Author Topic: Acceptable for Child to be in Room while Visiting?  (Read 14713 times)

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cleverkate

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Acceptable for Child to be in Room while Visiting?
« on: January 11, 2014, 04:37:05 PM »
My great aunt and uncle share a rented house with their son and his wife and son (10 years old). This is the third different time they've all lived together, but the first time they all lived in a house that they're all renting together.

My aunt has her own TV/computer room which is very small. She has two computer chairs in there and one love seat (it sits two people). Despite the fact that her grandson has his own laptop, his dad's computer, a Wii, a Playstation, a Nintentdo DSi, and a Kindle Fire, he's always using my aunt's computer. As soon as he gets home from school he goes straight for that computer. About 98% of the time I go over there, he's in front of that computer for hours. I rarely see him doing anything else.

My problem is that when my mom and I want to visit our aunt, her grandson is always in the room. There's not enough room for all four of us in there, especially when he's using that computer. My mom and I don't want to sit on the love seat with our aunt because it's disgustingly filthy but also because we don't want to sit that close to anyone.

We like sitting in the computer chairs, but if the grandson is using the computer, it gets crowded in there and we (Mom and me) don't like it. And admittedly, because I have ADD-PI (the lesser known inattentive type) I like to use the computer while we're chatting or else I get very bored and irritable. I'm not good at social chit-chat so it's impossible for me to maintain a conversation and that's when I get bored. I contribute only when I have something worthwhile to say. Using the computer actually helps me contribute to the conversation because it helps stimulate my brain and we can talk about things I'm looking up on the computer such as Crocs shoes or recipes, etc. If I just sit in the chair, even if I'm looking at a magazine, I get bored and people can tell because I start foot tapping or spinning around (I'm over 30, BTW).

We also don't like that the grandson is in the room at all when we visit. We want to have adult conversation and we don't want a child around, especially considering we might want to talk about things he shouldn't hear. Besides, he sometimes interrupts the conversation. And to be honest, we can't stand his bad attitude. He's condescending, negative, a know-it-all, controlling, rude, and hot tempered. I've tried to be like a big sister to him since he's being raised as an only child (his brother is much older and in the military), but he's extremely difficult to get along with. Some people with more patience get along better with him like his uncle, but most people just don't like him because of his attitude. He even gets picked on or ignored by his classmates because of his attitude - they don't like it either. I tried for many years to do things with him, but after last year, I had to give up on him for the sake of my own sanity. If he was actually my brother, it would be different, but he's my half second cousin.

Our aunt seems to be oblivious to everything. There was one time she was actually going to allow her grandson and his friend to use the computer while my mom and I were visiting with her! My mom and I decided to leave. The other day I had been there using the computer when the grandson got home from school. He was clearly upset and kept asking me when I would be done. He was getting more and more irritated as time passed on. I suggested to him to go use his laptop he got for Christmas, but he didn't want to. Even after we convinced him to use it, he kept waiting for me to be done and made irritated groans every so often. The whole time, my aunt just sat there and didn't say anything. Personally, I thought it was very rude of him to behave that way and for my aunt to allow it.

Basically, my mom and I don't feel welcome over there at all because of the grandson. I don't necessarily have a problem with him being in there when I'm there without my mom, but when she's there too, there's just too many people in the room.

So... I'm wondering if it's acceptable for the grandson to be in the room using the computer when we come over? Shouldn't our aunt ask him to leave so us adults can talk and visit with each other? Can we ask him to leave? Opinions, please.

Sharnita

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Re: Acceptable for Child to be in Room while Visiting?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2014, 04:43:19 PM »
I think aunt is the one to make that call. She seems to find it acceptable - you can't tell her he isn't welcome when it isher home. You can choose not to visit as frequently.

Jones

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Re: Acceptable for Child to be in Room while Visiting?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2014, 04:45:05 PM »
If Aunt is comfortable with him using her possessions, and as it's his home too, then it sounds like it's OK for him to be in there.

As an outsider, I am wondering why it's acceptable for you to use a computer while conversing, but it's not OK for a resident of the home to use the computer?

gramma dishes

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Re: Acceptable for Child to be in Room while Visiting?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 04:52:21 PM »
It is Aunt's home, it's her room and it's her computer.  She does get to call the shots and she doesn't seem to mind him taking over her room and her computer and being rude to her guests.

I think I'd just stop visiting and if someday she asks why you can just tell her quietly and calmly, but truthfully, that you don't really enjoy your visits much because of her grandson's constant presence and his attitude.  But then follow up immediately with "But of course you're always welcome to come and visit us here at our house!  We love seeing you."

Amara

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Re: Acceptable for Child to be in Room while Visiting?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2014, 04:54:19 PM »
This is going to sound more blunt that I intend, OP, but since it's your aunt's home and her choice in the type of hospitality she offers it's really up to you to accept or decline it. I have to say I wouldn't accept it, preferring to suggest to the aunt that we all meet for a lunch or coffee somewhere. But if you choose to go to her home then you accept without complaint what she offers especially since you know what that entails.

It occurs to me to wonder if maybe your aunt doesn't like you to visit and then spend your time on her computer and that's why she doesn't make the boy leave. It doesn't matter, though. She's offering what she does, and it's up to you to accept or decline politely.

TiredMum

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Re: Acceptable for Child to be in Room while Visiting?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2014, 04:57:49 PM »
Can you tell the child that you want to have an adult conversation with your aunt and to 'run along' as its not for his ears? 

I sure remember this happening to me as a child.  Is this an action that is within etiquette?

gramma dishes

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Re: Acceptable for Child to be in Room while Visiting?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2014, 05:00:24 PM »
Can you tell the child that you want to have an adult conversation with your aunt and to 'run along' as its not for his ears? 

I sure remember this happening to me as a child.  Is this an action that is within etiquette?

Of course!  Only Aunt could tell him that though.  Not Cleverkate.

m2kbug

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Re: Acceptable for Child to be in Room while Visiting?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2014, 05:01:45 PM »
If Aunt doesn't mind the child taking over the computer and hanging out in her space, I'm not sure there's a whole lot you can do about it.  I would want to give the child the boot if we're discussing anything that may not be suitable for children's ears or something private, or find someplace else to chat, but for them to be around and even chime into the conversation, I have no problems with that.  If she is not happy that the boy takes over her computer and takes over her room, it's something she's going to have to take up on her own and with the boy's parents. 

What does "PI" stand for for ADD-PI?  Predominantly inattentive?  I'm not clear on your problems with ADD.  I don't really understand why you would need to be on the computer when you're visiting.  This seems to fall up there with zoning out in front of the TV or fiddling with the phone or iPad or something instead of conversing with the people you are visiting. 

It seems like it's very uncomfortable for you to visit, and I wonder if you could go to another room or meet at a restaurant or have Auntie over to your place more often.  You might try to mention to Aunt that you have a hard time with visits because of the boy's constant presence and bad attitude and Aunt can shoo him out when you're over.  If Aunt doesn't have any issues with the boy, then I think you need to find an alternative place to meet. 

Hmmmmm

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Re: Acceptable for Child to be in Room while Visiting?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2014, 05:15:50 PM »
Her home, her rules. It sounds like the boy might have to challenges of his own that drives him to,want to be in her room with her. If visiting while he is in the room is a burdened, I'd suggest visiting while he's in school or visit at your home or external location.

AustenFan

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Re: Acceptable for Child to be in Room while Visiting?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2014, 05:17:21 PM »
OP, why is it OK for you to display visible signs of impatience but not aunts grandson? What do you do when you're in a staff meeting or out to dinner and bored? Do you whip out your phone and start browsing shoe sites?

Your question boils down to: can I, while a guest in someone's home, demand my host kick a family member and resident of the home off the computer I prefer to use and/or out of the room? No, you can't do either of those.

If visiting with your aunt alone is so important to you & your mom then invite her out to lunch. Though I do wonder what you'll do when you get bored there.

jmarvellous

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Re: Acceptable for Child to be in Room while Visiting?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2014, 05:18:34 PM »
I'm with a few others in wondering if your aunt is fine with him being on the computer while you visit because it means that you, as her guest, are not on the computer. His behavior, except in the incident where he was bugging you directly, isn't of your concern. He probably doesn't want you to be a big sister to him, and that's a perfectly fine choice.

I admit to not understanding your medical diagnosis and why a magazine wouldn't be an acceptable alternative to using the computer or twirling in your chair. I'm not diagnosed with anything, but I am the type of person who's moderately better able to concentrate when taking notes or even just doodling or twiddling my thumbs or taking frequent drinks/bites -- solutions that don't look like I'm deliberately concentrating on something else over my company.

I also join with a few others in strongly suggesting you visit elsewhere. A place where 50% of the seating is too "filthy" for you to handle doesn't seem like an acceptable place to be.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Acceptable for Child to be in Room while Visiting?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2014, 05:20:57 PM »
OP, could it be possible that you don't want the child to use the computer because you want to? I understand if you have a problem, but having to be occupied with something during a conversation seems rather rude to me. It looks as if you don't think the people you are talking to aren't worth paying attention to.

I have problem with conversation, I often miss things or look like I'm not listening when I actually am. It's something I have to constantly work on to avoid misunderstanding.

That said, him being in the room and interrupting in the way he does. You could say to your aunt that you don't feel comfortable with that many in the room, but it is aunts house and her call.

Perfect Circle

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Re: Acceptable for Child to be in Room while Visiting?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2014, 05:30:49 PM »
Can you tell the child that you want to have an adult conversation with your aunt and to 'run along' as its not for his ears? 

I sure remember this happening to me as a child.  Is this an action that is within etiquette?

Of course!  Only Aunt could tell him that though.  Not Cleverkate.

Yes, while I do that to my child regularly (although never with those sort of words), if a guest in my house did, that would be the last time they would be invited.

I don't understand why it would be acceptable for you to be on a computer but not for the grandson. He lives in that house, you do not have the right to move him away from what certainly apperas to be a perfectly acceptable location for him.

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iridaceae

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Re: Acceptable for Child to be in Room while Visiting?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2014, 05:36:51 PM »
Her house her rules and honestly? If you wanted to be on my computer every time you came over I'd stop inviting you. Or I'd start locking my computer. You can carry a kindle. A tablet. Not count on using someone else's.

lollylegs

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Re: Acceptable for Child to be in Room while Visiting?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2014, 06:00:04 PM »
Her house her rules and honestly? If you wanted to be on my computer every time you came over I'd stop inviting you. Or I'd start locking my computer. You can carry a kindle. A tablet. Not count on using someone else's.

Pod.

I understand that you have a medical diagnosis but I have to admit, your annoyed attitude about the grandson being on the computer all the time, followed by your admission that you want to be on the computer all the time, is a little grating.

It doesn't matter that he had a laptop, Nintendo, iPad, etc. Some things are easier to do on a PC. Besides, it's his house. He doesn't need a reason to chose the computer over another device.