To be vexed DH is upstairs playing games with DD (9)

(70 Posts)
HolidayArmadillo Mon 26-Aug-13 15:53:24

It's a typical bank holiday here with little planned, we've done a house tidy, car wash, car tidy etc. plan had been to watch films with kids and get popcorn etc, dd turned her nose up at that so I said fine but entertain yourself then. DD has always been for want of a better phrase 'high maintenance' and virtually incapable of entertaining herself, she won't play games or with toys on her own she always has to have an adult 'doing' with her and it drives me nuts. She has always been like this it isn't a new thing, anyway she decided she would play out but returned shortly after stating none if her friends were in and so 'what can I do now, I'm bored'. I suggested she play in her room or read or watch a film, she theatrically exclaimed that's what she had been doing ALL DAY and stomped off. Within 10 mins DH had followed her upstairs and is now playing board games which has annoyed me as she always gets her own way and gets one of us to entertain her. At age 9 - 10 in a few weeks AIBU to think she shouldn't expect to be entertained 24/7?

saintmerryweather Mon 26-Aug-13 15:56:18


In my house I'd be over the moon that DD was getting her dads full attention - and I could spend the afternoon on mumsnet without getting interupted. wink

mynewpassion Mon 26-Aug-13 15:57:41

Maybe he wants to play with her.

thebody Mon 26-Aug-13 16:01:20

she sounds a bit like you op. why don't you all play a board game together?

and not getting this 'play in her room thing' this is holiday family time.

just remember she's already 9, in a few years she'll be out all the time and only ask you for money and lifts.

my 4 are all out, wish they were 9 again!!

sweetestcup Mon 26-Aug-13 16:02:59

Yanbu but yes maybe your DH wants to. This would annoy me though if my 11 year old was like this.

BrokenSunglasses Mon 26-Aug-13 16:04:12

You are annoyed that your husband is playing with your child? You think it's a problem because your daughter wants to spend as much time playing with her parents as she can?



Yanbu. I spend hours taking my dds out and about in the holidays. And the second we are home dd1 announces she's bored. I too get increasingly annoyed that she can't entertain herself for five mins so that I can get something done.

It's one day, I don't think your expecting too much for your dd to occupy herself and I can see why you are annoyed at your dh for givin into the whining.

AmI right in thinking that the problem isn't that he's sting with her, more that he's given in to her strop?

Sting? Playing blush

HolidayArmadillo Mon 26-Aug-13 16:09:56

She sounds a bit like me?! confused this weekend she has been taken swimming, played out with friends, the cinema and had a sleepover. A suggestion was made for her to do something with us that didn't A) involve spending money or B) expend much energy (I did a 60 mile charity bike ride yesterday and ache everywhere today) and she didn't want to do it so I suggested playing in her room, not sending her to borstal! I guess what I'm trying to say is how can I ever expect her to entertain herself if each time I try to encourage it DH panders to her and plays with her, which is lovely but very wearing to have a 9 year old who is incapable of amusing herself!

HolidayArmadillo Mon 26-Aug-13 16:10:49

Caffeine yes, that is more the issue.

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 26-Aug-13 16:11:54

hang on- so because your DD didn't want to do the things you wanted to do, she's shouldn't be allowed to do the things she does want to do with an adult who wants to do those things with her? she should spend the bank holiday in her room on her own? hmm

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 26-Aug-13 16:15:07

why do you care aslong as you're not the one having to play with her? if your dh is happy to be with her then why is it a problem that she likes having someone with her? you don't get to dictate the relationship her father has with her just because it's not what you would do.

I think you have a point tbh.

No one has the time energy or money to fill every second of every day. They do need to learn to occupy themselves. Houses don't clean themselves and a person has to cook tea. Surely between books, DVDs electronic gadgets and a garden they can think of something.

Dackyduddles Mon 26-Aug-13 16:15:12

Stephen, excellent point!

HolidayArmadillo Mon 26-Aug-13 16:19:10

Ok I guess iabu but I just obviously live in an odd parallel universe where i think kids should be able to entertain themselves at least some of the time. It gets wearing. Really wearing. And DH gets that too. He gets just as exasperated by it as I do but he's a giver inner. Anything for an easy life. I accept the overwhelming response is IABU but sometimes Mumsnet is an odd place to hang around!

HolidayArmadillo Mon 26-Aug-13 16:20:15

- in that it doesn't reflect any of my thoughts at times so I feel completely at odds with the rest of the world! (Before anyone gets offended!)

Floralnomad Mon 26-Aug-13 16:25:23

So you spent yesterday on a marathon bike ride and don't want to entertain your daughter today ! TBH I think you are quite brave posting this because you actually come across as a lazy parent .

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 26-Aug-13 16:26:06

if I have things to do in the house I tell the dcs i'm busy and they'll have to entertain themselves. but I certainly wouldn't object if my dad arrived and went and played with them while I did whatever I was doing, even if I did just want ten minutes with a cuppa and yes I tell them I want a ten minute break to MN and drink tea and please not to disturb me for a bit. ds2 is fine and clears off outside, ds1 whinges almost every ten minutes about being bored. sometimes I can unbore him with a game or go to park or what ever but other times I have to do things so i just get on with it an if he whinges i ignore it- i still wouldn't be pissed off if someone else arrived and played with him. i'd probably say "thanks he was getting on my last nerve" grin

Room for two on your planet? smile

I have a dd who can be pretty similar. We still in summer hols. We've seen friends , been to parks, been out for lunch, had friends over in the paddling pool many times. We've been on holiday, we've been shopping, she's played with friends dogs and spent hours outside with friends.

Today I dared to start cleaning the shithole house as we haven't actually been in long enough to do it in bloody weeks and I've been confronted with "I'm bored we never do anything etc" because I dared to sit down for five mins with dd2 who just worked herself up into a state and needed calming down. Give up sometimes I really do.

HolidayArmadillo Mon 26-Aug-13 16:33:12

Ha fair enough StephenFry, I get that but it's just annoying when DH complains that she can't entertain herself and then trots off to entertain her as soon as she strops. Caffeine I'll budge up and let you in, lazy parents hmm unite!

brew &cake smile

In all honesty they have been out seen friends had an ice lolly, had lunch and played with dp. He dared nip out to the shops and I dared to Hoover the bedrooms so no, I don't think ten minutes entertaining herself is much to ask. Especially as dd2 manages just fine most the time.

What to do with children with ants in their pants hey. grin

I understand where you are coming from too. my DD is 7, and exactly as you describe.

We can go to the skate park in the morning, get home and make a cake together, read a book together, or do something craft-y, then I'll say "right, I've got to do some housework now" and she'll be outraged. "But I'm boooooooooooooored! What am I going to dooooooo?"

Drives me nuts. She just can't entertain herself for more that 5 minutes.

I don't think you sound like a lazy mum.

DontmindifIdo Mon 26-Aug-13 16:40:19

hmm, I have a DH who does a lot of bike riding. This has lead to a rule in our house, whatever you chose to do in your "me time" can not impact on your ability to parent in family time. So in our house, a 60 mile bike ride that you chose to do would not mean you had a get out of doing anything today.

Its not a bad thing your DH is playing with DD, he's giving you a break from listening to a whiny bored child, she won't suddenly become a girl whos happy to do independent playing just because you're knackered, some DCs just need to be entertained more than others.

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 26-Aug-13 16:44:30

"then I'll say "right, I've got to do some housework now" and she'll be outraged. "But I'm boooooooooooooored! What am I going to dooooooo?""

answer: "there's the hoover love, don't forget the cobwebs" grin

usually results in something far more interesting springing to mind wink

MortifiedAdams Mon 26-Aug-13 16:45:14

I'm openmouthed that you are cross your dd is playing a board game rather than watching a film.

NoComet Mon 26-Aug-13 16:45:27

YAB stunningly U
My DDs would faint if their dad agreed to play board games with them rather than cut the hedge, let them have fun together.

LucilleBluth Mon 26-Aug-13 16:45:32

Jesus....I will join you in the lazy parent corner OP, I have two DSs aged 9 & 11 and a toddler DD and they are all capable of entertaining themselves, it's not healthy to have a parent at your beck and call 24/7 surely.

LucilleBluth Mon 26-Aug-13 16:46:53

Also.....lots of people missing the point, it's not about her dad playing with her, which is of course lovely, it's about her lack of self sufficiency.

Gomez Mon 26-Aug-13 16:47:32

At 9 she is well beyond the needing to be entertained phase - she needs to learn to be bored.


Crowler Mon 26-Aug-13 16:49:20

ARGH. This is my kids, exactly. It drives me CRAZY.

I keep reminding myself that I'll miss it when it passes.

McNewPants2013 Mon 26-Aug-13 16:49:48

Do you both give in to her or is it just DH.

I think a 9 year old should be able to entertain herself. But going on your OP it don't sound like you have spent any time with her. It sounds like you have done a lot of cleaning while she has been out with friends.

CrazyOldCatLady Mon 26-Aug-13 16:50:36

I used to love when my dad played with us. He always built the best Lego models. Sadly my mother was of the opinion that we should entertain ourselves and he should be off doing grown up, constructive things like DIY so we didn't get to spend time with him as often as we'd have liked.

YABveryU, for all sorts of reasons.

I have a six year old version of your DD OP so I empathise. But not sympathise because my DD's dad is a lazy sod who doesn't play with them much. sad

The house will be messy again tomorrow but she will be a bit more grown up and you'll soon be at the age where she doesn't want to play with you. Treasure her and if she's getting on your nerves get a friend round to entertain her.

HolidayArmadillo Mon 26-Aug-13 16:59:35

DH does give in more than me. I didn't realise that in my OP I Had to justify what I had done with DD (and DS, she isn't an only) over the school holidays to make sure everyone didn't jump to the conclusion I was a lazy sofa dwelling harridan! For the record I work shifts so have been around a lot during the week for DD and in the last 7 days we have been to a country park, baked cakes together, been to the cinema, been swimming, had a barbecue and been to visit grandparents. She is not some underdeveloped little flower who gets no attention when daddy the rescuer isn't here! I just frustratedly assumed that having done all. Of this she might be prepared to amuse herself for the day when clearly there were things in the house that needed doing or she could take part in the activity DH and I had put to her.

StephenFry - she does actually offer to help me quite often. She'll hoover or clean the kitchen cupboards., or tidy her room. But inevitably she'll get bored of this and then want to do something else.

I've just been discussing this thread with DH, and he says he was exactly the same as our DD when he was a child. i.e. ants in his pants, had to always be doing something.

He said that eventually he got into various hobbies, which he then spent all his time obsessively doing, and that was the answer for him. So I think we need to find DD a hobby/ interest, so I'll think about that.

Any suggestions would be welcome!

HolidayArmadillo Mon 26-Aug-13 17:00:51

Or that if she wouldn't do any of the above DH wouldn't decide to pander to her so that once again the message 'sometimes you need to entertain yourself' gets lost in the post!

Floralnomad Mon 26-Aug-13 17:05:24

I'm in no way saying that children shouldn't be able to entertain themselves but I'm staggered that someone is complaining that their child would rather play a board game than be sat in front of a screen .

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 26-Aug-13 17:09:00

I understand where you are coming from. DS2 is like this. DH is brilliant with him, in that he'll do something useful with DS2 - like cleaning the car or baking some bread.

Letting children be bored, after initial tantrums, often results in them doing something interesting off their own back, so it's really important not to always give in.

DS2 is a real action boy, but once he got into reading, he has always had that to fall back on when no-one can "play" with him.

ConflictDodger Mon 26-Aug-13 17:10:54

Kids do need to learn to entertain themselves. If it was a one off I would think you were being very unreasonable but I do get that some kids are like this all the time.

To me it is really important that kids learn to find coping strategies for being bored. Occasional boredom is a part of life and everyone needs to learn to deal with it. (For me it was in my old job stuck in a meeting that seemed to go on forever. I regularly felt like whining, 'But I'm boooooored!')

ConflictDodger Mon 26-Aug-13 17:11:37

And I agree that encouraging reading is the way forward! I was never bored as a child because I loved to read grin

Yes I'll do this. DD reads a bit, but hasn't caught the "reading bug" yet. When i was her age I had my nose in a book permanently. I need to get her into a LONG SERIES of books. grin

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 26-Aug-13 17:18:53

Mr Gum series is good for 9 year olds

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 26-Aug-13 17:20:32

iwasyoungonce - sorry that was to the OP. If she's a goodish reader, have a look at Mr Gum

Also The Roddy Doyle books are really good

Whyamihere Mon 26-Aug-13 17:23:41

She sounds like my dd who is also 9, today I've played Lego friends with her, nurseries with her dolls, two different board games (several games of each) and we've been for a cycle ride and a meal out, but according to dd I still haven't spent enough time with her and she's been in tears because I won't play lego friends again. I could probably play solidly for 12 hours and it still wouldn't be enough.
But I would love dh to play a few board games with her - he rarely does though.

WowOoo Mon 26-Aug-13 17:34:39

The moment Ds says he's bored I get him to do homework.
I have some work books that I get him to do from time to time anyway.

He thinks twice about saying it and now draws, reads or entertains himself playing stuff.. Or going on Minecraft/X box if he's been more or less well behaved.

If she's happy playing, I'd be happy. I'd rather her play a game with DH - at least she's still getting human interaction.
We do have to be alone, but if there's a choice and she chooses company I think that's fair enough.

Could she have a quick run around in the garden for some fresh air before it gets dark?

lucybrad Mon 26-Aug-13 17:40:40

To expect grandparents to be around when I am scheduled for a c section but instead they are going for a weekend away - booked 9 months ago ?

My dd is literally not happy unless she's doing something physically active. So anything suggested that involves sitting down (although she does do some colouring first thing in the morning) is a no go. She wants parks, scooters, bikes walks etc. I suggest she runs up and down the oath outside but that's no good. She could literally do that all day. Typical day on holiday involved a ball game after breakfast, a walk down to the park, trip to some tourist attraction a bus journey back to the caravan park followed by playing in the park at the pub where we ate. Then walk back round play in the amusements and this climbing ship and slide thing they had and a run back to the van. Literally twelve hours of activity and still she wanted to go swimming in between. By god I don't know how she had the energy but she did and still does .

lucybrad Mon 26-Aug-13 17:41:12

nuts that was meant to be a new thread

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Mon 26-Aug-13 17:41:51

OP, I'm also surprised by the run of responses here - at least on page one - given the competitive non-involvement that emerges on most threads about taking your dc to the park. To go by some, if your child fell in a pond you would be helicopter parenting if you pulled them out! 'I like to encourage them to solve their own problems' grin etc.

Oh and she's not quite seven yet.

HolidayArmadillo Mon 26-Aug-13 19:21:06

DD is very physically active, plays on the football team, part of a competitive dancing group etc, loves bike riding, skipping, jogging about on the spot like a hyperactive flea so it's interesting to hear of others who are similar. And it's not that I'd rather she watch a screen than play a board game but sometimes you just can't be harassed with entertaining and you just want to veg and do nothing, how many times have I read the advice on here 'have a duvet day, it won't kill the kids!'

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 26-Aug-13 19:38:24


Yes, DS2 is like this. He has 2 modes: outside very active, or "I don't have anything to do!" He has an ipod Touch but it's strictly controlled.

He's basically a social being, whereas my introverted child can entertain himself all day and has to be pushed to go out/interact

I do sometimes wonder about dds inability to wind down. From the age of two she would actively ask for time to herself. Up until a few months back she would ask for a pyjama day. Now she hates being still, has boundless energy and always has to be doing something or going somewhere. Oh how I would live those days of snuggled and stories back. When I could be home cooking lovely meals because dd was happy watching a film. Maybe it's just a 6-7 thing?? smile

Whereisegg Mon 26-Aug-13 20:04:27

Wow seems to be a lot of bashing on this thread?

OP, yanbu!

I have an almost 7 year old ds who is much the same, and after playing Lego and board games for hours, I too, yearn for a cup of tea in peace, or (heaven forbid) to read the newspaper the same day I buy it.

I LOVE the idea of homework books for when the "I'm bored" whining starts!

sarahtigh Mon 26-Aug-13 20:55:35

my mum used to give us chores holidays when we got bored like weeding the gaps in the crazy paving, we did not get bored often grin

grin I send dd out to pick grass for the bunnies. She's quiet for at least ten mins then cos she's not in the house

xuntitledx Mon 26-Aug-13 21:33:17

Slightly shocked by some of the responses here! I don't think it makes the OP a lazy parent in the slightest, as she explained, she'd already spent lots of time with her daughter.

I feel the same frustration with my step children - particularly when we've spent money doing lots of fun things (which DH and I wouldn't have had growing up!)

I don't feel it's unreasonable to ask for children to entertain themselves for an afternoon!

SeaSickSal Mon 26-Aug-13 22:14:10

I don't think it's U for the OP to not want to entertain her DD.

I do think it's U for the OP to expect her DD and DH to sit on their own because she says so when they could be playing together.

I don't think that's the case sea. I think she's annoyed because her dh caves in every time and there fore her dd had never learnt to entertain herself. It was a strop, could have been about sweets or a film it just happened to be about playing a game. op is more annoyed about the dh caving as her dd has never learnt to occupy herself and on too she has to listen to her dh moan that she won't occupy herself.

On top

Morloth Tue 27-Aug-13 04:28:23

Try as I might I can't see the problem with your DH playing a board game with your DD.

If they are both happy then what is the problem?

TobyLerone Tue 27-Aug-13 04:50:50

I don't really get it either.

She's obviously had to entertain herself all day while you were tidying the house/car etc. So I don't see why she's unreasonable for wanting to do something with her dad when you've all finished.

I get how annoying the whining is. DD is 12 and did that yesterday. Then I remembered that her school had emailed with work to be completed over the holidays. So I gave her that to do. Her rage was uncontrolled grin

Morloth Tue 27-Aug-13 05:07:08

LOL, DS1 doesn't say he is bored anymore.

There are plenty of things that can help with that...

DropYourSword Tue 27-Aug-13 05:21:16

So you've tidied the house, washed the car, tidied the car and now DD wants to play with her dad and you're pissed off because she got her own way??

What's wrong with them paying a board game together... surely better for everyone than sitting on a computer game all day? I'm sure the time will come soon enough when she won't want to spend an extra minute with her parents and will be out all the time. Is make the most of it while you can!

HolidayArmadillo Tue 27-Aug-13 07:20:23

She didn't 'want' to play board games with DH, she just wanted to be entertained by one of us and make us responsible for the time passing, DH didn't 'want' to play board games he just didn't want to dal with the strop that ensued when she was asked to amuse herself, I'm not some wicked witch who goes in the huff because DH wants to play with the kids, neither of them had a burning desire to play a game together it was just a result of her having a huff at being asked to join in with the family activity (of sitting doing very little after a busy week/weekend which was too BORING) and him not having the patience to let her strop it out and actually find a way of entertaining herself despite being one of the first to complain that 'she can't entertain herself ever'. The combination of the two is what annoyed me, not the simple fact that they were playing games together, of course that's nice, it's lovely and it's great that DH is so keen to do it!

DropYourSword Tue 27-Aug-13 07:32:10

Thanks for clarifying a little more Armadillo. I was genuinely puzzled there! I understand more now that you had planned an inclusive family activity (watching the film) and your DD didn't want to join in but also didn't want to leave others to it. I had assumed from your OP that DD had gone off to do her thing and that DH was more than happy to go play board games with her, which I thought was lovely. So you had planned to do something with the family but it wasn't 'good enough' for her... I can now completely understand your irritation!!

I think your just going to have to have another talk with your dh and tell him that caving in to her constantly is doing her (and you) no favours. Life can't be a constant planned activity fest. Kids do need to learn to deal with boredom or do something off their own back. And before anyone says anything , I don't mean so we can kick back drink tea and watch tv. I mean because there are things we have to do, drs appointments, food shopping, cooking, cleaning, phone calls we need to make, helping out relatives. And sometimes it's just consideration. If mum and dad are ill or a baby sibling is ill then god forbid for one day they have to actually do "nothing" without stropping.

The sooner your dh backs you up in this the sooner she might actually learn, in sure in school there must be times where she's responsible for managing her own time and doing her work without someone sat with her. If she can manage at school she can manage at home.

I hope you can get this sorted with your dh armsdillo

hackmum Tue 27-Aug-13 08:51:42

I do understand about having a child who won't entertain herself, and relieved to find myself not alone in this. My DD was like this from the moment she was born (she'd even get bored with the baby gym after two minutes) and boy, is it hard work! I always thought only children were supposed to be good at making their own amusement but it turns out not to be the case.

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