*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media discussion boards and verified experts/specialists.*
A teenager seeks advice on Reddit after a tense confrontation with his controlling grandfather.
The author, a 16-year-old male, says that his mom, who is 37, and he has always had a healthy relationship. He explains:
“My parents had me fairly young, so I guess that helped them remember how being a teen feels like, and for all my life they have always been very open to talk to me about everything. Because of that I never felt the need to lie to them-- even when I messed up I knew I could count on them to help me sort my shit out. But the dynamic at my house started to change a bit ever since my dad passed away in March. My maternal grandpa (who is retired) moved in with us. My mom used to send him money because his retirement was not enough.”
The author describes his grandpa as controlling an wanting to know his every move. He continues:
“My grandpa is nothing like my parents. He is very controlling, he likes to know my every move, and he insists on making decisions based on "how he feels like," he babies me, and berates me for doing stuff that every teenager does. My mom and I have both tried talking to him about respecting my boundaries and understanding that in our home we trust and respect each other. But he refuses to listen, and says that my mom doesn't know anything about parenting, while remaining to give unsolicited opinions about my life.”
According to VeryWell Family, respecting a teenager's boundaries is crucial for their emotional well-being and the development of their autonomy. ReachOut Australia states that adolescents who perceived their boundaries as respected reported higher levels of satisfaction with their relationships and overall well-being.
The situation escalated when the author told his mom that he was going to sleep over at his boyfriend's house:
“Things got really bad yesterday when I told them I was going to sleep over at my boyfriend's that night. My mom just said, "Ok, let me know when you get there." But my grandpa decided to throw a tantrum and berate me for "disrespecting" familiar values and this behavior would not be tolerated under his roof. I lost my temper and asked sarcastically, "What roof? you don't have one".”
The author's mom sympathizes with him but believes he went too far and hurt his grandpa's feelings. The author concludes:
“Ever since that confrontation, he has stopped talking to me. I ended up not going to my boyfriend's, and things just feel very tense around here. My mom says she understands where I come from, but thinks I went too far and deeply hurt my grandpa's feelings. But I think it was about time he heard something like that.”
What do you think?
Was the author justified to make it clear that his grandfather was not respecting his boundaries, and he doesn’t have a right to tell the author what to do?
Or was the author out of line to speak to an elder that way, and he should be ashamed of himself?
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