AIBU to be absolutely at the end of my tether with the holiday bickering and backchat?

(11 Posts)
inlovewithhubby Tue 09-Aug-16 12:59:14

My girls are usually best of friends and really well behaved. Three weeks into school holidays they are physically fighting (well the odd sly punch from the littlest one) as well as constant bickering. They are also in the habit of questioning everything I ask of them.

We can be out and they will ask if they can we have an ice cream. I may say no if it's nearly lunchtime. Cue whinges, pleads, ten minutes of constant questioning about that decision. They are not short of ice cream type treats this holiday, just not every time we see a bloody van (they are everywhere!!!!). And repeat for everything they ask for which is declined - they do and have lots, but I don't say yes to everything obviously.

When we are leaving to go out or leaving a venue/activity, despite warning them that we're going in ten (then 5, then 2) minutes, they inevitably ignore me, employ delay tactics, ignore instructions, fanny around and generally not do as asked.

They have loads of activities on, they have no excuse to be bored, we don't tolerate bad manners or bad behaviour, but I am absolutely at my wits end. The threat of withdrawing activities and treats (ie cinema trip with friends, horse riding day etc) is a double edged sword because if they don't do activities I'm going to go bloody mad.

I work but have the summer off so we are together 24/7, activities aside, so no reprieve really, but even my husband is pulling his hair out at their low level bad behaviour in the evenings - they piss about at bath time, teeth time etc. I am being far more shouty and cross than I like, and I don't like the parent this situation is turning me into.

How can I increase my waning patience levels? What can I do to knock this constant, low level ignoring of adult requests on the head? And what do I do about the constant bickering apart from buy them boxing gloves and leave them to it? Is anyone else in the same boat?

And breathe.

ZippyNeedsFeeding Tue 09-Aug-16 13:16:53

We're 5 weeks into the holidays and I feel your pain! I found that explaining to them that if they didn't stop bickering, I'd be forced to send them to a childminder had the desired effect. (I work from home though).

inlovewithhubby Tue 09-Aug-16 13:28:18

I work from home too, and I am fitting in some minor bits while they are at activities, so that might be a good idea thanks zippy - I do bloody feel like shipping them out at the moment and then feel awful as I feel like I should be enjoying it in some sort of earth mother way which currently evades me...

bramblesandblackberries Tue 09-Aug-16 13:30:50

No, you sound like a great mum to me smile lots of treats, firm boundaries, lots of love.

I know it's rough but honestly, I just read that and thought you were doing a great job!

I'm sure it's different in the midst of it all, though!

HyunaRiddle Tue 09-Aug-16 13:33:40

I think they're just at an arguing age, my girls are 8 and they're driving me up the wall with their low level whinging. Thankfully I get to run off to work, so lots of time away. flowers

Naicecuppatea Tue 09-Aug-16 13:34:23

How old are your girls? Mine are 5 and 7, usually very well behaved and excellent friends, and they've been exactly all the things you've described, but sometimes just carry on helping themselves to an ice cream / chocolate / whatever I've just said No to, so I have to shout and repeat myself. They've also developed the art of talking over anything I am trying to say, and therefore just not hearing it! Very frustrating. I am sure they are over tired as well. Fortunately I work PT and have childcare for those days so get a bit of a break from it.

TigerBreadAddict Tue 09-Aug-16 13:35:32

I'm using divide and conquer. Esp at bedtime to counter the pissing about. One at a time, each in different rooms, doing different tasks. I'm also known to say "I don't like constantly telling you off, so I'm not going to. Instead if you misbehave you will go to your room for {insert period of choice}" usually ends with one getting sent away for a period and breaking the cycle and bringing peace for a while.

Skittlesss Tue 09-Aug-16 13:37:20

Mine are the same and we have nearly a month left. We are supposed to be booking a last minute holiday in a couple of weeks but right now I don't want to take them away if they're like this. It's exhausting.

HumphreyCobblers Tue 09-Aug-16 13:37:55

I know it sounds wanky a bit cringy but in that situation I tend to have a family meeting. I explain the issue (in this case that there is a lot of fighting and arguing going on), how it is affecting our family life, then ask for suggestions.

I can cut through the constant reprimands which they simply stop hearing after a while. It gives them the opportunity to suggest solutions to the problem (often this is the first time they have stopped to actually THINK about the impact on other people) and draws a line in the sand... Be sure to write down all suggestions without comment and they you can decide on a plan of action together.

Doing this has changed mealtimes in my house forever.

inlovewithhubby Tue 09-Aug-16 14:20:24

Oh I feel more normal already!! Thank you all so much.

Girls are almost 5 and 6 and a half. So similar to yours Naice and good to know I'm not alone. I also love the idea of saying I'm not going to tell off so go to your room - like you I think my shouting/stern talking/any noise I make is just white noise at the moment.

Agree they are tired, might bring bedtime forward but I do like the more chilled evenings now we don't have to get up early. But possibly backfiring so will address.

And I do like the family meeting idea too. That way dad is in the mix as well, so I'm not always bad cop, and my gobby little girls would love the grown up nature of this. Great idea.

Am so grateful. I feel better already although we are baking biscuits now and I did have to bite my tongue to avoid shouting at the general pissing about - honestly, stop behaving like fucking children will you!?!

MunchCrunch01 Tue 09-Aug-16 14:24:14

next summer I'm making sure I separate them out for at least some time, separate holiday clubs for some days etc.

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