Corinne - posted on 02/07/2012

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Why does she even need to stay over if she lives 20 mins away? Your daughter needs her privacy and is not being selfish, she's been doing this for 8yrs to save her Grandmother a 20min journey? This arrangement really does need to come to an end.

Kelina - posted on 02/07/2012

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So from yor post I'm assuming you have more than one child. Is there any reason grandma can't sleep with one of the younger siblings? Or one of teh younger siblings gives up their room for grandma now? she's been doing it for eight years. Think about how you'd feel if you had to give up your room every weekend for eight years to someone who did nothing but criticize it and move your stuff. It drives me nuts when my kids worm their way into my room during the day and open my drawers and move stuff around and my clothes end up on the floor, but I made the choice to have them. She needs her space too. Maybe she could trade weeks, rotate it through the house. One weekend she gives up her room, the next her sibling(s?) then you and hubby. Showing respect is one thing, especially when relatives from far away come to visit. But grandma lives 20 mins away. If she wants to spend the night every weekend, it shouldn't be inconveniencing your daughter constantly.

Denikka - posted on 02/07/2012

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If I was 15, I sure as heck would not want to be giving up my bedroom every weekend for ANYONE. That's just not fair. Your daughter has the right to her own room and whatever privacy she's earned.

Grandma definitely needs to find other sleeping arrangements at this point. When your daughter was young and it was okay with her, no issues. But once she has made it clear that this is no longer okay with her, it needs to stop.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/08/2012

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Well, when I was her age, I did give my bedroom up regularly for my grandparents to use. I wasn’t asked, I WANTED to do that for my grandparents.



I can understand about not wanting the smoke smell, but honestly? Febreeze works wonders.



However, if grandma only lives 20 minutes away, what is the need, unless there is an emergency? I mean, we never stayed overnight at the grandparents house who lived in town, that was for the grandparents who lived out of town. It makes no sense for grandma to be coming for a “sleepover”.



To be honest, tho, my MIL is here every weekend, and we LOVE it! Our kids would gladly give up their bed at any time for grandma. We also “allow” her on school nights. (I put quotation marks there because another poster mentioned that her in-laws “know to leave by 4 on a Sunday”.) I’d never put a limit on the amount of time my MIL spends in my home, or with my kids. I’d never put a limit of which days she’s “allowed” to visit or not.



If your MIL is as loving, and helpful as you describe, then yes, your daughter is being selfish. And she probably could spend a couple of minutes straightening up her room to “grandma clean” once a week. It won’t kill her. However, if you have more than one child, then they need to rotate couch stays, and let grandma use their room in their turn, if she would rather stay over.

Devorah - posted on 02/08/2012

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At this age, on a weekend it is not fair to ask your daughter to give up her room and kick her to the couch. This prohibits her from having friends over and having a place to chat and giggle. Also, if she only lives 20 minutes away, why can't you guys go to visit her? Or your husband can drive her home at the end of the evening. He is not a 15 year old girl, so he does not understand it is not just giving up her room for the weekend it is giving up any kind of privacy. If your MIL is aware of the situation, than just be honest and tell her now that your daughter is 15 she does not want to give up her room every weekend. Encourage your daughter to make special plans with grandma, like lunch with just the two of them, or a trip to the mall so your MIL understands she is not removing her from her life, just her room!

Tracey - posted on 02/08/2012

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these responses have been great! thanks so much for letting me see both sides. will keep you all posted. :)

Elfrieda - posted on 02/07/2012

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Wait a minute, is Nana just inviting herself over, or are you inviting her? I think it's totally fine to say, "We're looking forward to having a movie night with you next Saturday, but tomorrow's Monday and Miss14 has to finish up her homework and get an early night. It'd be more convenient for you to stay over then." Then bustle the kids off to bed (I'm sure your teen would play along) and Nana is left with a very clear indication that it's time for her to go.

Elfrieda - posted on 02/07/2012

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Every weekend seems like a lot, but really, where else is Grandma going to stay? I don't think it's right to boot you and your husband out of your room, it's better for the teen to give up her room. It doesn't teach anything good about respect.



When I got my own room (my dad framed it in the basement) when I was 12, the understanding was that it was a guest bedroom and every time we had overnight company I would sleeping on the floor in my sister's room. I didn't have a problem with that, although it was easier for me because it wasn't every week!



I think you should have a family meeting and recognize that your daughter is making a sacrifice for Grandma to come over every weekend. Have her help come up with a solution. If Grandma's visits are so beneficial or she would be very hurt by being "uninvited", the teen will see that it's the best way.



You could make sure she gets something out of the weekend visit as well, like being allowed to stay out a little later than usual, or not having to babysit her siblings. Or maybe she gives up her room for 7 weekends, and on the 8th weekend you take her skiing or camping or to the city for some shopping.



Family means inconvenience, just as it means support. If you can get her to be part of the family's decision making, she might be happier to make the sacrifices necessary to the smooth running of the family.



Another solution might be that now some younger sibling gets booted out of his or her room. With age comes privilege! Or maybe she would rather have Grandma sharing her room than little brother? Or maybe it would be fun to have a sibling sleepover. Maybe she'd like to trade her nicer bed for her sister's smaller one if it means that she gets to keep it 7 nights a week.



Just some ideas. Talk it out, see what you come up with!

Sarah - posted on 02/07/2012

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When I was 16 I slept on our couch for 6 months while my Grandma lived with us after her stroke. I didn't complain once. I think when you're a teenager you need to be taught compassion and generosity. If you have company and the only bed available is your teenagers, it's not going to hurt her to sleep on the couch.

Johnny - posted on 02/07/2012

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Every weekend for 8 years? I think your daughter has a point. If it was a once in a couple months kind of thing, I'd say it wouldn't hurt your daughter to sleep on the couch. But the way it sounds, she is forced to completely give up her own space, have it subjected to someone else's opinions and bad smells on a regular basis and is expected to be okay with all that. Respecting your elders is important, if they earn that respect. It sounds like your MIL is not showing proper respect for your daughter and her space, so it is a little much to expect your daughter to show her unqualified respect. If your MIL is aware of how your daughter feels and is unconcerned, then it may be time to put your foot down.

Corinne - posted on 02/07/2012

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Yeah, hubby's a Giants fan so I got woken up at 4am. I was thinking if night driving was a problem for her? Also, staying on a school night wouldn't be happening here. My in-laws knew to leave by 4pm on their Sunday visits so I could cook and bathe the kids without interuption but they're 5 & 3 yrs old.

Tracey - posted on 02/07/2012

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Nana drives! and decided to stay over the night of the super bowl. (school the next morning)

Corinne - posted on 02/07/2012

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I think you daughter has some valid points there, esp. the fact that Nana smokes and her room will smell, that would drive me insane. This is your daughters home and she should not have to do this every week. Could someone drive Nana home?

Tracey - posted on 02/07/2012

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Perhaps I should have explained why my daughter does not wish to share her room with Nana. 1. Nana is a smoker (does not smoke in our home but smells of cigarettes. 2. picks on my daughter's room and moves her things and tells her to clean her room. and 3. I think my daughter is starting to resent her nana. Nana has been making frequent comments (hidden insults) ie, "I like your hair better when it was lighter."

Jane - posted on 02/07/2012

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If I were fifteen I wouldn't want to give up my bedroom either BUT there is also something called "respect your elders." It is much easier for a 15 yo to get a good night's sleep on the couch than a grandmother so she needs to bite the bullet and do it. Your daughter needs to appreciate the fact that she has her own room most of the time, and that someday grandma won't be around any longer.



She gets her room to herself 6 days out of 7. What if she had to share her room ALL the time? When I was her age we lived in a house with limited space so I shared "my" room 24/7 with my sister. I wasn't overjoyed but that's how it was. A few years later when space was even tighter all three of us kids shared a room.



So Grandma only lives 20 minutes away. So what? She obviously enjoys visiting, and you said yourself that she is helpful. Without knowing her age or health condition, could it be possible that driving at night is not the best idea? Starting in your 40's your night vision starts to go.



Your husband is right. Your daughter is being selfish.

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