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My parents live with me and I recently moved my 11 year old niece in to my home due to some domestic issues in her house. For starters, my dad has always been a bit of an a$$hole. But he seems to detest the ground this little child walks on. He hates the fact she’s a picky eater, which isn’t her fault when all she got fed was fast food and chips. He yells when she goes in and out of the house playing, but he’s constantly in and out too!! He seems to even hate her laugh, rudely telling her to hush if she giggles at a volume that he thinks is too loud! I have directly called him out on his behavior but he denies he is being cold toward her. Someone, please tell me why old men are so GROUCHY!! Her feelings are hurt by his attitude toward her and I can’t help her understand this is how he always is. Does anyone have any experience with a situation like this??

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All old people aren’t cranky and all old men aren’t grouchy. If your father isn’t capable of change, which is likely, it’s your job to protect a little girl from abusive comments that she doesn’t deserve. You’re caught in the middle and that’s no fun, but please err on the side of looking out for her
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I would not try to justify his bad behavior. He should be told that the child is more important and he plays nice or he moves out.

He is abusing your niece and you have to protect her from his a$$holeness.

Maybe you could climb his frame in the same manner as he is doing to her to open his eyes.

I have never been around old people that didn't love kids. I can't imagine being nasty to a child that has been taken out of their home and away from their parents. He needs to go to a old folks home.
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lkdrymom Jul 31, 2020
I have to agree...either he gets along with her or he finds other accommodations. The reason people are like this is other ALLOW them to be. Good for you putting him in his place. I know some people will say the elder is in pain so they lash out. That might be so but it still is not a good enough reason. I was lucky my father was not nasty as he got older just extremely needy. He knew I would not tolerate nasty behavior.
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Lots of reasons. here are just a few:
1. He’s a narcissist. Too many reasons in just this reason to list so look it up.
2. He doesn’t like children and yes, there are people who don’t like children. For example, people who weren’t raised with others, or whose parents weren’t kind to them, and often some of us love our children but aren’t so taken with others kids.
3. If he has a chronic ailment or chronic pain, it’s awful hard to cater to others and to be perfect and proper. You can’t be sweet and bubbly when you always have no less than level 7 pain 24/7.
4. Someone else brought up hearing. My husband got so upset with himself because he couldn’t hear me and had to repeat himself. Said he grew up being told to speak up and didn’t like seeing that issue with himself. He has hearing aids but it’s not as good as the natural ability to hear.
5. Fear. It’s scary getting old and losing so many things: physical and mental abilities, privacy, independence, self confidence and others losing confidence in them, etc.

So yes we can be *ssholes and grouchy as we get old, and get tired of apologizing for it. Just like when we are young, angry. entitled, obnoxious know-it-all’s and do stupid things until we’re about 40. So somewhere in there we all get about 20-30 years of happiness, respect, physical and mental fitness, companionships and camaraderie, and independence.

I’m 64 with chronic back/hip pain. My husband is 76 with chronic gouty arthritis and often unable to get around well. My mother is 95 who has end stage CHF and dementia and lives with us too. We are not a happy household most of the time. My husband and I love and respect each other, thank God. Mom is not able to understand much anymore and is a terror even with medication. Life has been mostly tough with some good times thrown in here and there. Yes, we all are grouchy but hubby and I give each other a smile and a thumbs-up to keep a goin’ and to hang in there.
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If your parents are living with you in your house then you call the shots. It is admirable for you to take your niece in but the treatment she is experiencing with your father is abusive. She was already in that type of environment so sadly she is not being helped.

There are countless reasons why some elderly people become mean. That is the stark reality. I do feel strongly that you need to do all you can to stop the pattern your father has developed towards your niece. I imagine he does not like the change to his living environment. This child needs the help you can provide and your father needs to STOP treating her so poorly. That is your responsibility and I hope you find a solution. Otherwise you might as well send her back home.
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Your dad could have cognitive decline that is causing him to lose his filter or maybe, he's just cranky, because, he feels threatened by the attention your niece is getting. Seniors can be very selfish and stubborn. I've noticed that since spending more time with them. My parents are very tolerant of children, but, if the child took attention from them, I'm not sure how they might react. Plus, I think seniors often think they are right and things should go the way they want. Probably, because they are wise and know better than others. lol

I'm not sure how to turn your dad's behavior around. Maybe, he could share one o hisf hobbies with her or do a project together like a puzzle. If he's that against her, I'd likely try to make arrangements for dad to be elsewhere, while you are caring for the niece.
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I could NEVER live with a cranky, grouchy old person. He is in your home and you need to put your foot down now!! Poor niece, she has been through enough according to your post. She needs love and kindness. We need a little more information on the health of your father. Is this new behavior, or has he always been the grouchy type? I would rethink living arrangements. Life is too short for this. I could never live with someone and take care of them 24/7 if I heard complaints, yelling and grouchiness all day long, it would drive me nuts. Perhaps he needs a psy evaluation, follow up with PCP. and a little medication to ease some of his built-up anger issues, and possibly depression. What ever the reason for such behavior, it is not acceptable. You need to find a solution now !I Your parents are living in your home, and you call the shots. Be strong and firm in a loving and kind way.
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Chellyfla Aug 3, 2020
I have this feeling you are not a very nice person either.
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If you are serious about providing a Loving, safe, healthy, long Term home to your niece, Dad needs to toe the line now.

No ifs and or buts.

Moving your niece from one disfunctional home to another is going to cause her more harm.

She needs a home where she can be a child, laugh and play. It will take time for her to trust you and as long as your Dad is abusive she will not develop to her full potential.

Take it slow introducing new foods. If you can take her grocery shopping with you and let her choose a fresh fruit and veggie each week to try. Help her google how to prepare and serve them. Involve her in the prep and cooking. This will give her a sense of ownership over what she eats.
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Being an a$$hole doesn't change. Actually, it gets worse especiallly iff there are any health problems. With my Dad it was heart problem.

You need to chose between your niece and your parents. You are providing her with the same environment she left. She needs to have a safe place to land. She has to put up with this man 24/7.

What I see is a sit down with Dad without the child present. Tell him his behaviour is not going to be tolerated anymore. That he is abusing this child. She needs to be allowed to be a child. If he can't live with the child, then he and Mom will need to find other accommodations.

I also suggest that if finding your parents somewhere else to live is not an option, than you may need to find your niece another home. I also hope she is getting some counselling. She is approaching an age where girls start to act out. Believe me, you don't need the problems that come with that and caring for parents too. And if and when she acts out, she will need your undivided attention.
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Well I just had to say that not all "old people are cranky"
I've worked with a lot of seniors.. and I found the majority to be lovely.
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Chemoangel1967 Aug 3, 2020
Me too Kelli. :) I wish she, and you knew my father when he was alive...such a sweet gem, kind, thoughtful, smiling all the time, like a little kid in a candy store..loved him dearly...
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My mom is cranky and rude too. With brain issues I found that sometimes noises and kids movements make them crankier that’s why my mom can not live with us. Telling them they are rude, cranky and irritable does nothing to improve behavior. I was told by doc that as it progresses it will get worse.
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marymary2 Aug 3, 2020
The brain issues thing does make things harder. A memory care place close to me once invited the public to visit to try their virtual dementia demonstration. I was the only person to show up. It was very surprising to see how things are when you have it. They put headphones on me that had constant swooshing noises and special glasses that made thing different. They gave me special gloves that made digital actions difficult. Then they put me in one of the rooms with a person who gave me directions to do simple tasks. The first was folding a small blanket on the bed. I could hardly understand the directions given what the headphones did to my hearing and I had trouble seeing. I can't imagine trying to function like that day in and day out. Having cared for my very abusive mother, I'm not excusing anything (but my mother didn't have dementia), just saying if someone does have it, it must be very hard to function without losing it....
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